This will be our first Christmas in Hay, both for business and home. And what a strange Christmas run in we all will have thanks to Omicron. Up till a few days ago the town was bustling and busy, now at what should be a prime trading time, everywhere is quiet as people heed the scientists’ advice (and ignore certain politicians) and do their best to keep safe.
It is the pubs and restaurants that are bearing the brunt of course. We popped into the Old Black Lion a few days ago for a drink. It is a wonderfully characterful old establishment rightly famed for its excellent food. Normally they would be hosting multiple Christmas parties and groups. They told us that 80% of that night’s bookings had just cancelled. The food had been bought, the staff booked, and really I don’t know how they and all the other places suffering the same are meant to survive. Let’s hope they get some help soon.
On a happier note at the end of November Hay had a brilliant Autumn Festival. We sponsored Miriam Margolyes event and she gave a fascinating talk, a mix of serious observation, comment, and lots of humour. She should be shortlisted as a National Treasure, but that would make her scoff.
And I cannot end without saying just how pretty the town looks every evening as dark falls and the Christmas lights come on. It really is a magical town. When a bit of normality returns, do visit. And in the meantime, stay safe, and I hope you find comfort and joy now and in the New Year.