And just like that here we are again with Christmas around the corner.

How did that happen? Did this year go quick or slow for you?

This may be a personal thing – I hope others do share it, as I don’t want to appear too weird – but time either drags for me or moves at the speed of light.

For instance, how often do you get to about 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon and feel like the week has been going on for a decade? But then it’s suddenly Friday morning and you’re telling everyone that the week has flown by!

I think that’s a little like this year. As we enter November this is the last, what I would call, solid month left in the calendar. December will roll round and people rush to use their holiday days up, there are Christmas parties, school events and other festive niceties that interrupt the normal flow of work.

It seems a long time ago now (or does it) that we began 2021 with high hopes of normality before a press conference from Boris on the first working day back that saw us confined to our homes for the best part of three months.

Since then, mainly due to the huge success of the vaccination roll-out, it has got better to the point where our day to day lives are barely affected except for the monotonous drumbeat from sections of the mainstream media and political class that we need to go back to square one.

So where to next?

There still seems to be a lot of upheaval going on. It’s almost like one of those kaleidoscopes that you may have had as a child of the 1980s which change the view constantly by just the slightest of rotations.

The jobs market is like the Wild West with all industries either feeling the effects of lack of resources – an influx of HGV drivers would be very welcome right now! – or employees testing out whether a change of scenery is the right thing to do.

For bosses it’s a tough time as they look to plan who will be in their team in 2022 and what extra resources they need.

And in the background, there is a feeling that the North hasn’t benefited yet from the levelling up agenda, which swept the government to power a couple of years ago.

As Doncaster Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dan Fell rightly says in his response to the latest quarterly economic survey.

“For too long, the North has been asked to pick between critically important initiatives and barely a week goes by without someone south of Watford asking the Chamber network if North-South or East-West connectivity is more important? I suspect Londoners were never asked to pick between HS2 and Crossrail!”


Let’s see what comes our way over the final two months of what has been another crazy year.

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