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Editor’s welcome to the IMAGE Annual, on shelves now


by Lizzie Gore-Grimes
04th Dec 2020

Here’s to new perspectives, fresh starts and hands held.


These last months have been a strange kind of half-life hibernation for us all – including IMAGE magazine itself, which has been on pause since March. But we’re beyond happy to be back; I had the loveliest note from a friend who said she couldn’t wait to see, and feel, this new issue. Isn’t that the wonderful luxury of print? at tactile experience of reading something that doesn’t ping or vibrate; that you can read in the bath without fear of mild electrocution, and stack beside your bed to dip in and out of as you like. I love magazines, I love print, and I’m going to make the hopeful assumption that if you’re reading this right now, so do you.

The experience of reading is just one of the things we’re celebrating in this special 2020/2021 Annual issue, as we set out to redefine what luxury means in a post-Covid world and recognise the things that give us enduring pleasure rather than a fleeting, disposable high. If there was one thing that 2020 has brought to each of us, it’s change. It’s been a period of new perspectives, revised values and renewed convictions for us all. Now, more than ever, we realise the value of our health, our family and community, the beauty of our country and what it means to be Irish – in all myriad forms.

Annie Fletcher coins it a “moment of global reckoning” on page 78 of the new issue, and without doubt we have been recalibrating. When the phone pings with a “this day 2 years ago” photo, we’ve felt that lurch of missing our old life with a visceral drop, making it oddly possible to feel homesick while stuck at home.

But where we’ve lost, we’ve also found. We may have missed 28°C holidays with pals, but found new fun wearing bobble hats in the Irish sea in 8°C; we bought “proper” outdoor gear and walked… and walked… and fed on the “sense of ease and strength that can come from reconnecting with the land and with nature,” as Manchán Magan so powerfully puts it on page 82.

Holly Hughes, in her brilliant essay on ambition and happiness on page 68, talks about “undergoing a quiet re-evaluation of values, desires and needs”, to realise that pre-Covid, she was “perpetually dissatisfied, eternally seeking the next milestone, and then inured to its merit in the hurtle towards the next”.

Ultimately, through our new lens, we all want what actress and screenwriter Clare Dunne states as her goal on page 66: “I want to live by the sea and write, to balance work and life, and exercise for my emotional health. I want a smaller carbon footprint. I want less stress and more being in the moment.” Yes please.

But even more so, we’re after that contemplative sense of calm that seems to radiate from our cover star, writer and poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. How to find it?
See page 176 to realise you already have it.

Here’s to new perspectives, fresh starts and hands held.

Lizzie Gore-Grimes
Editor-in-chief

The IMAGE 2020/2021 Annual issue is on shelves now.

IMAGE will be published four times a year in 2021. Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]