Editor raises a glass to the gulf between this festive season and last year’s washout
Here’s a strange thing; just as I was starting to plan this magazine, I thought I’d better look at the Christmas edition last year to see what we did and ensure we don’t repeat, say, a six-page feature on Christmas puddings or whatever. And no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find the darned thing. I thought I could see it in my mind’s eye, but it wasn’t where it should be, and it was not on our website.
And then, gradually, the brain fog cleared and I remembered – we didn’t have a Christmas edition last year because we were in lockdown #2 and everything came to a halt again, closing the cafés, restaurants and independent retailers we work with so closely in producing this magazine, sending us all back to the dark place which had first blanketed the country back in March 2020.
Clearly, I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone what I was doing this time last year, but you might think I would remember that. I actually feel relieved that my mind seems to have stored that period away in the depths of my subconscious, because while we are clearly not out of the Covid woods yet, there’s a real buzz around our regional food landscape right now. There’s a real feeling of enthusiasm and creativity around as our wonderful producers, food and drink outlets and retailers head into what we can all hope will be a far more festive season than we experienced last year.
Operators and producers old and new seem to be experiencing a wonderful lease of life; as if, somehow, everyone has emerged from a tunnel into the light. It’s rather wonderful to witness, and for this magazine to be part of in our small way.
So, where are you shopping, eating and drinking this month and next? There’s certainly an atmosphere of loyalty for our local producers, outlets and retailers. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed quite this depth of passion for looking after our own previously, and it’s really heartwarming to see. So, wherever you’re shopping, eating and drinking this season, enjoy it. And remember, our independents do it brilliantly!