H ello again. Well it is nice to see you back at work once more. It is always an uncomfortable topic to tell people from other countries that South Africa goes AWOL for a six-week period every year, for the summer vacation – cocking a deaf ear and forgetting the world, in this period and it’s irredeemable ghastliness. The nation heads off in all directions for Aunt Minnie’s Karoo farm or the scuba diving paradises of upper KwaZulu-Natal, along with a bout of suicidal taxi driving that knocks off thousands of people each year in road fatalities.

Now if you are a boss of a small body shop concern, in early December it is not easy to get things done. Everyone is preparing to hitch up the trailers for the school holidays. They are seeing far ahead before any commerical enterprise that the nation’s going to disappear into holiday mode.

The entire workforce goes absent at Christmas. It defies all economic reasoning. Sadly, the business costs don’t take time off and the extended pay packets also needed for some creative accountancy in most companies.

So let’s get it straight. You are wasting your time going on a one man charm offensive against the festive wind blowing against your chest. It’s best to just give in and enjoy. When the nation finally does wake up it invariably has a greater sense of optimisim than ever before. All of the best for the New Year and what a ride it promises to be already.

Some good news – Jay is number one – again

Late last year the Guild of Motoring Journalists announced the competition results of the year’s top journalists and photographers. This years winner was won by none other than Jay Groat who you may have seen is credited with the designs and overall look of the Automotive Refinisher magazine, a job he has done now for over a decade.

In his other life as a motoring photographer, Jay became the outright winner in both categories for Motorcycles and overall Motoring Photographer of the Year against a strong field of competitors. In his twenty-year career he has worked with the best from producing content videos to capturing frozen slices of time for many top manufacturers. Often it requires starting around 4am in the morning and working until well past sunset. It is all about hard work and the perfect shot.

You could say it’s a sort of crowning achievement on a bright future as it is the third time Jay has been nominated as a top “snapper” since his early win back in 2003.

Everyone at Automotive Refinisher is very proud of his achievements. You don’t often get the privilege of recognition for achievements, so it is best to savour the moment when it comes around.