In the slimelight by Angela Caldin

When I was a child in the 1950s, we had various ways of passing the acres of unoccupied time, including cat’s cradle, jacks, yo-yos, marbles, plasticine and something involving an empty cotton reel, four nails and some wool which was called French knitting. This produced a long thin snake of woven wool which you could spiral round into little mats or even a hat if you went on long enough. Things were much less sophisticated in those far off days. Progress or not? French knitting is not unlike the recent craze of… Read More

A thirty year migration by Angela Caldin

I’m not usually a great one for museums, finding them either boring or bewildering, but the museum in Waipu in Northland, New Zealand is in another league entirely. It tells the gripping and extraordinary story of the epic migration of hundreds of hardy souls from the Highlands of Scotland to the green rolling hills and forests of northern New Zealand. Stage one to Nova Scotia It all began because of the Highland Clearances of the early nineteenth century in Scotland. The break-up of the old clan system had led to the profit… Read More

Alcohol: the devil’s brew? by Angela Caldin

I went to a lovely dinner the other night, a celebration of someone’s seventieth birthday. It was a wonderful occasion with delicious food, delightful people and lots of fun. But, as is normal for me towards the end of such gatherings, as other people were boisterously laughing and whooping with ever-increasing mirth, I began to wonder how soon I could leave and make my way home to the comfort of my bed.  There’s a simple reason for this turn of mind: the other guests were drinking alcohol and I wasn’t, which means… Read More

In loco parentis by Angela Caldin

Our daughter and her husband have departed for the UK with the sad task of burying my son-in-law’s beloved mother who died unexpectedly a few days ago. We have been entrusted for the duration with the care and sustenance of our three delightful granddaughters aged 11, 9 and 6. What a responsibility, what an honour. Action packed Our daughter has made us a spreadsheet so that we know exactly what each child is meant to be doing each day. As always happens here in any crisis, friends have rallied round with offers… Read More

It’s just one of those things by Angela Caldin

I’ve been pondering recently about the word just which has numerous meanings many of which are frequently found in day to day usage. Noun and adjective First it can be a noun as in the just – people who behave in a morally correct way Second it can be an adjective meaning fair or morally correct: The judge’s sentence seemed just considering all the evidence. Adverb It’s when just is used as an adverb that the fun begins: Just can mean​ now, very soon or recently Wait for me, I’m just coming…. Read More