A Regally Royal Day!

A Regally Royal Day!

Hi there

Thanks for popping in! I have been beavering away for two days, getting the demonstrations prepped for Sunday’s TV show, 3-5pm. Have been dying to settle down with a cuppa, and tell you all about the Coronation Tea Party we attended on Wednesday! But I really had to bank the demos first, and make sure I know what I’m doing on the day! Now the boxes are loaded, the producer notes have been written, I am off the hook, and can share the day with you good people !

And what a fantastic day it was too! Dave and I walked 13,000 steps on Wednesday (and my brand new Emma Hopes were perfect. Like a pair of comfy slippers!)

We took the train from Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross. Just a Cheap Day Return. We stuck out quite a bit, Dave in his smart black suit and tie (one of Dad’s), and me in my posh frock and hat! The ticket inspector started the banter with a “Ooh I say! Nice hat! Somebody’s off to Ascot!” “Actually, we’re going to the Palace to visit the King!” was our smiling response. Well impressed he was…

The sun was already up and out to join us for the whole day too. How lucky were we !? The city was buzzing! They were cleaning the fountains and polishing the brass, so to speak, and the Coronation vibe was palpable.

Had a quick cuppa and a bite to eat in St Martins Crypt Café at Trafalgar Square. Great place if you want a coffee (and a quick potty break)! Their apple cumbles are the best!

Then we walked down the Mall to the Palace. If you’ve never been there, Pall Mall as it is called, is a huge, long straight avenue, lined with trees, which starts at Trafalgar Square, takes you through Admiralty Arch, and then straight to the front gates. That’s when it hit me. What is actually happening in London this weekend!

Preparations? I talk about prep all the time, right? This has been YEARS in the planning. Security levels were high, but not intimidating, and folks were chipper. We went through security, but it was very kind, if you know what I mean.

We then waited a little while in front of the Palace gates, before being allowed in. Here we met a smashing couple from Dudley, Pat and Bill. What gorgeous people. They just exuded goodness. Bill was 85! The same age as my parents. It was such a big affair, quite overwhelming, so the four of us stuck close together the whole afternoon.

We got talking about why we were there. For 30 years, Pat has filled 100 shoe boxes each year, for children who have nothing, and Bill covers the boxes with Christmas paper. It’s a year round project. Apparently it’s a big thing, although it was new to me.

Barb: “What do you put in the boxes?”
Pat: “Paper, colouring pencils, pens, a tennis ball, toothbrush, cuddly toy - just anything that a child would like”
Barb: “How do you get all the things for your boxes?” (thinking donations, business hat on, etc)
Pat: (bit confused by the question) “I buy them”
Dave and I looked at each other, smiled and nodded. 
“We should be able to help you there, Pat.”
Pat: “How so?”
Dave: “We have a warehouse full of colouring pencils, pens, paper, etc.” 
Barb: “We also have an amazing crafty community who knit and crochet little safe toys!“

She was so moved, she wept. Dave quickly gave her a tissue – and we all had a hug. There you go! We went to the Palace, and we met two very VERY important people: Pat and Bill from Dudley. And that was before the gates even opened! They were such humble, lovely down to earth people. To me, they represented what the Garden Party was all about: a coming together of working class people, who try to do good in their communities. A real fanfare for the common man.

Then, at a little before 3pm, the Buckingham Palace gates were opened, and we strolled in. All the while, I was seeing all of this through YOUR eyes too! The people who got us the invitation. You’d have blimming loved it. See the famous balcony? And blue skies…

Round to the right and through the Garden gate at the side, through to the gardens at the back.

Check out this dapper chap!! 6ft 7 inches tall!

We were right near the front of the 8,000 strong. That’s a lot of people being recognised for doing good deeds, isn’t it? We hear so much negative and bad in the world; the Garden Party to me was about a celebration of GOOD.

Here’s a beautiful shot of the back garden! And Dave, of course. Didn‘t he look smart?! He got asked if he was security too! Men in Black…

40 acres of breathtaking gardens. You’d never believe you were in the middle of London!

