Editor's Welcome

October 2017

Written by the editor Sunday, 01 October 2017

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Newspaper obituaries are a somewhat strange section of the media. Strange not because of their content, but because of their concept. A concept that took the publication of what were once brief announcements of deaths – dating back to early Rome and the daily papyrus newsletter Acta Diurna – and developed them into the mini-biographies we read today. And it is the post-mortem publication of a deceased's lifetime achievements that creates the uniqueness of the modern obituary. There are few, if any, other areas of the media in which so many ready-to-publish features are prepared in advance, without knowing when they will be used.

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September 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 September 2017

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As my camera and I rose somewhat jerkily through and above the canopy of Tarzy Wood in July, expertly guided (both verbally and physically) by an Epping Forest arborist aboard a Teupen LEO30, I was eager to capture an aerial view of this publication's domain. Several dozen exposures and some careful image stitching later and I had the panoramic view I wanted to perfectly complement last month's feature on the often overlooked and important local asset that is Tarzy Wood. There was, however, something missing from the image, and it wasn't just the hoped-for blue sky that had been clouded out in typical British summertime fashion.

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August 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 29 July 2017

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The paradigm for the perfect pop group, according to music journalist Paul Lester, is still The Beatles: "You need the streetwise intellectual one (John), the softer, more reflective one (Paul), the quiet, experimental one (George) and the goofy, down-to-earth one (Ringo)." If there's a formula for the ideal band, is there one for the ideal high street? The perfect mix of shops is what's needed: the serious ones (banks and estate agents), the functional ones (butchers and bakers), the creative ones (florists and jewellers) and the relaxing ones (coffee shops and pubs). But how many of each?

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July 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 01 July 2017

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In an era of fake news, media bias and political change, our interpretation of the world around ushas never been more important. Fact checking is vital, but understanding the reasons behind the alternative truths is paramount. Being aware of a publication's inherent bias is an integral part of reading the news, but taking the time to draw your own conclusions is crucial. Listening to the words and watching the actions of our political leaders is one thing, understanding their agenda is more revealing... Sometimes, we need to look at things differently.

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June 2017

Written by the editor Friday, 02 June 2017

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"Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]." Aristotle's words are as meaningful today as they were when he recorded them in The Art of Rhetoric over 2,000 years ago. They are words that will ring true with any politician and their speech writers. And this month, the nation's parliamentary hopefuls face the ultimate test in the art or persuasion, followed by a post-election analysis – for many – of what went wrong.

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May 2017

Written by the editor Sunday, 30 April 2017

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Is history a science or an art form? It's a well known and – within certain circles – a frequently debated question. Science deals with objective facts and artdevelops out ofsubjective interpretation, and historians straddle the two, so the answer is presumably a combination of science and art. Sometimes a history lesson will be a factual insight into the cause of an event, at other times it will be an exploration of its meaning, and one without the other would leave our knowledge of the past somewhat lacking.

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April 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 01 April 2017

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Four days before the print edition of this magazine was sent to print, London suffered a terrorist attack. It would be wrong not to take this opportunity to pay my respects to those who lost their lives and those injured in the atrocity. It would be wrong not to take this opportunity to thank those who work to keep us safe. And it would be wrong to allow this depraved act to change who we are and what we do. So, here follows my usual rambling address. Business as usual.

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March 2017

Written by the editor Monday, 27 February 2017

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How does your garden grow? A seemingly simple question with a surprisingly vast array of possible answers. From the simplest of responses ("very well, thanks"), to elaborate explanations of photosynthesis and an analysis of soil structure and irrigation methods best suited to publications other than this. For our purposes, I'd like to rephrase this 18th-century query posed to a certain disagreeable Mary and ask instead: what do our gardens show?

Gardening itself isn't to everyone's pleasure, but it takes a particularly finicky passer-by not to glean any enjoyment from a well-manicured herbaceous border or a row of smiling daffodils. So, whether you planted the seed or enjoyed the fruit, our community gardens present to us a journey and a destination all at once. Silver bells and cockle shells aside, there is as much beauty in the work that has taken place as there is in the results on show.

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