The wonder of the world. The beauty and the power. The shapes of things,Their colours, light and shades. These I saw, Look ye also while life lasts. — BB
A belated happy New Year to you all from No. 53 Hoxton Square. January at Slightly Foxed is a time of great activity as, with set jaws and the kettle on a permanent rolling boil, we turn to the annual task of ‘proof-reading the database’. This task of tidying-up addresses, removing errant characters from names, checking for any mishaps that may have occurred during the pre-Christmas melee is always gargantuan, but especially so this time around as we’ve recently switched our rather clunky old system to a new and very whizzy one that, in the long run, will cut down on paper-shuffling no end. However, as is usually the case with times of change, inevitably the odd error will have crept in. So if you notice anything that looks odd on your address label or subscription record, or are sent a renewal reminder by mistake, do get in touch with Hattie ([email protected] / +44 (0) 20 7033 0258 and she’ll sort things out (just as soon as she returns from her well-deserved week off whizzing about the Alps, that is). And, if you’d prefer not to hear from us by post in the future, do let us know and we’ll take your details off our records.
Thank you very much to those of you who have recently renewed your subscription in time for the publication of Issue 57 on 1 March. The office is once again well-stocked with freshly minted handsome duck-egg blue membership cards, and Olivia and Katy are rushing to and from their desks and the packing table to send them out. If you have renewed in the last few weeks and haven’t yet received your new card, then please be assured that it will be with you soon. And for any of you who haven’t yet renewed but would like to do so, then all you need is your membership number or surname and an email address and you can use our quick renew page to renew your own subscription or a gift for someone else.
Once our electronic systems are in tip-top condition, we’ll be turning our attention to the bookshelves and cupboards to clear some space for the coming quarter’s offerings of Slightly Foxed Issue 57, our 41st SF Edition, Eric Newby’s Something Wholesale, and a brand-new Carey Novel, The Road to Waterloo – recently discovered in Ronald Welch’s papers, and now published for the first time. If anyone would like to help us with this spring clean and take the opportunity to stock up on presents for bookish friends and relations for impending birthdays, or the coming months’ rash of gifting occasions (St. Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday, Easter and then Father’s Day!) then we would be delighted to offer you complimentary gift wrap in exchange for your assistance. Just use the code SPRINGCLEAN by phone or on our website when you reach the checkout. (Until 28 Feb).
We’ll be in touch again next month with more news of the coming quarter’s issue and books but for now, let’s meet at the Folly Brook with ‘BB’ and his Little Grey Men.
Denys Watkins-Pitchford (1905‒90), who wrote under the pseudonym ‘BB’, was the author of more than sixty books for adults and children, but The Little Grey Men, which won the 1942 Carnegie Medal, and its sequel Down the Bright Stream, published in 1948, are his masterpieces. BB was both a writer and an illustrator, and his charming original scraperboard illustrations decorate these books. But above all he was a countryman, whose intimate and unsentimental knowledge of animals, birds and plants, as well as his gifts as a storyteller, make these books unique. The Little Grey Men and Down the Bright Stream will be remembered by many adult readers as the best-loved books of their childhood, and they still enchant today.
Do read on for an extract and a handful of bookish temptations. With best wishes to you all from the the SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie & Katy