It felt surreal to be in the company of the Kind of England and his family. We certainly saw him at a distance, and Camilla. But neither Dave nor I are people who feel the need to shake his hand or be acknowledged by him. It’s enough to be in his garden and in his company. There were lots of members of the royal family there, which made the occasion very special indeed. But it was the thousands of guests milling around that impressed me. Thousands of good deeds, of people who are trying to make a positive change in the world.

It was certainly a perfect place for people-watching! What a wonderful catwalk of colour and beautiful outifts. And you knew that everybody had togged up for the event of a lifetime. Lots of top hats too.

And lots of people just strolling in the gardens, like us, soaking up the atmosphere and the sun. It was warm!

We had a lovely selection of sandwiches too, with tea. Super tasty. All very English, like ham and tomato, egg and cress. We sat with a couple of elderly ladies from Cardiff, who were Macmillan helpers. You see? Packed with goodness.

The 3 hours went so fast! Before we knew it, the time had come to say farewell to our new friends. I think Bill had had enough by then too!

But he was kind enough to take a picture of Dave and me – which had us in stitches… Look at the length of our legs!! Like a hall of funny mirrors!!

And that, my friends, was that. We strolled back through St James’ Park, enjoying the banter and the swans and the tourists piling into London for the Coronation tomorrow. When the sun’s shining, there’s nothing quite like a Garden Party at the Palace!

I’ve been thinking about that afternoon a lot since the event, and I think I will for the rest of my life. It was such a privilege to be part of it. Such an honour to be invited. That’s it. It’s the fact that other people thought we were worthy of an invitation. The moment I will NEVER forget is opening the envelope in hospital, to say we’d been nominated. Turning point.

When you are there, and you are in a sea of people all championing good deeds, that’s pretty humbling, I can tell you. Very special indeed. So thank you again for making it happen, whoever you are x x x

Quote for the day?

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less

C.S. Lewis

Love always,

Barb x x x

81 thoughts on “A Regally Royal Day!

  1. As soon as you were told what went into the boxes I knew by the end of the conversation you would be you and arrange to help
    Out. That is why you were nominated always helping others you are so kind. I’ve experienced your kindness first hand when you made a lovely donation to a charity – Refuge – which I was walking for.

    You deserve every minute you had at the palace and hopefully it won’t be your last time at the palace.
    Loved the dress, you both looked very special.

  2. Sounds absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us. So glad you had a lovely day. Great memories for ever and good that the weather behaved itself.

  3. Oh, Barbara I have tears in my eyes reading that. What a wonderful day! I’m so glad you’ve had an opportunity for lovely memories after the year you’ve had so far. All those people who have done wonderful selfless things! Have a good weekend. Hope you can take it easy on Monday. Xx

  4. Excellent day and wasn’t it just right that you met a VIP couple ! Your outfit looked fab and so glad shoes were comfy ! All meant to be and so glad you enjoyed it all! Thought I’d spotted you in paper but only side on and it wasn’t 😹 instead of queuing you were enjoying! Good luck with shows will miss them as we’re about to arrive in Southampton for a cruise to the fjords ! Have a good weekend xx

  5. My cousin who is also a Clarity user, packs hundreds of shoe boxes every year and sends them wherever needed. If you’ve never heard of them Barbara perhaps it’s an ‘oop North’ kind of thing. It also happens in our village and we’re always scratching round to fill boxes with something useful but different.
    Glad the weather stayed fine. Did you see any of the squirrels and parrots hiding in the trees or was it too busy?

    1. I’m back in Yorkshire now but we did the shoeboxes throughout village school when we lived in Wiltshire so I guess it might be what organisations you are linked to , ours was through our sons school and church. We loved doing it

  6. A wpondwrful day that you will remember forever. I went a few years ago and it is so real today. So many good people in this country who quietly get on with things, no fanfare no praise, just do it. Lovely people including yourselves.
    shoe boxes is a grwat way to give too. Have made many hats etc. and love to see the childrens faces when they receive these gifts.
    You both looked really happy and very smart.
    Blessings for today.

