Sounds like a catchy title for a children's book, does it not? Perhaps even the sort of book that Magic Cat Publishing might publish. Perhaps even the sort of book I could write one day, when I have time, that is.
The truth is, the Hobeck cat didn't meet a magic cat. Uncharacteristically, she kept away on the morning that we 'met' ('met' in the May 2020 sense of the word of course) a Magic Cat. The magic cat in question was Jenny Broom of Magic Cat Publishing.
Let me fill in the blanks. Where did this all start? Two weeks ago, on a random weekday morning (I have no idea what day it was as every day feels the same) Adrian was approached by the IPG to co-present a session for the IPG's forthcoming Spring Conference. The session was to be entitled: 'New Independents in 2020'. He of course said yes. He's jolly good at this sort of thing after all, speaking is his bag. However, despite that, at first we were both a little nervous. We are still very much the new kids on the block. We weren't sure what, as a team, we could possibly have to say about our experiences this far. However, talking it through the night before, we realised that we actually had quite a lot that he could say and, despite still being in our infancy, we had quite a lot of advice for other people in our situation.
I won't give away too much about what Adrian and Jenny talked about, but I will say that we both learnt an awful lot from hearing about and discussing the experiences of her business's journey thus far. We hope she learnt something from us too. Magic Cat's journey is a fascinating one and very different from ours. However, there were interesting parallels too. Both those strands of the session are what made the dynamic of the conversation work so well.
We are going to be attending the IPG Spring Conference next week, not just to listen back to our session on newbies, but to learn some more for ourselves about this business we are now swimming happily together in. Of course it won't be a glamorous affair with posh coffee and nice biscuits. We will be attending from the comfort of our office-cum-diningroom. It will be a novel experience for us both. Neither of us have attended a virtual conference before (or at least, I haven't). We both have had our fair share of real-life conferences throughout our careers. We may be at home, under lockdown, with the Hobeck cat wondering around this time, but there will be coffee available, and bog-standard biscuits if I remember to get some. And we don't have to dress to impress. Bonus. It's a good job, my hair is a bit of a nest at the moment.
What we do expect to be the same virtually as in reality is that this conference will give us the chance to meet other people in the industry, make links, find connections and wave to other swimmers as they cross our paths. We live and work in exciting times. Covid-19 has put a difficulty in our path - just read the last eight editions of the Bookseller (see photo above) to find out what I am talking about. One thing we both feel strongly about is that whatever difficulties come our way, and we are sure there will be more than a few, we have the skills and, perhaps more importantly, the strong desire to work around them and the determination to overcome. That is what we will do in all that we do.
We are very much looking forward to next week, the not-so magic cat too. This is just the start for us.