Bridging two decades and 7,700 miles.
Funny where you find old friends. It’s a long way from Grimsby to Bali but Paul Winslow always had a sizeable stride. When I joined Haymarket in 1999 to work on The Net magazine, Winslow was already on board and leading the charge as a go-anywhere writer and news editor: one month on a remote Scottish island, the next in Canada, and seemingly every other weeknight rallying workmates to yet another free-bar launch of some or other venture-capitalled dotcom.
Paul’s thirst for adventure easily outlasted the magazine and most of the dotcoms. He wanted a bigger playing field than Teddington and before long he was travelling the world helping co-ordinate the England cricket team’s Barmy Army. All the while he paid his way with words, ably editing anything from Kia cars’ output to Tottenham Hotspur’s monthly mag, always with undousable enthusiasm and the desire to ask “What if…?”.
Some thought he might settle down if he fell in love, while others doubted there was a woman alive who could tie him down. Maybe both sides were right, because he fell for an island instead. He loved Bali so much that he started a magazine about it — naturally, full of ideas and vim — and when it didn’t get commercial traction, he was soon able to get other wordy work with ASEAN companies, on the proviso he could work remotely from the island.
It was a pleasure to see him in his element, fit as a flea at 42 (“I’m playing more football than I have in years”), organising his words into creativity and his workers into productivity with the same old easy affability.
The old joke about Wins was that if he had to jump from a burning building he’d land in a passing lorry-load of tits. I’m not sure about that but hearing him chat as easily with locals in Balinese and Bahasa as he did to us in his Cleethorpes accent, it’s clear to me that Bali has taken him to its bosom. I couldn’t be happier for him, and I’m sure that’s echoed by other former colleagues across the world.
Originally published on Facebook, 30 Mar 2017.