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‘May You Live In Interesting Times’ is an expression claimed to have its origins in a traditional Chinese curse. It’s a blessing normally used ironically, wishing the recipient ‘interesting times’ filled with turbulence and challenge rather than peace and tranquillity.

There is no doubt that we’re living in ‘interesting times’, a year into a global pandemic and UK Lockdown 3 proving to be the hardest going in the trilogy. As a small independent business owner, to say that the past year has been a challenge is an understatement. But, we’re still here.

Like many businesses we’ve had to adapt, to pivot and to find new ways of working and engaging with our customers online. But this doesn’t change the fact that one of the greatest joys and most rewarding aspects of owning a bricks and mortar business on a High Street like ours, is the people – the colleagues, customers and surrounding community. We’ve made many new friends and reconnected with some old, many with whom we share our daily lives and challenges and they theirs. It’s when I think about these friends and colleagues that I feel most optimistic for the future. We don’t know when the pandemic will be over. We don’t know when, or even if, life will go back to how it was before. But what I do know, is that our friends will return to our High Street because at the end of the day people buy from people and if the current situation has shown us anything, it’s that we all crave human contact and appreciate it now more than ever. A simple ‘good morning’ and a smile has never been so precious.

For now, we will continue to support local independent businesses online and ask that you do the same. In the meantime, I for one am looking forward to when we meet again face-to-face and live once more in uninteresting times.