I love the beginning of a new month. The calender flips over and there is nothing but new possibilities on the horizon. There are shows waiting to be seen, gigs waiting to be attended, birthdays, parties, holidays, all to look forward to. However, I also love the start of the month because it is new magazine time.
Yes, I know, it is my guilty secret but I adore magazines, the glossier the better. Just ready to be dipped into, accompanied by a cup of tea and, possibly, cake.
My love affair goes back to deepest childhood. My Grandad would buy me a magazine called Bimbo (wouldn't get away with that these days!), then I graduated to Twinkle, Judy and Bunty. It was the thrill of the letterbox opening and depositing the treasure onto the mat that awoke my monthly excitement.I started my first Saturday job in a sweet shop and would go straight next door to the newsagents with my wages and buy Smash Hits.
Music publications then began to appeal to me, I really liked Smash Hits, I recall the writer Mark Ellen would make me laugh, he is still around today writing for The Word. I used to ponder that if we got married I'd be Ellen Ellen. These were the sort of things I worried about at sixteen. I also used to buy Chart Songwords and spend hours singing along to records on my Amstrad with the PROPER WORDS, I was a pedant even then.
As I grew older, I would buy the NME and the Record Mirror, before slacking off as my interest in contemporary music waned. However, my love of the glossies never waned. My first "grown up" magazine was Cosmopolitan and in buying that, my future habit was set in stone.
I think what appeals to me about magazines, is that I can "dip" into them when I've got a spare ten minutes. Sometimes, I don't want to concentrate on a book, so out comes a magazine. I like the gloss, the glamour, clothes I could never afford, people I will never meet, places I will never visit. I like articles that inform, move or inspire. I know many people dislike the fact that magazines can perpetuate the poor self-image some women have, and I can appreciate those views. However, like an addict, I am hooked. If I decide not to buy them, they call out to me from the stands and I simply cannot resist.
The music publications I now buy, like The Word, Q or Uncut are extremely informative. One of my all time favourite CDs came free with Q and introduced me to the Avett Brothers, Midlake and the Fleet Foxes.
I'm afraid my daughter is well down the path of magazine mania too. She started off on the usual toddler fayre,then loved the Horrible Histories series but now she craves the monthly delivery of the holy grail of teen fashionistas, Teen Vogue. She reads it with a cup of tea, and possibly, cake.
So the years ahead for me will probably bring Good Housekeeping or Women & Home ( or any other publication with Fern Britton on the bloody cover), I will know I'm in my twilight days when I find The People's Friend in my basket. I do know that I cannot give this frippery up, nor do I want to.
So, if you sigh when you pass the magazine stands and think, "who buys this rubbish?", dear reader, it is me.