With the events world and hospitality at a standstill, we thought you might be interested to know what we have been up to during the lockdown…..
I have continued to work through the Pandemic – in normal years we would be flat out with bookings and deliveries at this time of the year but this year we have had to deal with refunds and moving bookings to 2021 which was very busy at first but has now quietened down. More recently, the day has revolved around the stresses of home schooling, a lot of gardening and tennis. I haven’t been tested for the virus but my father and his partner have both had it back in March (Dad, who is 79, was very ill for a short while) and my brother and his wife have both had it. My brother found out he had it when he signed up as guinea pig for the vaccine trial in Oxford where his wife teaches. Neither he nor his wife had any discernible symptoms.
This has certainly been a very different summer for us at Sporting Agenda and for me personally. Ed and I have been busy re-booking clients for next year where possible or making refunds if not. In the last few days however, we have been glimpsing a chink of light at the end of the tunnel and sold some new packages for Wimbledon 2021.
Away from Sporting Agenda, my husband and I own our village pub which has been sadly closed since March. However, we are just undertaking a major refurb before hopefully opening at the end of July.
Personally, I would normally be clocking up numerous miles taking our four children to their various cricket matches and social engagements, however this year we have battled with online schooling and stopping them killing each other! Feeding, laundry and cleaning for four teenagers and a husband is also a full-time job!! As a Parish Councillor I have been helping deliver prescriptions and food to vulnerable parishioners who have been unable to get out and about.
At this time of the year I would normally be preparing for the Wimbledon championship, yet during these unprecedented times, whilst being furloughed, I have had the chance to spend precious time with my family, horse and dogs. My days have been preoccupied with the continuous struggle of home schooling, enjoying the weather in the garden and improving on my golf swing thanks to a lockdown purchase of an outdoor practice golf net.
I’ve been furloughed in lockdown for 3 months now – what a very strange time it’s been for all of us but at the start of all this I made a pact to try to do something constructive each day. I started with re-training our syndicate ex-racehorse who had been in training to run this season. I then turned my attention to a building project we started at home just a couple of weeks before lockdown. I’d like to think I’ve been of some help to the builder, but he probably thinks differently!! However, together we have built a new terrace and re-designed the garden…
We live in the beautiful village of East Garston, barely a mile away from the Sporting Agenda offices. This is a close community and we have a few Septuagenarians and Octogenarians who have needed help with their shopping. Whilst this really hasn’t been a problem, they’re a pretty lively bunch who not only like to chat (a lot) but a couple of them think nothing of whizzing up a cocktail or opening a bottle when I deliver the shopping, even though it’s only 10am!!
Thinking ahead, I’m looking forward to life getting back to something like normal which I don’t think is too far away now. I’m also looking forward to starting the re-training of my horse in August and I hope he’s got a good memory! I feel very fortunate to live where I do; I’ve had more freedom than most during these times and I consider myself lucky.
It was a scary time initially and I found the best way to cope was to only read the news once a day. I have been lucky that neither myself nor my family or friends have been ill with Covid, and life did not change radically as it did for some. I live in the countryside and could still ride and look after my horses. Being able to get fresh air and exercise was crucial to not going stir crazy with everything else on lockdown. My brother had a child in Denmark in early March, and I have not yet been able to travel to Denmark to see him. I am hoping the UK government will agree on air bridges to the EU so I won’t have to quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival back in the UK, as is currently the rule.
Wimbledon being cancelled was undoubtedly the right decision, but such a disappointment for our many clients for whom this is a once in a lifetime event. Most clients have carried over their bookings to 2021 and have been very understanding of the difficulties Covid brought. I am now looking forward to helping more clients achieve their dream of attending Wimbledon in 2021 once we all get used to the new normal way of life.
I’ve been loving lock down! Apart from the home schooling, it’s been great. I do miss singing with my band and performing but I’m sure it’ll all get back to normal one day. I think we’re very lucky to live in the countryside, going for walks and bike rides with my family, as I’m not sure how I’d feel if I lived in a flat in London.
It was a huge shame that Wimbledon was called off but I look forward to helping Ed, Sue and the team next year.