Oh yes we are back! Thank heavens and let’s hope it lasts for good this time.

What a delight it has been. I was so excited to be opening up again and before I even left home I managed to get a shout out on Virgin radio. They were giving the opportunity to all those non essential businesses who were reopening, to get a mention – you simply had to text in. I honestly couldn’t believe my ears when Karen George was mentioned almost immediately! And then, at 9.45am I had a brief 5 minute live interview on Times Radio all about re-opening and the challenges small businesses had faced. They wanted to know what I had done to keep going and whether I had taken advantage of the Government Grants etc. I was nervous at first, but they were so easy going, I felt quite comfortable in the end.

Then, I opened at 10am having collected a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the shop from Citrus Flowers (image below) – it felt like my first ever day in business all over again – a reason to celebrate, so I treated myself! Remarkably, it snowed in Emsworth and there was a very cold wind. Consequently, I was like a coiled spring waiting for customers that didn’t come – ha ha! Whether they thought it would be too busy on the first day of re-opening or if it was the weather putting them off, I don’t know, but I think I only saw 4 ladies before lunchtime.

Thankfully, that changed in the afternoon and for the rest of the week since, it has been lovely and steady. It has been so wonderful to see real people again – engaging, chatting, trying on clothing and footwear, and bagging themselves a few bargains from our sale rail too.

I am so grateful to still have the shop – whilst I will keep up with social media and selling online, there is nothing quite as rewarding as experiencing in person, the joy of someone finding something they really love that makes them feel good – and their kindness about how helpful you’ve been and what a lovely selection we have.

You’ll remember the dreaded leak and that my husband renewed the ceiling tiles last week? Well guess what? Correct, it’s back! URRRGGGHHHHH!

The poor plumber has been tearing his hair out and has tried everything without any luck so far. Of course, it doesn’t happen when he is there!

I was about to leave at 5pm on Wednesday when I heard a drip, and I looked up, and sure enough, a tiny semi circle had started to form a new wet patch.

This time I took matters into my own hands and played detective.

Having discussed with the owner of the flat above that we had new tenants and that they were very nice, I went to introduce myself and to ask if they were running any appliances. He confirmed that he had had a bath about half an hour earlier and because the plumber had left the bath panel off in order to monitor the situation, he established that the leak was definitely coming from the bath! Fortunately, he had taken video footage to show the plumber – they had previously filled the bath half full and it hadn’t leaked, but of course, when he later used the bath himself, it started leaking – so I think once more weight is added, it puts pressure on a connection and hey presto it starts raining on me!

So, the plumber has been called back to fix things now that he has some video footage to work with, so I truly hope this is the end of the saga!

On another subject, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of you who asked if I would continue with my weekly emails and how you have enjoyed reading them. I think many of you thought that I only did it because of lockdown but no! you don’t get rid of me that easily!!! I will keep sending them to keep you up to date – but please feel free to unsubscribe if you have had enough! I won’t be offended.

As always, sending you lots of love, good health and best wishes.

Look out for each other and be kind.

Our website is still available for online orders, click and collect and delivery.