Sit it out.

Sit it out.

Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. Just received official news that next week’s exhibition at the NEC has been cancelled, or should I say postponed until June 26th-28th. Sensible decision for sure. I know many of you really look forward to the show, and book your hotel months in advance. Best get on the phone and see if you can get a refund asap. The optimist in me says that it will hopefuly all be fine by June, but who knows? If only I knew the answer to that for definite…

But I certainly believe it’s a smart move on the part of the organisers to stop the NEC show. Damage limitation I think it’s called.

Thing is, we are absolutely powerless over this pandemic which is spreading across the world like wild fire. But we can do what we can do to slow down the speed of infection by literally sitting it out. If we go to Birmingham, we ALL run the risk, not only of infection, but then of carrying the disease back to our homes and to our families. That would be irresponsible indeed. So. Much as it will hit all businesses (not just us) who rely on the revenue stream from the show hard in the gut, we really have a duty of care to staff, customers and family to sit tight and not move around.

The other reality is that many many of our customers are not well people. They are the vulnerable ones. So yes! Definitely smart to stay at home and sit it out. But don’t worry! We’ll keep you entertained!! Either on Hochanda, or Clarity Youtube, or with this ere blog!! You just sit tight and stay safe, and let us take the strain. We’ll get some competitions going, we’ll have some free online lessons, we’ll make the best of a bad situation, as they say. I guess this is one occasion when we can be very grateful fortinternet.

We had a chat about the coming months at work today. Nobody knows what’s round the corner, but the writing’s on the wall, innit. We are looking into the ins and outs of our own events too: Spa Retreat, Open Days – this really is rough, and at so many levels. Let us make some enquiries first, then we can make a plan.

We’re moving the bulk of the business to the new factory this week! Started today. There’s a sense of urgency around that, too. Centralise the lot quickly. Get it all under one roof asap. Don’t want to get locked down between two locations. What a game.

Like ants, we were! All over the cages and bins of product for the picking and packing zone…

It’s going to be so brilliant! Here we see the new picking n packing zone.

Up and down on the tail lift of the van till I was dizzy!! And Brother Steve! Going like the bloody clappers!

“Hey Steve!” I shout. He throws me a look that says W H A T ?

Then he realises I is takin’ a pic. Always time to suck it in and smile then !

And I am grateful for this little art studio above the garage too! Because if there is a lockdown, I can still blog, work from home, make art – and we can still be creative together. So whilst it is all very worrying, there’s a lot to be grateful for, there really is.


Let me have a think about the NEC cancellation. If we can’t go to the NEC, then let’s bring the NEC to you!! I’ll figure something out.

Until tomorrow,

Love and hugs,

Barb xxx

PS And keep clicking those ads down the side of this ere blog! We need all the help we can get now! Every little helps!!! xxx

42 thoughts on “Sit it out.

  1. I had already decided against the NEC for the same reasons. It was hard but if I brought it home Fred would be very vulnerable. Sounds like you have thought ahead too. It is an awful situation. We did not have our little grandson today as he had a slight cough and Guy would not risk him being near us. Gosh I have missed him. Hope you all stay well and we can all make up for anything we miss when this is all over. xx

    1. Yes we have our baby Grandson Jos every Wednesday so our daughter in law Becky can run her Sports Therapy business but I don’t think it is wise for the moment but boy am I going to miss the little light in my life! xx

  2. Well said Barbara, everyone has to protect the community as a whole. I’m looking forward to what you’re planning to bring the NEC to us.
    I work in retail and we were surprisingly busy yesterday with people bringing in art for framing- we’ve come to the conclusion that everyone has figured out that if they have to stay at home, then they may as well look at their beautiful pictures!

  3. We here in the States are concerned and here in Michigan now have our first two cases to worry about…but, we are sensible going about our business and making sure to wash our hands with concern not only for ourselves but our community….thanks for your reassuring blog and we will carry on!

  4. What a sensible blog. Well done Barbara. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Our skiing holiday was cancelled for next week. We all just need to keep to ourselves and craft. It’ll pass over. Take care everyone. Hopefully it’ll be over by the time of the retreat xx

  5. Hi Barbara
    Look at you thinking of others again
    You are one very caring individual
    You take care of yourself Hugs 🤗

  6. I was wondering about the Groovi retreat. My hotel can be cancelled if necessary, but not sure about flights to Gatwick….though airports are not good places to be I suppose. You could try live you tube groovi-alongs? Just wish people would stop emptying the toilet roll shelves at the supermarket: so I am saving newspaper just in case 😂 ( how many remember that far back?)

  7. It is sensible to prospone large events like the NEC for just now. Hopefully it will help keep folk from getting ill and spreading it further around. At least us Crafters can keep busy crafting if we need to stay in and not mix in crowds.
    Hope that your move continues to go well and that you all get settled in to one place soon.

