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wish-you-were-here-250x189

Just like sand in sandwiches, sticks of rock and wrestling with a windbreak on a windswept beach, sending a postcard has been an intrinsic part of the British holiday tradition since the 1900s. It coined the expressions "Wish you were here" and "Having a lovely time", and generations of holidaymakers have penned and posted a few lines to the folks back home from much-loved resorts and destinations across the country. From souvenir shops and beach-side kiosks we would purchase scenes of coast, countryside, towns, villages, famous landmarks and customs, or even throngs of happy holidaymakers - like ourselves - paddling in the briny, basking in the sun or savouring the bracing sea air. And, among the picturesque panoramas and subtle watercolours who can forget those cheeky colourful cartoon postcards famed for their own saucy blend of humour!

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We love books here at Evergreen and in each issue we feature articles about much-loved or lesser-known literary creations and their authors. All types of reading material are represented on the Evergreen bookshelves, from adventure to historical fiction and detective novels to the great classics. In our forthcoming winter edition, published on 22nd November (click here to order your copy), our regular “Literary Pilgrim” series will be turning the pages of some spine-chilling tales of the supernatural by the likes of Charles Dickens, M.R. James, Bram Stoker and Edith Nesbit. The latter, of course, is famous for her children's literature, so it is fascinating to discover her literary exploration of the ghost world.

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It is fascinating how everyday objects can awaken memories and take us back in time. Many of the items featured in Evergreen transport you through the decades, and when discussing articles for each issue it also prompts us here in the office to share recollections, which is a real tonic. Music and places are frequent sparks for reminiscing, but so too is food as I discovered in my local supermarket the other day.

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In the summer edition of Evergreen I wrote about my love of radio, which I know is something that is shared by many readers and is the subject of one of our regular features "On the Air". This week I was given the opportunity to take to the airwaves and talk about the magazine (click here to order our autumn issue) on a marvellous station called Angel Radio (www.angelradio.co.uk), which is based in Havant, Hampshire.

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autumn-ancestors-250x189

It is time to turn the calendar as we welcome the ninth month of the year and I can hardly believe that we are three-quarters of the way through 2017. September heralds many things including the publication of the autumn issue of Evergreen on the 6th, although lucky subscribers receive their copies well in advance of publication date (click here to arrange a subscription).

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Last Friday we lost one of our great Knights of Entertainment, Sir Bruce Forsyth. Many of the wonderful heartfelt tributes that flooded in after the announcement of his death referred to him as the “King of Saturday Night Television”. Of that there is no doubt; his small-screen career encompassed an astonishing 75 years and earned him a place in the "Guinness Book of Records". But although most of our memories are filled with his game-show antics and inimitable catchphrases there was much more to this star who was loved and respected by all ages, by fellow performers and the public alike.

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What is your favourite word? I have to admit to being rather partial to “serendipity”, and another one I favour is “mellifluous”. “Recalcitrant” is satisfyingly sharp and sculpted, while “erudite”, “eloquence” and “nuance” roll off the tongue pleasingly. “Gumption” is another good one, then there’s “insouciance” and, as we’re in that area of the alphabet, how about “indefatigable”? For me it’s not just the definition of the word that attracts me to it, but the sound it makes – the musical and rhythmic quality it possesses.

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clog-making-250x189

Celebrating Britain’s calendar of colourful and often quirky customs is something we make a point of doing in each issue of Evergreen. Our autumn edition, which is published on 6th September (click here to arrange a subscription), finds us wending our way – or perhaps I should say jigging – to the Staffordshire village of Abbots Bromley, where we witness the Horn Dance, which takes place every September. As you will discover, this remarkable dance, complete with its cast of impressively costumed characters - including a hobby horse, Maid Marian and a jester- is many centuries old and, understandably, the villagers are deservedly proud of the tradition and its ancient history.

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hawthorn-250x189

When was the last time you took a walk in the countryside? How about the picture above, any idea what sort of tree it is? Now, hold those answers for a moment as we put on our walking boots, reach for our rucksacks and set out on this week’s Evergreen blog.

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house-of-lords-lobby-250x189

Just as I am fascinated by the stories that people have to tell, so too am I enchanted by the history that Britain’s glorious buildings have locked deep within their walls. Not only are these landmarks testament to architectural glory and the skilled builders and craftsmen of the past, but they are symbolic of our heritage and identity. This was powerfully demonstrated to me earlier this week when I visited London and went on a tour of the Houses of Parliament.

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