I am not a morning person, I am one of those who are deeply in love with my bed and look at every minute I get in it as quality time, so normally you will see me rush in to the shop last minute most days. But with family activities planned for this weekend, and quite a few unfinished things that had to be done at work, I decided to come in super early to 'get stuff done' before opening this Friday. By the crack of dawn I was there finishing my to-do list, and I'd just written, if I may say so myself, a lovely newsletter to you all about the wonderful atmosphere in the shop as George and I are preparing for the first yarn festival we've done since 2020, and how excited we are to be taking KWA on the road again. Twenty minutes or so before opening I stepped outside for a 'breath of fresh air', mighty pleased with myself, patting my own back - Look at this girl rocking the whole work / life balance!

Across the street, right opposite the shop there is this large building with scaffolding going up to the roof. A couple of builders were there, cracking on just as early as I was. I heard this bumping sound, and looked up to see as one brick fell down knocking it's way down from board to board. There were a few people passing right below, a woman stood outside the hair dresser opposite looking at her phone. There was another sound, a rushing of some sort, and now the woman looked up as well. And then in a split second the worst bouldering sound I've ever heard, it looked like a whole wall came crumbling down, crashing through the scaffolding, I got my door unlocked and managed to jump back into my shop as a huge yellow cloud of something came towards me. I slammed the door shut, and couldn't see anything outside as everything was yellow, and then through it, towards me and passed my shop, came the woman who'd been on her phone - running for her life.

It took a moment before the dust settled and my view was clear to see what had happened. It looked like a nightmare, the hairdresser and a vegetable shop right opposite had their shop fronts completely crushed, there were customers and staff inside. There are four floors with flats above, some of their windows were shattered. I heard sirens approaching, and I started crying.

The people inside the said building were rescued out from the back, the fire brigade used heat detecting drones to make sure none were left inside. Unbelievably so, but no one got physically hurt. The street has been sealed off, businesses and residents, we have all been evacuated. I went to the site Saturday, trying to get an overview of the situation. The building had partially collapsed, the cornicing from the roof was what I saw came down.

There is a risk the whole building is about to crumble, and this is why the ongoing work will take some time, we still don't know if the site can be secured without taking the whole building down - if so brick by brick. They are working intensely to secure the building and to clear the site, but I have been informed it will take at least 10 days before I again have access to my beautiful shop.

Picture by Hackney Council

The main thing is of course that no one is injured, but for us the consequences of being closed, even for a few days are quite dramatic. As many small businesses the difference between making it and breaking is balancing on what sometimes feels like a very thin line. With the recent shop expansion and the planned preparations for our upcoming Unravel festival I can not deny that I am worried about our cash flow. I'll just mention that if there is anything you've had your eyes on from us, big or small, this would be a good time to place your online order and get it.

Picture by Hackney Council

I am shook up and I really don't have it in me to promote or shout out about our gorgeous stuff as I normally would do, it is important for me as a business, but at the same time feels quite insignificant for me as a person right now. The fact that we are all safe is really the only thing that matters.

Thank you for reading.