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

Christmas is coming by Angela Caldin

It’s the second of December as I write and I’m thinking about putting up my Christmas tree this weekend. Nothing unusual in that you might think since decorated trees have been appearing and Jingle Bells has been playing in the shops since about the end of October. But I have to admit that it’s unusual for me because for many years I was a Christmas curmudgeon. Everyone else in our street would have their tree twinkling in their front window from early December, but I would make my family wait until two… Read More

Apostrophe do’s and don’ts by Angela Caldin

A long time ago I have a strong memory of being taught about apostrophes in our grammar lessons at school in the 1950s. We were definitely taught to put an apostrophe in that decade and to write the 1950’s. I’m not quite sure what the reasoning was for putting the apostrophe in, but I’m glad that modern usage has decided that we’re dealing with a plural noun and that no apostrophe is required. Mrs Walsh, our English teacher, is probably turning in her grave to see that we now refer to MPs… Read More

There but for fortune by Angela Caldin

There are so many dreadful images of the death and destruction in Ukraine that it’s possible to become immune to the horror they show. Another bombed apartment block with people’s ruined belongings exposed; another street littered with debris with people picking their way over the wreckage hoping to salvage something, anything; another wounded child helped by strong hands out of the mess that once was their home. There’s one image that has stayed in my mind since I saw it a couple of days ago. It’s the photo of an elderly woman… Read More

Food banks and a funeral by Angela Caldin

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks which provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. It campaigns for change to end the need for food banks in the UK where more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. There are more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK providing a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. I find… Read More