The young Witch found Vi magazine pretty boring. It was the kind of thing old people read. I wanted colour and fun and Vi didn’t offer much of that. But that was OK. Old people need their stuff, too.
‘Everyone’ around me had it. I can’t say they subscribed, because Vi was (is) the Coop magazine in Sweden. Back then, you collected your receipts and handed them in for your annual membership dividend, and on the envelope you could tick if you wanted Vi. That’s why Mother-of-witch and all her siblings and the neighbours and everyone in the whole world read Vi.
As I got older I, too, caught the bug. I was older quite early, in my late teens. I liked the recipes and the knitting patterns and stuff. (Let’s face it; I was boring.)
At the age of 21 I spent a year at the University of Sussex, and my – own – subscription to Vi followed me there. You can’t go for almost a year and not read Vi! One of my fellow students found out I had Vi there, and I can still recall the pitying look she gave me. (Her name is long forgotten.)
It came with me to Brighton once more, when the Resident IT Consultant and I moved there. More need for recipes, and for generally keeping track of what went on in Sweden and in the world.
I did have to give it up for a while, in more recent years, when I felt the annual subscription (no longer available by ticking anything at all) with postage abroad became a bit steep. School Friend gave me hers when she was done with them. But it’s hard to go without your own, so I’ve been back as a subscriber for some time now. When the bill comes, I simply close my eyes and pay.
And now, today, Vi is 100 years old. Everyone I know does not read it any more, but those who matter do. As for the Retired Children’s Librarian who needs to be frugal, but who likes crosswords, I send them to her.
No need to pity me. Vi is what keeps me vaguely informed both about the old country, but also about the rest of the world, when the British press forget that there are more places than the UK, and maybe the US.
(I like the cover above. It features former party leaders for Labour, Communists and – I think – Greens. These ladies enjoy each other’s company, and are not above posing in this royal fashion, and one of them brought her toddler with her, because it was her day to look after her. And there is an article about eating porridge.)