2020 thoughts and 2021 (temporary) changes
I’ve been putting off writing this for a week or so but it seems like an opportune time to get it done as other small businesses I know have either finished for the holidays or are winding down and I’m getting to that stage myself. If you want to skip to the bit about changes I won't be offended - just scroll down to the 'Temporary changes' section.
Fair warning – it’s a bit of a disjointed blog post! Feeling pretty emotional today thinking about the latest tier / level announcements, faster spreading covid and worrying about friends and family, and even people I don’t know, knowing they’re in a high risk category or work anywhere that puts them at greater risk, physically and mentally. If I could give the world a collective hug right now, I would.
Any other year, this would be the time a fair few folk start to look forward to Christmas and whatever that means for each of us. Family time maybe, time off, or having a quieter shift at work. I used to work in hospitals – not in a medical capacity, but first in the catering department and then in admin. The catering side required us to work either Christmas day or over New Year, neither of which I minded apart from needing to arrange a lift there and back because there wasn’t any public transport running. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like working in a hospital this year. Or in a supermarket. Or as a delivery driver, or indeed any role involving the public.
I keep seeing the phrase “we’re not all in the same boat, but we’re in the same storm”, and that feels about right; a more empathic response and an acknowledgement that yeah we're all living through this but some have it so much harder than others. I work from home and rarely see people. My trips to the post office are the only time I really see anyone and even then it’s rarely busy. I get shopping delivered so no busy shops or travelling, and I haven’t had any form of social life for a considerable amount of time either. Who knew there were so many upsides to being an introvert? My eldest son on the other hand is a carer in the community. Lots of travelling to and from different folks houses and he usually loves going out and seeing friends. He moved out in February this year so it’s been a stark change for him, not just living on his own for the first time, but not being able to see friends or go out (or party in!). A memorable year, just not in the way anyone imagined. He also has chronic asthma and is considered as someone more at risk so I worry. A lot. I miss the rest of my family and haven't seen them at all this year. I'm very glad internet is a thing. Yes, I'm aware I'm rambling. But that's how my brain works - lots of thoughts bouncing around and some of them escape. At least they're sort of making sense ... I hope!
Anyway, back to winding down.
I’m still posting right up to the 22nd (special delivery in time for Christmas) and the shop will be open over the holidays but I won’t be posting anything until January 4th I think? Or possibly the 5th if there’s a bank holiday. I will be checking in with emails and social media sporadically over the holidays so if you need to ask anything, do get in touch and I’ll get back to you. I’ll likely still be making trees because I can’t help myself – anything to avoid organizing the house!
So, January 1st 2021 is when the transition period ends for the UK leaving the EU. As it stands, I still have no idea what I’m supposed to have prepared for because there is still nothing concrete in place. The only thing I know I need to do which I’ve done, is get an EORI number. But that’s it. The UK government have not managed to negotiate a deal and with less than two weeks to go, it’s all looking pretty grim. I don’t have the energy to rant about it which I’m sure you’ll be grateful to hear; I voted to remain and regardless of how anyone voted, I’m pretty sure this shambles wasn’t what they had in mind. There is a point I’m getting to so bear with me!
Given that I have no working knowledge of how shipping systems are going to implement all necessary changes from January, and seeing the already massive queues and delays, I’ve made the extremely difficult decision to temporarily suspend shipping to anywhere outwith the UK after December 21st. Not only because of leaving the EU but with massive delays due to covid, not much is moving at the moment anyway making it impossible to estimate arrival dates for anything posted internationally.
I’m hoping this will be very short term as it feels horrible to suddenly shrink availability like this. I want to be world inclusive not whatever this is, but simply, the risk of unexpected costs is unknown at the moment and I can’t afford to absorb losses from potential extra charges from shipping or from not filling in forms properly (an absolute dread!). That’s not even taking into account the delays currently and probably several months into 2021. Hopefully, once everything moves from theoretical to practical, I can quickly get up to speed on what I need to do and open Twysted Roots up to the world again.
The initial plan is to keep January 2021 UK shipping only and reviewing for February, but will be following developments closely and keep you updated once there is more clarity on everything. I’m hugely sorry to have to do it but it’s seems like the most viable and sensible approach at the moment.
And with that out the way, the only other thing I wanted to say was thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the love and support (and sales!) you’ve given Twysted Roots this year. In March / April I thought that was going to be it for my small business and honestly I would have been heartbroken at losing something I’ve put my everything into. I’ve shed a few tears for other businesses I know that have had to close and I’m very aware this could still be me in the future because of both the pandemic and Brexit. But for now I’m still standing (well mostly sitting) and so grateful for that to be the case.
Stopping here and wishing you much love, light, joy and hope for the future, whatever it may bring.
Keep safe, take care and Merry Christmas