So that's me done with fairs for a bit. Cancelled any and everything for the next two months, perhaps for longer. In fact, I have no actual bookings in place, so any I go to will be ad-hoc.
And while I'm going to keep one eye on the political situation (which I hold accountable), I'm going to keep the other on school holidays. I said at the beginning of the year: no fairs in school holidays, and now I really mean no fairs in school holidays.
Can you spot the difference?
No nor me. Except now I mean it. I think.
Obviously the pound falling to near parity with the Euro might mean a surge of interest from overseas and a corresponding pick-up in trade, in which case I'll pack my little case again and get back on the road. But until I see evidence of it, I'm done.
My colleagues don't agree and some are ramping up the number of fairs they do instead. Up to them. I know we're all in this together, but we are all individuals, and I'm choosing to improve the profitability of my business this way.
Talking of in this together, which we weren't but are now, my recent experience at a fair was salutary. I may not appear the happiest of people: my face is frustratingly moulded to negative and doesn't usually reflect my inner mood, but I do try and smile at colleagues, customers, anyone when our eyes meet. Two stands at a recent fair were manned by the exact opposite. Grumpy, unsmiling, even when smiled at, faces.
As I walked past one, I smiled winningly (no spinach, no bogies: I was on peak form) and got absolutely frozen-out. But I continued on through the corridors to ask the opinion of another, much happier and smilier dealer (who will recognise herself: waves) and who recommended I go on for advice to another specialist dealer.
So I braced myself and went to meet this chap and ask his advice. Well, he could not have been nicer. He shared his specialist knowledge with pride and generosity and made me feel very welcome and totally not stupid for not understanding (knowing nothing about) his speciality. He told me things I had no idea of, gave me tips and was utterly delightful for twenty minutes. I thanked him thoroughly and on my way back to my stand smiled happily at the grumpy faced dealer I had first seen.
It seems we are all in this together after all, just some of us more together than others.