Hello, welcome to the latest update. As I write we are in turbulent times with the national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope you are all keeping well and coping with the current restrictions. 

When the Prime Minister announced the current range of restrictions on the 23rd March we had to cease all business activity. Although our pianos are very important to us we are not an essential service and visiting multiple households for tuning and service calls carried too much risk of transmission to continue. Similarly, the showroom door closed on this day until such a time that the government advice allows it to reopen. Although the lack of income is obviously a concern the support from the government has been appreciated and we will be ready to open up again as soon as we are able to.

I have run my business for nearly thirty years now and in that time have always been busy. I often joke that if I wasn’t busy I would be busy trying to be busy! We are now in  the fifth week of the lockdown and it amounts to the longest amount of time off work that I have ever had. I am very fortunate to thoroughly enjoy my business but this forced closure has brought unexpected benefits. As well as not actually going out to work each day it is the thought and planning of work that has been so noticeable in its absence and a welcome rest. My family has been able to stay well and the time spent together has been enjoyable with the slow pace of each day being appreciated. The weather has been beautiful and I have enjoyed running most days in the fields and woods, often not seeing anyone at all. Decorating projects that have been stacking up, literally for years, are well underway with some awaiting the purchase of paint to be able to finish! And of course the piano, a wonderful opportunity to sit and play whenever the mood takes me. I have received some wonderful emails from customers telling me how much they are enjoying their pianos with the opportunity of time to sit and play. I’d be really pleased to hear from you if you are enjoying the same opportunity to make more music.

There seems to be an increased sense of community as we all look out for friends and neighbours, clap the NHS workers from our doorsteps and assist elderly relatives. I wonder how many lessons we will have learnt that may shape our day to day lives when restrictions are eventually lifted.

Let’s hope that from this difficult time we can find positive adjustments to our lives going forwards.

For anyone affected directly by the virus it must be an unimaginably difficult time. Of course, we all appreciate the hard work and challenges of those people caring for the sick and vulnerable. Our thoughts of support and care go to these people and to the older generation who potentially face a longer period of isolation ahead of them.

I hope that the next update will be describing a return to more normal business activity. In the meantime, I will be looking at this time to see what lessons I can learn from it myself and for the business. 

I hope that you all remain safe and well.

Best wishes,
Ben

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