  7. Thought about you on the 3rd and just knew the sun would shine as it does on the righteous! Glad you had a fabulous time the size of the gardens amazed me when we went i couldnt get over that there was that much garden in such a metropolis as London. Truly a special day for a special person and one you will always remember. So glad you met those friendly people and im sure the Groovi/Clarity folk will jump on board to start making stuff that will help to fill those boxes. Have a great Royal weekend x

  8. Oh my goodness my eyes appear to have sprung a leak! Wonderful photos of what sounds like the perfect day. You both look so gorgeous and I love that Dave is wearing your Dad’s tie. I bet you thought of him so much when you were there. And wonderful to have paired up with Pat & Bill from Dudley! Like you say, you’ve made memories that will last a lifetime. I’m so glad you had a wonderful day x

  9. A wonderful day that you will both remember forever. Fully deserved. What a special couple Pat and Bill are, as are you for jumping straight in to help them with supplies. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  10. What a wonderful day you had. Looking at the photos, you’re smiling on all of them. The gardens look beautiful It,s a once in a lifetime experience visiting the future king. And some really nice people you met there as well, also doing wonderful things. Trust you to offer your goods for a well worthy cause. You are such a generous person. You can enjoy your weekend now and relax.

  11. Oh Barb
    You have brought tears to my eyes – best times ever. (I bet your Dad would have been so chuffed). I LOVE your new pals, what a wonderful experience for everyone.
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us – it looked amazing as did you and Dave.

  13. What a lovely acknowledgement of all that you and those 100s of people do for others! You both looked smashing and so happy. I’m busy painting cardboard crowns today ready for the village children to decorate tomorrow!!! But after that I will start making some crochet things for Pat and Bill’s shoe boxes. Justvket me know where to send them x

  14. What an phenomenal day to experience and perfect weather too. So lovely that you met Pat and Bill. A forever memory on so many levels. You both looked amazing.

  15. I’ll also be making toys for Pat’s boxes. My sister and family live in Dudley so I shall get them roped in too. Glad you had a great day x

  16. Thank you Barbara for sharing your special day at Buckingham Palace. It is well deserved x

  17. Lovely photos of you both and of the gardens and other guests. Pleased the sun shone on you all. Good to hear about the shoe boxes,hope that you will be able to let us know how we can help too.

  18. Looks like you both had a day to remember. Loved your outfit so glad that the sun shone for you. The schools round here have been filling boxes at Christmas time for years and they are handed over to different charities for distribution. Knew you would offer to help before I even got to that bit because that’s what you do.xx

  19. Wow, I needed the tissues for that. What a wonderful day you had and met such wonderful people too. I have a feeling that the lovely Pat and Bill will be getting a lot of donations for their boxes in the future, so thank you for sharing with us. I am so glad that you and Dave had a glorious, well deserved day at the palace. Have a great weekend. X

  20. Aww thank you for sharing your special day with us. You both scrub up well 😉 It was lovely to hear about Pat and her boxes and how you can help them too, which brought a tear to my eye too! x

    1. it looked like a faboulous & lovely day had by all – You both look so well and certainly enjoying yourselves. VERY well deserved too! X

  21. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. You both scrub up well 😉 It was lovely to hear about Pat and her boxes and how you can help them too, which brought a tear to my eye too! x

  22. Dear Barbara thank you so much for sharing your special day. It was wonderful to see the photos, you both looked so happy xx

  23. Wow Barbara, thanks for sharing your special day with us. You were so lucky with the weather and both of you looked amazing.

  24. So glad you had a wonderful day. I thought about you often wondering how it was going.
    Good luck with the shows on Sunday. I’m sure they’ll be brilliant as ever.
    Lots of love and hugs xxx

  25. What a fantastic day for you. Lovely photos. Well deserved and you both looked so smart.
    Some time ago when we were running workshops we bought some coloured pencils in a closing down sale. We expected to receive a 100 to 150. We got over 400. I would be happy to send a selection of them to Pat and Bill as we will never be able to use them all and we would like them to go to a good cause.
    Looking forward to Sundays shows.
    With all the bad going on in the world it is heartening to know there are so many good people doing great things.

