Every year, just about now, Norfolk changes. It becomes very different to the rest of the year and for just a few short weeks, it's busy. You meet cars on roads that are normally quiet, the footpaths that are usually deserted are being pounded by feet and it's not possible to book a meal anywhere.
I'm not opposed to this or indeed discomforted it. It's just that even though it happens every year it always comes as a shock. And just as you come to terms with it and adjust your life style accordingly, it's gone again.
Visitors usually say "I expect this is your busy time" but in reality whilst footfall goes up, art sales are not particularly dependent on the holiday season, at least not in the sector in which we operate. Historically we have seen better January's than July's and as a neighbouring (well 15 miles away - which is neghbouring here) gallery once said to me there is no rhyme or reason to sales and there is never anything to be learnt from looking at what it was like this time last year, or 5 years ago, or 10 years ago. Every day is different and pleasingly unpredictable.
That said, the first part of the summer has despite the weather and the general chaos in the wider world seen some very pleasing sales. Our joint exhibition of Sally Scott's paintings paired with the intense colours and clarity of Jane Cox's ceramics fared well and brought in a number of new clients who apparently liked what they saw. Following this, Salt & Sand - a new collection of work by Mari French - was equally well received despite opening on the evening of what turned out to be one of the most unsettling and largely unforeseen events of the year.
We are now into our Summer Exhibition which this year includes two artists new to the gallery, Richard Bond, winner of Paint Out - the Plain Air competition in Norwich in 2015 and Ruth McCabe with her watercolours exploring the changing ecology of East Anglia's wetlands. In both cases these artists were introduced by other artists who already show with us here.
Going back to where I started, September sees us out on our travels again. This time we are heading for Ely, with our next major exhibition of Gerard Stamp's works in the wonderful setting of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Even though it's two months away, the release of the catalogue on-line has prompted a number of purchases already, so if you're interested in taking the plunge, sooner rather than later seems to be the clue.