travel with me from SAHM to working mum….
What a difference a week makes. Or even half a week, as it’s only Wednesday. Last week I moped about, barely engaging with the vague writing assignments my ‘editor’ had kindly given. New shops? Yawn. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick with my judgements.
Fast forward four days. Off to town to do the journalistic equivalent of cold-calling, vox pop interviews. Firstly, everyone thinks you’re a chugger, even though you’re not wearing a fluorescent gilet designed to raise awareness of cancer in the common English snail, or other such worthy charity. Secondly, as soon as you mention ‘election’ every Surrey person scurries off (all people in Surrey are middle class and therefore do not discuss their politics in the street – what do you mean, you’re not Tory, do other parties exist?)
Fortunately, for me not them, I bumped into a couple of my friends coming out of M&S. I think I’ll be doing them favours for a very long time. After that, the interviews came thick and fast – it happens like that, we almost had a queue at one point.
Next we dropped in on a new business initiative for the town centre aiming to co-ordinate services and represent shopkeepers and traders, giving shoppers a better experience. They were buzzing with the the zeal of the newly-appointed. A great source of information for my ‘new shops’ assignment. And a fab offer, a tour of the beat with the ‘blue caps’.More luck. This morning the sun shone as I paced 3 miles around Guildford CBD with Blue Cap Pete. What a mine of information he was. He’s spoken to all of the shop traders so knows who’s new, what’s coming and who’s leaving. I’m writing about my morning for The Guildford Dragon, so no more for now, except: new shops are all about people. We went into a recently-opened clothes shop where the manager didn’t even have her phone line installed. And we chatted: customers, owners, gossip about other shops closing/opening.
Next time I won’t be so dismissive about covering new shops, because behind every fancy window dressing is a person trying to get other people through the doors.