Off to the woods...
Since the last issue, I've spent most of my time learning how to drive. I thought I knew how to drive already but, since I found I needed a whole new licence to tow a trailer, I've realised I don't at all. I knew how to drive once, of course, but it seems that I've picked up a few bad habits since I passed my test. The worst, apparently, is steering with one elbow while I roll a cigarette with one hand and change the CD with the other. According to the Highway Code, I'm meant to be either smoking or changing the CD, and it's a tough habit to break.
The reason I'm doing this is because, by the time you read this, I'll be off on a camp. Every summer I take on a second job; as well as running Fawlty Towers I take 7- to 11-year-old schoolchildren on one-night camps as a kind of introduction to nature. It's immensely rewarding—I wish I'd been taken out to look for bats and owls at that age—and I feel rather sad to say that I have to take a break from Post editing for a few weeks.
I'll still be around, but not enough to keep working as full-time Editor. Most of my camps fall on Mondays and Tuesdays of Post weeks, so I'm going to miss the most important time as far as we're concerned. We've been talking about this for a long time, and I'm more than a little proud to announce that B'Elana will be taking over as Acting Editor for the next three issues.
Without wanting to embarrass her at all, I have to say it's been a long time coming for Bel. We've been talking about this day for months now, and the list of things that need doing and advice on how it should be done has grown week-on-week. I feel a bit like a Dad straightening his son's tie before he goes off for his first job and, if I had such a son, I'd share the same sense of nervousness and pride. I'm not sure anyone outside the team realises how much work goes into each issue and, if you don't, I hope you'll read Bel's first Editorial, which is bound to mention what a wonderfully hard-working, meticulous and ethical Editor I am.
In all seriousness, though, it is a difficult job, and I hope you'll give Bel all the support she needs and wish her the best in my temporary absence.
I also, sadly, have to announce the departure of one of our new recruits, Mina. Many of you will know that she has recently taken on a new job which has limited her time and, as we do have a rapid turnover of articles here, she feels she is no longer able to continue with her Post commitments. I'd like to thank Mina for her time here and all that she's contributed, and on behalf of all the Post Team we wish her the best in her new job. We'll write up the leaving do when we can remember what actually happened, although I hope my memories of sitting on the photocopier aren't strictly accurate.
Where one of our 'old hands' leaves, though, another arrives, and I'm delighted to welcome Gnomon to our rapidly-growing cast of Regulars. It seems that a Post Team attendance at Meets, followed by a succession of pleading postings, can result in a new columnist being signed up. I can't wait for the next one to see who I can get drunk enough to agree to write for a column, but Bel seems to have got Mr h2g2 himself by a simple combination of charisma, persistence and grovelling.
If she can do those three, I'm sure she'll be fine—although I should mention as last-minute advice, Bel, that I've generally found the charisma to be optional.
As a final and important point, the deadline for the next three issues will be a day early, so we'll be asking for your submissions for the next issue for Saturday 14th June rather than Sunday 15th. This is to give us a bit of extra time to edit your submissions before I dash off to the woods once more, and is particularly important if you want to submit graphics for use in your column. If anyone does have a pressing reason for not being able to meet a Saturday deadline rather than Sunday, just drop us a line and we'll be as accommodating as we can.
Thanks for your continued support, and I'll see you in a few weeks.