I've just met a fellow retailer who has had her very nice shop here in Bowness for the past 20 years. We discussed how quiet it has been in January and she admitted that it has been the quietest month she's had since she started in business. We've had 30% ,yes 30%, less customers than we had in January 2009 but our average spend per customer has been way up on last year so for that I am extremely grateful. Now Jules has painted every shelf in the shop (well, 4 to go and 2 sets of tables but let's not split hairs) we're ready for action and today has been our busiest weekday of the month, hurrah. New stock is starting to trickle in and it gives us a real buzz when it starts to sell. Today we got a delivery of lovely, quirky handmade cards designed by a guy who lives near Hawkshead - we think they're great and they're already flying out. Bring on the half term holidays!