I’m not a Robot.

I’m not a Robot.

Hi there,

Friday’s blog a private peek?

Thanks for popping in. All set for the weekend’s entertainment. 5 hours live TV. Saturday: 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Sunday 2-4pm. Tell any human being outside of our TV bubble that you are set to do 5 TV hours of live art demos, and they will be dismayed. “What? Live, as in real time? Not recorded ?” “Correct.”

However, despite being asked this often when trying to access certain internet platforms,

I still get nervous when the cameras go live, but not like in the beginning. My way of fear control is to be prepared and to have a plan! The mere thought of turning up at the studios without a clue and winging it makes me intensely tense!

I usually travel up the night before a TV show, to eliminate any hitches or ditches or glitches on the motorways, which might cause me to be late or – God forbid – a no show.

So you see, there are things you can put in place to reduce stress levels, and they all seem to point towards being prepared and having a plan. Like the Christmas Dinner really! Make a list of what needs peeling and preparing, figure how long it takes to cook and when it has to go in the oven, cook what you can in advance, heat the plates, lay the table hours beforehand – then camera, lights, action! Fail to prepare – prepare to fail!!!

Things go wrong on the day – OFTEN ! The overhead camera malfunctions there is a powercut, the website crashes. This is all par for the course, but also nothing I can personally do anything about. So why worry about crap that hasn’t happened and that I can’t control anyway ?!

And when all is said and done, let’s get it in perspective. I’m not making a bid for world peace at the UN! It’s a little shopping channel. It’s a roast dinner. And even if everything is ready, they’re all sitting round the table and the roast spuds are still rock hard – it’s not life threatening, is it?

We deal with it, don’t we. We roll with the punches, as they say. And when I read that a friend had to bury her daughter this week, boom – there’s the great leveller, the one that right-sizes absolutely EVERYTHING that is going on in my life. EVERYTHING. And I cry for her.

I get emotional on live TV sometimes. In the main I can direct my thoughts away from anything which might spark an emotional jerk, but sometimes it comes from nowhere. Mostly I can control a surge of tears by thinking of something absurd, like Maggie Thatcher in the nuddy or pretending I am in the nuddy – that mostly works! But just occasionally, the wave is too strong. It’s not an age thing; I’ve never been any different. And that could be my little girl. And yours.

Forgive my rambling. Writing and structuring my thoughts like this first thing in the morning is good for me. Like doing a mental workout without even leaving the chair! Do you think that’s why writing a diary is so good for the soul? It’s different though, isn’t it? When I write openly, as in a blog, I make a decision to not get angry, not complain, not burden the reader with my load. Quite the reverse. I consider what would perhaps be of use to them. And that in turn helps me steer my thought process to a better place.

On that note, I’m going painting today in the new building. Rather than squander a precious day being a robot, ticking boxes, worrying about crap that hasn’t happened, I think I’ll go be useful.

Love & Hugs,

Barb xxx

19 thoughts on “I’m not a Robot.

  1. You are so right It puts everything into perspective.

    In the services we used to say Prior Preparation Prevents P*ss Poor Performance so I think you are certainly doing all you can to prevent, as in the Reggie Perrin sitcom, a C*ck up on the live tv front

  2. Something was bothering me yesterday, but when I read about our mutual friend’s day it put mine into perspective. We never know what is around the corner so need to make the most of life and enjoy each day. Tell our loved ones how much we care and just be kind. Looking forward to seeing you on tv at weekend. Hope all goes well and you don’t get too stressed. x

  3. Barb if you need any hints or tips on how to be organised go to the same person as me! YOU!! Yep I can’t imagine turning up without all that prep – most of the prep needs to be In the head for me. I am sorry to hear about your friend. Can’t imagine how she must be feeling. I used to paint walls in my house frequently, it was my Mental detox so enjoy your painting today and try not to take it all on your shoulders! Xxx

  4. I always love reading your blogs Barbara and although I seldom reply I would like to you know how much I adore all your shows. You are so natural and you are always ‘you’. So thank you for everything you do, it is really appreciated. xx

  5. Good morning Barbara and lovely friends. I to read that sad news of are friends loss of her daughter felt so deeply for her and family yesterday saying good bye some of that pain came back knowing how hard it is saying good bye to one of your children. Like you said some things we can plan for in life we cannot plan for unexpected but if we have things planned well in life daily and in relationships when the unexpected comes we cope better, may be power cut etc we improvise somethings in life we cannot control so we need just to go with what we have be thankful for the good things xxx

  6. I like to be organised, makes everything easier. My grandaughter when she was little used to get so nervous about school performances, usually ended up on her mum’s lap watching, until a teacher told her to imagine it was a room full of teddy bears watching. It worked. Full of confidence now at 16.xx

  7. Hello Barbara
    I so agree with all you have said today. Losing a child must be the worst possible thing to happen. Nothing compares to that or even comes close.
    Apart from that, whatever else is going on in our lives there is always someone having a worse time.
    My Ian is coming to the end of his long Alzheimers journey. His subconscious brain is saying enough is enough and, at last, the doctors are listening. But, sad though my life is at the moment, I still have all my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren alive and well. Ian will live on through them.

  8. Such a poignant blog and replies.

    I like to be organised but living with an untidy man it is not always possible. However, if the words in the Valentine card I received this morning are from the heart, and I know they are, I can forgive a bit of chaos in my life.

