Have you seen a film called The Lost Boys? There is a scene, early in the film, where Kiefer Sutherland’s character challenges Michael to a race. Sutherland roars up on a massively big and powerful motorbike attempts to goad Michael, the owner of a smaller and slower bike into a race. Michael, knowing that he has a fight on his hands says “I can’t beat your bike!” Sutherland looks him over and says “All you have to do is keep up.”
It’s been said before, notably by Stephen Fry but I believe by also others, that one good thing about Britain is that we love an underdog. Something in our collecting character wants the little guy to success. I take a measure of comfort in this too. I hope it is still true. I think it is. One of our better traits.
Another image that I try to keep in mind. Towering cliffs at the coast. Rock edifices that appear immense, immovable and utterly permanent. Then, I think of the little waves, washing up against the rocks. For a long time, the waves break with futility against the stone. But, every so often, can you guess what happens?
I hope you’ve been in to see us at our little place in Sheffield. I also hope we had time for a chat when you came in. If you’ve caught us in right mood, you’ll perhaps find us self-deprecating. You might assume that we’re not natural business people. That’s probably true. I created our place, not out of hubris, but because I simply had to. I’m not even sure exactly why sometimes. It’s just a feeling that I had when I was younger. Jude, in her own quiet, persistent way, really made it happen. People sometimes underestimate her when they come in. Ignore her sometimes even. I can tell you though, she’s the one. We’re quietly competitive, you might say.
We’ll always be up against it I think. It will never be easy. It’d be boring if it was eh? Bigger bonsai nurseries, giant online shopping websites, busy fools. Tell you what though; I’ve been at this for a while now. Website for twenty years, shop for eleven. There’s a little kernel of something, I’m sure of it. We take the wins where we can, by providing old fashioned service in an old fashioned shop, at competitive prices.
Anyway, if you’ve taken the time to read this, then thank you for permitting me a few minutes of navel-gazing. Back to getting orders ready….