Omigod - Here we go again...again....again....again.

Just like the toxic conservative government reign, it seems that our Covid adventure is never going to end. The sudden emergence, and exponential explosion of the Omigod mutation which has been metaphorically described by the blonde, bumbling, ultra-fertile grandson of a Turkish journalist as a tidal wave hurtling towards us, promises to deliver the worst misery yet experienced during the stress of the pandemic over the four waves during the last two years. The latest three word slogan "Get Boosted Now" has been scraped from the barrel, and we've seen the usual pattern of nothing...wait...., use the media to criticise opposition that hasn't been in power for 15 years....and wait some more until it's too late to do anything effective. The promise of "offering to vaccinate everybody by the end of the year" is a far cry from "vaccinating everybody by the end of the year", and today's subsequent NHS website crash, and the immediate depletion of test-kit supplies are surely a sign of what's in store. My personal view is that another lockdown-style event is on the horizon as coronavirus casualties proliferate, but we'll see.

My year is well and truly over, so it's time to take stock, relax a bit, and reconnect with the family safely snuggled up at home over the festive period. The residential property market fell off a cliff at the end of October, and my income fell by 80% in November/December compared to corresponding period of the prior year. This means having to utilise money set aside for forthcoming tax liabilities in order to survive, and pinning my hopes on a bit of a rebound in the early months of 2022. You need to hold your nerve at this time of year, but it gets a bit "squeaky bum" at times during the midwinter. My year in review post will be interesting, as I've kept all sorts of statistics to be able to comment on the realistic state of the UK property market. The work from home mandate has meant that getting to any appointments will be way easier, and homeowners should be more accommodating in terms of times. Once the Christmas decorations go up, that usually signals the end of real-estate work, but the holiday home jobs seem to be steady.

A year ago, you may recall that I alluded to a possible change of career direction this year. It was a tentative, and tempting job offer (within the property photography industry)which would have taken me back into the wage-slave category, albeit on a decent salary and benefits. I was hesitant to pursue the opportunity because of the knowledge of the nature of all employers that I've amassed over the years, and taking time to consider things, I'm now confident that turning it down was the best thing to do. I might make less than most first-job school-leavers, and be locked in to working until I die, but I value the freedom that comes with my form of self-employment more than any amount of cash in return for joy-crushing work commitments can offer. I've worked for some of the most heinous, joyless, wankers that you could ever imagine in my time (and some nice folk too), and the prospect of rejoining the corporate bullshit train again at the age of 57 (soon) was too much to bear.

Everyone stay safe, keep testing, wear those face coverings, and remember to heed the words of the thousands of sensible people who post on newspaper website comment pages. They're the folk who know what's best for you, and will always get advice based on their scientific expertise and evidence.

Brian Young (that's me) shoots all aspects of the built environment for a range of clients throughout Northern England and the Borders.



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