There was no doubt that it was officially springtime at Midori House on the Friday evening that this issue shipped to press. The windows were open, a gentle breeze was rustling hairstyles both firm and floppy, pages destined for correction were flapping atop desks and the special supply of pre-mixed Marks & Spencer gin-and-tonics (never accuse us of being cocktail snobs) were stuffed in the fridge, primed for consumption at 18.30. With the sun’s rays heating up the art department as the final layouts made their way to the watchful eyes of our chief sub Dan Poole, a few of us were already locked away at the far end of the editorial floor sketching out the plan for the June and July/August issues.
Others were huddled in Studio 2 listening to some remixed sounds for Monocle 24. Just as we’ve been tweaking the pages of the magazine for the past few issues, we’ve also been sharpening up our sound on the airwaves. We have a host of new jingles from the talented types at The Quiet Nights Orchestra – as well as Monoraffa in Stockholm – revamped programme line-ups, new partnerships and a couple of extra voices around the mic. At long last the Singapore radio operation is properly up and running too, so there’ll be more from Nolan Giles, our man in the region. At the same time I’ve been in a clinic-cum-laboratory in the Japanese Alps having a special headset and mic surgically fitted so I’ll be able to come across crisp and clear from any corner of the world where there’s a phone signal and decent internet connection. If these tech tweaks work seamlessly we will roll them out to all radio staffers so there will be even more from our editors and correspondents on the road than ever before.
On the topic of travel, a large contingent of editors will fan out after our Vienna Quality of Life Conference (more on that in both our June and July/August issues) for a series of book launches in Asia, Europe and North America to tie in with our latest title, which is dedicated to better statesmanship: How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide. Up first will be a couple of dates for Tokyo and Singapore followed by Cascadia (we’re thinking Vancouver and Portland at the moment), Geneva, Washington, Toronto and London. Please take a peek at our special tour dates on monocle.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to see which editors will be pulling out their writing instruments and jotting out dedications. In addition we’ve released new travel guides to Paris and Vienna, and these will soon be followed by Sydney, Honolulu, Berlin and Los Angeles – and at least five more before the year is out.
If your summer plans happen to take you to the southern reaches of Mitteleuropa this summer, we’re happy to announce that our seasonal shop in Merano, South Tyrol, is being spruced up for the summer season. It will feature a unique line-up of monocle products, specialities from the region’s most talented makers and bakers, good coffee, shelves of great books and mags and menswear from Trunk.
The lovely Linda Egger will be looking after our visitors and on certain weeks guest editors will be manning the till, watering the plants and doing radio check-ins from our pop-up radio studio under cloudless skies.
Over the coming weeks we’ll also be announcing the date for a special summer market and party that we’ll be hosting for all of our readers in the South Tyrol region and beyond. If you came to our party in Bolzano two years ago, expect a similar spread of fine speck and cheese, delightful wine from local vineyards and plenty of cold Forst on tap. Keep an eye out for our radio set-up at other events this summer, including the Hay literary festival and Farnborough International Airshow, the Almedalen political conference in Sweden and the Olympics in Rio.
Before all of that we’re charting a course for our first Monocle-on-Sea issue, which will see us examining all things maritime and sliding into our trunks to enjoy the first proper dip of the season. Expect a June edition full of plenty of ambitious nations looking to assert territorial claims, families who don’t mind putting on a few tonnes, sleek-looking patrol craft, cliff-hugging residences, appropriate resortwear and everything else you might need for a proper briefing on maritime geopolitics and portside etiquette.
If you have any tips on cosy coves we might miss while compiling the issue or trade secrets on new vessels being covertly commissioned, get in touch with my able mates Mat or Hannah – or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to welcoming you aboard when we set sail in mid-May. And as always, thank you for your support.
For more from our editor in chief, read his column in the ‘FT Weekend’.