Hi there.

Thanks for popping in.

Up with the skylark this morning. Thought I’d come in here and wish you a lovely weekend. I hope that you are enjoying the run up to Christmas, and not stressing?

Taking it one day at a time here. The gifts are mostly wrapped, although I did run out of gift-tags and really ought to remedy that asap, before the Chanel Mademoiselle goes to Harry and the Splash it on goes to Sally! I know. I should make them. Yes, yes, yes. I should also make and write at least 100 Christmas cards. Ask me whether that happened this year…sorry. With all the best intentions, the necessary time just never presented itself. I did sit and write a few whilst sitting in the hospital waiting room the other day. Tell you what though. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the Christmas preparations, if anxiety around the turkey dinner is mounting, take yourself off to a hospital waiting room near you, and just watch. Watch the people coming and going. Watch the suffering and pain. Watch your “there for the grace of Gods”. It right-sizes my stuff very VERY quickly every time.

Many thanks for all the lovely Christmas wishes which have been dropping on the mat! Let’s have a gallery in the New Year and enjoy some of the glorious artwork. The house is full of wonderful Clarity artwork made by our extended family. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

So what have I packed into today for our lovely young visitors from New York? Well, how a day trip to London ?!?!? I know. Don’t say it. The Saturday before Christmas ?!?!? WMBM!!! However…

This is the only day that we can show Grace‘s Mark the sights. He hasn’t been to London, except to a swanky wedding lunch on the 35th floor of the Shard when we got married. Also, I secured tickets months ago for a very special performance, which we are all über-excited about! Ian Mckellen on Stage at the Harold Pinter Theatre. We all agree that the London hoards are worth battling through to get to spend an evening with this particular gentleman. Been counting the days. I’m getting emotional just telling you about it! Not to be missed. Probably won’t come by this way again in my lifetime – or his.

So yeah. Carpe Diem and all that. Early train. SO MUCH TO DO!! Southbank market, Borough market, Breakfast in the Crypt at St Martins in the Field. Christmas Market at Trafalgar Square. On to the V&A. South Ken.

Grace wants to people watch the ice-skaters outside the Natural History Museum. Maybe the young’ns can have a session on the ice. She is very good. I remember when they were teenagers and the then much smaller Clarity team had a Christmas outing. One of the surprises was that I had booked us all onto the ice rink at the Natural History Museum. While Dave and I clambered round, hanging on to the edge for dear life, Grace and Mark flew up the middle, forwards, backwards, doing pirouettes – the works. Like proper ice skaters. And I remember getting resentful. This was where my head took me: “ typical. I get to be the school taxi. I get to do the donkey work all year round. Working every weekend, cracking the whip about homework bla bla bla. Then they swan off to see Disneyland Dad in California, and he takes them skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating. blablabla. ”

As Grace flew past me backwards on one leg, laughing and waving, “I called “Wow! Where did you learn to skate like that, Grace? California? Dad?”

And her response?

“Hempstead Valley, Grandad!”

When I worked on my stall at Hempstead Valley in Gillingham every Sunday, my parents would take the kids off my hands. It seems Dad took them to the local ice rink a lot. Which just goes to show, most of what my head tells me is total shit. Hahaha.

I think we may avoid Harrods and Fortnum & Mason today! Early reservation at the Zedel Brasserie near the Theatre. And then – Ian, we’ll be early. Because to be late on such an auspicious occasion would just be wrong. And they wouldn’t let us in!

Have a great day too! Make it count. We sure will.

Love & Hugs,

Barb xxx

29 thoughts on “WMBM…

  1. Hi Barb,
    Wow! I’m very jealous! I love Ian McKellan! What an actor!
    I could do without the jostle of the London Streets this close to Christmas but it would be worth it. Have a truly wonderful day with a Grace and Mark. Love and hugs,Alison xxxx

  2. Have a great day. Love the browsing the London markets . Always smile when go past st Martin’s in the field it’s where my nan and grandad got married . Will def be popping into your new premises , what a lovely surprise yesterday hope the move goes smoothly .

  3. Any town or city at this time of year would be my worst nightmare, but that theatre trip would almost make it bearable. This last week has been seriously stressful, but I made a decision yesterday. There is now no way of doing my Christmas cards so it will be just close family and friends that will get a card from me this year. Having decided that, I feel much better and able to look forward to getting the family together, and concentrating on the important things. Have a wonderful time, Barbara, with your family, and look forward to family time with your Mark in February. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  4. Hello Barb, what a wonderful way to spend the day, hope you have a fabulous day and enjoy Sir Ian. We had family from South Africa last year for Christmas – 6 of them and then sat down to 14 for Christmas dinner, so left the London trip until the 28th, still extremely busy. Found the best way to deal with it – Go with the flow and try not get annoyed, not easy with a 3 year old in a buggy and a 7 year old. SO take it easy and enjoy. Take care all. Bx

  5. Deep Envy, have a wonderful day, Happy Christmas to you all in case time runs away with me in the next few days. Looking forward to more great Clarity stuff next year.

  6. Ooh, Ian McKellan – I’m very jealous! Tell us all about it so we can enjoy it vicariously through you!
    Congratulations on the new premises, too, please let us know when we can all visit.
    Wishing you all at Clarity Towers a restful and happy Christmas – won’t be able to keep up with the blog from tomorrow as spending Christmas with family in the Welsh valleys – with dreadful internet coverage!

  7. Wow! What a day. Ian McKellen is a treasure and this show sounds amazing. I love that all the funds raised will be going to theater charities and that there are 80 inexpensive seats available at each performance. I hope that he is willing to have one performance recorded.

    Have a wonderful day with your family.

  8. Have the most fabulous family day out! Precious times and a break from the Christmas work hype. Enjoy you lovely lot! X

  9. Don’t know why I’m saying this because I know you will, but have a great day! I’ve sat in a lot of hospital and doctor waiting rooms, more often for my own or Noel’s appointments, but always there is someone there worse off than we are, and that’s when I say a little prayer for them and a ‘thank you’ to God on our own behalf. It’s the glass half full way to look at life x

    That’s how I know you will always get maximum enjoyment today!

  10. What a great day planned ! Written all the cards etc but I know what you mean about waiting rooms and I’ll be sitting in one at 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve, there are better times aren’t there ? But at least hubby will know what he’s facing on the chemo front. Nothing to desperately worry about but you do don’t you ?

    Enjoy your day and the okay especially and hope Mark loves the sights xx

  11. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your day. I know being in large crowds isn’t for everyone but sometimes I’ve found being in a large happy crowd really added joy to the occasion. Hope it does for you and everyone venturing out today

  12. Sounds like an amazing action packed day. We’ve just had our new sofa delivered, the dogs approve lol.
    Must get the decs out now x

  13. Hope you have a wonderful family day out. I love Zedel brasserie – you’ll have a fab meal there. the theatre sounds wonderful too. am very jealous 🙂

  14. Sounds great day out are Rebecca has gone to London to meet up with a friend hoping she too will have a great day as going through really rough timex

  15. What a full day you are packing in. I hope you are not too tired to enjoy Sir Ian – great performer. I hope you all have a brilliant day and the trains don’t let you down.
    Fabulous news about the new building. A lot of work for you all at clarity towers but what a great start to 2020.
    Merry Christmas to you all and all the best for 2020

  16. Wow, sounds like a fun packed day for you all. Glad you are all making those memories, sounds like a great play too. I have been doing my mass tidy before Christmas, now I have a clean table all I can think is how I want to craft on it! My sister is round tomorrow to help me get the Christmas dinnerware out of the cupboard which in itself is a task and a half, still wouldn’t be the same without having dinner off of our super special Spode dinner service. XX

  17. I’m sure that next year we could all make some extra cards and send them to you! You work so hard so enjoy these precious moments with your loved ones making memories x

  18. Hi Barbara
    Hope you all had a wonderful time in London, what a fabulous evening you’ve got planned. What great news yesterday, just told Julian and his first comment was to say we must come for a visit. I think I might take him up on that!
    Take care
    Love Diane xxx

  19. Hope you’ve all had a wonderful day and evening, sounds fantastic what you’d planned to do. We have had a lovely afternoon and evening (a miniature Christmas Day) with our Son, his wife and family as we will be with our Daughter her husband and family for Christmas.xxxx

  20. Well a lot of the Christmas stress has been taken off me with the kids doing the catering. I contribute of course. We have had a few bad days as Fred has had a stomach bug which has knocked the stuffing out of him. On the mend now , should be fine for Christmas day. Now i can’t think that you just went along to a hospital waiting room for the fun of it so I hope whoever you were escorting is ok. If it was for you then again sending best wishes. xx

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