Seeing clearly by Angela Caldin

My husband has had his cataracts removed and a whole new world of light and detail has opened up before him to his delight and wonder. It had all got pretty bad over the last year or so. He had given up driving, especially at night, because he couldn’t judge distances. Things appeared blurry with milky overtones. In order to read any writing on the TV, he had to perch right in front of it sitting on the coffee table. Successful surgery He was nervous about the surgery which was to be… Read More

Education, creativity, life and death by Angela Caldin

I was sad to see that Sir Ken Robinson, educationalist, author and speaker, had died on 21 August 2020. One of his core beliefs was that education should encourage creativity rather than stifle it and his career was focussed on unlocking the creative energy of both people and organisations. I remember a few years ago watching his TED talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ and finding it both inspirational and funny. Apparently, Sir Ken was the most watched speaker in TED’s history and this talk was viewed online over 60 million times and… Read More

The Bigger Picture by Susan Grimsdell

We’re in the midst of one of the Biblical afflictions we were warned about in Revelations – floods, locusts, fires, pestilence, darkness, and in our case here and now – plague.  Covid can’t be described any other way. A plague on the Earth Governments everywhere were caught unprepared. Most dealt inadequately in the early days of the virus, resulting in literally hundreds of thousands of people dying.  New Zealand was one of the countries that did pretty well, through a combination of good luck and good management, and for a while we… Read More

Fans and stans by Angela Caldin

I came across a word that was new to me the other day. It was at the end of a Randy Rainbow tribute to Dr Fauci which was itself a parody of the song Gee, Officer Krupke from West Side Story. Randy sings ‘Dr Fauci, you’re the one we stan.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUiDLcp_hIw I thought this was a strange verb and that maybe it was a mistake and had some letters missing. But then I saw the word again in The Guardian when the columnist Hadley Freeman wrote that she was ‘no Prince William… Read More

New Zealand on the map by Angela Caldin

There was a time when quite a lot of people were vague about where exactly New Zealand was. Somewhere down at the bottom of the world was a good guess; fairly near Australia perhaps. Sometimes maps of the world left New Zealand off altogether, as though its two islands just a bit bigger than the UK were too insignificant to bother about. Containing the virus But in the last few months New Zealand’s stock has risen dramatically, because under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Covid-19 has to all intents and… Read More