New term, new year

Today marks the start of a new academic year in England and Wales. For those of us with kids, it’s a time to breathe a sigh of relief that we’ve managed to navigate six weeks of juggling and can now return to a recognisable routine.

Girl juggling clock 'balls'

I always find the start of a new academic year an exciting time. For me, it’s more significant than the start of a new calendar year. School term times defined my life as a child and (since I’ve been a parent) they define my adult life too. They signify literally and metaphorically a clean sheet of paper. A wiping of the slate clean.

This year is especially significant for me as my son will shortly be starting his university career and my daughter embarks on a new academic journey at the 6th form college. In fact, I’ve set myself a New Term Resolution. It’s not to blub too uncontrollably when I say goodbye to my son at his university hall of residence. Like my New Year’s resolution, I don’t think there’s much chance of me sticking to that one!

Now that the summer holidays are over, I get a real sense that businesses are girding their loins ready to start again. The period between now and the end of the year stretches ahead with no public holidays scheduled until Christmas. Apart from half term, we can plan meetings and set targets without interruption.

Of course, there is the Brexit issue to worry about. After three years of uncertainty, I still don’t feel any closer to being able to prepare for the future. I’m looking forward to hearing Lord Digby Jones’ take on this at the Chamber Exhibition Business Breakfast on 10 October. I don’t generally agree with his views, but he’s always an entertaining (albeit controversial) speaker. Are you going? If you can’t make it to the breakfast briefing, make sure you go along to the exhibition – great for networking and for checking out the local business landscape.

It’s a challenging time for all UK businesses, large or small. Macro economic events affect us all at the local level. The Bank of England breakfast briefing on 20 September may shed some light on the prospects ahead. This is another great event being organised by the Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

After six weeks of relative calm, I hope we’re all sufficiently restored to cope with whatever life throws at us. To quote a line from a favourite Coldplay song of mine, ‘Nobody said it was easy’. My New Term Resolution will therefore be to work hard, stay positive and to celebrate my successes. I’d love to hear yours.

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