8th April 2020

I Need To Get This Off My Chest!

Harry The Courier Boy.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have deemed him an essential worker
I have just asked my daughter, Francesca, (who's in Melbourne) as to the best way of writing this newsletter. Should I be very diplomatic and rather 'vanilla' or stay true to form and be rather opinionated and outspoken?  Her reply was, 'Hmm that's a tricky one...maybe somewhere in the middle.' There does come a time, when, as a parent, you realise your children are actually way more sensible than you,  and with that in mind I will ' play this one down the middle.' 
Over the last couple of weeks I have recieved many e mails asking if my online shop is open for business. Initially I was a little surprised, our website very clearly states that we are well and truly closed, and please, do not place an order. What was going on? My customers are lovely, they are smart, and surely they can read? And then it dawned on me...Apparently  The ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has officially classed knitting wool as  an essential commodity (for mental wellbeing) along with food, medical supplies, vetenary services and replacment key household items. I am incredibly impressed that The Ministry has officially reconised  knitting wool as a key player in caring for the mental health of our citizens, while we are firmly in the grips of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

As an aside, if anyone from The ministry reads this newsletter, may I suggest that my husband is allowed to purchase sandpaper, a tin of paint and some replacement parts for his electric drill. My youngest daughter would like some fabric, reels of sewing thread and a pair of dressmaking scissors, and my eldest daughter, (Middle of the Road Francesca) wants a puppy. All the above items serve an incredibly important role in maintaining the mental health of my family. Of course, under the current conditions that's a stupid idea...apart from the necessity for a puppy.

So, I am aware that numerous wool retailers are now selling knitting wool online. Here are my thoughts, and I may waver a little from 'somewhere down the middle'

1.I do not think knitting wool is an essential commodity. I believe the 'wool may have been pulled over the eyes of The Ministry' I know knitting serves many purposes, and soothing frayed nerves may be one of them, however, having wool touted as a necessity for the mental health of the nation, may be streching things somewhat.

2. To service my online store I would have to travel to my shop. This would involve leaving my 'bubble' and my local area. Are we not instructed to Stay Home-Save Lives? I am immunocompromised and am taking every precaution to stay healthy during this time, so I can ensure I can reopen my shop as soon as I'm allowed. 

3. The essential knitting wool would then have to be couriered to my customer. I quote from The Ministies website...Courier and parcel services should only be used for essential goods. During this period, our postal service will be busy helping our society recieve items and goods that are essential. Adding additional pressure and burden to that service may impact on societie's wider ability to get through this period, and stop the virus in it's tracks'. Am I missing something?

The situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented, it is incredibly stressful and effects us all in different ways. I for one am worried about my mortgage repayments, my shop rent, and how to pay my suppliers for all my winter stock (which is currently piled high in my store room) However, in the grand scheme of things, these really don't matter, as we have to look at the bigger picture. If we had every single business owner  (who I am sure have similar worries) justifying their business as essential, then we would have thousands  more people moving between home and work and  more couriers on the roads, jeapordising the good work the majority of the country is doing by staying in their bubble. I cannot stress enough how much I would love to be taking your money right now and sending you all  lovely large 'mental health care packages'- however, I understand my role to play in all this and I will not be travelling to my shop until our lockdown is lifted.

If you are anything like me, I'm sure you all have a stash of odd balls and scraps of wool tucked awayat the back of the cupboard. Might I suggest taking this opportunity to do some creative knitting , maybe for premature babies or how about jumpers for the many teddies who are hanging around our  streets at the moment.

I'll end on a light hearted note. Please check out my facebook posts,  there will be regular updates...all very 'tongue in cheek' and not at all 'middle of the road'.
Tigger is waiting for an essential delivery...
I think it's a puppy!
I hope to see you all very soon and in the meantime please stay safe,stay home and knit. 
Fran x

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