The magic of something new

As a parent, there is something positively magical about watching your child excel in anything.

But when they’re wonderful at something new and unexpected, it feels even more amazing because it’s like you’re seeing them again for the first time.

When I heard about a five-day drama camp at our local theatre, I thought it sounded like something our eight-year-old daughter might like. She’d never acted before, but she’s super outgoing and talks animatedly to an audience when she records her YouTube videos. 

Sure enough, she adored drama camp from the very first minute, and it was fun hearing that she did many of the same activities I used to do in my drama classes — like improvise and play Zip Zap Zop. 

It was fun to have something special in common with our daughter. As a teenager, I took film/TV acting classes at the Cassidy Group and stage classes at Neptune Theatre School, and I hope to get into community theatre when the kids are a bit older (and COVID stops ruining everything). 

It was announced that the campers would perform “Little COVID Annie” at the end of the week, and I burst with pride when our daughter came home sharing the lead role of Annie.

My baby was going to be one of the stars! Aughhh!

“Little Covid Annie”

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‘Daddy isn’t working right now’

“I think we have to tell the kids this time.”

“I know.”

My husband works for Air Canada — except right now, he doesn’t. He’s on his second layoff since June 2020. 

When we were both temporarily laid off in the spring, we didn’t tell our 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter because they were already so upset about COVID-19. The world was terrifying, back in those days. They’d been torn away from school, activities, friends and family, and we couldn’t bear to tell them about our job losses. 

Thankfully, we were both called back to work quickly and it all worked out …

… until his next layoff notice came in January.

We agonized over whether or not to tell the kids, but eventually decided that we had to — mostly because we’re more jaded this time around. Last spring, everyone was dazed and shocked and kept saying everything was “unprecedented.” Now, almost a year later, we’re more aware of how bad things really are (especially for those in aviation) and how long this latest lay-off might last.

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Our kitchen makeover … on TV!

Remember waaaaay back in August, when I spent my 37th birthday filming an episode of a TV show? Well, it finally aired on Wednesday night!

I first appeared on a fun DIY show called “Eyes for the Job” back in 2018, helping to turn a dresser into a bench.

Then I was back the following fall to film an episode where we turned an old farmhouse window into a cool coffee table.

Both of those episodes mostly took place in Chris Judge’s Dartmouth workshop,

When I spoke to the show last spring about the idea of coming HERE — to our HOUSE! — I was super excited. I never thought I’d be shooting a TV show in the middle of a pandemic, but the crew was so careful and took every precaution.

I couldn’t share much about the shoot back then, except to say it was a kitchen project (I think — can’t remember much in these Covid times). Now I can finally share how everything turned out, plus you can watch the whole episode online, if you’re so inclined.

Heather Laura Clarke wearing a painting apron and sunglasses, posing in front of a camera operator during a TV shoot.
Sweating in the August sun, staining wood!
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