The last hurrah… for summer

This week, being the end of summer, was the last hurrah for the holidays and the experience that comes with it.

  • Sitting in holiday motorway traffic discovering the ‘wonder’ that is techno rap
  • Re-discovering the joy of putting up, taking down and packing tents only to find, once again, that they never quite seem to fit back in the bag they came in
  • And, pretending that the meals you prepare ‘al fresco’ on an underpowered camping stove are really actually quite tasty – before being forced by hunger pangs retreat to the pub for a proper meal

Time to reflect

However, summer does normally grace us with a little more time than normal to think and reflect. This year was no different. So, these were the ‘big’ questions of Summer 2021.

  • Are the gardens in Yorkshire actually better tended than the rest of the country? It certainly seemed that way, maybe it is worrying sign of getting older…. what is next growing vegetables!
  • Why have people stopped wearing masks so quickly? Everything seemed super busy, and many seemed to just not care much anymore
  • Have I become sensitised to large crowds? Crowded streets, and restaurants all still seemed to tweak some pandemic anxiety… it does no bode well for the 6:57am commute to London Euston, which is normally chock-a-block
  • And, with the English seaside so busy… I wondered was this what seaside towns used to be like before mass airline travel?

Back to work

Of course, with all things being connected, thoughts also strayed back to implications for work too.

  • Does all this activity mean that the UK economy will bounce back more quickly than expected?
  • Many of us last year talked about a massive wave of debt. Will this be in fact little more than a large ripple, on what was already choppy waters anyway?
  • Are employees be also going to be feeling similarly nervous about commuting, crowds and being with lots of people?

Based off the discussions this summer, it does seems some of this may indeed be the case.

Certainly, for businesses that made it through the last 18months, the summer trading seems to have been good.

Many I spoke to, especially in hospitality industries heavily hit by the pandemic, were reporting it as super busy. Hopefully, they will have made up for at least some of the lost revenue. Of course, for those that did not make it (and there were still many closed stores), the outlook is no doubt less than favorable… but on balance it seemed like things were somewhat bouncing back positively at least.

Less Doom and Gloom?

For those of us in Collections, we are always expecting the next big event, getting ready for it, making sure we can manage the risk. It is kind of the job. It is also easy to always talk about and think the world is falling in.

In this case, hopefully, the impact will be indeed less than some of the grim scenarios we expected. I have little doubt it will be more nuanced.

But, time will tell and next month, with the end of furlough support, will be a critical time to watch, track the data and monitor for impacts (it is still worth getting ready now)

As for the commute and people’s anxiety, we just need to be respectful. It is just everyone is not necessarily fully comfortable yet. With time (and improving COVID infection/outcome numbers) it will gradually improve… but, one step at a time.

Have a good week and welcome back everyone.

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