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216 Days, 15 Hours, 23 Minutes, 51 Seconds


We live; in interesting times.

Which is a phrase from an old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times….

Now I personally, have no issue with the Chinese.

I have known a few, worked with a few and I actually lived with a Chinese girl some years back who had a love for Pekingese.  She was a genuinely warm and nice person.

So my extensive research tells me, Chinese people are sensible souls.  I see no reason to believe that they have unleashed their, ‘interesting times’ curse on us.

But someone has, and when I find the bugger, I’m going to give him a bloody good duffing up.  If it transpires that He is a She then I will give her a bloody big piece of my mind as one should never duff up a She.

Although, I once did get a lady up the duff.

Twice actually.  But that’s a different type of duffing up than I originally started talking about.

I’m glad we have cleared that up.

Some of you may have noticed, that we are about to do a thing called ‘Brexit’.

The fact you voted one way or the other doesn’t really matter anymore so please no comments anywhere starting arguments that have already been argued far too many times. What matters now is that in exactly 216 days, 15 hours, 23 minutes and 51 seconds, Brexit will happen.

When Katharine and I decided to marry, at the 216 days, 15 hours, 23 minutes and 52 seconds before point, we had a plan.  It was a good plan.  We knew what our wedding would look like.  I had even chosen my wedding pants.

It appears that none of our political leaders are yet to choose their Brexit pants.  Such is the poor state of politics.

Not only is the pant decision still hanging in the air, it appears that every other decision large and small is also yet to be firmed up (now 216 days, 15 hours, 13 minutes).

I personally choose not to be a member of any political party.  It would end in tears.  I would join. Then I would want to take over. Then there would be an election.  I would win. Then the Sun newspaper would dig into my murky past, they would find the woman I duffed up, she doesn’t like me much, I would be fired and have to spend the rest of my life appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Get me out of Here, Celebrity Love Island, Strictly etc.

None of that really appeals to me.

So, when it comes to politics, I rarely raise my flag and share my thoughts and I don’t plan on doing so today (so please don’t either) but I do have a quandary. Let me try and explain……

40something percent of veterinary professionals in the UK are non UK European Nationals. Many are already departing our shores leaving huge gaps in the workforce.  Last week I was informed that some Vet Practices in Lincolnshire are not able to open some days, they simply have no staff.  None.

This is happening 216 days, 14 hours, 51 minutes and 29 seconds before ‘B’ day arrives.

We can currently open every day of the week. Will that be the same in 2019?

We currently have a team of 32.

28 of our team have partners.

We have 12 children shared amongst us.

So in total, 72 people, in some way have lives directly linked to Vets 1.

If Katharine and I made a bad call right now, then 72 people suffer as a consequence.

5 years ago, if we made a bad call, It was just the two of us that would have to deal with the consequences.

These days, bad decisions have big consequences and we have wider responsibilities.

We need a new, bigger car park.  We have planning permission for a new bigger car park. But new car parks come with a price tag. Can we afford it today? Sure, but we have been advised to start the process of increasing our holding on all medicines and vet essential consumables, needles, bandages etc.

In all likelihood, we are told; the country will run short in approximately 216 days, 14 hours and 31 minutes.

On average we use about £30K’s worth of medicines and bandage material a month.  If we double this, then, I’ve just spent the car park money.

Is doubling our stock holding enough? I don’t know. Should we plan for 3 months of stock issues? Four?

No one knows.

Actually, some people think they know.  They tell me I am crazy to even worry about Brexit.  They tell me that we will build spitfires, hold street parties and dance in the street like we have never danced before in nothing but wonderfully sparkly Brexit pants.

I like these people.  They live in a happy, happy place.

But, I also know, they have no real facts to base their opinions on.

Opinions are just opinions unless you have facts to back them up.

And that is my problem.   Everyone currently has an opinion.  But, no one has any facts.

The government published a series of papers on Thursday to help businesses like ours plan.  I was excited.  I thought to myself, at last, “facts!”

You don’t need to read the published papers. I have read them all for you.  I learnt nothing except that if you are planning on importing frozen male semen from Denmark, you had better do it quickly.

Phew! Lucky they told me.

I found nothing really factual in the papers, just lots of words. I was disappointed.

Some of you have seen the rather beautiful plans for the new build on our site. We just don’t know if to gamble and push ahead or nail the window shut and wait for the storm to pass?

As I’ve said already.  Quandary.

So to sum up….

I’ve waffled a bit.

I don’t know if we should build a new car park.

No one has Brexit pants.

I don’t do politics.

Chinese are good people.

216 days, 13 hours, 27 minutes, 12 seconds.

We live in truly interesting times.