It’s been a while since I posted a blog. Over a year, in fact. There’s been a good reason for that. Doing two jobs has kept me rather busy.
The Covid lockdown closed venues and cancelled parties and forced many performers like me to find alternative employment. In September 2020 I was lucky enough to be offered a position as a customer delivery driver at Waitrose and Partners, and for the past two years you may have seen me trundling around Oxford in my green van. Then in July last year came Freedom Day, when it was no longer a requirement to wear a face mask, and slowly, gradually, the entertainment business awoke. A trickle of enquiries became a stream, then a torrent. After more than a year without live entertainment, it seemed everyone wanted to celebrate something. Anything! It was good to be back in front of audiences.
The return of the entertainment business left me with a problem; should I stay or should I go? Waitrose has been very good to me. And – certainly in the early weeks after the lifting of restrictions – there was no guarantee that we wouldn’t go back into lockdown again at some point in the future. So I stayed, but I reduced my hours at Waitrose to just three days a week.
Time for More Magic
Working part-time for the past six months has meant I’ve been able to fit in more performances, but the busier I became as a performer, the less time I had for myself and my family. Something had to give.
And so today I said goodbye to my friends at Waitrose. And they are my friends. They threw me a lifeline when I needed one, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ve made some very good friends and had some very good times working with them. (And I’ve learned just how much effort goes into keeping the shelves of our supermarkets full each day. How we get everything that comes in on a 6am delivery onto the shelves by the time the store opens at 8am is a magic trick in itself!). But all good things must come to an end, and I do have to say goodbye.
As I look at my booking diary tonight, I see spaces for only 7 weekend parties between now and Christmas – the other 41 weekend slots are already booked. (If you haven’t booked the entertainer for your party this year, I’m afraid you may already be too late.)
December is pretty full, too, because people book their Christmas parties earlier and earlier each year. (I took my first booking for Christmas 2022 in November 2021!) And people are already booking me well into next year – I already have bookings as far ahead as July next year.
So the time is right to say thank you to Waitrose and Partners for having faith in me when I needed a hand up. I think I’ve been a pretty good delivery driver – after all, I dinged their vans only twice! – but it’s time to get back to what I know I do best: putting the laughter and magic into children’s parties and family occasions.
Time to get back to being a full-time professional entertainer. Back to being Magic Peter, Oxfordshire’s Magical Children’s Entertainer.
I hope I see you soon.