The Brook Taverner Journal

Jasons Thoughts: Normality On The Horizon?

Is it me or is every day beginning to blend into the day before and the day after? Are we in week 10 or 11? I was speaking to a friend this week who continually asked me what day of the week it was and I equally had to look at my watch just to provide him with an answer the question!

Question – why do I keep on getting repeated emails from a company trying to sell me more ski gear? The ski season has ended and there is no certainty of any skiing in the next season… They haven't even given me a reasonable discount to try and entice me into buying. Perhaps I should find the nearest and steepest hill and attach the wheels of the kid’s scooters, if nothing else it would be certainly good exercise, worse-case scenario a broken limb!

Home is looking in shipshape and Bristol fashion. As a side-line where on earth did that saying come from? I looked it up or ‘googled it’ and discovered it originated when Bristol was the major west coast Port of Britain at a time when all that shipping was maintained in good order – so there you go! Anyway, I digress. Hedges have been cut, trees were trimmed, roses pinned, flowers watered, and beds weeded (multiple times!). There is nothing left to do in that regard. When can we return to normality? Let's hope that the second spike does not occur and we can continue on the recent downward trend.

Meanwhile, Zoom lessons continue, the wi-Fi continues to be decimated on a daily basis, and angry WhatsApp's are exchanged about download speeds and buffering (or as some people call it the wheel of death) from one bedroom to another.

Netflix is certainly a lifesaver with numerous box sets available. Isobel, my eldest and recent school leaver, has introduced me to Cheer. This is a documentary about a, surprise, surprise, cheerleading team in America. Now you may think it a bit odd that a 50-year-old man is watching a cheerleading documentary, but it really is fascinating about what they do, how they do it and just how hard they work to and achieve perfection. They're not quite my kind of people but they certainly do earn their stripes and the coach is tough, very tough, and takes no nonsense from anyone, including her husband (which reminds me of home!). If you've got a few minutes to spare then give it a go, it's certainly interesting to say the least.

 In March I missed the celebration of my 50th birthday. June 3rd brings about my 20th wedding anniversary - another lockdown celebration. Becca and I first met when we were 14 (I was actually her first kiss!).  She went to school with my two sisters, I went to school with her two brothers.  My two sisters were her bridesmaids, I was her brothers’ best man - we have known each other and each other’s families for many years. It rained all day on June 3rd 2000 – they say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, it would appear that's true.  Best friend and love of my life – next Wednesday is another milestone in our lives and one that we will not forget quickly.  Celebrations will most definitely come at a later date and we will give it plenty of whoomph!

The great news is that the lockdown is easing and we have been given the go ahead that our stores can open on June 15th.  It will bring me nothing but joy, as it will do to our store managers, to see some friendly faces in store - obviously at a distance of 2 metres!  The last few weeks have been spent preparing for this with the necessary warning signs, sneeze guards, hand sanitiser etc all being purchased to make sure we keep this dreaded virus at bay.  Let normality begin!

   I wonder if in the coming months/years we will look back on this time with fondness because of time spent with our families, will it be easily and readily forgotten, or will it be indelibly imprinted on our minds and something that we will speak about to our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Only time will tell.

 Can I also say how amazing you have all been?  The latest brochure, which landed last week, has been unbelievably well received and I wanted to say a heart-felt ‘thank you’ because if it wasn’t for your continued support, business might look a whole lot different.  I would also like to say a big thank you to all the staff, furloughed or not, who have been incredible throughout this whole situation.

 I look forward to seeing you on the high streets.