OK, hands up. Who likes having their picture taken? 

I can’t see many arms in the air. Granted it’s not one of the worst things we have to go through in life – it’s hardly up there with tooth abscess, is it? – but it is uncomfortable. All of a sudden, you become painfully aware of your limbs not behaving the way they should, and your face becoming set in the sort of grimace you’d usually associate with haemorrhoids. 

A few years ago, when ‘The Boss’ Mike Lowe was still in the editor seat, the lovely Emma Samms – Hollywood star and columnist in this magazine – suggested kindly that both Mike and I went along to her house in the Cotswolds to have our portrait pics taken. Now, as I’m sure you know, Mike was a no-nonsense, dyed-in-the-wool, hard-nosed newspaper editor from Manchester and was fearless. But, on this occasion, boy, did he squirm.  

Emma is a talented photographer and had previously taken Katie Jarvis’ byline pic that you’ll see each month in the magazine. Katie thoroughly enjoyed the experience (once she’d got over the shock of being lured to Emma’s home under false pretences... naughty Emma) and, as you can see, the resulting portrait is lovely. So, when Emma invited me again on a chilly but gloriously sunny afternoon in January, I put my big girl pants on and said ‘yes’. 

What a joy it was! The whole family – Emma, Simon and their lovable dogs, Chester and Willis – made me feel completely at ease, and it turned out the hardest thing was not giggling at Emma’s light-hearted asides as she hit the shutter release. So, my top tip is, if Emma Samms ever offers to take your photo, don’t be a wuss, and do it. 

As I’m writing this, the sun is streaming through the window, the daffodils are bursting forth, and spring really is in the air. We’ve adhered to our tradition of featuring a hare on our March cover, and inside Jill Mason reveals the secret sex life of the brown hare... those leverets don’t make themselves, you know. 

With a sense of springtime optimism, we explore the world with wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan – discovering wild bears and chimpanzees along the way – and travel the length and breadth of the British Isles with the curators of Compton Verney’s new exhibition of folk costume, discovering straw bears in Cambridgeshire, burry men in Edinburgh, and Gay Bogies in Hastings.  

Now I’ve hopefully coaxed you into the first few pages of this month’s issue, enjoy that feeling of the sap rising, pick up a copy and get stuck into all 220 pages. 

Happy Equinox! 


Candia McKormack 

Editor, Cotswold Life magazine 


Twitter: @cotslifeeditor


Three things we learned this month... 

Great British Life: Welcome in the Spring Equinox with the latest issue of Cotswold Life magazineWelcome in the Spring Equinox with the latest issue of Cotswold Life magazine (Image: Cotswold Life)Boxing clever 
When you see hares fighting, it’s usually the doe who is the aggressor, fending off unwanted attention. 

The Shire stone 
The ‘Three Farthing Stone’ mentioned in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is actually in Moreton-in-Marsh. 

The Bard of Dursley 
It’s believed that William Shakespeare once lived in the Gloucestershire market town of Dursley.