An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks: More Thoughts From Jason
The Brook Taverner Journal

An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks: More Thoughts From Jason

We are moving into week 6 of lock down and spending more time at home means that I’m somehow learning so much more than usual…

Living with a semi-obese Labrador and an anorexic Pointer brings lockdown challenges previously unknown as I have usually left the home before feed time. Boo, the Lab, will ravenously hoover up a radish as if it were fois gras, seemingly uninterested in taste or texture in her voracious enthusiasm to devour. Tink, the Pointer, will sit and dwell on, stare at, circle round (and taunt Boo with) her full bowl for hours while I am forced to referee and prevent food theft by the greedy opportunist! Bex looks after a few horses but now I learn that one requires vast quantities of food, supplements and other complex (and expensive) nutrition, while the other two could very well die if they eat more than 6 blades of grass. Something to do with sugary grass in the morning, but I am still yet to fully understand. They are obviously aware that I am terrified of them and, when occasionally asked to let them in or out, take full advantage and run riotously around the field or stand like status in their stables, completely ignoring me. Apparently, we also have two cats, Mr Pickles and Puff. In my defence, they are outdoor cats, but they demonstrate a healthy dislike of each other and, once a month, need to be wrapped in a tea towel and administered with a worming pill, most of which is regurgitated as caty foam! And who knew my wife isn’t a natural blonde?!

May the wheels of industry begin turning soon …. managing a Retail business is, frankly, easier than this!

It certainly appears that we are all beginning to get a bit frustrated by the current situation and would like to see some form or exit strategy. That’s not to say we’re not all hugely accepting of the situation or that we don’t appreciate that others face desperate hardships, or that our beloved NHS and keyworkers are working their socks off to keep us safe. No, it’s that many of us are normally so busy that, as we are halfway through the second three-week shutdown with no clear plan, we’re getting ants in the pants! Everything that is nailed down has been jet washed, surfaces gleam, the smell of new paint prevails and no weed dare poke its head above the ground. There is a sense that our patience is wearing a bit thin.

I suspect that’s why we are seeing groups of Americans, in their enormous pick-ups, taking to the streets in protest about their incarceration. Meanwhile, on home soil the ‘blamesters’ have shattered the quiet unity with their ‘should’ve/could’ve/would’ve’ grumblings. However, regardless of anyone’s political persuasion, who would want the thankless task of navigating the country through these strange times?

But I mustn’t complain, I do get to visit my workplace twice a week to ensure the Brook Taverner skeleton staff’s welfare and hygiene protocols and provisions are being strictly observed, as they despatch our online orders and deal with customer interface. Whilst we all make our weekly thanks to the NHS I would also like to personally thank my working colleagues. Without their tireless commitment, and the support of our suppliers, we would have ground to a complete standstill. And our thanks also go to you, our loyal customer base, who are purchasing from your homes and keeping us in business.


The weather has given us all a huge boost, even Yorkshire has seen the sun! I can’t remember a time when the barbeque surfaced in April. Saturday night has now become family quiz night with three other families. Fantastic fun with over-zealous adults and sulky teenagers, who would rather be facetiming friends or playing on the X-box. This week, however, we managed to blow any chance of success by warming up with cocktail hour – lesson learned. We continue to balance overindulgence with activity and the whole family supported a great cause close to our hearts by running the 5k April Virtual Run for Cystic Fibrosis Care.

One thing that being at home has enabled me to do is to have a look through the wardrobe and give it a good spring clean. The problem about being a proud Yorkshireman is that we like to get our money's worth and throwing things out does not come easily, especially as the Brook Taverner garments last so well!! However, needs must, and a clearing out has been done and will be taken to work and donated to the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice based in Keighley, West Yorkshire. If you wish to do a ‘spring clean’ and would also like to support this hospice, then please do send your clothes to us and we will organise for them to be distributed accordingly. Please ensure all packages are clearly addressed to:

Manorlands Hospice,
C/O Brook Taverner,
Haincliffe Road,
West Yorkshire.
BD21 5BU.

It is a charity we have supported through Brook Taverner for many years and provides amazing work, ever more so in these times. Please do look at the fantastic work they do if you have a spare minute or two.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re doing it with, enjoy the weather (even if the sun is no longer shining!) and thank you for indulging me.

Look after yourselves,