Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice.

Hi there,
How goes it?
I must say, it is VERY cold here today in Kent.
You know the old saying,
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?
Well, I concur that this is true in Jill’s case, too.
Me being Jill, that is.
I guess the new-speak jingle is Work-Life balance, 
and all that jazz.
As you know, we’ve been going like the clappers here at Clarity 
for many, many months.
Nay! Years !!!
And as you maybe also know, we lost a good friend last weekend,
when dear Jayne Nestorenko passed away
 after a long hard battle with cancer.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
When a good, clean-living woman the same age as you dies,
it makes you reassess what exactly you are doing with your days.
Well, it does me.
If the truth be told, Jayne’s death was on the cards for quite a while,
and therefore I have been questioning what I am doing with my life for quite a while too. 
I could work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year;
but the workload would never ever be reduced,
the piles would never ever go down.
All I would do is make room for more work. 
And nobody is going to stop me, except Dave.
He puts his foot down when I overdo it.
And my parents. They shake their heads and tell me to slow down. 
Ultimately, it’s down to me to make the changes.
Starting walking is a good one.
The pledge I made for the love of Jayne, 
 to walk 10,000 steps a day until we raise £10,000 
is making me step away from the desk – literally.
And thank you for donating to the cancer page I opened.
Together, we have already raised nearly £2,000.
Here is the link in case you want to do so:
So the walking gives me time to think about other things.
Like, wish I’d worn my hat!
Blimming cold!
Next thing: read a book.
When I was younger I was the quintessential bookworm.
Would read a novel in one sitting.
Would savour the words, the poetry.
Memorize lines from my favourite novels.
Always had my head in a book.
Always had a book in my head.
Don’t know what happened….
obligatory reading at Uni didn’t help.
The kids came along.
Work kicked in.
Lost the passion for literature.
And now I can’t keep my eyes open long enough 
to get past the first page!
But that’s going to change too.
I have started re-reading an old favourite.
And if I have to read standing up, so as not to fall asleep –
then so be it!
I am already entranced, 
back in the web of love and pride and prejudice!

I always felt that a good book was worth at least a second read.
And if I am to get back into the written word, then I shall start with one that had me hooked from the first page thirty years ago.
What I am trying to say in my clumsy way, 
is that grateful as I am for the good ship Clarity, 
and all who sail in her,
I would like to think about other things than only stamps and parchment and proposals and marketing and craft;
let my mind travel to other places.
Do you get me?
You know how you escape to your craft room and dive into your artwork to get away from your routine?
Well, I have the need to jump the other way a little.
If art and the blog were the only things on my agenda,
but you can’t run a business like Clarity on those things alone.
If you always eat the same meal, no matter how spicy it is,
and even if it’s your favourite food,
you will get sick of it.
And that’s why I am changing the diet, and developing two new habits:
walking daily and classic literature.
It doesn’t get much healthier, does it ?!?!? 
Love & Hugs,

75 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice.

  1. That sounds like a plan. Having seen the recent drama about the Bronte sisters I am about to embark on their books, somehow I have missed some of the classics

    1. I spent three years at college in Yorkshire and would get the bus out to Haworth very frequently. From there, I could walk those moors that the sisters knew so well, and visit their home overlooking the grim looking graveyard. It gave me a tiny insight into why they wrote as they did. Enjoy your reading. xxx Maggie

  2. Good for you! I too love to read and when I was younger always had my head in a book. I do read at least one book every couple of weeks just because I love it and takes me to another place. I craft nearly every day so reading is my form of escapism. Enjoy your book
    Hugs to you and Dave
    Linda xxxx

  3. Hello Barbara

    I am with you all the way! My friend and I started walking last September and we feel so much better for it. Takes us back to when we used to walk together pushing our prams! I struggle with the reading though, since my daughter-in-law gave up her eight year fight against a brain tumour and took to her bed (it took her three months to die) I struggle to concentrate long enough to read a book. Thank God for crafting.


  4. I always have a book in my bag. At work the children have 15 minutes of DEAR (drop everything and read) every day; start of lesson 3 this week. Also morning and afternoon tutor time is reading time. I love it. I had a Dr'appointment yesterday. The waiting time went quickly with a book to keep me company.

  5. I always have a book in my bag. At work the children have 15 minutes of DEAR (drop everything and read) every day; start of lesson 3 this week. Also morning and afternoon tutor time is reading time. I love it. I had a Dr'appointment yesterday. The waiting time went quickly with a book to keep me company.

  6. Oh it's so good that you have had time to reflex and think about what other lovely things you would like to do. Walking is a way of relaxing reading wonderful stories.
    Maybe you will set a trend xxx

  7. I can understand exactly where you are coming from here Barbara! As you know I decided that my life was needing a big change and I really believe that if I hadn't made that decision then I may not have been on this earth much longer!
    Change is as good as a rest though and so important that you do make a few changes! Hard to do when you're a workaholic and someone who has such an eye for detail. Dave is right to rein you in and stop you going full pelt ahead.
    Enjoy your walking and reading… could combine the two and get an audio book to listen to whilst you walk!
    Anyway whatever you do its important that you do it for you!
    Love and hugs xxxx

  8. What a good idea to commit to undertake two new things to take you to another place. I think you certainly needed to going by how hectic this last year has been for you. It can only have a positive outcome for you. As you say everyone on here and the F/B pages say how they escape into crafting if life is getting tough but as you are doing it all day you need another escape route. So glad Dave puts his foot down sometimes as well as your mum and dad. They have your back. Don't make it another chore for your list though. Enjoy.xx

  9. I can understand exactly where you are coming from here Barbara! As you know I decided that my life was needing a big change and I really believe that if I hadn't made that decision then I may not have been on this earth much longer!
    Change is as good as a rest though and so important that you do make a few changes! Hard to do when you're a workaholic and someone who has such an eye for detail. Dave is right to rein you in and stop you going full pelt ahead.
    Enjoy your walking and reading… could combine the two and get an audio book to listen to whilst you walk!
    Anyway whatever you do its important that you do it for you!
    Love and hugs xxxx

  10. Delighted to hear this, Barbara. We can't change other people, only ourselves. I too used to read and read… until life got in the way And recently I decided to start going into all those wonderful worlds again. If you haven't already, try The Catcher in the Rye, Tom Sawyer and my all-time favourite: Huckleberry Finn. I laugh every time I read them. Fabulous writing. Enjoy Pride and Prejudice – it's beautiful too. K x

  11. Evening what a nice mix it has been bitter today out there. No sunshine either I got to make two cards today first for while as Bobs birthday tomorrow and then Hannah's Sunday hopefully I will get back in swing of doing again enjoy your book no feeling I walkways read a page and fall asleep been thinking of getting a kindle to help me see to read as having problems have a good evening what's left of it xx

  12. Nothing like a good read, one of my favourite books that I've read many times is A Town Like Alice, just proves that good will always win over bad. We can all be our own hero or heroine! Xx

  13. Brilliant Barbara! Pride and prejudice is a great read several times over ! Then you can move on to northanger abbey, Emma etc though a good bit of classical music for de stressing / a good balm for my soul is johann Strauss ! Love it xx

  14. Losing a great friend certainly does make you re-evaluate your life choices. I'm glad you are making time for yourself, to challenge both your body and soul. Enjoy your book, and you can always get yourself an audiobook to listen to whilst you walk too! x

  15. I got that I only read on holiday and said when I retired I'd read more but I still struggle to do so other than holidays. Only in the last couple of weeks I've picked up a book and not the Kindle but I haven't got very far. Keep telling myself it will be better in the summer sat in the garden assuming I'll still be here then (no reason why not I hasten to add, touch wood). I suppose that's why we shouldn't put off things to other days (except the housework!). I've got some cards to make but my mojo isn't with me at the moment….. Enjoy your book – walk up and down while you read ! Xx

  16. Hi Barb,
    I think it's wonderful that you have set these two goals for yourself. You certainly do need me time and what better way than to walk or to read. I love reading and can lose myself for hours in a good book. I've been doing a lot of it over the last two weeks as well as some crafting and some knitting. I'm really pleased that the fundraising is going so well – long may it continue. Love and hugs Alison xxx

    1. Hi Alison I've just picked my knitting up again, I'm making my husband laugh as I'm winding skeins into balls and I'm using my feet to hold the skeins and trying not to get into a muddle! Sending hugs xxx

  17. Hi Barbara, well glad to hear you are looking after yourself. As you run a very successful business you at some point have to step back and change a few things for yourself and your family.
    Good on you read a book take them walks and a few more things you have a brilliant team behind you so to hold the fort and let you take a breather which in turn will inspire you for lots more ldeas.
    Just look after yourself.
    Lots of hugs
    Lynn xx 📚

  18. Great words Barb. I read my book during the adverts on the tv… Or when Den is watching something I am not interested in. It is surprising how much I can read in each 5 min of adverts. And that I with my dyslexia too.

    Looking forward to my January clarity goodies arriving.


  19. Can't you delevate a bit more . Perhaps you have set your goals too high which can cause more stress .
    One day something will give , it might be you . You must put yourself first and fill your own cup or you won't have anything to give and share with others . . Joy now Janice .🙏

  20. I always have a book with me – nothing deep and not a classic, but it is on the table should I want to be uncouth and read whilst eating my lunch or dinner, particularly if the story is gripping me! (well there is only me now, so nobody to tell me off), but I always read when I first go to bed; and the book goes in my handbag if when I have hospital, doctor or dentist appointments. I don't do much walking as the bones won't allow it these days, so I can't wait until the better weather arrives and I can get out in the garden more for my breath of fresh air and a bit of exercise. (Did manage a little gardening in the sun earlier this week, but as you mention to bloomin "taters" for it today – confess I took the car to post some letters! oops!)

  21. Oh Barbra that is one of my all time favourites too. In fact I love all Jane Austen's books. Congratulations on reaching almost £2000 so quickly. I hope Pride and Prejudice helps you get back into reading. Hugs to you and Dave xx

  22. I so get you Barbara. I didn't know Jayne other than from the telly. And her battle with cancer and passing away has made me think greatly, in all sorts of ways, wake-up call. I can only imagine how much worse it is for you with her being a dear friend of yours. I'm glad you have managed to find some positives, hopefully they will help you a little through your grieving process. And help you to a healthier, longer life, which I'm sure is what Jayne would have wished for all her family and friends to learn from her battle. It's all any of us can do, get and stay as healthy as possible, and live life to the fullest, and happiest possible. No one is going to do that for you, no matter who you have in your life, it's got to come from inside each and everyone of us. I've been working hard at it for almost a year now, kept up the super healthy eating, most of the time, and my wee bit exercise, movement to music every night. Part of my routine now, and I did it, no one told me too. No one here to tell me to!!! I did it for me, did it myself. So now this year it's about working on reading, craft, and what I can manage to get sorted of my home. If I can do it, me with all my problems, and no reason to get up in the morning, other than finding reasons that it's good to be alive, which it is, then anyone can. Just look inside you, it's there, all you have to do is put the effort in, that's all.

    I think I've found a suitable step counter, but not bought it yet, been wondering if seeing how few steps I can take in the day will cause me problems, especially as there's not much, if anything, I can do to change it, trying to do more on a regular basis will make me more unwell the whole time.

    Me too re reading, always nose in a book when growing up. Read a lot when first got CFS too. But then stress, and fear, and big struggles took over, and noise, at my last place, can't read with noise. Actually can't do much at all when there's noise going on elsewhere. So my first challenge of this new year was to get back into reading. And I have, a couple of weeks ago. I read after breakfast sitting in bed for a wee while, instead of going on my tablet, so no time is lost later in the day, and a healthier option to being on the tablet. I have never read the classics, other than what we did at school, but I think I have Pride and Prejudice on my shelf. If I do, I'll join you and read that next. Tolkien Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit are my favourites. Fantasys like that where you can escape to a different world in your head is my thing. Just wish they made stories like that with no one dying, because that affects me like it's for real. Reading is good escapism, and healthy, no matter what it is you read.

