I didn’t take to my bed, but for more than a week I had a cold, niggling aches and pains, couldn’t think straight and generally felt under the weather. Keeping warm indoors seemed sensible but only added boredom to my other symptoms. Eventually, I needed to get some shopping and thought a short walk in the fresh air might make me feel better. It didn’t.
I picked up a few essentials in our village shop and looked around the shelves in the forlorn hope of finding some miracle remedy. Cough mixture? I had plenty at home. Chocolate? I managed to resist the temptation. Then I came to the magazine rack …
Many years ago, The People’s Friend was one of my main target markets. I bought it most weeks and read it carefully from cover to cover to get the feel of what they published. All that research paid off when I had two short stories and two articles accepted by the editor. But then I wanted to try other magazines and different types of writing, so I stopped buying it so often and gradually lost touch.
As I looked through the latest issue I was pleased, although not surprised, to discover it’s hardly changed at all (except it now has a Facebook page). Yes, I’m sure some people would describe it as an old-fashioned magazine – especially if they remember their mother or grandmother reading it – but the reason it’s survived since 1869 must surely be because it found a winning formula and has stuck with it. I wonder how many of today’s celebrity magazines will last that long?
I spent the afternoon sitting with my feet up, drinking tea and enjoying a good read.
And, not only did I start to feel physically better than I had for days, but the fog in my brain finally cleared and a new story idea began to grow. It’s a feel-good story that I think might be suitable for the Friend …