Cotswold Life editor’s letter November 2021

Eartha Kitt: the merits of being an old-fashioned girl

Eartha Kitt: the merits of being an old-fashioned girl - Credit: Creative Commons/Wikimedia

That there Eartha Kitt may have been very bad – in fact, she wanted to be evil, as I recall – but she knew a thing or two about the merits of being an old-fashioned girl. 

Traditionally, our November issue is all about nostalgia; it’s a chance for us to become a little misty-eyed, reminiscing about ha’penny chews, Punk Rock the first time round, and Johnny Morris’ Animal Magic. By the nature of the beast, we don’t want to step away from tradition – that’s what makes us those incorrigible ‘when I was little, all this was fields’ types, after all – but we also know that many of you will be thinking about Yuletide festivities. Goodness! We know you’re all in desperate need of letting your hair down a little, and are not about to stand in the way.  

So, in this issue you’ll find Robert Heaven’s brilliant look back at Cirencester in old photographs; a feature remembering 75 years of Sir Peter Scott’s WWT Slimbridge; and a peek behind the bead curtains of Cotswoldians living vintage lifestyles... You may have noticed Cheltenham’s own Missy Malone adorning the cover, reclining on leopard-print, while reading classic erotic literature and sipping (possibly tea) from a bone-china tea-cup.  

But if it’s festive spirit you’re after, prepare yourself a warming eggnog and immerse yourself in our essential 16-page section that’s positively dripping in baubles and tinsel. It contains all you need to know about how our Cotswold cities, towns and villages are gearing up for Santa season, with light switch-ons, Christmas markets, enchanting light trails, pantomimes and shopping treats. We also have some boozy recipes to help you recreate a few of Churchill’s favourite cocktails... just make sure you drink – and run the country – sensibly. 

Michael and Clare Morpurgo in 1976, the year they set up the charity Farms for City Children

Michael and Clare Morpurgo in 1976, the year they set up the charity Farms for City Children - Credit: Michael Morpurgo

I’M FULL OF ADMIRATION for Michael Morpurgo. The author, poet and playwright has not only produced some of our best-loved works, including War Horse and Private Peaceful, but also puts an incredible amount of energy into raising awareness of the plight of refugees. He’s also, of course, the brains behind the Farms for City Children charity he set up in 1976 with wife Clare, which provides rural bases for urban children. With over 150 books to his name, you’d think he’d want to take a breather, but in his interview with Katie Jarvis he talks of his latest project: the poetry of Carnival of the Animals... and the delight of using the same Abbey Road microphone as John Lennon.  

The next person to use that mic will be over the moon to be told it’s the very same one used by none other than Mr Morpurgo. Deep respect. 

Candia McKormack 
Editor, Cotswold Life magazine 
Twitter: @cotslifeeditor
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Cotswold Life magazine, November 2021

Cotswold Life magazine, November 2021 - Credit:

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