  26. oh sooo glad you both enjoyed it,I went around the place years ago such a lovely place but a bit like a museam lots of treasures and the gardens so spectacular

  27. Thank you Barbara for showing photos and telling about this garden party! I was looking forward to know more about it !! And I feel happy that you could enjoy it and the circumstances seemed perfect! You now have special memories and I suppose that you will feel these « good vibes » for quite a long time! This is good for the health !! Thank you very much for sharing !!

  28. You both looked great barbara, you are such a caring person you deserved to be nominated hun, I new as soon as you hound out what was in those boxes, you would be offering your help you are a wonderful lady xxx

  29. So glad you had an amazing day, so well deserved. You both looked lovely. Still doing good deeds on a day that was all about your wonderful good self….very typical 💕

  30. What a wonderful uplifting blog. I’m sitting in hospital waiting for my weekly chemo session. Also looking at your wonderful Coronation sale!! Got some stuff in my bag already. Thank you.

  31. What a fabulous day you had, both with weather & memories made. Filling Shoe boxes is a popular thing to do round here especially at Christmas time but most done by multiple donations not 100 boxes by one couple out of their pension. I am sure they will get a lot of help going forward after everyone reads todays blog.
    Looking forward to the shows on Sunday, but meanwhile I am off to check the website out to help with the Coronation celebrations !!

  32. Glad you had such a lovely time; I too was in the vicinity – travelled from South West London to my favourite park, StJames’; the crossed the Mall and St James Palace to Piccadilly; London was busy – hope the hospitality sector is getting a much-needed boost. I shall enjoy watching on TV; much better than last time when I was huddled in front of a tiny black and white set in Fleetwood. Aged 6 I wasn’t very interested, but I’m so grateful I was taken to watch! Just as now, times were hard and the event was a welcome and happy distraction for everyone to enjoy.

  33. thank you Barbara for sharing your day with us. An unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever. How very typical of you to offer to help Pat and Bill and look forward to hearing how the Shac shacers can help. xx

  34. This was so lovely to see. You both looked amazing, happy and relaxed. The gardens are quite something aren’t they. Went there a long time ago and it took my breath away, the middle of a very busy city and a secret garden! So well deserved for you both and no surprise you will be helping out your new pals, what wonderful people you all are. Thank you for sharing your Special Day with us. Take care, love & hugs xxx

  35. Great that you and Dave had such a lovely day and met such nice people. Schools and churches round here join in each year with Operation Christmas Child organised by Samaritans Purse UK. A filled shoebox surprise Christmas present for children who have nothing. Good luck with the shows on Sunday xx

  36. Oh, Barb, what an absolutely fabulous blog entry that was! I was reading it out to Luke (he wanted to know how your special day went), and I was struggling to hold it together, it was such a moving description of such a memorable day (Pat and Bill had me blubbing). You and Dave look just splendid, obviously – bet you were glad you wore those shoes in! So glad you had a wonderful day and your dad would’ve been so proud! Oh dear, need a tissue again 🥲
    Lots of love

  37. Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos! You both look amazing, what an honor to be able to attend such a historical event! Enjoy

  38. I am so pleased for you. If I’d have known it was a thing I would have nominated you too, without hesitation. So thank you to whoever put your name forward.
    Love your outfit. You both look so well and happy and what a result with the weather.
    I thought about you and it brought back happy memories of my experience 21 years ago, it certainly will stay with you but I’m pleased you were allowed to take photos as an added reminder (despite the little legs 😂).
    What a wonderful couple Bill and Pat are and how typical of you and Dave to offer help.
    Will afternoon tea now be a thing in your household, cucumber sandwiches, crusts off of course?
    Lynn x

  39. Wow, what a day! I think Pat & Doug may need more than 100 boxes from the responses I’ve read. You could end up shipping a container to them. Get some rest now and recharge your batteries ready for the TV shows at the weekend.

