Editor’s Letter: May 2021

Dear Neighbours,

It’s been a long time coming but finally we’ve been able to get our hair cut and meet for a drink at the pub. I say ’we’ but unfortunately I’ve been a little slow off the starting blocks and found it wasn’t quite as easy to secure a pub garden table on the spur of the moment, or get a hair appointment at a suitable time… I therefore haven’t enjoyed the full benefits of ‘lockdown lifting’ just yet!

Although we may appreciate having TV, online shopping, social media and group calls, I think the restrictions during the pandemic has made us realise that nothing compares to physical interaction with other people. I’ve missed browsing the shops, popping to the pub or meeting a friend for a coffee and understand even more than ever how important using local businesses is. To this end, on page 10 you’ll find an article all about the benefits of using the retail outlets in our community.

Despite the last year being an extremely worrying and challenging period, I’ve also heard some really uplifting and inspiring stories from local residents. One couple in particular turned their misfortune of losing their jobs and then their home due to COVID, into turning an aspiration to write and illustrate a children’s book into a reality and have now secured a publishing deal. Read page 17 for their inspiring story.

During the pandemic we experienced more stress and anxiety than ever before. According to the mental health charity Mind, 60% of adults said their mental health became worse during lockdown. This isn’t going to miraculously disappear with the easing of lockdown and may in fact cause new anxieties. It’s important to recognise the signs and manage it accordingly; read our article on page 18 for some helpful tips.

Also this issue, we have advice for perfect planting, page 36; 12 ways to make your bathroom a relaxing oasis, page 42; the best gadgets for every kitchen, page 50; and our staycation feature this month looks at Pembrokeshire, page 56.

Stay safe and well.

Zoë