Robert Wringham is on to something.
A few months ago he re-started a magazine, in paper form, via a Kickstarter. I decided to back it, which was a first for me. He raised the necessary funds and later on a small, white parcel duly thumped onto my doormat. New Escapologist was back.
I've been a fan of Mr Wringham for a while now. You know when you stumble upon writers or bloggers who just seem to get the same issue that you're turning over in your mind? And you read and then some of their suggestions make you go "Yes!" It's this.
I sometimes write on here about this deep seated niggle I have that the standard model of "work for 50 years, then maybe have some kind of life afterwards" is pretty flawed, especially now.
In my own journal, it's odd looking at the number of notes I write to myself along the lines of "Is this it?" And I notice how nearly all of the good and interesting journal entries are ones that do not involve my work life, despite that part of my life taking up the majority of my waking hours.
Something doesn't quite sit right and hasn't done so for a while. I know something needs to change. And when I know things need to change I look for guidance.
How can you live well? How can you enjoy life more, simplify things, have fun, potter? Can you work on interesting, useful projects or art without a trust fund? Does reducing clutter help keep costs down? Are there other like-minded souls like me?
New Escapologist is all about how normal people can think, plan and execute ways to live better lives by living more simply, having more fun, going against the perceived directions of society. It's anarchistic with a kind heart. Through a blog, an excellent book that I bought, another excellent book that Wringham was giving away to clear out stock (thank you kindly) and then a resurrected magazine, it's become something very special to me. The style is of older magazines mixing "how to" articles, reviews, observations, guest writers and readers' letters. Quite simply it's a joy.
When the second edition of the new series was published, (Issue 15) my print copy failed to arrive. So I emailed Robert and he kindly send another to me gratis. A few weeks later, like a prodigal son returning from far off lands, my original copy finally appeared. So not wanting to waste it, I got back in touch and suggested either returning it to him, giving it to a library, or offering it as a giveaway here.
Robert's reply, "Hell yeah, do the blog thing. That's good for me."
So as I have a spare unread copy of Issue 15 which I'd love to send to someone who would appreciate it. If you would like to be in with a chance, just send me an email with "New Escapologist Please" in the subject line and on March 1st at 5pm UK time, I'll pick one random entrant. If you win, I'll be in touch to ask where to post it to. Simples.
This is not one of those paid promotions or guest blog doohickeys. I really love this magazine. It sits on my bookstack with issues of 'The Idler' to which I also subscribe, but I have to say I think it's even better. If you're interested in ideas about other approaches to living well, I'd really recommend you giving it a go.