Valerie Carter Shortman, our new deputy editor

I’m new to the Wychwoods, having moved with my husband, Neil, and two dogs from west London to Shipton in January, trading car sounds for the welcoming ‘baahs’ of our sheep neighbours.   The vast rolling farmlands, beautiful, wooded areas and lovely streams and rivers have drawn me in.

My journey to the Wychwoods started across the pond.  As an American who grew up a military officer’s child, moving to new locations was not unusual.  I grew up mostly in the southern part of the country and after studying communications and marketing at university, I moved further north to New Jersey and then settled in Washington, DC for 18 years where I focussed my career in government affairs, communications, advocacy and stakeholder relations.  These positions allowed me to travel all over the world, working in different industries with many different people and experiencing varied cultures.

In 2013, I was asked to come to London for two years to set up and manage an office for my company supporting our clients in Europe.  But, my two years in London would turn into a lifetime in England when I met and married a wonderful British man. We were married on a small farm in Cornwall and thus began our desire to live in the countryside.

After leaving my job in London, I volunteered locally in several endeavours such as bereavement visiting, supporting a senior’s centre and creating set decorations for our church’s summer Holiday Club, and I had the privilege of working as the operations manager for a local brain tumour charity for three years before moving to Shipton.

After Neil retired, we looked to move away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.  We happened upon Shipton and the Wychwoods accidently and knew instantly this was where we wanted to live. Having moved here during lockdown, we are just now getting out to explore the area more fully. We love taking our dogs for long walks, and meeting wonderful people along the way. I enjoy cooking and my husband is a wine buff, which makes for some great meals. I also enjoy gardening and we are getting back involved in golf, cycling and horseback riding.

When I saw the advert looking for a deputy editor for The Wychwood, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet people and learn more about the area, and so far, this has proven true. I’ve already met so many kind and friendly people in my short time in the Wychwoods, and I look forward to supporting the local area, the magazine and those who have been working hard to keep it going for so long.

October-November 2021