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Getting it together...

I start most days with lists: a list of things to do that day, a list of things happening during the week, a list of affirmations, and a list of things I’m grateful for. Often there is also a shopping list, a list of dinners, a list of things to do in between things (like when the kettle is boiling or I’m waiting for the bus to arrive with the girls after school) and a list of things I need my husband to do.

Recently, however, there has been a new list: Days I’m Away at Craft Fairs (and need babysitting). It’s quite a long list, given that for the first time I’m doing longer events, further away, and it’s very exciting.

One of those days has been ticked off already: the Argyllshire Gathering Highland Games, in Oban, was a great day out. I went with my friend Hazel, as I did when we started out by sharing a table at our local Christmas craft fair and wondering how we were going to fill it. Now we were sharing a stand with a table each, and wondering when we’d get time to find a coffee. The sun shone, the crowd was cheery, the other stall holders were chatty and nice. It was a successful day, and the perfect way to start off. It was my first fair this year, and I loved it.

I came back exhausted, buoyant and with sore feet, ready to face the next event on the list: a week in John Lewis, in Glasgow. This is the biggest event I’ve ever done and simply preparing for it has been a learning curve. Well, more like a roller coaster of terror, some days! All the lists in the world can’t replace just sitting down and getting the work done; the soap made, the ribbons tied. As the date nears, I feel less ready but more like I wish it would hurry up and happen so that I can stop worrying about it.

While I’ve been worrying, my list of things I’m grateful for has grown, filling up with people. I’m so grateful for everyone who has said they would help me prepare and then committed to a time; I’m grateful for the approachable and friendly people from the Great British Exchange and John Lewis who have answered so many questions; I’m grateful for every one who provides me with the wee things that make up the Shepherds Cottage Soap brand – Simon who makes my labels; Lauren who works on the website and helps me keep all the technology ticking over; Elaine who does all the heavy lifting in the crochet department; Vivienne and Marina who took beautiful photos; and all the people who take the time to read and comment on all of the stuff I post and put out there. And I’m especially grateful for my family, who still have a week to go in a house fill to bursting with soap and boxes and bowls of body whip and lists and post-its stuck to every conceivable surface.

No person is an island, and no one who runs a business can do it alone. I am so very grateful that I don’t have to.

John Lewis, here we come!

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