So the last couple of days have not been the happiest of lock down. I am not sure why although the prospect of not reopening this year, as touted by some of the press today, obviously didn’t help.
I appreciate that the press and the government spend a lot of time briefing in opposite directions in order to deal with public expectations and to be honest I believe little, if anything, in the press. The one thing that we can take from the today is that we are in for the long haul but I think we kinda knew that.
I woke up this morning thoroughly motivated, the day has not progressed as it should have done though. To hear all day long that your business will stay closed longer than any other takes it toll and really makes you think about the seismic change this will have on the whole trade. I have long disagreed with the negativity espoused by many in the licensed trade and I blame that for the hard push back that we are seeing.
As I recall the last that I saw said that 40 pubs a week closed in the UK but, at last count 41 opened. So the aggregate growth in the pub estate was 1 a week, see how easy it is to use numbers to support whatever position you want? So if you shut the entire trade for 12 weeks 480 pubs will be struggling and 492 opportunities to open will not have happened. These pubs won’t all shut immediately because, despite the naysayers, the situation has thrown a lifeline to some who were about to leave the trade.
I heard the other day that we expect 10% of the over eighties to pass away each year and that is about where we we are with the pandemic. Both points are just statistical facts and the pandemic has done nothing but move the numbers around but this doesn’t make losing uncle Tom or your local pub any easier.
All this aside today has certainly been one of those days where the weight weighs heavier. There is still a lot going on but sometimes you are struck by the seeming futility of it all. This is not something that taps you on the shoulder and whispers, it hits you like a truck. We have a way of dealing with these days, it is tried and tested and has come into play more often lately.
A moment (could be minutes or hours) sat on the floor in the corner. It is important that its a corner, some would say this is defensive and some would say that it is about connecting, I would go with hiding but whatever. Just sitting there as a tiny person in this big pub and its massive history, a mere speck on its timeline but responsible for continuing that timeline is very grounding.
I am not sure that grounding is a good thing right now but the ducks are forming a huddle and I think they want help to drink that wine. I am going to wipe the paint off my hands (it can stay on my face) and go join the ducks for a large glass, honestly my work is never done.