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Jo’s Journal – August 2021

Posted: by Jo Monday, 26 July 2021 @ 13:20

My July was partly about holiday, as I expected - a planned 2-week trip to America which changed to two weeks in the Lake District.

It was fantastic, with amazing walks, hiring a boat on the lake, a beach BBQ, kayaking trips, and glorious sunshine in a beautiful part of the world. My sister and her family came up for a few days, so we were able to celebrate my nephew, Robin’s, 16th birthday, altogether as a family – which was really lovely.

Lake near Ullswater Lake Windermere

But, very sadly, my July was also about loss, as my father-in-law passed away very unexpectedly at the end of our second week away. Diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, he only went on for a week after the diagnosis, before passing away peacefully in the hospice ward at the hospital.

We were lucky enough to have had a few days’ warning, so were able to spend his last two days with him, and my mother-in-law was able to move into his hospice room for those last days. I know many people have not been so fortunate in their losses this year, so we were incredibly lucky to have the privilege to be with him for those last days.

It was a stark reminder that you simply never know what is around the corner in life. Spending quality time with the people you love remains the single most important thing in life, as we none of us know how long we have with someone.

Jo with her parents-in-laws

Our Charity of the Month this month is Care International, an amazing charity that supports women, girls and their communities to achieve lasting change for a better future. Care puts women and girls at the centre, because they know we can’t overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.

I interviewed Sarah Knight, their Supporter Care Officer, about what drew her to her fundraising role. Having studied Human Geography at university, she chose modules focused on international development, and in her final year, wrote her dissertation on gender issues. Care’s work and values really jumped out at her, so she joined Care straight out of university and has been there ever since.

Here at Mantra, we had our Summer Sale running for most of July. If we are changing or updating a design, we often reduce the price of our older stock, to make room for the new. This time, it was our Initial Necklaces that really flew, as a new design launches later in the year.

We are now starting work on new designs for Winter, to launch some new pieces before the end of the year.

As we go into August, life has opened up again, and restrictions have lifted in so many ways. But we are still a nation with a cautious approach, with many still wearing masks and keeping their distance, even as others rush back to more normal, pre-Covid behaviour.

I think we can safely say that the world has changed, and we now need to keep hold of the better things which have come out of such a challenging 18-month period. Our working theme for our new Winter collections is around celebrating whom we have become, and the recognition of our common humanity. We’ll keep you up-to-date, as our mantras and our designs take shape.  

In the meantime – enjoy August, and try to make it a more carefree and happy month, as life moves forwards with more freedoms.    

Jo xx

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