‘THINGS are looking up.’
I cannot believe I wrote this on what we call the magazine’s ‘Welcome page’ just a couple of weeks ago. It is one of the very last things that get written in each edition, so this up-beat reflection was e-penned on 9 March.
What a difference a few days makes! We all need something to make us laugh at the moment, so to quote myself in full (usually an agreeable thing to do): ‘The year 2020 marks the start of a new decade; spring is in the air; the daffodils in the fields and hedgerows have been looking glorious and it has even stopped raining now and then. So things are looking up.’
No, I haven’t been living in what is usually called ‘a parallel universe’; this seemed a perfectly unremarkable reflection at the time. The current ‘Spring’ edition of the magazine is its 30th edition and we were due to have a celebration of that significant milestone for our quarterly publication. Even when, for obvious reasons I had to e-mail all the guests to cancel the event, it still seemed very possible that after a few weeks we would all be back to normal – perhaps we would be celebrating the 31st edition in June instead.
Hmm, most unlikely, that seems now, when the Island is closing for an indefinite period and the ugly phrases ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ have become part of our everyday vocabulary.
As far as the magazine is concerned, readers will be equally amused, I hope, by our indispensable guide to Jersey events that are not actually taking place. As much as I have a preference for the written word and traditional print media, it must be admitted that websites, e-mail newsletters and social media have an immediacy that a quarterly magazine cannot hope to match. So, as a result, we have accelerated our plans to revamp our website and to embrace all these novelty ways of social media communication.
Fortunately, I have professional, competent help with social media – otherwise anybody trying to send me a message on Facebook, for example, would be liable to be waiting a very long time for a reply.
The Spring issue of the magazine is now available. RURAL magazine can help in a small way be delivering copies to anyone who is holed up at home – at least my ‘Welcome page’ might do a little something to help cheer them up. The magazine will also be available at its usual locations… those that are still open, meaning food shops and principally the branches of Waitrose supermarkets, as well as Midland Stores and Holmgrown farm shop.
How ironic, that at a time when the Island was preparing to celebrate an important anniversary of Liberation, we have been forced into new Occupation conditions caused by a foe as rapacious and as indiscriminate as any human enemy. Roll on its defeat and our eventual liberation from this invader, which has caused such dramatic limitations to our customary way of life.
To all businesses and workers facing difficulties because of this enemy, we extend our sympathy and sincere commiserations. To all our readers – keep safe and well.