In this fractured and troubled world, what we seek more than anything is a sense of belonging, a feeling that we are part of a community of like-minded souls.
Of all our successes at i - including selling more than 160,000 copies every day - possibly our biggest achievement is to create a feeling that we, that you, are part of a family. This came over loud and clear from the first i readers’ party at the Serpentine Gallery in London. It was a tremendous evening, enjoyed by all, I believe. The representatives of i were very well behaved - even Rebecca from our features desk managed to go all evening without swearing, and the ploy of telling Cooper Brown not to bother because there was no alcohol worked a treat.
And the readers? I was humbled by their commitment to the paper (special thanks to Anthony and Tessa Lydekker, who proudly announced they are a two-i family), their keenness to be at the party (mention here must go to Andrew Wallace and his daughter Amber, who drove all the way from Skegness), and their eagerness to suggest ways to improve their favourite paper (a thank you here to Sally Langley, who wanted the colour lozenges at the top of the page to change - as you can see, Sally, I’m a man of my word). As for Ronnie Martin, we’ll try to get a bit more coverage of Hearts on our sports pages.
I loved meeting you all: the delightful Clare, who brought along her boss, Ed; John Ford, a man who likes editorials; Harriet the IT-girl (not it-girl!) , Francesca and Mary-Jane from Artists and Illustrators magazine and Alan Green, who upbraided me for getting a literary reference wrong, only to send me a gracious apology the next morning.
There were a few sore heads the next day, but reading your tweets, your emails and your Facebook messages, I think we can conclude the evening was a triumph. The next one’s coming up shortly. Watch this space for details but, in the meantime, turn to page 15 to see just how elegant and distinguished we all look. Have a great weekend. Monday’s letter may be written through a veil of tears, depending on what happens at Wembley tomorrow!