It is still summer, isn’t it? So says the cover of my latest issue of Slightly Foxed, with which I’m finally united now that I’ve returned to a country where there is no vestige of summer. From the Aegean, where clouds were a great rarity, to England, where they are so thick you want to scrape them off the sky. But anyway, I love Slightly Foxed! It is one of the most delightful things that can fall through your letterbox (Graze boxes are high up on the list too). The cover of the Summer edition takes me back to the Turkish island of Cunda, where I took this photo of a boat called ‘Yasemin’ (which also happens to be my middle name). SF is always beautifully laid out on cream paper and boasts the sweetest illustrations; really it’s enough to bring out the bibliophile in any text-lover. It prints unpretentious reviews of forgotten or out-of-print books, and has been accused of harbouring nostalgia for early lit crit, and of being altogether unscholarly. Perhaps the best compliments I can imagine. If newspaper literary supplement reviews make you cringe and swear off reading comtemporary literature, this will be just your cup of tea (you can subscribe here if you like)! Nothing sends me searching on Abebooks quicker…
The first article in this issue is about Graeme Greene’s Stamboul Train which is now on my reading list, even though I spent 40 miserable minutes in Istanbul Atatürk Airport waiting in the customs & x-ray queues, hoping our next plane was delayed. It was. Then I spent nearly 4 hours thinking how I would rather have spent a week travelling by train than having to sit for even 5 minutes with a hideous aqua seat cover about 4 inches from my face. Honestly, I can see why some might prefer to stay at home reading their lovely Quarterlies instead.
Another Aegean blue addition to my possessions now that I’m back in blighty is my new (old) iPod shuffle. The engraving is half a quote by Aristotle (it continues: “Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit”), and is there to remind me that unless I blog more often I cannot be a blogger. Like paint chips, the shuffle makes a great bookmark (I don’t know why Apple don’t mention this on their website), and the combination of Foxed & shuffle (with a bit of knitting thrown in) is even more enjoyable when employed on my favourite train route – between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.
And despite the wise admonition of the most excellent Woolly Wormhead, I just couldn’t resist the urge to match (both my iPod & my Strat). The colour is Collection 2000’s ‘Show off’, in case you want to, you know, show off.