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The Repair Shop, changed shopping habits and growing vegetables: What will 2021 bring?

Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins, Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy New Year everyone. I don’t know about anyone else but I am desperate to get going with 2021.

The past few months have been odd, to say the least, but they have also provided a bit of a time out from the normality that we were all consumed by.

Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins
Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins

And I use the term ‘consumed by’ in a negative way because we were a bit all-consumed until Covid struck.

We were consumers of just about everything, without ever really stopping to think about the consequences. Covid stopped us in our tracks and, I hope, has made us just consider our place on the planet a little more.

Through a combination of Covid, a plethora of nature-focused programmes/articles/social media posts and our own observations, we started to notice things a bit more. Most telling was the clean air in our urban areas.

Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins
Washed Up column by Sarah Juggins

As the traffic reduced so the air quality improved. People said the birds were singing more loudly – in fact, the birds were singing at the same level, we were just making less noise.

Across the land people have rediscovered the pleasure of growing vegetables, of making things. The unexpected and huge success of BBC’s The Repair Shop – a programme about people mending broken family heirlooms – has sent people scurrying to search attics for long forgotten treasures and projects to repair them start.

The BBC's Repair Shop
The BBC's Repair Shop

Shopping habits have changed and local has become the new buzzword. Deli’s, farm shops, butchers and grocers are becoming the go-to for the family food shop.

And now, with a vaccine on the horizon, it has to be time to get back into the driving seat of work and business. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have provided thinking time.

They have also provided an opportunity for people to reevaluate how they work. There may well be a shift towards home working, but this doesn’t mean we have to work less creatively and less productively, quite the opposite in fact.

Those people lucky enough to lose the daily commute from their lives will gain time to add quality to their daily routine. And that can lead to smarter working.

So, I for one, am optimistic about the future. I want to get back to travel, eating out, socialising and meeting friends and family. But I also want to be a part of the exciting new world that could emerge from the pandemic.

The businesses that have survived the pandemic will be stronger for it.

The new businesses that are created in the wake of the pandemic will be exciting additions to our economy and, despite every bone in my body still believing that we were wrong to leave the EU, I am willing to embrace a future besides the EU, not within it.

Over-optimistic? Probably. Too full of post-Christmas cheer? More than likely. But I am hoping that 2021 signals new beginnings and new possibilities. Happy New Year!

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