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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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With so much bad news around at the moment it's easy to forget that the Coronavirus is forcing us to make many positive changes in our lives, isn't it? I write this from my garden, directly under the area that Gatwick and Heathrow aircraft circle high above whilst queuing to land and am happy to say that a plane overhead is now as likely to make us stop and stare as the newly arrived Spotted Woodpecker and - incredibly - Red Kites which by rights shouldn't be anywhere nearby.

I'm sharing my home with a daughter and her friend - both of whom work in highly sensitive fields that require privacy and which normally take them around the country. They're managing well and the group meetings and even group training sessions my daughter leads are running perfectly. I wonder how many others who are normally on road or rail daily (or flying too often for business) are happily home-based in a less polluted environment with more leisure hours in the day and are a lot less stressed to boot?

I hope lessons have been learnt about our need to travel less and that both Heathrow's planned extra runway and the high-speed rail link that's decimating so much of our countryside and forcing people from their homes, will be abandoned. Yes we badly need to connect some places to the network but let's be sensible!

Sadly, there's little positivity for the KBB industry, which relies on our visits to retailers to learn about ways we can enhance our homes. Easter is always busy in the home improvement sector, yet the opportunities this presents have passed us by. The housing market has stagnated - and with kitchens and bathrooms being the rooms most property viewers say they'd change upon taking residence, this stagnation, too, has hit our industry hard. What the answer is I'm not sure, but I sincerely hope we can find quickly find our way out of this mess.

We've bought four wonderful mattresses from independent retailer Hamseys (www.hamseys.co.uk) in recent years. The service, product quality and price is always bang on. I received a mailshot today, saying that this is Hamseys' 50th year selling beds and mattresses to 200,000-plus customers, and that its planned celebratory 'big sale' is being replaced by a survival 'fire sale', since with a 95% drop in sales this year it will soon struggle to pay salaries and pensions. If you're in a similar position, my heart is with you...


Jan Hobbs



22nd April 2020

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