    Good plan Barbara, reading books will soon become routine and be back in your life to stay. Maybe we'll all need to start swapping what's a good read when we've read through our bookcases…

    Hope you're managing a chill evening, and looking forward to your read
    love Brenda xx

    1. Brenda, have you tried the Narnia books by C S Lewis. People think of them as children's books,but they are good for any age. As you grow up, you find different things in them. Just as good as Tolkien, in my view. xxx Maggie

    2. No Maggie, I've not read them, only seen the first movie, and probably not it all, knowing my track record for not managing to watch films to the end!!! Unless it's an extra good one, or recorded so I can stop and start!!! Thank you, I'll write it down so I remember when needing more books xx

    3. Thanks Maggie, I'll write that down. I would have started with the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe! My brother will be happy too, to be getting wee lists of present ideas again!!!!! xx

  23. I learnt to get the work/life balance right after being quite ill in 2013. I returned to work a year later and got stressed straight away. I eventually dropped down 2 levels and now say 'no' if I don't want to do something extra or have other things planned. A lot happier and see much more of hubby to boot and feel in control of my life again. No one knows how long we have on this earth and it's important to sometimes 'stop and small the flowers'. My fun is crafting (among other things)and life is much rosier (and better smelling!). Enjoy the walking and reading x

  24. Sounds good changes to me Barb. The childhood habit of reading brfore sleep has never left me and occasionally I come across a book whose beauty of language makes me stop and relish with wonder. As for the miracle of how squiggles on a page can become complete, rich populated worlds in our heads…. And P and P is one of my favourite standbys. Seen the Colin Firth BBC version yet? A major box set lurk could result if you haven't, not least 'cos Lizzy is beautifully played as a feisty, modern woman. Anyway, hope you really enjoy reading again, and well done re the walking! xx

  25. Enjoy your book Barbara, I love reading and always have a book on the go (plus my emergency stash). I panic if I don't have another book waiting in the wings. I enjoy a good crime but sometimes go back to the classics. The truth is I will read anything really, even the back of the cornflake packet if there's nothing else. Another good thing is all my books then go to the charity shop and raise money for a good cause. xx

  26. Good on ya, Barbara. Don't burn yourself out, it is not worth it. As somebody once said to me, learn to delegate and learn to say no. We all appreciate and benefit from your hard work but none of us want you to go into melt down. Just noticed you have topped the £2,000. Brilliant. Enjoy your reading and walking. Hugs x

  27. Good blog Barb. Makes a lot of sense. Maybe you could take your book with you on your walk and find a nice seat, read a couple of chapters and then walk home – obviously you couldn't do it now, but on a beautiful spring day say. 'Pride & Prejudice' a good one to start with, can't beat a good 'classic'! Colin Firth always springs to mind. Hope you enjoyed 'Stella' the other night. Life's not all about work is it? X

  28. You could always have an audio book and listen to it as you walk. I always loved the feel and smell of a good book, but now I adore my kindle.
    It has introduced me to so many different authors, that I probably wouldn't have read. I still have my favourites, like you I do have a passion for Jane Austin, but I do like a funny book, and for that reason p&p is my favourite of hers. Enjoy your escapism with a fabulous read. Xx

  29. Hi Barbara
    Good for you doing a couple of things for you and trying to destress ourself.what a great book to start off with, it's time I re isited it myself and perhaps a cheeky watch of the film too just for he Colin firth but!! I can quite understand where you are coming from, bussmans holiday springs to mind. Well done with the fund raising too.
    Love Diane xxx

  30. What with moving house shortly and sorting out the nitty gritty with the mortgage company it has resulted in a constant headache so I decided to sort all stencils into their property clarity folders and I feel so much more chilled, it wasn't crafting but it was good to look at all my stencils. I love reading too especially historical books on the Tudor period and funnily enough I found a book with all Jane Austen's books so that is packed safely away for later. Very pleased you've found some escapism, good for the soul xx

