Apocryphal quotes aside, this is an update I never imagined having to write - contingencies to keep my customers informed during a global pandemic. We've all seen the memes, the jokes, and the panicked responses - and the time for all those is gone.
Obviously, given previous updates about the ongoing workshop/home move for me and for Fenris, I'm already operating at a long delay. At time of writing, I'm still a couple of weeks away from finishing the move (and have still done my best to cast, process, pack and post some 20-30 orders a week in the meantime) and even without world events, there'd be a continued delay while I set up the new, temporary workshop space and finally dig properly into the backlogged casting and cutting of orders. Things have been complicated by the fact my new living situation involves my elderly, immunocompromised parents, and by my own brief visit to hospital suffering with exhaustion - both of which are clearly an issue given the world health situation.
Add to all of this, today's announcement that the UK's biggest wargames show, Salute, has just been postponed until April 2021 - which is both a blessing (freeing me up to concentrate on finishing the move/setup/backlog still faster) and a curse (Salute is effectively the start of the year for we small outfits, typically providing more takings than for all of the year's other shows combined, and financing ongoing Fenris work in the same way summer visitors keep seaside towns alive through the winter) and you'll see that there are any number of reasons and obstacles why your orders have not yet reached you. It's still just me, casting your orders, packing the old workshop, driving the van, unloading at the other end, and juggling the thousand other little jobs that make up the modern online business ( like writing these updates, necessary though they are! ) - and your patience is so hugely appreciated through all of this.
As we all move forwards uncertainly into the post-coronavirus new world, everyone's belts are going to be tight, but while you're working from home, or making the most of any "bonus" free time you'll have for hobby stuff, don't forget us small outfits - companies like Fenris, like Bad Squiddo, like Bear's Head, Macrocosm, and a hundred others (link to Salute traders HERE http://www.salute.co.uk/files/tradersbooked2020-magazine-1.pdf) self-isolating in our one woman/one man workshops and offices making sure you've got shiny new toys to paint and game with. Most of us offer the option of Gift Cards or Vouchers as well as our normal ranges - in case there are further, ongoing issues with supply of castings, materials, postal deliveries or any number of unforseen problems - and they'll help your favourite boutique companies stay afloat 'til the other side of all of this. The last few weeks have underlined some of the worst characteristics of frightened humanity - it's all too easy to turn on one another and to escalate little niggles into proper dramas. People's lives are already undergoing huge changes, and tempers are getting frayed - the hard-working organisers of Salute, for instance, have faced a wave of abuse and accusations despite having been painted into an impossible corner by concerns over the virus and by the inaction of the british government - and we all need to try and use the escapism of our small-scale worlds to best effect. Once my own Sisyphus-like logistics are done, I'm hoping to make use of some of the enforced isolation (Fenris is a self-isolated company, year round - both by the location of the workshop and the fact it's just me and the Hound without neighbours, so it's no hardship from that POV!) to actually find the enjoyment in the hobby again, rather than spending every waking moment casting, packing, and moving the business, and I hope that you'll all be able to do the same with your own time, once your nearest and dearest are safe and provided for.
Be safe, stay well, and be good to one another. And keep an eye on your inbox for that shipping notification !
Love to you All
Ian @ Fenris
Friends of Fenris - please check all of them out as well as looking through my catalogue ! If you'd planned on visiting any of us at Salute, please consider spending a couple of quid here or with some of the other traders linked in the main text above.