What could possibly make an otherwise fairly-sensible person decide to start an English-speaking magazine in the depths of the Quercy region of south west France?
The decision to first publish a magazine was a relatively gradual one. Now it’s hard to imagine a time before it all started. The Quercy Local seems to have now taken over such a large part of my life and feels as if it’s been around forever. However, in reality, it was in 2010, only 7 years ago, that the first ideas started to form; it was one of those growing notions that begins with just a flicker.
I’d already been struck by how many loose leaflets were scattered over the counters of the bakers’ counters and bar tops locally. The potential for these loose fliers to fall, slip, become unruly or even become lost, worried the part of me that ‘could’ be described as anxious and /or overly precise.
Then later when visiting southern Spain I noticed how many English speaking publications there were in every bar, shop, café and restaurant. I knew that this area of Spain was very different to the French Quercy region; it enjoys or suffers (depending on your view point) a much greater density of English-speakers. These Spanish magazines were essentially only advertising; aimed at a very different audience than would be found here in the Quercy region.
These Spanish publications helped me develop the idea of producing a magazine here it France but it was just the start – things here would have to be very different to work well. The way forward had to include a way of publishing a magazine that editions were not immediately superseded by the next one. That is what happens with the Spanish magazines; the older editions go straight in the bin. Being immediately replaced with the new one, which looks virtually the same but with updated adverts for cocktail bar opening-hours and offers on glitzy clothes and jewellery.
Somehow I wanted to produce something that would be boost to the region. A way of allowing people with great ideas, good causes and innovative businesses to share what they were doing. This was a time before Facebook had taken hold, so telling people what you were doing was a difficult. I suspected that quietly behind every woody copse and up every narrow Quercy street there were people with great skills doing interesting things.
Producing a magazine from scratch couldn’t be that complicated – could it? I’d never done anything like this before so my enthusiasm was largely fueled by complete ignorance. There was so much to learn – if I had known then what I know now!