Welcome to the 'Weekly Waffle'!
We aim to publish new content every week on a Sunday or Monday.
Written On 12th August 2020
It has been a tough old time, for so many reasons and for so many people.
There has been no weekly waffle for almost 5 weeks and thats down to my thoughts being blown into millions of pieces and to gather those thoughts has been no easy feat.
The arcades that re-opened on the 4th July 2020 were Bognor, Chatham and Tonbridge.
After a long lockdown we had made lots of changes here and there and completed many projects within the large fleet of machines that we have.
We have tried to do all that we can to stabalise things for the dreary time ahead and look to a 'damage limitation' scenario.
During lockdown, each week I worked 45 hours a week at home. This was to keep the body functioning and to plug the holes of what was sinking ship. Now to work just 45 hours a week was a doddle and I cannot see how anyone can complain or even have an issue with such a small working week. I found time to have a break, go to bed and get a good amount of sleep and even experience a great helping of 'life'.
Since the 4th July 2020 we have reverted back to working a minimum of 80 hours a week with most arcade days exceeding 14 hours, even on a Sunday.
What has been telling is that we have been doing this alone with a hugely overstaffed Kent and inability to get those from Kent to come down to Bognor. We bust a gut to pay EVERYONE, including those who have not even spoken a word, 100% during lockdown, but what saddens us is that now it is the time for others to shine. Kev who doesn't even drive has started coming down from a fortnight ago, Jade works her first shift this week in Bognor so we are thankfull for this.
What is taxing on the brain, is the work, sacrifices and pain (and this is the only word) to build the passionate places that we have created over the last decade. What we don't want to see is 'switch flickers' and lacklustre hosts that are here for an easy life.
Now, this weekly waffle will be taken, by some as a rather raw, blunt and perhaps even 'borderline' one but we run our arcades with pure honesty so we must keep these the same.
Amelia and I went through so many things during lockdown and the results of many things were awful to witness and reveal. The great efforts by many past and present had, seemingly, become almost null and void.
It was very hard to go back, to go from family time to no family time with no help from Kent. It made me think of the Boulevard of broken dreams.
As the 4th July loomed the last checks and machine changes were made to ensure a nice refreshed offering awaited for our many visitors. It was full on and whilst I personally had been to the arcade a minimum of three times a week, we began going everyday in the run up to the re-opening.
Trouble hit us and took us back to the March 2nd 2019 (our failed opening day) when we turned the power on for our first day back on 4th July 2020 the SAME issue occured, rattled the breakers and incredibly they all arced in our favour and stayed on apart from one. Bognor is a lucky place and lady luck smiled hard that day.
Covid-19 has devastated the souls of almost every person and taken the wheels off most businesses. It is going to be a long road ahead for almost everyone and for some, they will not make it.
The high streets seem to be very badly affected, and with each town being different it seem the general consensus of 50% revenues at best.
We all have had our part to play in this chaotic and depressing world that we are striding through at present and its all about being strong, bold and brave and repelling those who wish to 'muscle in' or pull the rug from under you.
All my life since a boy my life has been hard going, no easy 'fall into place' scenarios or easy battles. Every little scrap has been fought for and driven out. We all as people have ahead of us very tough times, and it is now more than ever that the good people will bond more closely.
Since being back we have infused our passion with the fun the arcades bring for so many.
Its been great to add so many family games to the mix whilst also keeping our vast selection of classic fruits.
We will be back Sunday with a proper more arcade related waffle.
Tonbridge, Chatham and Bognor Regis are open and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
Dave, Amelia, Ruby and Scarlett xxxx