A message from Dorset Magazine editor Helen Stiles: We’re #ThereWithYou

PUBLISHED: 10:12 20 April 2020

Dorset Magazine: We are #ThereWithYou

Dorset Magazine: We are #ThereWithYou

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This magazine carries a single, simple message on its cover this month - #ThereWithYou

How are you doing? This lockdown situation is a jolly strange business isn’t it? It almost has me reaching for a packet of powdered egg and a ration book. Certainly my 89-year-old mum feels that her generation are probably better at dealing with these limitations than most. Though I only allow her one mention of ‘the war’during our daily calls!

Being in lockdown has resulted in some interesting development on my own home front. I’ve taken up playing the Celtic harp again. I had a refresher lesson with my old music college chum a week before lockdown. Elizabeth-Jane replaced the upper section strings that had broken, the missing lower strings were to be replaced the following week. Except that never happened. I doubt that would have stopped the likes of Mary Crawford who used her harp skills to great effect in Mansfield Park ‘A young woman, pretty, lively, with a harp as elegant as herself was enough to catch any man’s heart.’

Whilst I channel my Regency harp-playing flirt, my partner Stu has stepped up his spoken Japanese lessons. Usually it’s via a relaxed American dude from Pimsleur’s Japanese Course inviting business colleagues for a drink. But he has now opted for an incredibly bossy woman on YouTube who barks out phrases like a sergeant major.

The front cover for Dorset Magazine's May IssueThe front cover for Dorset Magazine's May Issue

Our evenings are now filled with me wrestling with Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (humming the lower notes), whilst Stu has a shouting match in Japanese in the kitchen. I realise that this rarefied cultural atmosphere is happening all over the country as we start exploring mind-broadening avenues from the safety of home.

This month’s jam-packed edition is very much geared towards discovering Dorset from your armchair. Some well-known county names have shared their favourite books, there’s a virtual tour of Hardy’s Wessex, and we dip into some of his lesser known novels. And we turn to the natural health service for avian antics streaming into your living room and garden stargazing.

We also meet some of the volunteers in Sherborne who are supporting their community. I know there are thousands of you doing your bit in your town, village and hamlet. I would love to hear about your local heroes. As you will see on the cover #therewithyou – is to tell you that we are here for you in these challenging times. If you, a friend, or family member

want to take up our excellent six issues for £10 subs offer, so the magazine is delivered to your door...then please do look at the offer on page 42. You can order this online or on the telephone. Following my penchant for the Regency, could my next challenge be pineapple growing? Maybe I’ll start with salad cress? Something to go with thatpowdered egg sandwich!

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