  8. Very sensible indeed Barb. The scientist boffins reckon the big wave of infections, and therefore the lockdown in whatever way will last 2 – 3 months at their best guess. Hopefully this Covid-19 will behave like other coronaviruses and struggle to survive during the warmer weather. I’m so sorry it’s affecting your business. I hope the announcements in the budget today will help with the impact on you?

    Yep, lets all be sensible, pull together, think about others, and do the right/best thing for ourselves, and for the greater good.

    We’re the lucky ones being part of the Clarity extended family, aren’t we guys? Barb will keep us entertained and our crafty mojos going, for sure. Think of it like a Clarity camp out, but with the comforts of being at home… Lets all do our best to make it fun, and as less isolating as possible for us all.

    In some ways it’s easier for me as I’ve been forced to be housebound and isolated for about 24 years now, so I’m kind of expert at doing this! Not my choice, I hasten to add… At least you guys know it’s only temporary…

    I’m struggling with the OCD part of it all, nightmare! It was my messages shop today, and my volunteer came to put my rubbish out too, lost count of how many times I did my at least 20 second hand washes and cleaning door handles…

    I laughed at Steve, so funny. It’s maybe a good idea to have the two buildings going. Splitting staff between two separate places helps keep your business going at some level should someone in one building get infected and the others there need to self isolate.

    My wee plan, if it helps others. And it means we can still get our crafty Clarity fix. Any deliveries/mail coming in, I open it up, then put everything in a room I don’t use just now, shut the door on it, and leave it for a couple of days, ensuring any virus on it will have died. Then I do my hand wash and door handle clean. It’s helping me with my OCD issues, but I wondered if it might help others who are at risk of this being a serious illness, so thought I’d share. Obviously doesn’t work for most food, my fridge now feels like it’s a radioactive hotspot, or something…!

    I hope your move goes quickly, and you can all settle into your new home. Should be a happy time for you all, guess no one is feeling that happy though just now. Except the idiots who are trying to make out this Covid-19 is nothing, media hype, guess they are laughing happily! For now…!!!

    Hope you can have a long soak in the bath for your muscles, and a feet up evening. Love you xxx
    P.s. I saw a Pet’s at Home advert on here the other day, guess those type of ones will be safe for us to click, everyone

  9. Barb, you and the team are amazing! I know you don’t like hearing it, but I’ll keep saying it, and one of these days you’ll believe it! Grin

  10. Evening Barbara.
    I know that you’ll be sad but it’s a very sensible move indeed.
    It is a worry but let’s all be sensible and do what we’re told.
    The new place looks fantastic. Once it’s all up and running please can we have more pics?
    Hope you have a good evening.
    Love and hugs Xxxx

  11. I had already decided against the NEC for other reasons but am already committed on the new proposed date. No problem. Plenty of things to do at home. I might finish sorting out my things. Maybe! My only “moan” is the way the media have hyped things up to cause those who are selfish to buy and hoard huge quantities of essential items, depriving those who are less fortunate of what they need. I am sure that all those reading your blog will ensure that they look after people they know who cannot or should not go out shopping. xxx

  12. Keep calm and carry on. I al ways look forward to the NEC but I am not surprised they have postponed. I was all set to come but for me it’s a train journey in the west midland and we have cases in Wolverhampton. My train would be full of commuters from there and though not concerned for myself I am aware of the risk of passing the virus on to more vulnerable people and my family who have health issues. You are doing a wonderful job and I hope. Your amazing business is not affected too badly by this. We just have to look after each other.
    Hugs from Chris xxx

  13. You are my hero. What a positive blog. I am amid people who are panicking! Sorry about the NEC and do hope the retreats go ahead. We, or I at my tender age!! Have been through all sorts of issues. You have cheered me up with promises of competitions etc. Meanwhile weather permitting, I will toil on my allotment and if ☔️ ng I will finish my surprise for you. Thank you again for your bubbly outlook on life. Xx

  14. You are such an amazing woman giving us such a boost in a very worrying period. You always turn a bad into a good and always thinking of us all. You need to appear on main tv., spreading your common sense and hopeful message. We will all be Clarity crafting and look forward to what you’ve got up your sleeve. At least it gives you time to recover from Scotland! Negative into Positive. Love to you all at Clarity and keep well xx

  15. You are my hero. What a positive blog. I am amid people who are panicking! Sorry about the NEC and do hope the retreats go ahead. We, or I at my tender age!! Have been through all sorts of issues. You have cheered me up with promises of competitions etc. Meanwhile weather permitting, I will toil on my allotment and if ☔️ ng I will finish my surprise for you. Thank you again for your bubbly outlook on life. Best wishes