  40. Oh, what a fabulous day at the King’s Garden Party you and Dave had and you deserve every minute of it too! I am really so pleased for you! Thanks for sharing that very special occasion. with us. Lovely photos too. Dave and you look lovely. Love your dress Barbara!
    Btw, also love the Crypt Cafe at St. Martin’s In The Fields. Great place! xxx

  41. Glad you had such a fabulous time. That guardsman is not as tall as my husband, although his hat must have added on the additional 2″ required to match him. What a wonderful experience to look back on!

  42. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. I kept thinking about you both, wondering how it was going. You looked lovely & Dave looked very smart. You were certainly lucky with the weather & meeting Pat & Doug. I would love to make some toys for Pat’s shoe boxes if you tell me where to send them. Enjoy the show on Sunday.

  43. It all looks fantastic! How lovely that you met with two super people! I’m sure there were loads more there too! I too had a tear in my eye when you told them you could help out with items for the shoe boxes! There you were on a super day out and yet you were still thinking of people to help! Does your face still ache from grinning at everybody all that day? 😁. What lovely memories. Bet your mum really enjoyed hearing about the whole day! X

  44. Lovely photos of you all, we kept thinking of you and hoped the sun was shining on you both, truly well deserved memories made!
    Hope the Sunday shows go well and you are able to rest up after all the excitement! Enjoy the Bank Holiday and your break away next weekend. X

  45. Glad you had a good day, certainly one to remember. Love the photos. A few snaps of a wonderful day. x

  46. Looks like a beautiful day indeed and sounds like you had a wonderful time….you & Dave will be reminiscing about it for years to come 💕
    How lovely too that you’ll be helping Bill & Pat. That’s such a kind thing that they, and you, will be doing to bring a little light to children at Christmas.
    Bless you and all the other kind people you shared your special day with.
    I’m so glad the sun shone for you and made your day even more pleasurable and truly special – Muchly deserved for everything you do 💕🥰💕

  47. What an interesting blog Barbara. We went to a garden party many moons ago. It was the height of summer, very hot and humid. We had been there about an hour and we had a bad thunderstorm! Two women were struck by lightening, it was on the news but, in the days before mobile phones, mum thought myself and our daughter were those two women! I also found out that my very expensive hat was made of rolled paper! Also my fabric shoes (£60 even then) were in no way waterproof nor indeed mud proof. Worn once and binned both shoes and hat!!! All we saw was the top of the Queen Mother’s famous clear umbrella, no Queen or Prince Philip who were also there. All in all a most fabulous and yet infamous day and I wouldn’t change it 😂

    1. Good grief!! A day never to be forgotten ! It really could get messy if it rained – I can imagine that! So many people and nowhere to get cover except under the trees! Thanks for sharing x x x

  48. So glad you had a lovely day. Thank you for sharing it with us, the photos were great and you both looked fabulous!

  49. What a wonderful day for you both, thank you for sharing with us, Beautiful photos. Love Sue xx

  50. So delighted to see the sun shone on you both for such a special day .Wonderful for you to be part of what will be a historic occasion .Seeing your joy after the difficult times you have had made me feel quite emotional .Congratulations xxx

  51. Two special people sharing a special occasion sharing their talents to other special people then sharing their experiences with us. Thank you so much, if only the world could care and share it would be a far better place ❤️

  52. So glad the sun shone for you and you both had such a great day – you deserve it. Trust you to go somewhere in recognition of how you have taken care of us over the last few years only to meet up with another like-minded couple and offer them support. Of course we will help, just let us know how and what to send where :)) x

  53. Perfect day. You both look wonderful and deserve to be there amongst so many others just like you. It is so good to hear just how many good people there are being so selfless, it’s so heartwarming.
    Thank you for sharing your well deserved special day.
    Love, Linda xx

