Last week, three of us went to Melbourne to catch up with our clients there, for the first time in over two years. Covid fashions happen there one or two months before they land here, so it was good to see their airports and airlines discarding the mandates for performative mask rituals.
On our return, we had to mask up in flight, except for the time spent slowly sipping from a small glass of water. We also had to spend quite a bit of time filling forms online for no discernible effective purpose. This nonsense, like pre-departure testing last week, will soon be dropped here too – much to the dismay of some of our public health activist experts.
Melbourne looks like a well-kept city, compared to Auckland. Their restaurants are as good as ever, perhaps even better, but we noticed a strange reluctance on the part of chefs to comply with our requests for two fried eggs on the steak. Weird.
Our clients are having the same issues that we have here with labour availability, supply chain disruptions in China and large increases in freight costs. They are also overstocked, having increased their inventories. They were pleased to hear of our large investments in additional capacity and equipment, to enable us to cope with stock-on-hand levels about 30% higher than the same time last year. John Widdows will explain those changes soon in a forthcoming post in this blog.