What a year…

What a year…

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. Had a little look at where we were exactly a year ago today – I like doing that – and guess what?!? Yep. I remember it well…

Trundling up to Glasgow today. I’m the filling in the sandwich here in the white van cockpit. Dave behind the wheel, Paul to the left – and me straddling the gearstick. GREAT. Ah well, at least Dave has to touch my knee every time he changes gear. We have to get our kicks somewhere! 

Can you believe that was the last time we went to a public gathering, an exhibition, an event. One year ago. Good grief. It was a good show too! Got to know lovely Hilda much better – she helped us on the stand all 4 days, which was a blessing. I also remember spending an evening with Brenda – that was the first time we had actually met her. Had a smashing evening. And we went to a concert! Elvis Costello! Talk about cram it in!!

The rainbow hall below is the Hydro. As I recall, the concert was in the other hall – the one that looks like the Sydney Opera House, right next door to the SECC – like an Armadillo!

I love doing the Scottish shows! Just a great bunch of people. And Glasgow is a great city – very real. Gritty.

The Corona Virus was already being talked about, but we hadn’t registered the enormity of the pandemic at that point. Had we realised, we probably would have stayed home! But we got away with it. By the middle of March, things were becoming clearer – and by March 23rd – Grace’s birthday – we were in total Lockdown.

A year later, and we’re still in Lockdown. Boy oh boy. If somebody had told us back then what was on the horizon, that the entire globe would shut down, that millions of people were going to get very ill, that many, many of them would die – we would never have believed it, would we? Believe it now.

Do you remember there was a nationwide Loo roll shortage?!? What was that about?!?!?

And what artwork was I into at that time? A quick flick through my March 2020 pics tells all…

And pottery? Ah yes – the African woman…

But things are looking up. We can be cautiously optimistic that slowly, gradually, our lives can begin to open up again. I’m going for my first vaccine jab this evening. Have you got yours yet? Yep. One year on, and we are climbing out of the black hole into the light….

As for exhibitions and gatherings, we are dipping our toes in the water, but being very VERY cautious. We have been in contact with the Spa Hotel regarding this year’s Parchment Retreat in Tunbridge Wells. It won‘t be happening in April – that’s for sure. (The hotel can’t open before May – poor people). But we have our sights set on October. Next week we will know more, so let us deal with it. Trust me – we are all over it, and they are as excited to welcome us back as we are to get together again. I have a good feeling about October.

In the meantime, we stay SAFE. We hang out together in the SHAC. We keep each other entertained and company.

Since we cannot attend the SECC this week, where we would entertain you with demos and tempt you with sweet deals, here’s a little online Discount Code by way of recompense. SECC21.

If you go to our website, www.claritystamp.com and have a little spend up, you can get an additional 10% off any order over £21 (after club discounts) by simply entering the Discount Code SECC21 at the checkout. Offer ends Midnight Friday xx And you don’t have to be Scottish to join in!

Time for me to go get ready for my jab trip. I don’t get out much nowadays. Really ought to change my jeans! These are covered in clay!! Mmm… could quickly turn those vases and pots I threw on Sunday…

How life has changed. Not all for the worse either.

Stay safe.

Love and hugs

Barb xxx

40 thoughts on “What a year…

  1. Hindsight is a very wonderful thing but we mustn’t dwell on it. The thing to do now is look forward to hopefully a more normal future.
    Hope your jab goes ok. These centres that are doing them are really so well organised you’ll be in and out in a flash !
    Then relax for the evening with Dave and the Vikings.
    Love and hugs xxxx

  2. What a year it has been. Glad you are getting your jab. Booked mine for the end of March it’s a local Arena, much more used to going there for gigs not jabs but these days a day out is a day out so I will take that. We are hopeful that the success of the vaccine programme will see a way out of this terrible situation for everyone

  3. Bless you Barbara. You and Paul have certainly kept us crafting so thanks for that. Good luck with the Jab x

  4. had mine 2nd one in april, we did showsv to flower ones ,going miss them as hubby desided we not doing them anymore xx

  5. My husband had his jab today.
    Strange world when an exciting trip out is to the medical centre.
    On the plus side we were home ten minutes before his appointment was due. Seriously efficient.

