Daycare by Angela Caldin

I’m back on daycare duty. It’s quite a few years since I used to take my grandchildren to kindergarten and occasionally stay for a while to help with their activities and prepare the fruit for morning tea. It’s an even longer time since I took my own children to one playgroup or another and rushed off home to make the most of the freedom, until all too soon it was time to pick them up again. Not that I was anxious to get rid of them, but they needed the socialising and… Read More

Gerunds and me by Angela Caldin

Night time conundrums I woke up in the night a while ago thinking about grammar. More precisely, I was thinking about gerunds and I haven’t thought about them for some considerable time. In English grammar, a gerund is a word based on a verb that acts as a noun and it always ends in ing. For example, if you say ‘Walking is one of my favourite things to do,’ walking is a gerund. So far, so good; but when it comes to indicating possession with a gerund, things get more complicated.  I… Read More

Repair and restore by Angela Caldin

        My mother had a Royal Doulton figurine called The New Bonnet of which she was extremely fond. A young woman dressed in a full pink skirt with a dainty foot peeping out from its folds, shows off her new green bonnet decked with flowers, long ribbons flowing down. She wears a plain white frilled cap with a white stole round her shoulders. She smiles with satisfaction, delighted with her new bonnet, anticipating happily the first time she would wear it. My mum left the statue to my daughter and it travelled… Read More

Only connect! By Angela Caldin

The full quotation in E M Forster’s Howard’s End goes like this, ‘Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.’ I often think of these lofty and powerful words when I’m pondering about where to position only in a sentence so that the meaning is clear. Some people get really excited about this and insist that only should be placed immediately before the word or phrase it modifies. In this way, ‘He only gave… Read More

Finality by Angela Caldin

I’ll always remember the Christmas of 2022 because, a few days before, a friend of mine died and I felt her loss deeply. She died unexpectedly away from home, so there was no opportunity to say goodbye or to tell her what a good friend she had been. Suddenly she was gone, leaving a vast hole in my life. She had lived all her life in Auckland and took great pleasure in introducing us to lovely places. She took us to the Pah Homestead, an imposing old building now housing an art… Read More