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a blog by Chris Barrow

Opportunity knocks – even for a Grinch

Last night my only choice for dinner at The Queens Head Hotel in Berwick upon Tweed was the “Christmas Fayre” and I settled down to a turkey roast, staring wistfully at the silver cracker on my table, the gift inside destined to remain a mystery (my ever-attentive German waitress did offer).

There were 6 other diners in the restaurant. Thankfully the music was subdued – if either Band-Aid or Noddy Holder had suddenly invaded my grumpy musing I may have lost it. On reflection, we should prepare ourselves for a glut of Bowie and Bing – Christmas hits from the recently deceased are always a winner.

Yes – I’m well known as a Grinch at this time of year and full of the cliches about a pagan festival hi-jacked firstly by the Christians, then by the High Street and, latterly, by online booking. Last Christmas, our street was continually blocked by white vans delivering shopping – I predict an increase this year. Fast forward 5 years and the skies above our homes will be swarming with drones carrying our unnecessaries.

As I commented on a Facebook post this morning, for me Christmas starts on the 23rd, ends on the 26th and can’t come (and go) quickly enough. My 5 adult children are outraged by my attitude, as is the lady I live with – c’est la vie.


We are in the business of dentistry and so, in true dastardly Philip Green style, I’m going to become a hypocrite when it comes to making some money and suggest that you contact all of your patients via email, text or letter and:

  1. offer top up gels for all those who have had their teeth whitened

  2. offer a diamond polish (airflow) appointment to any arriving for a hygiene visit or interested in a pre-season valet of their smile – “would you like to upgrade your hygiene visit to a diamond polish for just £x extra?”

It was back in 2001 that Boots Dentalcare ran the first major pre-Christmas whitening campaign and I can remember the excitement when some bright spark came up with the phrase “would you like a Whiter Christmas?”

It seems rather old hat now – but still worth a shot to generate some extra cash flow in a short month and put a smile on the faces of many a patient as they sit in a restaurant wearing a stupid paper hat, pulling on a cracker and preparing to hit the dance floor.

Can I remind you that what I’m suggesting is advertising and not marketing – a scatter gun approach and not targeted. This is one of those rare occasions when advertising fits.

So the month will roll on to it’s inevitable conclusion – it won’t be long know before I find myself in the corner of some hotel or restaurant trying to read a book whilst all around me are getting louder – there’s usually at least one night where some bright spark on reception allocates a room over the dance floor and I have to move (or pop down in my jammies and join in).

My evening perambulations around cities have to be more carefully planned to avoid encounters with parties of drunks. Thankfully only 2.5 weeks more before I can shut my door and stay at home.

Tonight I’m at the Ibis Euston – surely they won’t have a Christmas menu?

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