  16. Hi there, Not completely unexpected but probably very sensible. I suspect the NEC won’t be the only thing that is cancelled in the coming months but far better to be safe than sorry. When your head is buzzing with plans for the next few weeks, take time to do what inspires you and us and takes you into a happier place. Your new premises look great and you have a good team around you so the move will soon be behind you too although it looks like there are still one or two boxes to unpack! Pity I’m so far away!! Lol. I’m sure you will keep us all entertained in the coming weeks but stay safe yourselves. As someone once said, this too shall pass, indeed all of this shall soon pass. We just need to sit it out as you say because some things we just cannot change and need to accept. Take care. Hx

  17. Sorry about the NEC but it was a sensible decision to cancel. I look forward to the surprises you have in store for us to keep us occupied in case of shut-down.
    Because of Ray’s breathing problems we tend to avoid crowds and do our shopping etc early morning. We are usually back home by 8.30am. I cannot risk him getting any kind of chest infection.
    We both have lots of hobbies so are rarely bored and isolation would not bother us, both being quite comfortable with our own and each others company.
    I have always kept 4 weeks of basics, frozen food and tins standing by in case of emergencies (we’ve had a few) so no panic buying necessary.
    Strangely, there were full shelves of toilet rolls on tne supermarket shelves this morning (what are people doing with them all???) but some of the freezers were empty and even so early in the morning trolleys were going out filled to the brim and more.
    There have so far been no recorded incidents of Covid19 here in Norfolk. I hope the Clarity community manages to stay safe until this is all over.
    The new premises are impressive and we look forward to seeing more pics when you are settled. The ones of Steve were a good start for the album 🤩 he’s a star.
    Have a good evening Barb.
    ps: loved Maria’s demos on Hochanda today.

  18. Hi Barbara and everyone, what a wonderful blog today, you are amazing by thinking of us all.
    Well it is a horrible situation, but we do have to sit it out and carry on.
    I have received an email to say the Antique Fair at the NEC has also been cancelled. Terrible for everyone but like you at least someone has a sensible attitude to this horrible thing.
    I went to Morrison’s today as Margaret has said , the shelves which hold hand wash etc was so empty.
    I have to say did anyone wash their hands before this virus !!!!!!.
    Don’t worry Barbara we will all be looking forward to your shows etc and there is the internet.
    The new factory looks brilliant, all of you take care and sit it out.
    Lynn xxx

  19. Thanks for the Update Barbara. I had only just bought a ticket and can’t make new date so at least my bank balance will be happy. How about a daily challenge for us to complete on each of the 4 days. You set it in the morning and we have a day to complete and you pick a winner. Challenges can be to use a technique or a stamp/die/stencil/Groovi range and we post a picture of our efforts. You could lead a live YouTube make and take but whatever you do, let us also share the load. So if you want us to suggest the challenges or lead a make and take or whatever helps, you have loads on your plate so don’t add to it. As for business, well we can still buy online, so look out the YouTube videos and repost at intervals to remind us of the stash we were planning on buying. Can you link in the catch up/ rewind from Hochanda to feature the new products? If you can fit in a Ask Barbara live that would be magic, ‘coz it is the chat I will miss most. I was hoping to pick your brains about a new venture I am planning so I’ll email instead. Thanks for keeping us updated and keeping our spirits up, as always you are a rock. Karen xxx

  20. A very wise decision Barb and I love the way you can see a positive way forward. As I am in the vulnerable category, I am arguing with myself about whether to cancel a booked cruise. To go or not to go, that is the question!!!! The new building looks fab – are we going to get to visit ?

    1. Hi Beryl, we’ve just come to decision today to postpone ours till next year, when and where are you going? We were off to fjords end May/beg June with P&O. Hubby has COPD so we think for the best. I haven’t done it yet but will do in next few days. X

  21. Good decision, everyone’s health is the most important thing right now. I decided against going cos the medication I take to combat the damage to my bones cos of RA means I’m immuno suppressed & I really don’t want to catch it or pass it onto my hubby either. Stay well lovely lady xx

  22. I’m not surprised about NEC. We’ve just decided to postpone our fjords cruise due 1st week of June to next year as we can do without a penalty. Too risky with hubby’s COPD we feel. Let’s just keep fingers crossed it disappears in June/July as thought by hubby’s hospital doctor (the prostate one) when we saw him last week. We have a Sept holiday to look forward to. Keep well everyone x x

  23. Not totally surprised to hear that the NEC have postponed the show but we must stay calm & follow instructions as they are issued. Meanwhile I look forward to seeing what you come up with to keep us occupied over the next few weeks. At least we have our crafting to keep us busy until the virus has run its course.
    The photos of the new premises look good & I know the team behind the videos etc are excited about their new home & their plans for the future.
    Stay safe everyone x

  24. New ‘home’ is looking good and definitely beginning to (as my dad would say) “take shape”! Shame re the NEC show but a sensible decision under the circumstances, wellbeing must be the priority. Did our weekly shop this morning and it’s very strange to see the supermarket shelves bare of pasta, loo rolls and handwash…did have a little chuckle at the sign by the handwash ‘limited to 5 per customer’….seriously? Anyhoo, wash your hands, keep warm and stay calm and craft on…..that’s about all we can do isn’t it?!

