Back in the Saddle.

Back in the Saddle.

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. After a week of chaos and illness, happy to report that all is well again in the Gray household. I haven’t felt that rough for a good while. It wasn’t COVID, but it certainly packed a punch to the gut! Say no more. I slept for pretty much two days. But there we are. Nothing terminal. Just some sort of flu. And she’s back in the saddle!

I look forward to getting back to the office after the SHAC this morning! That’s the thing. When you’re laid up for a while, it gives you time to think about things, and have ideas. All the time you’re nose to the grindstone, pedalling like a loonie, there’s neither space nor time for the imagination to roam and be creative. But stay in bed, propped up with pillows drinking chamomile tea, and you’d be amazed how far the head can travel if you let it!

In the words of dear John:

Every let the Fancy roam,

Pleasure never is at home.

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;

Then let winged Fancy wander

     Through the thought still spread beyond her:

Open wide the mind’s cage-door,

She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.

John Keats.

Through the thought still spread beyond her. Isn’t that simply wonderful? But it has been a challenge to avoid dark places too. This shocking war, the invasion of Ukraine and its continuing atrocities, weighs very heavy on my mind; I am not alone I’m sure. Perhaps because I was unwell, I found it impossible last week to pretend that it was all just business as usual. Just couldn’t fake it to make it, and couldn’t write a bla-blog either.

I learned a new word last week too. An English word. But it was the beautiful Russian news reporter – the brave woman who disrupted the news with a protest banner – who used it.


Have you ever heard it? Not I. So I looked it up.



  1. the killing of one’s brother or sister.
    • a person who kills their brother or sister.plural noun: fratricides
    • the accidental killing of one’s own forces in war.”the Vietnam War saw fratricide increase because of the close-in jungle fighting”

Of course. As soon as I read the definition, my O level latin filled in the gaps. I had heard of Genocide and Patricide and Matricide. But never Fractricide. But it describes what is going on in Ukraine exactly.

So we feel frightened, shocked, disgusted, threatened, sad, powerless – the list goes on.

What can we do? Send Love. Send Supplies, Send Money. Help wherever we can. And pray that it ends soon.

Life goes on in our worlds, but we have to do what we can to help the Ukrainians. Sure, we have to go to work, we have to pay the bills, we have to care for our families, we have to keep going, a day at a time.

BUT. We also have to HELP wherever we can. If we ignore what is happening, if we pretend it’s not our problem, we are complicit. Conversely, if we show support, help where we can and get involved, then we are doing good. And that’s a good thing.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Forgive me for not doing crafty step by step blogs. You understand.

Love always,

Barb xxx

31 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle.

  1. My son’s job is working to help refugees. He’s busy finding resources. There are a lot of people offering places in their homes, it’s a mammoth task to match people up where there is good access to schools, hospitals, surgeries etc. Keeping people safe from trafficking. Headache.

  2. My witchy sense told me you were unwell. So glad you are feeling better.
    I wanted to help the war effort so took a big box of toiletries to the local collection point but they were no longer taking clothing so I found a place that was taking virtually anything, selling the good stuff, and donating ALL the money raised to the Red Cross to help what they are doing in Ukraine.
    I sat and cried yesterday when I saw the devastation that occurred and was so pleased that those little orphans are now safe.
    I’m hoping this war will not last much longer and that someone does something to stop Putin’s madness.
    Love to all. Stay safe. 🍒🍒🍒

  3. Absolutely we understand.
    Take things steady if you can. It takes a few days to get back to full energy.
    Glad you’re on the mend.
    Hugs xx

  4. Dearest Barb
    wishing you lots of well (have you considered a short course of Metatone – my mother in law ALWAYS recommended it after being poorly.)
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)

  5. Sorry to hear that you have been so poorly but sometimes it’s natures way of making you stop and rest completely even if only for a short while. I hope you manage to get the care sorted out for you dear Dad that he needs but do please take care of yourself as well xx

  6. Thank you for doing the Shac Shack this morning when I’m not convinced that you are completely recovered but, I do understand why you needed to do it. Please take time out to rest up when you can.
    For those of us who haven’t already donated to the Red Cross I think it’s a very good idea you have to send donations to you to add to that already raised with the sunflower stamp and and Groovi plate.
    I hope all goes well at your parents this week. Will be thinking off you. Look after yourself.

    1. Will be thinking OF you. Makes a difference.
      When my son was in the army fractricide was dressed up as “friendly fire” when a soldier was accidently killed or maimed by one of their own armed forces or allies but no malice was intended.
      Surely what Putin has planned is genocide pure and simple: but I get what the Russian reporter was trying to convey.

  7. Sorry to hear that you have been unwell, and pleased to hear you are feeling better, though you need to pace yourself and not do too much too soon. Thoroughly enjoyed the shac this morning, thank you. Best wishes to your mum and best get well wishes to your dad. Travel gently. xxx

  8. Dear Barbara I am so glad that you are back. I am so sorry that you have been poorly. Have a good week the sun should be shining. Take care.

  9. So pleased you’re feeling more sprightly x I so enjoyed the Shac this morning and such a wonderful thing for you to do. Would 6” x 4” cards be acceptable to send?

