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The last working weekend of the year.

I came home from a morning running errands to a dining room table full of parcels. Okay, maybe not full of parcels, but there was certainly a pile of them, enough to make me do a happy dance. Our postman comes at 12:30, usually heralded by the dogs, and since I’ve been working from home, met at the door. I love getting post. It’s definitely a perk of having a small business, but it is also one of those things that can go very, very wrong. But not today!

Today everything was where it should be. I’d posted out some orders, made some deliveries, and gone to see some of my stockists in person, having a chat and saying thank you. I came home to all the lovely post: gifts for friends to be wrapped and ribboned, things for the house, and a beautiful wreath, a gift to myself, from a small business I’ve been following. I’ve tried to walk the talk this Christmas by supporting small businesses the way I would like people to support me, because, although it’s been a hard and unsettled year, people have been so supportive, and I could not be more grateful.

We held our annual Christmas Craft and Food fair last weekend, my final fair of the year and one I was desperate to attend, having missed the previous three fairs on my schedule. Not only is this fair a special island event, it’s also where I have practiced my craft, selling my first melt and pour soap on a wee side table with a couple of Christmas decorations, more than ten years ago. It’s wonderful every year, a chance for everyone on the island to have a day out, eat some cake and spend some money, seeing people you hardly ever see. I am always amazed at how generous our community is, and how encouraging. With out seeing them, year after year, and having them complimenting the table and the packaging and my children and asking after the dogs, buying a soap or two, or just giving everything a good once over, I wouldn’t have the confidence to keep doing it, year after year, nor the enthusiasm.

After everyone had left and the packing up had been done, a few of us sat and had a drink together, a laugh about the day and a wee rest before the real work of tidying up and getting home started. All writers, growers and bakers; artists, crafters and makers. All moving forward. Together.

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