• Nicola Revill

Looking forward to normal

Are you dreaming about life after lockdown? Do you find yourself wishing all was back to normal? Whether you're missing hanging out with family and friends, playing a team sport, eating out or travelling, you're certainly not alone.

Each day brings news of restrictions being relaxed or guidelines issued to help ease our lives in some small way while other allowances could remain out of reach for a while yet.

It is plain to see many people have been missing social connection and as a result a rise in loneliness must be inevitable. An increase in the use of online connectivity has been useful and a good way for friends and family to connect, it doesn’t replace the physical bond of meeting in person. A zoom chat can easily hide loneliness, anxiety and depression. In some cases, only being allowed to only meet via a phone screen reinforces that nothing is certain. Losing a sense of security and safety can be traumatic and added to that worries about finances, employment and the future can increase the impact.

I know I am looking forward to when I can do normal' things again, but hope I will approach them differently. I think there are lesson to be learned. The value of a relationship and being part of a community has been so important. Taking the time to enjoy my immediate area and being there for those nearest in heart as well as location. It has changed my values and priorities and looking forward to a better appreciation of each other and having a huge

gratitude for what we have. So I am not hoping for when things will get “back” to normal, but looking “forward” to a new normal. I will take with me the best parts and embrace it. As a world nation, we have all been effected by this pandemic to some degree and all been made acutely aware that nothing can be certain. I’ll be dropping the dysfunctional, inefficient and expensive. I’ll be embracing the new (including the low maintenance hairstyle), I will drive less, I will rush around less. I will stop feeling bad about not wishing to hug, kiss, shake hands or otherwise greet or say goodbye to people in a way I always felt uncomfortable with. I will start to follow what has always been my instinct. I am NOT going back to "normal”. Like my daughter, in lockdown I have learnt to throw away the bike stabilisers (in my case, metaphorically) and enjoy life with much less stuff helping to prop me up. The garden is flourishing with love and attention, the leaky shower and unsightly WC has seen a makeover, the vegetable plot shows great promise and the birds are grateful I keep remembering to refill the feeder regularly. The family pooch will need separation anxiety counselling when the house once again becomes less and less populated but for now she is enjoying being the centre of everyone’s attention.

Lastly, our attention throughout all of this has never been far from the café. We plan to reopen our doors on the 27th June for takeaway orders and we will begin to accept seated customers on the 4th July and look forward to meeting again many familiar faces as well as new ones.

We are taking the opportunity to open our doors like a new business and have given how we work a thorough makeover. We have produced an app which will allow customers wanting to order take out to order ahead of collecting. The app will also incorporate a loyalty reward scheme so returning customers can collect points which in turn can be exchanged for a free drinks on us. If you are interested in downloading the app it can be downloaded from the app store now, just search for The Greenhouse Horsforth or scan the QR code below.

From the 4th July we will also be offering the option to reserve a table as we have had to reduce the number of seating available in line with current Government guidelines. We have installed screens in some areas to further

protect our customers and ensure everyone feels comfortable to be seated in our café.

As well as introducing some new measures to ensure we are fully compliant with COVID-19 requirements, we have also used our time during lockdown to enhance the café in other ways including new windows and door, new upstairs carpet and a new look counter, and I hope you will like the updates.

Here’s to the new future and being able to serve you all great vegan food and drink again really soon. Keep a look out for our new menu.

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