Angela’s ABCs: Dependent and Dependant by Angela Caldin

One letter makes all the difference There is often confusion over the words dependent and dependant. Dependant is a noun: A dependant is a person, often a child or a partner, who is supported by someone else; a person who relies on another, especially a family member, for financial support. Examples: All Palace staff and their dependants must be ready to leave when the revolution comes.  He has eight dependants of varying ages from his three marriages. Dependent is an adjective: Dependent means contingent on, relying on, supported by, addicted to, and… Read More

Dinner for Four by Trevor Plumbly

10 minutes to go; so I double-checked the booze and the seating arrangements: Micawber should sit opposite Miss Moneypenny and next to Mary Poppins, while Jeeves would fill the fourth chair. Micawber was the first to arrive clad in a polo shirt and dress jeans; it was tough to see him as the Victorian law clerk. ‘Many thanks for your gracious invitation kind sir!’ he boomed. I decided to wait until the party had all arrived before explaining the nature of the dinner. Next in was Miss Moneypenny; she had scrubbed up… Read More

The Walking School Bus by Angela Caldin

When a friend mentioned to me something called the walking school bus, I really didn’t know what she was on about. I tend to take things literally, so I wondered how on earth a bus could walk and why you would want it to. But then my granddaughter started school and I came to grips with the reality of this brilliant idea. I don’t know if they have them in the UK, but here in New Zealand they are a major feature of getting to school. The idea is very simple: the… Read More

Angela’s ABCs The Power of Punctuation

My co-blogger, Emily, has alerted me to the following story: An English lecturer wrote the words: A woman without her man is nothing on the whiteboard and asked her students to punctuate it correctly. All the males in the class wrote: A woman, without her man, is nothing. All the females in the class wrote: A woman: without her, man is nothing. The choice  between a comma and a colon makes a huge difference in meaning. Punctuation is powerful.

Eat This, Jumbo Mercer! By Trevor Plumbly

As you get older, you tend to reflect on the people who influenced your early life. Looking back, I can honestly say that Jumbo Mercer made a major impact in my formative years, but then if Stephen King had attended the same school he’d have had an impact on him too. Despite the nickname, Jumbo wasn’t fat; he was stocky, confident and showy, whilst I was skinny, nervous and introverted. Bullying in English single sex schools at that time was as much a part of the curriculum as the ‘three Rs’: they… Read More