The Voice is available now! Just about.
Parim at Heath News II in South End Green.
The Hampstead Village Voice has now gone up to £3 a copy. Well, we've got to keep up with the cappuccino inflation rate haven't we. And, when I saw The Oldie on the shelf for £4.95, I thought bugger, we're selling ourselves short.
Ten years ago when we last raised the price of the Voice from a pound, cappuccino's were about £2. Try going to Gails now with two squid and see where it gets you.
Moreover, as we've the small matter of the COVID lockdown to contend with, it's taking us a bit longer to get it to the shops. Us? Who am I kidding? I can't very well ask Dave The Beard or Simon The Space Cadet to drive me and the mags to shops can I! I'm pretty sure that's illegal unless you're in possession of a leaf blower or building a basement cinema off Church Row. Nonetheless, I am under contract with Rishi Sunak's HMRC to stay in business or forfeit my self-employed Corona-dole, so off to work I go.
So I've been trundling about on a bicycle in a virtual space suit both working and exercising at the same time. And I can tell you, the safe distribution of magazines in lockdown is a jolly cumbersome and exhausting business. On the bright side, there's one less spluttering jogger on the pavements because I'm far too exhausted to contemplate exercise after work.
There's all that waiting around for shops to be empty enough to enter safely; frequent sanitisation; fumbling about in gloves to write an invoice or put up a poster... Have you ever tried writing an invoice out in winter gloves with steamed up glasses? Or handling blue tack? I'm not taking those f_ing gloves off to handle contaminated cash, I can tell you.
But this isn't work that can be done from home so it's a case of doing it very slowly, methodically and safely. I did bump into Harry 'The Hatchet' Taylor of the CNJ who caught me using his weekly paper to dry a poster board. How embarrassing was that! Using Harry's carefully crafted words as a cleaning utensil right in front of him. Still, I live to tell the tale.
The good news is, the 'Winter of Discontent' edition is already at all the usual Hampstead outlets (apart from Village News which is, for the time being, closed) and Belsize Village too. I might brave Whampers tomorrow.
Editor in Nuclear Suit.