This month I thought we’d kick things off with the meaning of life.

Maslow would have us believe it is to reach ‘self-actualisation.’ Robin Williams, in the film Dead Poets Society, would probably just say ‘Carpe Diem.’ I like the phrase ‘smile and the world smiles with you’ and believe, although a bit schmaltzy, that it is up to us all to find and bring as much joy into this world as possible. Sick bags anyone?

This month the pressure has been on delivering a crazy amount of wedding suits and at times I’ve felt like I was running on empty. But in amongst the chasing of coat makers, cloth merchants and pressers, there have been some truly lovely moments.

As many of you know, I’m not shy about complimenting our own work but it is a real rush when a customer grins in the mirror at final fitting, we shake hands and they say thank you. I’ve had some really touching emails and notes, and one such ray of sunshine in my inbox went as follows:

“It has been an absolute joy to know and work with you and the whole experience has been fantastic from start to finish. The finished article is something I shall wear with pride and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing wedding suit.

You’re a top bloke and Lisa and I wish you all the very best with the business and your growing family.”

Just what you need on a Monday morning.

And last week I received this picture from the recently married Mr & Mrs Arkle.

James is a rugby player with the shoulders and legs of an ox and the waist of a beaver. He wanted something seriously fitted along the lines of Tom Ford but was struggling to find something that fit.

I think we did rather well. The cut is a classic one button, with a shawl lapel in the finest silk. The cloth, a wonderfully traditional black Barathea, is set off with a silver silk lining and a few Michelsberg touches to provide the proverbial cherry on top. In short, a veritable Bobby Dazzler. And don’t they look happy! 🙂

I am lucky in the fact that my working life does provide me with a great deal of satisfaction, but like all businesses there are still problems and hassles to be dealt with and at times you just need a break to re-charge.

So, last week, it was my turn to shut up shop and go away in search of some joyful moments of my own, and my god, I found them. The destination, Croyde Bay in North Devon and this was the view from my bedroom window.

If you don’t know already, one of the biggest loves in my life is surfing and is one of the rare moments when I actually stop talking. That first wave at Saunton Sands washed off six months of hard graft and was food for the soul.

As I slid along a perfectly peeling right-hander on my ten foot noserider, time stood still. I felt weightless and totally connected to nature. After what felt like hours, I kicked out, dropped under the water, and returned to the surface, grinning like a madman. I screamed out in sheer bloody happiness, the hiss and smell of salt water all around me, the sun sparkling down on the crashing surf.

If the meaning of life is finding joy, then that moment was it and I’d trade in all the bespoke suits in the world to have it again.

Other highlights included early – and I do mean early – morning walks with my little girl Avy (pictured below), and dinner with my wife Nikki, whilst the baby-sitters did their duty. Thanks Rosemary & Colin!

Yes, I return to the wicked world of work with my batteries full, in search of future smiles and Maslow’s finest.