  25. A very caring and thoughtful blog Barb, even with the NEC cancelled we will try and keep you busy by ordering. Will miss seeing you though but as I haven’t been well for quite a few weeks I probably wouldn’t have risked it. Best to sit it out and be safe as you say, you take care Barb and all your family and your team too. I can’t believe we have been unable to get the anti bacterial hand wash now for 10 days and how a lot of the shelves in the supermarkets are empty. Why are some people being so selfish? Take good care of yourselves all of you on this

  26. Not surprised things are being postponed at the moment still sad for all those who look forward to going. Silver lining for you though as now you have longer to recover from your recent Glasgow shows. The factory is coming along and bet it will feel so good when it’s all done, hope any lock down won’t affect you all too much. Xx

  27. Hello Barbara,

    Ooh, I hope the ‘events’ my friends and I have planned throughout the year go ahead. It is what keeps me going, lol.


  28. I had already decided the NEC was out for me but my hubbie always lets me choose things for my birthday which is the end of march from the craft show. As most of my spend goes on clarity stuff i put in an order the other day which should be arriving tomorrow so i will still have all my crafty presents on the day. Just got to hope this bloomin virus burns itself out sooner rather than later x

  29. Totally understand give you chance to get all set in new building but guess lots stuff made ready to go whole country is shutting down Tesco’s looked like gad been raided today not toilet roll in sight people going crazy finally found some in another shop haha . Cxx

  30. Although sad for those who were looking forward to going, it is a sensible decision and the one good thing is that you will have a break from the tiring four days you were about to be having, but knowing you instead you will be slogging away at getting everything finished at the new premises. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get it all under one roof. It looks so spacious and I’m sure will make things so much easier for you, Dave and the team Barbara. x

  31. Hello Barb, it is very sensible, and I am sure even the people that were going to attend understand. It really is a horrible situation at the moment, but as you say, let’s sit it out. Better safe than sorry. The new building looks like it is going to be a perfectly planned space for a great company. Hope all the moving goes well. Clicked on one of the ads, how did you know I was looking at getting blinds? Take care all. Bx

  32. It is common sense. I did wonder if the Glasgow one would be cancelled but glad it was not since it game me an opportunity to meet you in person and have a ‘personal’ tutorial since I was first to your stand!

    Stay safe.X

  33. morning Barb & everyone. Sad about the NEC being cancelled, but don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone. I think we’ll see a lot more events cancelled over the next few weeks. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and looking forward to your thoughts on competitions, projects, etc through the blog instead. Maybe you could demo some new projects with toilet paper especially for the hoarders, and get them on board with the crafting community? (1001 ways with Cushelle….???) Mind you, as a recently retired nurse, I’m waiting to see if I get called back to work, so may not have as much time to craft! Am hoping it will start to calm down by June so the Open Days can go ahead – have bought tickets as my sister’s birthday present! In the meantime, to (mis)quote Strictly, “keeeep hand-washing”! 🙂

  34. It’s a shame NEC is CANCELLED but sensible in the circumstances. At least it will give you extra time for your big move. Not that it will make up for lost revenue but you have to look on the bright side (of life!) Look forward to seeing what you come up with to keep us entertained. Hope you & all your family & staff keep well. Xx

  35. Hi Barbara
    Fully appreciate what you say about clicking on the ads and I was all set to do it but I’m really not ready for a funeral plan right now – but will click on anything vagueky relevant in future!

  36. I don’t get any of the adverts, so can’t help there! But looking forward to your bringing the NEC to us! Very enterprising! I am glad there are no virus cases in Norfolk, as we were up there today (from Thanet) for a funeral. Had thought carefully about going but am glad we did. There are so many unknowns about this; we help with a toddler group – we are all volunteers and mainly over 70! So are discussing taking an extended Easter break, starting now! Thanks Brenda for your wisdom – professional home stayer! Jill

  37. It’s unfortunate that this virus is causing change but it’s a case of keep calm and carry on, I am doing early Xmas card’s and extra birthday card’s and trying out different techniques both my husband and I have under lying health issues, so please everyone look after yourselves.

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