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

Passed away by Susan Grimsdell

Death is the word It’s been a difficult week for me.  What I mourn is not the death of the queen, but the passing away of the word death.  The passing away of placing value on truth and reality, and the replacement of those vital golden values with the dross and fakery of euphemism.  I didn’t hear one single person use the word “died”.  Nor did I hear one single person explain where she has passed away TO.  Considering that a very small percentage of people in the UK and certainly in… Read More

Growing old by Angela Caldin

Talented man Headlining at Glastonbury at aged 80 seems an unlikely achievement, but not if you are Paul McCartney. This man has been part of my life since the Beatles burst on the scene when I was a teenager. Last week, he occupied the Pyramid Stage for more than two hours with a gig described by the Guardian as phenomenal. In a dark waistcoat and a simple white shirt, he looked great: no paunch, no stoop, no concessions at all to what is undeniably an advanced age. How does he do it?… Read More

Lead poisoning by Susan Grimsdell

In children’s story books you’re never in any doubt over who are the baddies.  Just looking at the pictures makes you shiver in your shoes and gives kids nightmares.  In real life, unfortunately, it’s impossible to pick them out.   I was reminded of this when I recently read Bill Bryson’s account of lead, as in lead-based paint, and especially, lead-based petrol.  Lead is bad news.  It accumulates in the body and causes all sorts of problems, to the brain, the kidneys, the nervous system, just about everything in fact, in adults, and… Read More

Outnumbered by viruses by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been reading about viruses.  There are trillions of them.  For example, in a litre of sea water a scientist identified 100 billion viruses.  Hundreds of thousands inhabit our bodies, but luckily very few of those have been found to affect us – so far, just 263 out of those hordes.  This is something I did not know, that they are everywhere inside our bodies, in our noses, on our skin, in our lungs, in the gastrointestinal tract, swarms and swarms of them.  A sense of purpose They are not alive. They… Read More