  6. Who’d have thought it ? Despite not doing a lot a lot has happened hasn’t it. Good luck with your jab, got mine in the morning, we can compare notes on Friday, I plan to take paracetamol before and after as that’s what my sis did and it kept her well. X

    1. Just be careful taking paracetamol before. It can make you bleed at the injection site.
      I just took it afterwards. Good luck. X

  7. First time I have seen Emma in over a year and we live in the same small village. Lovely to see her again, even on my laptop. Stay safe everyone.

    Thank goodness we had the Shac Shac, and all the tutorials too.

  8. Know exactly what you mean. I’m still hopeful that the August retreats in Ditton can still go ahead. I’m having my jab Friday – just hope I don’t suffer too much with side effects. I have to admit although it has been very tough at times I have thorughly enjoyed the SHAC SHAC – goodness knows what I would have done without that. My pencil colouring has improved immensely although I’m still struggling horrendously with the water colouring but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us the SHAC SHAC and keeping me sane. xxx

  9. Got my hair cut on the 4th, one of two haircuts last year and it is now shoulder length, pinned up at the back and white!! Lol. I have such good memories of those four days and hope that one day we will be able to repeat them, somewhere! I managed to lose a stone in weight after I saw myself in that photograph but then put on more than that over the winter! Not good! I also remember the laugh we had looking at the photos of ourselves!! Lol. I felt really privileged to share those four days with all of you and hope that it’s a friendship that will deepen as the years go on! I’ve been thinking about that trip to Glasgow over the last few days as I decide whether to take time off at some point in March this year, which I always do, or just wait till April when hopefully the weather will be a wee bit warmer for gardening. Decisions! Decisions! Having had your jab, take it easy over the next 24 hours and remember ‘this too shall pass’. Lots of love. Hxxx

  10. Snap I had my Covid jab today. A lovely young handsome army medic. Very enjoyable . I dressed up in new top and trousers as you said we don’t get out much.
    I do miss the craft shows and meeting up with you all. Xx

  11. Can’t believe it’s a year since the Secc exhibition. It was really great to see you there, and probably the last time anybody apart from my hubby and son have had a Fiona hug… Ah those were the days before we knew!
    It’s amazing how much has changed in the last year, but also how much has stayed the same. Just thankful that I still can craft with all my clarity products and create lovely things, thanks to you and the design teams inspiration.

  12. Yes, one year on – how life has changed. We moved on 12th March last year, so we didn’t have much time to get out and about. We are very pleased to be living here in Ledbury, and despite being in lockdown for most of our time here, we have found out what a caring community it is. Lots of individual shops, which offer free delivery. Thanks for the discount code Barb, it would be rude not to use it. Enjoy your trip out to have your jab this evening 😊 we have both had our 1st jabs and taking paracetamol solved the headache nicely. Love and hugs to you and Dave xx

    1. Hi Gilly,
      What a lovely place to live! Dave and I went a few years ago for a couple of days and loved it. Hope you and Neill are both ok. Xx

  13. What a year, and what a delight it has been with you. Thank you. If by any chance you are tired in Friday morning, or have a headache just please set us some homework….perhaps we could prepare some water coloured circles, and rest at home. The jab can knock the stuffing out of you xxxxx

  14. Hi Barb,
    Gosh, it’s frightening how time goes so quickly isn’t it! A very stressful year has gone by since you went up to Scotland. Hopefully, we are on the way back to some normality. Pleased you’re getting your jab tonight. I had mine nearly two weeks ago ( Astra Zeneca one) and 2nd one to be done on 2nd May. I had it done at a local pharmacy and it was so well organised I was in and out 10 minutes before my appointment was due. Apart from being a bit tired for a couple of days, everything was fine. Thank you for the discount offer, I’ll have to go and have a look at what I need! Love and hugs,Alison xxx

