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Come on troops, let’s pick ourselves up, we’ve done it once we can do it again…

Learning from the past 10 months

Do you feel like the world has gone into slow motion and you are observing from a distance?

Monday’s announcements from Holyrood and Westminster, while expected, have stung, not like a bee, I loved Muhammad Ali, but like a taser.

The children struggled absorbing the news. No friends, freedoms curtailed, fun suspended and education stalling.Life does feel cruel for them.

I’ve listened to the team, family, friends and it’s easy to share the reserve, the anxiety and a little fear that we’re having to face this again.

I can also see Nonna G pondering.She’s missing her 93 year olds social life, the carefree fun that she has when she’s in her normal world.Routines that keep her active, alert and alive are on stop.

Come on troops, let’s pick ourselves up, we’ve done it once we can do it again……..

We need to keep reminding ourselves that we will get through this but the results at the end will be different for many.

Victor has started lighting the fire most evenings. It’s comforting.We have our wee chats; usually around Rocco or tomorrow’s dinner.

I let it slip on Tuesday “I think I might lose it!”

“If you lose it, we won’t eat.”

In the middle of a crisis Victor thinks of his stomach.No pressure sweetheart 🙂

Learning from the past 10 months, observing and interpreting the signals, Lockdown3 looks like it will last longer than the end of January.We had initially planned through to the end of March or even April, coinciding with the furlough extension?Comparing the Covid hospital admissions and death statistics from 2020 to now, considering we don’t seem to be at the peak of this phase, a May or June hospitality reopening may not lose your bet at Ladbrokes.

This new Covid variant has taken everyone by surprise. Really? Is Covid not a winter virus that is constantly changing and adapting to its environment? Surely you didn’t need to be Linda Bauld to know the Covid statistics would escalate over the coldest months of the year? I’m struggling not to feel controlled and manipulated. Drip fed information that seems like a Covid language that only the “in the know” know how to decipher. I feel we have been left as observers of our lives as if we’re not intelligent enough to be exposed to the worst case scenarios. In business (and when you have a family and team as dependents) you need to consider and plan for the worst.

A late spring / early summer hospitality reopening is a long time not to be trading and be in this uncontrollable and highly costly limbo. If you think I’m exaggerating, no problem, we’re planning for a worst case so any surprises will leave us floating like a butterfly not on the ropes. Mentally as much as financially.

It’s critical that the Chancellor or Holyrood cough up and at least honour the payments that have been announced.The latest up to £9000 Chancellors lockdown grant (from funds that were not new but have already been allocated to Scotland) seems the latest sore point in undistributed funds. There are already many reports of October lockdown grants still not being made.

If you’re retired or your business has been able to work from home or pivot significantly you’ll be partially out of balance but probably financially stable or perhaps even better off.This will not apply to our industry. Undoubtedly there will be a little more government support but it’s not going to cover the losses. UK Hospitality estimates our sector is covering costs (new debt) of £500m a month.

What we need is a bigger conversation as to how businesses that have historically contributed are able to contribute post pandemic and rebalance their books without a long term headache of debt.

Hopefully the slow motion is giving the NHS the help to save lives and us the patience and sheer determination to get through this. And the slow motion is giving the decision makers the time to come up with a plan that will support the wider recovery, that isn’t debt laden and will support everyone’s longer term future.

What is the legacy of this going to be? Will the outcome be worse than the journey for some?

Decisions have been made for the health of the collective good. The collective good needs to ensure we are all in this together, the collective good can’t be the slow motion knockout punch that leaves hospitality businesses flat out on the canvass.

Keepwell and keep safe and thank you, thank you, thank you for all your continued support.




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