Sunday, September 23, 2018

Elementum: A Journal of Nature & Story

It's good to be back in Scotland for a few days, the weather this weekend has been spectacular, or at least the clouds parted somewhere in Northumberland and since then it's been all blue skys, and golden light playing across russet hills. Even when there's been the odd rain shower they've been sweeping across majestic mountains and throwing rainbows around with gay abandon.

Our first proper stop (it's more or less half way) was at the Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells. I've been going to this bookshop whenever I can, more or less since it opened a decade or so ago. It's changed and grown quite a lot in that time, it has a deli (an excellent one) and a home ware section now, the cafe has grown, and it no longer sells antiques (we kind of miss the antiques). The two things that have remained a constant are how very good the cake is, and how very good the book shop is.

The thing about really good independent bookshops is that even when they're quite small there's always something interesting for everyone, and my find this time was the current issue of Elementum . I've wanted to see one of these for a while now. I like journals (Slightly Foxed, Hortus, and Archipelago are all ones I'd recommend) but they're not particularly cheap and with money being tight at the moment I like to see what I'm buying.

The Jackie Morris article about painting otters and making an otter alphabet is worth the £18 cover price alone, and that's only the beginning. I'm so pleased with this that I'm now committed to ordering the back issues asap. I completely missed Alex Preston and Neil Gower's 'As Kingfishers Catch Fire when it came out last year, so that's gone on my wish list too - and that's all I've had time to read so far.

Visually this is the richest, most colourful, and downright inspiring journal I've had the pleasure of finding. Everything about it speaks of quality, it's going to be a joy to read - so just in case anyone else was dithering over subscribing - go for it!


  1. Glad to hear it's good. I saw an advert for Elementum and was very tempted but like you I prefer to see it first.

  2. It's excellent, A lot to read on all sorts of tangents and full of beautiful illustrations too. It's basically everything I hoped it would be - which is something I'd want to read, to look at again and again, and to keep. I'm really pleased I found a copy.