Socially distanced coincidence?

A couple of new developments expected this week with the prospect of lockdown restrictions being further relaxed here.

The timing of all this has come as a bit of a relief as I am due to be away for a few days and the combination of outdoor dining and the current weather did not sound particularly enticing.

And, with all the focus on social distancing over the last year, I have noticed that something, subconsciously, could be going on. Parking the car the other day, all the vehicles were parked in every other space.

A coincidence…? maybe, but it did really feel like social distancing… for cars. I think maybe we have been doing this for too long now! Time to get back out there.

So workwise, tomorrow it is back to early starts and travel. Not something many of us have missed really, but it is going to be an interesting week I think…

Have a good week everyone.

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The bag where time stood still

In all likelihood, I will be out on the road next week. This will be the first time in over a year workwise, and I am really looking forward to it. It should be different and a refreshing change, I hope.

What this does mean is that I now need to get ready. It is going to be shirts not shorts, an early start on the road and I will, of course, need a bag or two.

There has not been much need for my laptop bag the last year. It is not that it has not been opened, it has, but for much of the year it has sat in the corner of the room, pretty much acting as laptop storage. But now, with it needing to be back in use a spring clean was needed and it was like walking back in time to our prepandemic life.

All the accoutrements, and detritus, of road warrior life were still there.

  • The backup battery power pack – now flat
  • 5 USB (micro B) cables – no idea what I used these for
  • 3 headsets – different colours, and
  • various assorted plastic bags – which seem to have previously lost their way to the bottom of the bag!

And, then there were the pointers to life pre-lockdown.

The old business cards, handwritten notes from meetings just before lockdown and of course the lemsip/cough sweets, trying to ward off that ‘cold’ we all seemed to have before we really knew about COVID.

Tidying up can sometimes be cathartic and sometimes reflective. A lot has happened over the last year. It will be interesting to see what has changed this week…

Other stories this week

Updates to the IVA protocol and DRO eligibility criteria were released. A widening of eligibility (DRO) to help more people get out of problem debt.

Significantly reduced impairment charges. Santander appeared to stand out, with the most significant drops in impairment reserve requirements, however, the pattern was also repeated across the rest of the banking sector too. It seems, maybe, that COVID has not been quite the disaster on lending payments as first expected back in 2020. Some of this is undoubtedly due to lower lending (pent-up demand?) and also hope this is a sign that things are looking up too. (It is also of course good expectation management on the banks’ behalf too).

Blockchain going mainstream. Increasingly, it seems, governments are becoming interested in blockchain and creating their own. More and more it feels like it is reaching a critical point for mainstream adoption. This is despite all fun and games around dogecoin and bitcoin this last week or so.

Lastly, with the news of sub-prime, near-prime lenders closing operations, you wonder how much fin-tech, and use of data to search for low risk can help customers find funding at low rates. JP Morgan is launching a credit card for people with no credit scores and data can be used to really personalize loans. The world of data, it seems, could change things a lot. It is one to watch developments closely.

Have a good weekend everyone…

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One cup or two?

Another week and judging by the number of pieces of paper on my desk, indicating things to do (and to remember – it’s all very high tech!), things are looking up. It is now likely I will be out and about again soon.

Whilst there is nothing as good as a piece of paper on your keyboard to remember to do something, I am starting to think this, and some of my other ‘management systems’, which have built up over lockdown are going to have to readjust to life on the road again… more change.

Another area of adjustment, refreshment. Having moved from drinking coffee on the road, to tea at home, it has saved a bundle. However in this journey, I now seem to have moved from cups to mugs, let it brew to leave the bag in, and now add a second bag to the cup, all in search of a good cuppa.

Only this week I was thinking ‘are making the tea less strong these days…’ but maybe this is not the problem. With the spectre of buying coffee again, this could get very expensive, very quickly… so time to cut back I think!

All joking aside, it is nice to be considering these things again. Fingers crossed it continues.

Have a good week everyone.

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