Like a whippet on crystal meth, I’m exploding with boundless energy, now that Boris has set the retail hare running.

I am thrilled and delighted to say that Michelsberg Tailoring will be reopening it’s doors on Monday 15th June, and not a moment too soon.

My liver, to paraphrase Scotty in Star Trek, “cannae take any more cap’n, or she’ll blow!”

All good things must come to end, and I have to say, for the most part, lockdown has been kind to me.

I’ve chilled out, cooked curry, bonded with the fruit of my loins, and fought off the peripatetic urge to drive to Barnard Castle and challenge my myopic sensibilities.

As far as Dominic Cummings goes (and that’s further than most), and looking at his wardrobe, he should forget new glasses and go and buy a white stick.

This Monday was my first full day back in the office, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been to reconnect with existing customers and get people booked into the diary.

Over the last ten weeks, I’ve come to appreciate just how much I love, and have missed, my job.

That’s very simply because, it’s being with people.

Not on a zoom call, but in real life.

Sharing the same space, connecting, laughing, building a relationship together built on trust, fun and fine threads.

A customer, who lives and works in Central London, told me recently his company have asked him to work from home for the foreseeable future.

My reply was, “are you going to ask them to pay you rent for the room they are commandeering as your office?”

Reducing overhead, like rent and rates, is music to many a CEO’s ears at the moment, but a company who sees their future as a nomadic tribe of video-conferencers, is in danger of doing a Cummings (being shortsighted)

Bringing people together face to face (not screen to screen) creates energy, rapport and camaraderie.

A business, like a family, needs a home.

It’s location, the architecture, style, smells, sounds, and crucially the attitude of the people within it, are the very building blocks of a company’s DNA, culture and identity.

They send a message to staff, suppliers and customers, this is who we are, this is what we stand for.

I suppose it’s a question of balance and market sector, but sat by your lonesome in a back bedroom in Stevenage, with a wilting Yucca plant and wobbly IKEA desk, is hardly the environment to breed enthusiasm and loyalty.

As far as bespoke tailoring goes, it’s impossible to do this online, certainly with any degree of success.

I’m not going to hold up cloths and buttons to a webcam, send you a tape-measure in the post, and direct your partner to move it  “up a bit, left a bit,” over a shaky broadband connection.

My business needs us to get together in the flesh, and pending any further ridiculous Mekon-headed behaviour, we’ll manage to keep the ‘R’ rate in check, and I’ll be in a position to roll out the red carpet in due course.

It goes without saying, I have all the PPE wear a resident of County Durham could desire, and am taking every precaution possible to keep my customers and I safe.

There is no doubt a brave new world stands before us and it ain’t over yet.

There’s talk of global recession, concerns over brexit, a hundred reasons to worry, but hear this.

I think we should be proud of ourselves.

Not just the people on the front line who’ve sacrificed so much, but for the courage, commitment and can-do attitude of so many.

We’ve kept calm, got organised, turned negatives into positives, and looking at my Whatsapp feed, have laughed in the face of adversity.

There are challenges to come, but if we remain optimistic and continue to help others as best as we can, it won’t be long before a socially undistanced party at Michelsberg Towers will shake the very foundations upon which the City of Leeds is built.

I wish you all “fair winds and a following sea” over the coming weeks.


“Warp 10 ahead, Cap’n!”