I was out recently in Grangemouth Precinct to get some essentials.  I have only stayed in Grangemouth for 10 years so not born and bred but I have noticed some changes over the past 10 years.  One thing is very clear, the amount of empty shops in the Precinct.  More and more and becoming empty which brings less traffic to Grangemouth.  I

We all have so much more time right now, so I have enjoyed my trips to the local shops!  I don’t do food shopping online as part of my ‘normal’ life but I do shop for everything else online.  Is that why shops are closing – people are now doing things online more?  Or do we head for the Cities now rather than keeping it local?  A memory I have from my childhood is my mum going to the shops every day to get our food – local bakers for bread (and cake!), butchers, grocers.  We used to all go on a Saturday and then go for lunch!  I actually have a fear of locking toilet doors now cause I once couldn’t get the lock undone on the toilet door in the cafe we were in and absolutely freaked out until my dad come to get me.  I was convinced they would leave me!  I’m sure at times throughout my adolescence they wish they had! 🙂  Or is it that the big supermarkets dominate the market cause its all there under one roof?

Got me thinking, is the community pulling together more, during isolation, to support the smaller, local businesses?

Angela and Stevie Barr who own Galaxy Sports Tone Zone and Little Kerse, agreed, they had felt the community spirit.  Neighbours are helping each other, families are spending more time with each other and actually enjoying each others company!

Galaxy Sports Tone Zone has been affected by the isolation measures, like a lot of other local businesses.  They have been streaming “live” workouts for us all to follow. Exercise is an amazing way to increase endorphins and lift your mood. They are also taking the opportunity to do some exciting stuff inside the gym for when they re-open, stuff they wouldn’t be able to do when it was open.  Can’t wait to see what they have done!

Now that we have time, are we eating better?  The queues that I have seen outside the butchers and the local fruit/vegetable shop would suggest we are!  As we will know, the supermarkets ran out of a lot of essentials – toilet rolls and flour being 2 that I know of and still can’t get my head round!  I know the smaller, local shops were able to source these products quicker than the big supermarkets so we flocked there to get essentials.  To this day, there are still a number of empty shelves in the local supermarket.

It has been suggested that a high percentage of people do not want life to go back to what it was.  People have found different ways to do things.  We don’t have to go to Asda every day, we don’t need to be constantly doing something!  I for one have realised I don’t need to go to the gym every day, I don’t need to walk my dogs for miles every day, I actually enjoying spending time with myself reading, listening to music, meditating.  A slower pace of life isn’t that bad!

Another local business owner, Shelley Marshall at Blessed Beauty and Laser Hair Specialist has been affected by the lockdown, having to close her business.  However, she has taken the positive from that to make the most of her transferrable skills to grow and expand her other, online business (https://shelleyssolutions.mynuskin.com).  It is awful that businesses have had to close their doors however, it has been given a lot of people time to reflect on their business model as well as their lifestyle.  Like myself, Shelley has pledged to herself not to work ridiculously long hours leaving herself exhausted.  A better work/life balance will be on a lot of people’s action lists.  Have we come to realise that family time and a slower pace is actually not so bad?

We have all learnt from this pandemic and have adjusted accordingly.  Of course there are negatives from it but it is important that we learn from them to make life better going forward, otherwise what’s the point?

Walking the dogs, I have felt that people have been more likely to say “hello”.  How many times have we all walked past someone  and not acknowledged them just by a simple greeting!  I have.  I’m too engrossed in what lies ahead of me – my days work, what will I make for dinner, I should phone my mum, mind and get milk.

It has had an impact on our local businesses, good and bad.  As a community, I say that the majority of us have come together to help each business remain open and give support.  We have placed orders with local businesses, more now than we ever have.  How do we keep that momentum going when life resumes?

We have all had a taste of “time” and have enjoyed it (although I for one wouldn’t want it like this all the time).    Life may not be the same for a while whilst we get to grips with the Covid-19 virus.  The idea of a lockdown terrified us but actually, has it been that bad an experience …