    Losing a child is devastating and although I do not know your friend my sympathy goes out to her.

    Placed another members sale order today. Really filling out my folders !!!!!

    Enjoy your painting today. They say a change is as good as a rest and if it de-stresses you before your weekend marathon, all to the good.

    Have a safe journey to Peterborough.

  9. I think your blog and reading the subsequent replies today helps us all with perspective. I attended a funeral yesterday and the minister said that although at 89 we’d all be thinking he’d had a long and good life it still means the family have lost a loved one and, yes, in time this will be a good thing for them to reflect on but, at the moment, it means they are sad and upset at losing him. Which is obvious but a gentle reminder I felt.

    Good luck with your shows, they’re always fab and you keep calm and carry on. X

  10. Hi Barb, nothing to forgive. Never ramblings. There are always golden nuggets for us all to learn and improve our thought processes and hopefully our lives. I, for one, am exceedingly grateful to have found you, your blog, and then our friendship. I feel so lucky. I take careful note of everything you say and try to implement it in my way to help me try to be in a better place in my head, and struggle through my days easier. A million thank yous.

    When really struggling, and down, one of my go to things to help has always been that I know there are people around the world worse of than myself. I wish there wasn’t, and I wish there was something I could do to help them. It’s horrible to think of people suffering as much or worse than myself through life. I try to look at it as – I need to pick myself up, try hard to find a better path, work hard every day to fight the battles, and achieve something. And do it for those people who are worse of and can’t.

    I hope your painting walls helps. That was one of my coping mechanisms with undiagnosed autism, when I was really struggling, painting, diy and spring cleaning, on top of a very busy stressful career. Sadly my body gave up and I ended up with CFS, 27 years ago, nd never recovered. So, please, don’t overdo it on the mental and physical activity, our bodies are not invincible.

    Thank you my Valentine’s poem email. That’s the second Valentine’s I have had in my whole life, the first being when I was 11…

    Take care, prioritise, and delegate as much as you can to help you through this extraordinarily busy and stressful time. Thank you for still doing the live shows for us all, much appreciated. We would have understood if you had stepped back this time. Pace yourself, and try not to stress, we’ll love whatever you have to show and teach us.

    Safe journey to Hochanda, storm Dennis has hit up here already. Love you xxx

    1. I don’t know who your friend is who has sadly lost her daughter, but I can still send my heartfelt condolences and my thoughts to you and your family and your daughter’s friends x

  11. Hi Barb,
    A very poignant blog today. My sympathy goes out to your friend who has lost her daughter. I cannot even begin to think how dreadful that must be. It does however make me realise that I am in a very fortunate position. Yes, I might be in a lot of pain with my knee and struggling to do things I want to do because of it, but I’m alive, got a wonderful husband and close family, many dear friends , my lovely loving cat and time to craft and do other things. I have plenty of food on the table ( most of the time , unless Clarity bring out lots of new goodies!!) and relatively good health. What more could I want? I try to be kind and helpful and treat others with respect and dignity. I listen to things going on in the world and am truly appalled at the way some people have to live and am thankful for my situation.
    I am really looking forward to the shows this weekend although I will have to Craftalong at a later date as I’m Groovi-ing with Linda Page on Sunday. Have a safe journey and I hope everything goes well ( I’m sure it will). Love Alison xxx

  12. Sincere condolences to your friend on her sad loss, unimaginable. I am looking forward to 5 hours of Clarity this weekend, so glad it falls on Six Nations rest weekend! Remember everyone gets butterflies but it is the professional who rounds them up & gets them all flying in the same direction! Safe journey xxx

  13. Very moving post today Barbara. I cannot imagine what your friend must be going through. It is all too easy to get caught up with our own problems. It takes hearing news like your friends to put things into perspective. Enjoy your weekend with your Hochanda family & safe journey to P’boro. X

  14. You are such a sincere person, I too can’t imagine the hell your friend must be going through. You hear some awful things and wonder how people cope. I was at a colleagues funeral yesterday, she had recently moved to be near her family and had a new lease of life and was enjoying doing all her own decorating, her daughter found her on the floor. The way to go though, quick and no suffering. Keep your chin up Barbara, thank you for all your blogs and tv shows. You keep us all sane and grounded.xxx

  15. So sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter – sincere sympathies to her and all her family. Hearing such sad news does put one’s own problems into really clear perspective. I hope your trip to Peterborough is smooth and hassle free, and that you enjoy your shows – you always look like you do, so either live TV is fun, or you’re a good actress!

  16. Barbara, I can’t begin to tell you how much your blog has helped me today. My aunt and uncle lost their daughter at the weekend. Grief is so raw. My condolences to your friend and everyone around her. Please keep rambling – and look after yourself.

  17. such a moving post today Barbara, and you are so right about focusing on the things we can control. I hope the painting yesterday was therapeutic. I always find that doing something practical helps me keep my head in perspective – hence the importance of crafting in my life. I’m really looking forward to the shows today – no one can ever be in any doubt about all the prep you do for them in advance. Don’t forget to enjoy them as well!

  18. Hello Barb, my condolences to your friend. Never an easy one to know how to handle, other than be there for them. Love this blog post, very uplifting and true. Bx

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