  15. Yes, a year ago I was all booked to go to the NEC and goodness knows when I will get the chance again. I am very twitchy about anywhere crowded, even having had my jab. It amazing what the last year has done to our way of thinking.
    The vaccine centres are really efficient now, but I had to queue in the pouring rain for an hour to get mine. It was worth it though and if the same happens at the end of April, when I get the 2nd, the sun might be shining and i will need suncream instead of an umbrella! 🤞🏻Glad you got yours today. Hope you have no side effects. Hugs. Annette X
    PS. Love your pots!

  16. Yep I thought it would all be over in a couple of months, thank goodness that I did not know that a year later I would still be distanced from my family. They are all safe and well so for that I must be grateful but do miss those hugs with them all. Pleased you are getting your jab. October sounds good for Groovi retreat, reckon we will all be ready by then for a get together. xx

  17. I do not like having jabs anymore than anyone else,
    but can honestly say I had NO after effects at all…nothing, no headaches, itchy arm, aches…nothing!!
    You may sail through it…you don’t have to have side effects..some do, some don’t!
    Think positive, your’ll be fine!
    It’s good to be done….relief!

  18. Pleased you are getting your jab , hope you suffer no side effects afterwards . Got my letter to book mine but hanging on a bit as my nearest being offered at the moment to me requires nearly 100 mile round trip !!

  19. Oh boy that was a trip down memory lane. This time last year we were planning to see my in-laws both in their 90s with our daughter and son-in-law. Well my mother-in-law a very wise woman called off the trip and the rest is history. They have had their first jab ours is booked for next Wednesday and the follow up on at the end of May. What a year. I love a discount code. I am going shopping. I hope the jab goes well Barbara. Don’t forget to tell us how you get on. Take care. Hugs XXX

  20. We were away on holiday a year ago – what a year we’ve had since! The main thing I’ve learnt is not to take anything for granted and to be grateful every day for the little things x

  21. You will probably have had your jab by now, hope it all went smoothly & you are now back home with the kittens.
    Love your pots & vases, you have been busy.
    After the SHAC shack this morning I spent a few hours sorting out boxes that I had put on the bunk beds at Christmas in the hope that the granddaughters will be able to come & stay again at some point soon. Found all sorts of things I had forgotten about & a boxful of paper/card offcuts that I need to find projects for.
    Now to get my bubbles ready for Friday without getting 2 circles the same colour next to each other !!

  22. Hopefully your vaccination went ok, I had mine in January just had a sore arm luckily.
    Really enjoyed the shac shack this morning thank you , will be watching on Friday afternoon as I’m babysitting on Friday morning.
    Hugs take care julie xxx

  23. ‘normal’ life seems so long ago now, doesn’t it? feels like we’ve been in this strange hinterland forever. My former in-laws are ‘celebrating’ their 70th wedding anniversary today (amazing!), but obviously can’t have a party. They were thrilled to receive a card from The Queen, though, which has pretty much made up for everything else.

  24. A year my gosh but thankfully we have got through it. Especially thanks to you Barbara and your dream team being there for us. Gratitude, love and hugs. Roz, karen and I were only saying yesterday, would you be doing anything later in the year. I’m hoping Leyburn may happen. Got to get out and use our new motorhome
    and leyburn is a lovely place to be. Keeping fingers crossed. We are all so happy there is light at the end of the tunnel but slowly slowly . Love to all x

  25. Well next week last year we went up to Norwich for a family funeral – staying overnight and wondering if we were being wise, knowing that the day would be one of hugs and tears. There were NO cases in Norfolk at the time, and we were pleased to be home again. Haven’t been anywhere since!! My 2nd jab is at the end of April; amazing invention! Thanks for the code – must have a look and decide what to not go for this time.!!

