Well, this issue is our 60th, and it’s making us feel a bit ruminative – emotional even – remembering the little group (four plus a baby) who sat round Gail’s kitchen table, discussing an idea for a magazine that we weren’t at all sure would work. The baby is at secondary school now and the original four has nearly trebled, if we count all the great people, both full-time and part-time and with ages ranging over six decades, who contribute to the production of Slightly Foxed.
So once again we say thank you to you, our subscribers, who’ve made it all possible – especially those who took a punt on us at the beginning and have stuck with us right through. We’re always cheered by your letters, and happy if we can provide an escape route to a saner, friendlier world.
One of the pleasures of editing SF is choosing the covers, and for this 60th issue we’ve commissioned a special wood engraving from the distinguished illustrator Chris Wormell. His handsome fox in classic posture seems to us to embody the lasting qualities we aim for in Slightly Foxed. And what a pleasure too to welcome back one of our favourite artists, Posy Simmonds, who has captured the SF office and its occupants in her inimitable style on the inside covers.
The author of our winter SFE is another much-loved artist, E. H. Shepard, whose delicate illustrations will for ever define the characters of Mole and Ratty and Winnie-the-Pooh. In Drawn from Memory and Drawn from Life he evokes in words and enchanting pictures the London of his childhood in the twilight years of the Victorian era. For anyone who was brought up on his timeless characters, these two little volumes would make a perfect Christmas present.
And yes, it’s time for another of our literary Christmas crosswords, which you’ll find at the end of the catalogue. Entries should be with us by 15 January 2019 and the first correct one drawn out of a hat will receive a free annual subscription. And/or you may like to consider entering our 2019 Writers’ Competition. Entries this year netted us five excellent pieces for the magazine – two joint winners, one of which you’ll find on p.89, and three runners-up. The competition is open to all SF subscribers and the winner will receive a prize of £250. Entries should reach us by 31 March 2019.
Finally, as you’ll know, Jennie and the team keep SF well up-to-speed in all matters digital. But, for those of you who, like us, sometimes struggle to understand the world of social media, we can’t resist passing on the following, which reached us via our subscriber Janet Morgan:
For those of my generation who do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists: I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles. Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom. I give them pictures of my family, my dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day. I also listen to their conversations, give them ‘thumbs up’ and tell them I ‘like’ them. And it works just like Facebook. I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist.
Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood