Honestly, it's a relief - a Personal View

November 01, 2020

As I type this, on the Sunday morning after the PM announced Lockdown 2,  I'm sitting watch a father play Guess Who with his son. The son is quite young, so he has adapted the game so only Dad needs to do the guessing. To my left, aptly, a group of flatmates are trying to save us all from a Pandemic. Two intense games of chess are happening.

I'm trying to weld these images into my mind, because I know we will not be seeing them for the next few weeks. From our point of view, if not necessarily the health of the nation, the fact that half-term was the last week before lockdown has been a joyous thing; the cafe had bustled with families enjoying time together. 

It's been brilliant watching our staff interacting, teaching, cooking, and even cocktailing. They are marvellous, and we're so relieved that we will be able to continue to look after them as they deserve.

It's been obvious to us for some time that Lockdown of some sort was coming. This isn't the place for us to discuss when it should have happened, or whether having schools open will make lockdown longer.

The strain of waiting has been immense. Now it's here, we feel much calmer. We sorta-kinda know what we need to do, as opposed to desperately trying to invent rules and interpret guidelines in a way that makes sense to us and are not too annoying to our customers.

We have even more heart-felt respect for our customers who are teachers. You guys are going to be one of the front-lines in keeping the country going, and we've had to sample a small amount of the disciplining you will have to do over the next while.

I think it's fair to say most people in hospitality have been close to breaking point. Like much of the nation, the strains on our mental health have been immense. While none of the owner worries have dissipated, we can now at least take an opportunity to breathe and, frankly, collapse for a few days.

So, we have an immediate plan for the next few days. We are *not* going to be fully open as normal - we worry that there will be a surge of "last party before lockdown" going on, which will inevitably lead to a surge of more Covid; we don't think it's worth opening for that few hundred quid.

  • Monday through Wednesday, we will be open from 10am to 7pm, as both cafe and shop. 
  • We will be running down food stocks so we throw away as little as possible.
  • We are going to stay open till 7pm so people can pick up and buy games after their work.

When we close on Wednesday evening, it will be for a month.

Then we will take a deep breath, do a deep clean, and see where we are - as soon as we have plans we will let you know.


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