  10. Glad you are feeling better. I was hoping that your dad wasn’t worse after his spell of being unwell. Sometimes our body just tells us to stop for a while. The trick is hearing the whispers before it starts to shout!
    Take care of yourself, Susan x

  11. Barbara, Thank you for being you! Caring, thoughtful and inspiring in many ways. Sorry to hear that you and your Dad have been unwell. You need to take care of you as well as looking after your parents, if you’re not well you can’t help them. Sending hugs and hope that you will rest too. Thank you for this morning, it was lovely to get together and enjoy our crafting.
    Take care and stay safe. Karen xx

  12. So sorry you have been so poorly as well as your Dad. I do hope that you will rest when you can – you are such a blessing and encouragement to us all. Bless you for the lovely woman you are.
    Love Rosemary xx

  13. So pleased you are better. Just take everything a bit easier m’luv so you are fully recovered, I know easier said than done. The Ukraine situation is awful, yes feelings of helpless and sorrow abound. In your wise words, hoping ‘this to shall pass’ for the Ukraine people. Someone needs to wipe out that lunatic.
    Love’n’hugs x

  14. Hi Barbara, in an odd sort of way you cheer up…I too had severe tummy pains for few days, not felt too well. It felt serious, different.
    Went to doctors (only go last resort). Few tests to do but you made me wonder if it was a virus going round…..hence it’s a possibility!!! So you did cheer me up!

  15. Glad that you are feeling better and I hope that all is well with your dad. I had a small win on premium bonds and planned to spend it on some Groovi, but I sent it to the Red Cross instead, before you launched the sunflower stamps and plate. I know you won’t mind! I too am heartbroken at the images on TV and seeing that little girl singing the National Anthem to a full stadium this morning just finished me off. So moving. Annette XX

  16. Glad you are feeling a bit better Barb. Didn’t see you this morning so will watch later to see what you said re donations. I, too, was in tears this morning seeing the 7 year old girl singing the Ukraine National Anthem. What a dreadful time we are experiencing. My Mum always said God gives us the strength to cope with bad things that happen, He doesn’t create them. I just hope he is doling out loads of strength to the Ukrainian people.
    Don’t overdo things until you are fully recovered.

  17. Glad your feeling better Barbara.
    Up here a lot of viruses about and we have had masks on for ages.
    So it’s not COVID, great, but lots of viruses about and our immunity lower too.
    So take care of yourself and get stronger every day.
    Fiona h.

  18. So sorry to hear that you’ve been unwell. You work so hard and your defences are down so it’s not surprising . Glad you’re on the mend now though. Thank you for the shac shac this morning. I’ve made my card and will post it tomorrow with my donation. I felt quite emotional making it! Not only because of the people of Ukraine and the hideous situation they find themselves in, but I was also thinking about the 600+ of us who have bought the stamp set…..all feeling pretty helpless……but all coming together to do SOMETHING to help. As individuals our offerings seem so small, but all together we can make a difference. It suddenly feels quite powerful. Thank you Barbara xx

  19. Glad to hear you are feeling better and re-charging the batteries. Look after yourself.
    The dreadful war in Ukraine makes us all feel so helpless. It feels like we are just standing by and watching the genocide. There must be more we should and can do.
    Thanks for all you do to help Barbara
    Janet x

  20. Glad you’re feeling better, missed the blog and thought something must be wrong. I managed to get away for a beading weekend but came back with Covid so spend two days in bed last week as well. Feeling better now but test is still positive and get tired very quickly.
    Love and hugs

  21. Take it easy Barbara. So enjoyed the shac Shack this morning, so good to have company. .i still have to be shielding. Thank you for all you so.x

  22. Hi Barbara
    Sorry to hear you were unwell. My sister and hubby have just gone down with COVID so still rife. Hope mum & Dad are ok look after yourselves.
    Love Ruth & Jackie xx

  23. Just catching up with the blog & this mornings SHAC as we have been busy all day doing final prep for Moms move tomorrow. Will get stamping asap – a lovely idea to make cards of hope for those poor people in the Ukraine.
    Had a feeling something must have happened as you were so quiet last week, glad you are feeling better & I hope your Dad continues to improve. We have been so tied up with COVID the last 2 years we have forgotten how the other viruses make us feel. Now we are getting out & about a bit more we are bound to pick up something as our bodies have been sheltered from the germs for the last 2 years.
    Take care

  24. Pleased you are feeling better, take it steady, one step at a time. Hope your Dad is making progress too. I loved the Shac Shack this morning, as always, but felt a really strong united front with all of us crafting along. I made a sunflower card with a stamp I already had but I could hear you say “that doesn’t matter, what you do with it, that’s important “.

  25. Hello Barb, sorry to hear that your are unwell, I do hope you feel better soon. I must say that I have something similar and it has completely floored me, unfortunately I have not been able to take time off work. We have ordered PCR tests though to be on the safe side (even though all our latflows were negative) because one of hubby’s co-workers had 4 consecutive positive tests on Sunday. Hubby is under the weather too, but also negative tests, so we will see what the PCR shows up. The war situation is terrible, those poor, poor people. I wish there was more I could do other than donating and praying. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  26. Sometimes your body says– stop — and that’s why we are feeling so poorly. You have to take a rest to heal your body,mind and soul.
    There is so much going on the last two years in the world and I am praying it will stop very soon…..
    Take care Barbara and listen to your body– don’t overdue and live a bit slower your life.
    Big hug to you,Trijntje Huppel

  27. Hi Barb,
    So sorry to hear you’ve been so poorly but glad to hear all is well now. I hope your Dad is ok too. The dreadful war in Ukraine is making us all worried and upset especially for all of the poor people in Ukraine and those who have fled their homeland. I think that the whole thing will not end until someone or a group do something about Putin who just strikes me as being totally unstable at the moment, a proper megalomaniac. Someone told me that Russian soldiers are shooting themselves in the feet with Ukraine guns because they don’t want to fight, whether that is true or not I don’t know.
    Look after yourself and listen to your body. Loads of love Alison xxxx

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