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Slightly Foxed Issue 78: From the Editors

The past few months have seen some significant comings and goings at Slightly Foxed. Sadly, we said goodbye to Anna (or rather au revoir – once a fox always a fox) who understandably felt it was time for a change after being with us for nearly fourteen years. Many of you will have spoken to Anna, who was loved by everyone for her kindness and her can-do attitude, and admired for her wide reading and literary taste, which she often shared on the podcast. Nothing was too much trouble for her, and we’re really going to miss her. Fortunately we still have lovely and super-hardworking Hattie and Jess who keep the office wheels on track and support Steph, who oversees our marketing and publicity; Aimi, who deals with financial mysteries such as the payroll and keeps us all calm; and Jemima, who joined as an intern and was such a success we asked her to stay. And a further bit of good news – Jennie, whose creative spark did so much in the early years to make Slightly Foxed what it is, is now back from maternity leave and turning her thoughts from small people to our design and marketing.

So we’re going into the summer with a full team, not forgetting the dogs of course: Dusty who travels in daily with Jess and has become the de facto office dog; Jennie’s Tarka and Griff; Maggie, Gideon and Humphrey, who keep tabs on Steph down in Sussex; and of course Gail’s Stanley, who throws his weight about a bit (literally) when he comes up from Devon, and Chudleigh, the Grand Old Man, still benign, but in failing health and now becoming a little vague.

This summer’s Slightly Foxed Edition is an intriguing memoir by an intriguing author. As a child in the 1960s Luke Jennings – now dance critic of the Observer and also the author of the Killing Eve trilogy – was fascinated by the mysterious depths of the lakes and rivers around his Sussex home. In Blood Knots he describes how his passion for fly-fishing gradually took hold, encouraged by his two boyhood heroes – his father, who had been awarded the Military Cross for bravery during the war, when he was badly burned, and Robert Nairac, a charismatic figure who first befriended him as a teacher at his prep school and who met his end when he was tortured and murdered by the IRA. The blood knot of the title is a knot used by fishermen, but this subtle and beautifully written book, as the words suggest, is about a great deal more than fishing.

And finally, to the 2022 Slightly Foxed Writers’ competition. We had a number of interesting entries, but the two that stood out for their originality and the quality of their writing were Richard Brown’s piece on Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Samuel Saloway-Cooke’s on Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland. We really couldn’t choose between them so we’re happy to announce them as equal winners. Their pieces will appear in this year’s autumn and winter issues respectively. Our thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to them both.

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