Editor’s letter: February 2021

Candia McKormack tries on the Editor's shoes for size

Candia McKormack tries on the Editor's shoes for size - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Here we are, then. The end of an era, and the start of a new one.” Candia McKormack’s first editor’s letter

Here we are, then. The end of an era, and the start of a new one.

The possibility – and even the promise – of change seems to be at the forefront of most of our minds these days and, as I’m writing this in January, the sense of nervous anticipation is thicker than the thickest Tewkesbury mustard of Shakespearean prose.

As regular readers will know, the January issue carried a farewell letter from my boss – The Boss – the editor of Cotswold Life for the past 15 years, Mike Lowe. I’d joked on Twitter at the end of December about the huge shoes I had to fill, and how my inelegant size 8s might just do the job at a push. All this was said with lashings of apprehension and excitement in equal measure.

Cotswold Life is a jewel in the breathtakingly beautiful and – most importantly – multi-faceted crown that is the Cotswolds AONB (and beyond… we’ve never quite taken with the limitations of geographical boundaries). Born in the Autumn of Love, 1967 (if only it had been a few months earlier), our slender, stapled, mono-print girl bounded into this world, not espousing free love and funny cigarettes, but a genuine, dearly-felt love for this area. The early issues explored her country lanes, market towns, unusual customs, dialects, rich heritage, and colourful characters… Now, here we are, approaching 54 years later and, though we find ourselves enjoying the glamour of resident celebrity and the undeniable draw for visitors from across the world, we have the same values at heart: to celebrate the landscape and people of the Cotswolds, support independent businesses through good times and bad, and be at the beating heart of this rather brilliant community.

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Though it seems incredible to say, we’re fast approaching the anniversary of the first lockdown, and now find ourselves in the midst of a third.

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The last year has been a rough one for many of us. Though we’ve seen scores of individuals and businesses finding strength in the face of adversity and seeking ways to adapt, others have simply found it too much to deal with and have fallen by the wayside. I like to think that, given time, determination and our patronage, many of these will find a way to re-emerge. It’ll be into a very different world, yes, but hopefully one with new possibilities.

And so, I reckon it’s a good time to rediscover those old-fashioned values of community and camaraderie. We may not be able to pop round to a neighbour’s house for a cuppa and chat right now, but there’s always the supermarket run, help with putting the rubbish out or – as it’s the first time we’ve had a Valentine’s Day since the dreaded Covid – *whispers* what about popping a card and chocolate bar or two through the letterbox?

As hints go, it may be heavy-handed, but if you don’t ask…

Candia McKormack

candia.mckormack@archant.co.uk | Twitter @cotslifeeditor