Editor’s letter, January 2022

Pixelated progress bar showing loading of 2022 year. Vector

Hello there, 2022... I do hope you’re going to behave yourself - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Well, hello there, 2022... I do hope you’re going to behave yourself. 

The early months of 2020 brought the first miserable news of COVID-19, which ramped up into a full-blown pandemic barely two self-conscious coughs later. The summer brought the doorstep-explorer days of discovering wild bramble-strewn pathways to be enjoyed within the permitted hour-long walk (council strimmers were nowhere to be seen and, quite frankly, nature loved it). 

Autumn 2020 saw the ‘rule of six’; the three-tier system; and a second national lockdown, while winter brought a pretty cheerless Christmas followed, joy of joys, by a third national lockdown. 

We all remember how 2021 played out, so we’ll not dwell on it here, except to say most of us have seen some pretty awful times; experienced the lowest troughs with the occasional giddying highs... and, throughout, the best of humanity has shone through like a beacon of hope. 

I think we’re all ready to look the New Year squarely in the eye and get life back on track as best we can. And so, in the succinctly beautiful words of Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard, here’s something to tuck behind your ear for future use: ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ 

I’M STRIDING INTO 2022 all guns blazing, feeling unashamedly optimistic, and it starts right here with our January issue. 

Professor Mark Horton is sending his love from the Americas all the way back to Cirencester, with news of what he’s been up to since filming Time Team and Coast. It includes some surprising revelations, and is pretty fascinating stuff. 

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We visit Woodstock to see how the home of Blenheim Palace is stirring from its Sleeping Beauty-style two-year slumber, ready to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Wake Up To Woodstock. We also experience the wild side of the Golden Valley, courtesy Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and discover the wildflowers of a Walcot bridleway that have blossomed under lockdown.  

Cotswold District Council gives us an exclusive guide to retrofitting period homes to make them more energy-efficient – yes, those sash windows can stay – and our new series on industries that have made the Cotswold economy shows how glove-making was driven by the women of the wolds. 

You’ll also find a ten-page guide to events planned to go ahead in the Cotswolds in 2022, and if the dreaded ‘C-word’ dare put a spanner in the works, I might get very cross indeed. 

Candia McKormack 
Editor, Cotswold Life magazine
Twitter: @cotslifeeditor