  26. Yes what a year. Friday 20th March 2020 was my beautiful niece’s wedding big fancy affair at Kilworth Hall. How lucky was she must of been one of the last to go ahead as planned. It was a beautiful day the air filled with love obviously.
    And then Lockdown thank goodness for Clarity, Barbara and the Shac shack.
    And you are still giving with another extra fabulous 10%. And Thank you so appreciated. ❤️

  27. Hi Barbara
    Hope the jab went well. All our household have had theirs mum being 88 was first and we were next although youngish both have underlining medical issues. None of us had any ill effect just a sore arm for the a day or two. We all had the Pzizer one.
    Does make you feel safer which is a good thing.
    Ruth x

  28. Wow Barbara, two beautiful cats you have there. My Jessie cat is all black, with the most beautiful green eyes.I can see from your pictures you are a tall lady, well when I eventually get to meet you hopefully at a show. I will be the little 5ft person saying hi Barbra so very pleased to meet you. I cannot thank you enough for all the lovely lives you have been doing. I can honestly say you have kept me sane. Thank you.🌻🌻🌻

  29. I can’t believe a year has gone by since all this started. This time last year all the family went out for a meal to celebrate our granddaughter’s 18th birthday and our little granddaughter had her leg in plaster after an accident on the trampoline and was travelling around with the tiniest walking frame you have ever seen.
    I had my first jab about 3 weeks ago in my doctors surgery and my husband had his a couple of days later. He had no side effects at all but I had the chills 24 hours after and felt very tired but was ok again the next day but my arm was sore for several days. Just so glad our scientists worked so hard to get a vaccine.
    Thank you Barbara for everything you have done to keep our spirits up but don’t over do it again xx

  30. Hi Barb, as you say, if we knew a year ago what we know now, I think maybe things would have been handled differently by the powers that be earlier. Glad you got the jab, hope you don’t get any side effects, hubby had his last week and felt pretty rotten on Monday, but it was over in about 24 hours. Waiting to get called in for mine. I do love it when you look back, and share some of what you created, the African Lady is one of my favourite pieces that you have done. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  31. Hope your jab went well, we’ve had ours and so grateful, thank goodness for all those brilliant scientists. Without the vaccines to look forward to it would be a very scary situation.
    Loving the Shac Shack and Groovy Tuesday and without you, we would all be pulling our hair out by now. You have kept us sane and safe, we need a massive Shac Shack Party to get together when it’s safe, what a celebration that would be!
    Like you have not seen any family for such a long time, at least our kids are in the U.K. so hopefully very soon it will all change.
    Love the pots you are making, what a collection you will have by the Summer. X

  32. What a year it’s been indeed! All the bad and sad news every day , the worries, the fears. Also, used to commute between my homes in Germany and here every month and then suddenly I had to decide, go back to Germany or stay here with my boyfriend. Went for the latter, of course but missing my mum and my other family and friends in Germany. Thanks to modern technology we can still “see” each other and have chats. With all the bad news, however, there have also been some positive moments and I am thankful for those. Also, thank you Barbara for the Shac. It’s been wonderful to retreat to this safe haven for an hour each day! And while this pandemic will still be part of our lives there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, and hopefully we can all see each other again soon. Hugs xxx

  33. Yes, what a year it has been. Here in Australia we only just started with the vaccine roll out, but we out allowed to have our first show ,”Picture 2 Page papercraft show in 2 weeks. We were the last ones to have this show in march 2020 year and are now the first ones in 2021. I hope our stand will be as busy with parchment lovers as last year. Thats our little bit of sunshine to look forward too. Hop yours will be happening soon too. Take care.

  34. I was at the SECC as well and yes everyone was talking about it but still enjoying ‘buying there craft goodies’ I think to take our minds off it for a while. It seems so long ago and we will get back to a ‘new’ normal what that’ll be I don’t know but crafting got many of us through the tough times and you were part of that Barbara, I’ve not been to the shak shak for a while as I’m working during the day, luckily not in the frontline but working as office staff for emergency services 🚓. I’ve just had vaccine on Thursday, felt a bit tired yesterday but fine xx

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