As I type this small chronicle to you at 5:26AM on a Friday morning — the birdsong commenced, the sun not yet risen — London’s first Magnolia bloom is nearly behind us. The pastel petals we dutifully awaited all winter are scattered in their glorious iridescence on the footpaths throughout Notting Hill, the chocolate egg hunts of Easter now a cheeky indulgence of weekend past, the freedoms for which our spirits pine slowly returned to us in a matter of days. (For those of us in England, we are particularly keen for the holiest of institutions: the pub.)
Nature is dependable in its symmetric brilliance, the descent always giving way to the ascent, the pin-drop stillness always preceding the orchestra.
As we wrap our first issue at the end of June, my diary for the next three months is rather militarised, both in deadlines and pleasure; the post-lockdown social engagements for “the season” are scheduled with equal religious measure. Every Tuesday morning my husband and I venture to Richmond Park for a sunrise ramble with the dogs, a mere 25-minute drive from our leafy pocket of town. The conversation always drifts to me wondering just how in the entire process of bringing this publication to life, not a single day could be deemed categorically stressful. Tedious at times? Superfluously. There are one million running parts to this elusive keel, each week mimicking an archaeological excavation when a new fragment to the construct of a print business revealed; yet, the discoveries are measured. The processes of breakthrough and creation a symbiotic satisfaction which energises in return, transporting the imagination to right places, at just the right times.
Early last year, when it became abundantly clear that my pen’s devotion to our home England was rather infinite in expanse, in combination with my growing archive of journals, filled with novel story ideas from Continent travels and stumbled-upon plot onions (the historical narratives you could delayer like a child for ages), my heart ached for an additional filter to release these stories from of my bones. My first duty in life will always be my fiction, and in order to serve its clarity, the stage on which all my overflow arcs could live came to life.
If you have followed this publication’s journey from dreamscape to present morning, as we dutifully prepare this vessel for her inaugural sail (today’s deck scrub: layout designs), you may have observed our creative cartography allowed room for this publication to set its own direction. If you suspect that these pages won’t be a traditional reading experience, I can confirm these waters do feel rather unchartered. Our issues are designed as Objets d’art, each print focusing on a place or theme within Britain — on occasion, an escape on the Continent. Exhausted by the concepts of rushed and reactive stories on screen, we aim to pen devotions on only what is timeless, enduring and physical. This first issue is a sweeping glance at the observations of English quintessence collected, an issue in which I author most the writing, thus stories are written from my master glacier and — for better or for worst — this place has a single moda operandi: to translate magic so the reader feels it. Since settling our family in Britain, it is rather clear that one lifetime wouldn’t be enough to live, breathe and write this kingdom’s magic. The Modern Jetsetter is me working through it, one measured devotion and study at a time, collecting all the suiting magic in my bones which doesn’t make it into the plot lines, and releasing it to you twice a year.
Like all the right things in life, the northern stars, the brilliant comets of knowing which streak fiery peace across one’s conscience the moment one encounters a part of themselves, their home, their path — it’s exactly why doing the part meant for you never feels like anything but privilege.
An answer which became clear on one of those early morning rambles in Richmond Park, before I returned to my desk for the day’s work.