Saturday 14 March 2020

There are certainly less people about in our little town than there usually are - places to park in the Market Square, fewer folk in the shops and cafes;  but it is not an especially pleasant day so who knows or can guess the reason?   Whole News bulletins are now taken up by the Coronavirus as though nothing else of importance is happening in the world.

It is therefore pleasant to step outside the front door and find that the rooks are nesting, the tete a tete daffodils are bursting into flower and some of the trees around the estate have big buds waiting to open.   And slowly the temperature rises - ten degrees when I drove down to the hairdresser at mid day today (perm, that is why the day and time have changed).

Putting on my trousers this morning I somehow twisted my hip on my bad leg (ankle) so that I am walking with even more difficulty today and can only go at snail's pace with my stick - but I am determined to keep going.   The idea of giving up driving and being unable to go out because of lack of mobility does not appeal to me one little bit. Certainly for tomorrow at least I shall go out with my friends for lunch, making sure that I don't go too near anyone else and also making sure that when I reach to top of the stairs I go straight into the Ladies and wash my hands because I can't climb the stairs without holding on to the handrails.

Looking round the shops and cafes in our town this morning I couldn't help wondering just how many of them will survive this year.   Most of them rely heavily on tourism - walkers to The Dales, families who rent the holiday cottages and - probably more importantly - the coach loads of tourists who just stop for an hour on a tour of the area - just long enough for a coffee in one of the cafes and a mooch round the gift shops - some of which are very good indeed.  I suspect that this year the life of many of these shops hangs by a thread.


Gail, northern California said...

I live in a relatively small town too where businesses struggle even in the best of times. Some have suggested we purchase gift certificates with no expiration date just to help them weather this storm.

So very sorry to hear about your hip. Doggone it. Keep doing what you're doing, Weave.

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed your poem, posted in remembrance of the farmer and shared it with many friends.

Gwil W said...

Hope your hip soon better. I'm nursing a back muscle injury. Old woman on bus knocked me to the floor when she fell because she wasn't holding the handrail. Perhaps she was afraid of the corona germs?

JayCee said...

Oh dear. I hope the hip is not too painful. Hopefully Percy can help. The daffodils are so bright and cheerful at the moment. They make me smile each morning.

Bonnie said...

I do hope your leg and hip gets better soon. One thing for sure, no matter what is happening Spring is coming!

Tom Stephenson said...

Tomorrow we are looking forward to an extra 45,000 people in Bath for the Half Marathon. This will result in the deaths of quite a few hundred people, so that the organisers can make their money. It will also increase the strain on our local hospital, but they don't care about that either. Ironically, mass events like this will be banned next week, but the organisers don't care as long as they don't lose money. It is a disgrace.

the veg artist said...

Like you, I live in a tourism-dependant area, and I think that, if they can just hold on for a while, they might actually have a good year. I think that people have been put off the idea of booking holidays abroad, because who knows whether they will get there/be allowed in etc. Travel within the UK could be seen as a safer bet, and self-catering be almost like home, but with nicer scenery. The next few weeks will be difficult, though.

Joanne Noragon said...

I think you may well be right about the businesses in your little town that rely on tourism. Would the world only go our way! Stay well.

angryparsnip said...

Goodness I hope your leg will be better soon.
Lots of thing have been canceled here . The Festival Of Books with is huge, authors coming in from everywhere, book signings, lectures, TV what a wonderful time and it is closed down.
I liked what the veg artist said,

Cro Magnon said...

One thing we can guarantee is that after this crisis society will be very different, and it'll take quite a while to return to how it was.

Debbie said...

We certainly intend to be back up in the Dales this year. I think there may well be a backlash against foreign holidays, and cruises in particular, and the appeal of the UK will soar. Many airlines will go to the wall - and environmentally that may not be a bad thing.

thelma said...

Look after yourself, the changes in society are going to be around for a long time, it is a shame that small businesses are going to feel the worst of all this.

Bovey Belle said...

Well, we have stopped trading, that's for sure. No point in putting stock in auction either as no one will want to buy it in the current state of affair (plus, the housing market will have stopped completely and utterly too).

I feel sorry for small businesses, especially reliant on tourism. I hope that the Govt. and NHS can get a grip on this soon.

As for social isolation for 4 months - that will be a hard thing to juggle.

As someone who washed a pack of ham in soap and water before opening it yesterday, and then not touching packaging but lifting contents out with a fork, dumping packaging and scrubbing hands again - where do we stop?

Keep safe and I hope your sore leg is better today.

Librarian said...

Ouch, twisting your leg or and hip sounds painful. Hopefully, it will subside soon. As for the economical consequences of the corona pandemic, it is difficult to foresee what is really going to happen and how businesses are going to be affected.
One of my clients is a big owner of real estate. Among many others, they own a large hotel near the airport. Now that so many flights and conventions etc. have been cancelled, the hotel,has closed until further notice. Of course this means no income for the hotel, and that in turn could mean no rent can be paid to my client, which could put them in danger, too... and my work for them as well.

Rachel Phillips said...

No business, big or small, can simply turn off and stop trading for a month, or worse, longer, and then reverse it all and start trading again as if nothing has happened.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Tom - my thoughts exactly. Thanks - we are all in this together and that is one comfort I think.

the veg artist said...

In my area, and I suspect many other tourist areas, business already endure very slack times at this time of year. Their whole business model is built around high incomes in high season, and very low incomes at other times. The staff who work for them know this, and expect very small hours. These are often owner-run businesses, with owners living on the premises; they can be open without actually employing many people. Many hoteliers and cafe owners will shut completely anyway because it's the time of year that they have traditionally taken their own holidays - a short walk around Tenby would prove my point. If the owners of this type of business depended on high incomes during March/April, well, they would have folded well before now. But hey, what do I know?

Rachel Phillips said...

For small businesses for whom it is in their normal business pattern to be shut or their quiet time of year then you must be right veg artist on the basis of logic. Easter will be the litmus test for visitors coming or not. Cold Easters on the Norfolk coast often mean that visitors stay away but businesses do survive that too.

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