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The Glorious Twelfth?

The obvious thing to write today is that isn’t it great the country is opening up which must be wonderful for everyone and here are five things you must do as we come out of unprecedented times I hope you and your family are well during these strange times but we’re all in it together and now more than ever we must think about the new normal.

And I think you’re on mute.

In reality I know of businesses which have thrived because of lockdown; of others which have have sadly gone to the wall, with help or change coming too little and too late; of some have just about clung on and of a number which have adjusted—positively and permanently—the work they do.

Some businesses are reopening today knowing they probably won’t make a profit, or break even, for a while because they can’t fill enough tables or seats, or get enough people in through the doors to balance staff and operating costs.

Others might even see their takings drop as people go back to old habits. People who sell DIY hairdressing kits online are already looking wistfully to the recent past, I’m sure. Hairdressers, must be optimistic, but frustrated they won’t be able to fit as many people in as they’d like due to space restrictions and cleaning requirements. I’m just glad they won’t be charging me by the weight of the hair I need shorn.

That it’s the twelfth is just a coincidence, probably: the so-called Glorious Twelfth is that day in August when grouse shooting begins. A glorious day if you’re a fan of such things, perhaps less so if you’re a grouse (or if you’re one of the many predators shot, poisoned or trapped to ensure a steady supply of birds, or if you’re someone who prefers a sport when everyone involved gets to enjoy it).

In other words, changes, new days, fresh starts, even when clearly planned and forecast, tend to be good for some and not for others. Some will thrive and others will fail or fall. Some will be able to blame others, some should accept responsibility for their own mistakes. Some, either through luck or judgement, will be running businesses unaffected, or simply paused, by Covid, others will need to take time to rebuild and perhaps even restructure. Or start again.

Step outside and the natural world carries on regardless. We’ve already had the first fledgling of the year in our garden: a young thrush just a few weeks old being fed by a parent. In the wood we bought last year the cherry blossom is out, the bluebells are just beginning to break up the now-green floor, delicate flowers fall from the towering larches and scatter at our feet (photo below), badgers are digging out their sett ready for the birth of cubs… spring is undoubtedly, and always, an optimistic time of year to be out and about.

The flora, fauna and fungi (collectively called ‘biota’, if you’re either interested or play Scrabble) simply get on with it. They adapt as needs arise, although failure tends to benefit future generations more than their own.

As humans we have the luxury of failing, learning and evolving within our own lifetimes, a privilege even if it doesn’t necessarily feel so in the moment. I’m teetering on the verge of cliché, but I’m sure we’ve all learned at least something about ourselves since last March, and most people I know expect to change at least some aspect of themselves as we emerge into our own springtime, if they haven’t already.

Personally, I’m as happy as I think I’ve ever been with my business, and have probably spent as much time over the last year helping people with themselves as with their marketing. I’m still standing by my fundamental principles, which haven’t needed updating—even if my website does. It’s on the list.

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