  54. Pleased you both had a wonderful day, thank you for sharing, lovely photo’s, fabulous memories for you both. xx

  55. Hi Barbara
    Thank you for sharing your very special day with us. You and Dave look fabulous and the gardens are amazing. You both thoroughly deserve such an honour. How lovely to meet up with Pat and Bill, that was fate wasn’t it! What a lovely couple. Let us know what is needed and the knitting needles will be out. Your dad would have be so very proud of you Barbara, you are a special lady and it is well deserved.
    Love Diane xx

  56. That smiling face in every photo says it all!! You obviously enjoyed it with every fibre of your being. Wonderful. I’m so glad you got this uplift for your spirits after all you’ve been through so far this year. What about a wee holiday now to top it all off? Haven’t heard about you two taking any real time off for a long while. xx

  57. What a wonderful experience and you both look so happy and shiny! I laughed at Bill’s photo of you both – really funny! We used to do Samaritan’s Purse in our old church. Such a great idea. How typical of you to offer to help as soon as you heard about the shoeboxes – bless you.
    You deserved your nomination 100% 💕

  58. What a great time you both had! So nice to meet the couple as well. Our church do the shoebox appeal at Xmas time . It’s always such fun to buy things to put in the box . We collect shoe boxes all year to put in church for anyone to use. Really glad you both had a lovely day 🙏

  59. Hello Barb and Dave, WOW, you both looked absolutely amazing, and how lovely to have met so many other good people. Glad you got to enjoy the day and the garden party. Love the quote. Looking forward to today, and will be recording tomorrows shows, as we are having a street party to celebrate the coronation. Take care everyone. Bx

  60. Oh Barbara and Dave what a wonderful day you had, very well deserved too, you both look beautiful🥰Thank you for sharing it with us all. 💜 I find good people attract others like themselves. 💞 I’m off to get ready for another event for my niece’s wedding this evening … the 2nd of 7 in total. I shall be collapsed in a heap on the 15th when it’s all over, just in time to join you and everyone back in the SHAC. 😅 🤗Much love as always, Nahid xXx 🦋💕

  61. You both deserved that special day Barb. I loved reading about your experiences, it certainly brought a tear to my eyes. You looked stunning and so pleased the shoes were comfy. Our village does shoeboxes and I know they are well received.
    Bill and Pat are amazing people, as are you, Dave and your Clarity family.💝

  62. So pleased that you and Dave had a lovely day and the weather was kind for you. Bit different to today. Wasn’t it fantastic. Thank you for sharing your day with us. Just let us know how we can help with the box filling. I was 4 years old when I saw the Queens coronation. First time in England. Sat on my father’s lap for the whole event – didn’t move.

  63. Wow, how lovely, I was born near Dudley, Dudley Zoo was a day out for me. I now live in Surrey, within walking distance of Frimley Park Hospital where Sophie and Edward’s children were born ( I met them at a Scouting event).
    I am new to crafting and love clarity stamp.
    So glad you had a much deserved recognition.
    Best wishes

  64. I kept looking for your blog, anxious to know how you enjoyed your very special day. Pleased the weather was good for you. You both looked so smart. So you, that you meet up with someone that you can help. I am sure you have really enjoyed watching today. Xxx

  65. Loved sharing your day of pics and memories. What a beautiful day you had and you both looked stunning. Enjoyed you meeting new friends at the time and especially loved hearing your gracious words of your journey and time there. You filled my heart with joy as you shared your day and having just watched the Coronation today it leaves my soul happy. Thank you Barbara.

  66. So glad that in spite of my warnings , it was warm. You did SO WELL Barbara, so glad you were able and had such a fab time, looking great, both of you. So happy for you..thanks for sharing.
    I’ve been so ill couldn’t even find your blog , paramedics etc etc, holiday weekend traffic etc…so ever hopeful I’ll recover enough strength to attempt open day. Looking fwd to shows today, Sunday.
    . Rest then…you have done SO well. Xx

  67. Really expect to see your updated Blog every time.I love your smiles just like the warm weather. Barbara is so charming. Special day, special commemoration.

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