The Bi-weekly Muse

Wednesday 16th September 2020

My wife and I have now been married for eleven years. I’m not going to jump up and down and proclaim I know the secret of a long marriage, though eleven years might be judged as long these days. I might make a few points around having a happy marriage though 😁

Our wedding rings

We love each other. We annoy each other, we confuse each other, we make each other laugh, we snuggle up together when it’s cold, we go out together, we sometimes spend time apart. We talk to each other and we understand one another. There’s no magic formula for a good marriage, and what works for us may not work for everyone, but we’re a good fit for one another.

Back to School

Term time, once again

I’m not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, education is important. The way in which it was disrupted for several months will have hurt the progress of kids of all ages, all over the country (and the world). On the other hand, children are super-spreaders of Covid-19, as they are often asymptomatic and therefore able to mix with a lot of people before it comes apparent they’re the ones spreading it. My daughter’s school is, like others, taking precautions, but I can’t help but think the rush to get kids back to the classroom is motivated by the desire to get the parents back to offices and shops – except we now know that many office-based roles can actually be done from home.

This creates a dilemma for some. If people can save money on transport costs, they will surely want to. They can then invest their saved cash on other things, such as household projects, holidays etc. On the other hand, this might have an impact on the train companies, regional flights, petrol companies and so on. For example, if I had the choice of paying out several hundred pounds per year to travel to London to work in an office, or doing the same job from home, I’d stay at home. I could spend my money in local restaurants and shops instead.

In short, I’d be supporting the local economy more than that of a city many miles away. If people are suddenly not going to work in office buildings, what becomes of those buildings? Business rates will still have to be paid, as will electric, gas and water bills. How does this shift when leases are up? What will the train companies do when faced with a fall in passenger numbers and therefore revenue?

Frankly, to keep people incentivised to travel long distances (because time is another element here), there needs to be a serious look at the cost of travel. Train fares in the UK are extortionate compared to Europe. Why would someone choose to spend an hour (if not more) of their day travelling back and forth to work, if they don’t need to?

I do understand that jobs are on the line if normal service isn’t resumed – but there needs to be a damn good reason to take on the hassle and cost (not to mention risk of catching Covid-19) from going back to the office once more. Having the kids back at school certainly means that some people can return to work, wherever that might be, but for those who don’t need to incur extra expenses… I don’t blame them for not doing so.

Book Sales

Well, it’s been a slow first month. I’m not especially surprised, as my efforts to promote The Awakening are still in progress. With a bit of the luck the various locations I’m promoting the book through will bear fruit. I can but keep going!

On that side of things, work on the sequel continues. I don’t have a set date in mind for when it will be finished (and it will need editing and proof-reading prior to publishing), though if I could get it out by Christmas, that would be a result in my eyes. It’s a target to aim for.

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