The Tonsorial Artist – Holt – A brilliant barber and a brilliant brand

I was lucky enough to be staying in Holt last night at Byfords Posh B&B (which is fabulous) and had a bit of time to kill, so took myself off to find a haircut. Looking quite unassuming in the centre of the brilliant little town was the Tonsorial Artist. And I have to say it is the best barbers experience I have ever had.

Firstly the music. Laid back and cool music by the Skatalites and two guys working there with luxuriant facial hair and a total focus on doing a great job.

The Tonsorial Artist - Holt, Norfolk
The Tonsorial Artist – Holt, Norfolk

I had my meagre barnet tidied up by the slightly scary looking Doug, who was great, incredibly knowledgable and he gave me a great cut.

Doug from The Tonsorial Artist - Holt, Norfolk
Doug from The Tonsorial Artist – Holt, Norfolk

All this and it was only £11.50 – admittedly more than I pay at my local barbers, but it felt like a real treat.

I love places like this and I would love to get my hands on their brand to do some work with – It would franchise out beautifully and would have people queuing out the door if it was done as well as they have delivered their outlet.. People who are doing great work and clearly differentiating themselves in what must be a quite crowded market.

If you’re ever in Holt, stay at Byfords Posh B&B and get a hair cut by the Tonsorial Artists.

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The retail sector, HMV and the public sector strike

This is not a political piece, but more of an observation of how much of an effect the public sector strike may have had on the high street spending.

For me, it looked very much like the kick start that many retailers were hoping for. I can genuinely say, that I have not seen HMV as busy as it was on Wednesday this week for some years. It was like Christmas eve in there with people grabbing almost anything with locust like avarice. They did have lots of multi buy offers, (two for £10 etc) but it was buzzing.

Disappointingly for them, the brand new technology section, seemed to be the only area you could bring your cat for a fast look around. It was their CD’s, DVD and overpriced computer games that were doing well. I was a bit peeved to find they had gone back to their policy of a higher price in the store to online, for the one thing I had gone in for.

Traffic in Nottingham was almost at gridlock from around 10.00 until well after 18.00, again a Christmas norm, but unusual, even on a Saturday.

So whilst many were complaining and many were clearly striking, there will have been a very marked positive retail effect, that few probably expected and many, many will welcome.

Maybe its the glimmer of hope the economy needs.

A simple guide to how the bailout package works

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village.
The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.
Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.
On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.
The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna.
The tavern owner slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit.
The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.
The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.
No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works

Thanks to my mate Patrick Chapman for sharing that wisdom with me.