Once a month or so throughout the year, we meet around the kitchen table here at No. 53 to discuss the all-important ins and outs of Slightly Foxed business. We pore over officious spreadsheets and schedules, mutter about analytics and databases, discuss logistics for our annual Readers’ Day, mull over binding cloth and endpaper colour combinations, and then rattle through marketing before getting down to the VIP business of jollity. And, what could be jollier than not one, but two summer wayzgooses?
This weekend the foxes are off to Sussex to celebrate a significant birthday for one of our number, and in early August we’re West Country-bound for a long weekend of walking on moors, swimming in lakes and reading under trees, with plenty of recuperative feasting in-between. To allow for these important therapy sessions, the office will open at the slightly later time of 11.30 a.m. this coming Monday (24th) before reverting to our usual hours until we close at 5.30 p.m. Thursday 3 August. We’ll then open once more at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 8 August and henceforth return to business as usual. Of course our website, inboxes and answering machines will be accepting correspondence around the clock while we’re away, but please don’t plan to pop in and see us for there’ll be no friendly Hoxton fox to welcome you.
In other cheering news, we’ve tentatively started planning a celebratory silver fox 60th issue for next year, our 15th! We’ve had the great joy of collecting many readers and friends from the publishing world over our years in print but, as is life’s wont, we’ve lost a few along the way. This year we bid farewell to our friends Gina Pollinger and Jeremy Lewis and, several years ago now, to Miles Kington, who wrote the most wonderful piece about SF for the Independent back in 2007, prompting a great rush of new subscriptions from bookish sorts. We still use quotes from Miles’s typically warm and funny piece on our official publicity material and we owe him a number of long-term readers, so when his widow Caroline got in touch with to see if we could share news of a forthcoming book, My Mother, the Bearded Lady: The Selected Letters of Miles Kington, we were delighted to help. You’ll find more information about this project, and how SF readers can get involved, further down the page.
As you make your way down, do stop off with Miles in 1987 for some ideas for holiday reading, and then onwards to a tempting summer offer on our handsome little paperbacks, some recent correspondence from readers, a competition from our friends at the Idler, and news of a trip to John Moore’s splendid and sordid (but certainly not dull) Tewkesbury . . . And once you’ve got through all that, we suspect it will be time for a cool drink and a spot of reading in the garden.
We’ll be back in touch next month with news of our autumn publications. Until then, all good wishes for a happy summer from the SF office staff.
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie