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A rare break from us
Good afternoon Millers, I hope you’re well and you enjoyed Ophira Gottlieb’s long read over the weekend, a beautiful, meandering journey through old Lancashire poetry, as told on a tram journey from Rochdale to Victoria. It’s become a bit of a hit among readers.
“Utterly delightful,” commented one member. “This is why The Mill is different”. On Twitter, Jocelyn Lavin wrote “I sent this wonderful article to several people yesterday.” And with bracing honesty, another commenter wrote: “you know what, I thought this was going to be a load of patronising crap, but I really enjoyed it”.
The lesson here is clear: if ever you think we’re about to serve you a load of patronising crap, do keep reading. Here are some more comments.
For us Mill writers, it’s always really nice to see comments like this under a story and on social media. We’re not, as you have probably noticed, merely a news service delivering updates about Greater Manchester. Part of our job is to bring you stories that bring you some delight — reads that improve your day, raise your mood and give you a new appreciation for the people and the places you see in your life. I think that’s a huge part of what local media should be — not just a source of doom and angst that makes you feel your community is being overrun by crime (as some local newspapers seem to suggest) but a source of joy and connection.
We’re always looking for more stories in this vein — stories that will inspire people or ones that will spread great ideas, so if you have ideas please email me. And if you could do with reading something lovely and positive today, I’ve linked to a few of my favourite non-newsy Mill reads from the past few years at the end of this email, including features about secret gardens, inspiring musicians and old neighbours reuniting after many years apart.
What you won’t get from us in the next few days is any new editions of The Mill. You might have noticed we didn’t publish a Monday briefing yesterday, and the next time we will drop into your inbox will be Monday next week. We do this once or twice a year (including every Christmas week) to give the team a chance to take time off and for those of us left in the newsroom, time to work on some bigger stories. Jack is fine dining somewhere in rural France and Daniel is recharging his batteries in the Netherlands. You may yourself be reading this in warmer climes than Manchester — it certainly seems like most of the sources and press offices I’m trying to reach at the moment are on holiday…
I hope you will excuse our brief absence. We have some great stories in the works at the moment and we’re excited to share those with you when they’re ready. I will still be working, taking my writerly inspiration from the relentless rain and answering emails, so please do get in touch if you want to pass us some information or suggest stories for us to cover — just hit reply to this email.
As always, thank you for your support, and have a lovely week.
Mollie Simpson, Staff Writer at The Mill