A Year and a Day Magazine


A Year and a Day Magazine 

It’s well known that times of confinement or isolation can provide fertile ground for new initiatives to bloom. At Christmas, a seed of an idea was sown in Castle House sitting room: 

Why isn’t there a magazine for children that is not only sympathetic to the approach of Waldorf Education but that truly captures the magic of what happens when a child reads or hears a story?

Storytelling is a central tenet of the Waldorf approach. A story can live within a child (or an adult for that matter) for a long time, if ‘delivered’ in the right way. A story can change our behaviour, it can inspire us to create something, it can make us feel a certain way, it can give rise to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

As we sat on Castle House sitting room floor, we began to realise that maybe we were onto something when we first asked the question, what if? What if we could create a magazine ourselves? What would it look like? What would the contents be? Who would help us to make it? And simply, how? The one thing we were sure about was that stories would be at the heart of whatever we made: the traditional stories of our shared folk history, the ones we loved as children, and the ones we return to even as adults. 

Then COVID arrived, like a bad fairy, casting a curse on us: you must stop everything you do and live in isolation. But like all good bad fairy curses, the crisis actually precipitated some magic to occur. It came in the form of another question: What if we made a very simple version of our magazine and shared it with our family and friends?

Well, be careful what you wish for…

… A Year and a Day magazine was born at Easter time. And since quickly putting together that first issue in e-copy, interest in our initiative is beginning to grow and grow. We have, at the time of writing, we have well over a thousand combined followers on Facebook and  Instagram, and copies of magazine are being purchased through our online shop from people around the world. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and confirmed our initial thought that if we were looking for something like this for our own children, then other parents will be too. 

The last few months have really put us to the test. We’ve had to get to grips with using new technology and have had to sacrifice most or all of our free time to sitting at computers or desks. The magazine truly is a ‘handmade’ piece. We don’t use stock images and we don’t use photos. Everything is drawn or made by us or some wonderful willing volunteers. And there have been many people who have given over their time to help us, especially Christine Reid (Co-worker in Castle House), with her beautiful artwork and sage advice. 

We’ve just sent the third issue of the magazine (the autumn issue) to print as we write this. (It’s called ‘Squirrels and Nuts’). It’s always a bit nerve-wracking, anticipating what sort of reaction it will get. What helps is that we really believe in what we are doing. And we both feel we have found something that we love, that doesn’t feel like work and has the satisfaction of creating something like a work of art. Steiner said that a teacher should be first and foremost an artist, that artistry is the means via which children should learn. We hope that not only will children love to receive and read their magazine, but that they will be learning in that gentle but true way that is experienced by Waldorf children all over the world 

There’s something else that is really important. We have committed to donating all profits from the sales of the magazine to the Eskdale Community Trust for Education.  The Moorland Waldorf school will inevitably suffer from this period of isolation, especially  financially. Our usual means of fundraising are pretty much closed off at the moment. So, it’s more important now than ever to support the school in other ways. And if you can do that by buying a beautiful, reasonably priced, quarterly magazine, then why wouldn’t you? We’ve heard a lot of adults are enjoying the activities too. Which is always a bonus if you are sitting and supporting your children to read it. (There’s the sales pitch, folks). 

Please see our website www.ayearandaday.co.uk for more details of how to order the our magazine. (Annual subscriptions and single copies available – but hurry, we do limited copy runs and they seem to sell out quite quickly!) 

Thank you

Lydia (EVCC co-worker in Botton) and Seonaidh (former student at The Moorland Waldorf School who grew up in Botton, now living in Cornwall)