Like the beautiful flower that it is, Paris is opening up.


Restaurant tables are being wiped off. A thousand barmen are blasting dust from billions of glasses. Folk are smiling again. Parisians are shouting “Mais Non!” again (mind you, Parisian cynicism survives anything). Mates and muses are shuffling back into town, some rejoicing, some wondering why.


Personally, I’m a rejoicer. Three months on my own have been a trial. Yes, I’ve had work. Yes, I do Zoom. Yes, I got called and called. But even the best-crafted words will never replace touches on shoulders, handshakes, hugs and glances. Cameras-to-screens won’t totally replace eyes-to-eyes. There’s a wire in the way.


But I’m still here, so before everyone raises a beer to Business as Usual, I think I’ve got some thanking to do.


Thank you, everyone who’s paid on time. Even ahead of time. Even in advance. Even though your clients probably haven’t coughed up. You’ve kept me alive. Better still, you’ve restored my faith in humanity. Who said accountants were machines? They have hearts. You’re saints.


Thanks to my critics. The ones who’ve still asked for another ten lines, to sharpen a signature, to start over again. In a crisis, it’s easy to let empathy override common sense. Constructive criticism is a sign of confidence. It’s an understanding. It warms me. And work still has to sell.


Thank you, everyone on LinkedIn, for not bragging and crooning about the scores of new clients you’ve pulled in over the crisis. It’s let everyone who’s doing their best, really know they are.


Thanks to Ben Kay, Mark Fairbanks, Chas Bayfield and all who’ve posted the greatest of great ads from past years. Love them. They’re proof that if work lodges in memories, so will its brands. Create forgettable messages and you end up wasting valuable resources propping them up in minds. Ding.


Thank you, the baker who opened till 8.15 when I’d worked till 8.10.  The gendarme who let me pass when I’d forgotten my papers and was busting for a pee. To Plymouth Gin and Kina Lillet for 7PM on Fridays. Just the one. And it’s Friday. To the British Conservative Government for absolutely nothing. To the nurses, the bin men and the checkout girls for absolutely everything.


Cheers. Look after yourselves, and have a wonderful weekend.

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