  31. Good for you changing things in your life for the better. Nothing like a good book to get you away from reality for a short time. Love a good book but for some unknown reason having trouble getting into one lately. I've not read any of the classics but have Pride and Prejudice sat on the shelf in the bedroom. Bought it on a whim thinking I should read it. Hugs, Pam xx

  32. Pride and Prejudice… the book I've read more than any other (at least 7 times). Extreme exhaustion at the end of the day stops me reading in bed as I fall to sleep after the first word or I'm working til late and Neil is in bed with the lights off by the time I go up. When I eventually get time off work, I feel so guilty just sitting reading that I have to get up and do something else.
    Hope you managed to get through a few chapters today. Love and hugs, Jeanette xxx

  33. That has always been one of my favourite books and I have lost count of the times I have read it. I love Jane Austen as an author. I have always read avidly, all kinds of books, depending on my mood, so I often have two or three books on the go. On the rare occasions that I have time to be bored, I will dig out my box set of the fabulous BBC version of Pride and Prejudice which is so faithful to the book. I always read last thing when I am tucked up in bed, and have been known to get so involved that I read a whole book all night. As an only child, I spent hours in the local library, choosing as many as twelve books in a week, and the worst punishment my parents could devise was to deprive me of books. Enjoy your reading and walking. xxx Maggie

  34. Well done Barb.
    I have noticed that when I walk into town (about 20 minutes' worth) my mind often wanders with me – looking at the birds, flowers trains and river. Oddly, now I don't work, this is the bit I miss, so sometimes I walk to town, just for the love of it.
    I never really got on with Pride and Prejudice – much prefer the film versions – so, again, I've got to admire you for wading through it.
    I never met Jayne, but I have her frame next to me when I am at my little craft desk so I think about her frequently and marvel at her skill and artistry. Will Clarity be offering a Jayne design at a price including a donation – I'm in if you do.
    Maggie (Yorkite)

  35. For those lovers of Austen, can I recommend 'The Eyre Affair ' by Jason Fforde? Ever wondered what happens to the characters when no one is reading them? He takes you into Bookworld behind the books and gives you a detective story on top. I rarely retread a book but this series I keep going back to. I even had to retread JAne Eyre in case I had missed something!
    Having lost my mother suddenly last week, the need to have something else to think about has been vital. Literature is a great escape. I wish all children could be given the love of books.
    Keep smiling through Barbara. X

  36. Reading and walking are two very pleasurable pastimes and you are right to need other things to do and think about besides the business Barbara. I read Pride and Prejudice many years ago and watched the series with Colin Firth too which was great, I haven't read nearly enough of the classics though, and have half read one or two, an example of that is Great Expectations and I ran out of steam with about 200 pages to Unfortunately with crafting and blogging I find it takes me much longer to finish a book as I only tend to read at bedtime. Funnily enough I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak last night, which was a different sort of book for me but itvwas good. We also got out for our first walk of the year the other day, three miles along the canal towpath and really enjoyable. x

  37. Me too. It is a shame that we have to think so hard and bargain with ourselves so much to get the balance we want. Do you think men struggle so or is it a woman's perspective that makes it so difficult to take charge of our lives?

  38. After a burn out and years before that in wch I didn't read much, I went to the opticon, got some advice over spectackles, bought me (more than) one and started reading again…my didn't know that this was the go to thing to get calm and give my system some needed rest! So here it s everyday reading (even my studybooks count) and crafting (he have to get all those ideas out of my head to get room for the study)…
    I really like reading your posts! TFS, no really: TFS! Enjoy all the small beauties whilst walking!

  39. Hi Barb, always good to get back into things you love. I have just had this vision of you in my head stood up against the door, paging through Pride and Prejudice. I love my books, whether it be on my kindle or physical books, especially when travelling for work, and my lovely hubby just bought me the Poldark set. Really enjoying it. I will donate, just not had the chance yet, but it shall be done. Take care. Bx

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