Last Sunday I was having the loveliest time with my family. We’d made a den and a campfire in the woods and we were toasting marshmallows. I took my camera phone out to take a photo and discovered messages from my studio alarm centre and from the police.
The window and door were smashed and glass was everywhere. A huge lump of concrete sat in the middle of the room. And as I had dreaded, my camera and gear were gone.
Not the Only Robbery
I’m not the only small business to have been hit either; I can’t believe the number of incidents of smash and grab robbery I’ve been told about this week. Nor how many doors I’ve seen around the city centre with the same tell tale boarding that the police use to secure premises. Even the police have admitted this seems to be a real trend at the moment!
I know my camera will be sold for peanuts. This breaks my heart when I have used it everyday to earn a living for my family.
With all the government cuts, can we really expect things to be different though, how can the police do their job without resources? If the rumour is true that the city’s CCTV is to be turned off won’t that make even more businesses vulnerable?
We’ve been celebrating PhotoBaby’s ninth birthday this month. I love what I do but it has been nine years of sacrifice, taking risks, evaluating, and putting every spare penny back into the pot so the business can grow. And this year it finally feels that all the hard work is paying off. The diary is constantly full, we’re top of Google and we’ve over 6000 likes on our Facebook page. Most important of all our clients love what we are doing and keep on coming back for more.
Good things come if you work hard and smart and you really care about what you are doing. In my mind running a business is rather like farming, you have to nurture to grow. Our city and our country are the same.
I do see nurturing going on all around us; A mystery gardener has planted up round the trees at the end of my street. A huge street party that is being planned for the people of Lancaster, good things are bubbling.
But we can miss these gems with all the poison the media feeds us every day. It is easy to get bogged down in all the doom and gloom and feel helpless and that nothing good is happening. Yes it is important to stay informed, but we also need to protect ourselves from all the lies and negativity the media spouts. Otherwise how will we ever find the courage to take the brave steps we need to improve our lives and our city?
Fifty shops are empty in Lancaster city centre at the moment, fifty pots of potential that could bring more people to our beautiful city. I know that the Business Improvement District and the Ethical Small Traders are working on changing this. But if the current trend to steal from small businesses continues, surely there will only be more empty shops.
Mine won’t be one of them though. I will be back on my feet soon. I’ve borrowed a camera and been lucky enough to escape to the bluebells for photo shoots this week. The insurance companies have been put to work, and the studio is being put back together. And so long as they don’t play too much hard ball, I’ll have a new camera soon too. It’s hard to be a photographer with out one!
A Birthday Wish
So, if I could just make one or two last birthday wishes before April draws to a close; I’d love whoever stole my camera to find a more fulfilling career. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our government cared and showed that they cared about the people of our country. Please let the news to tell us more of the good things that are happening each day and let us see some nurturing on a larger scale.
And if that is all pie in the sky, I’d like us to come together as a community and nurture ourselves. Let’s expel the negativity and work hard and smart to make Lancaster a city that everyone wants to visit! Onward and upward please.