O holy night by Trevor Plumbly

The dream Wrong time of the year I know, but at my age I’ll take memories whenever I can get them. Contrary to the portrayal of joy and goodwill, our school class production of the nativity play provoked a long standing feud more suited to Shakespeare than the New Testament. Miss Folster was largely to blame; she was Casting, Script, and Musician. Emotionally ice-bound from the toes up and, as required of lady teachers of the time, totally devoid of any feminine properties that might have distracted a young mind. She had… Read More

Long live the Beatles by Angela Caldin

The granddaughters have discovered the Beatles. In a BIG way. For the last two days of the summer holidays, before the new school year starts here in NZ, the house has resounded to the rhythm of those enduring songs with the granddaughters joining in with gusto. I’m amazed at how quickly they’ve learnt all the words. I think it all started with a recent showing on NZ TV of Carpool Karaoke – When Corden met McCartney in which Paul went around his old hometown of Liverpool, pointed out the church where he… Read More

Unplugged by Emily Smart

Last week I was invited/cajoled/told in no uncertain terms that I would be attending Bandquest which according to its website is ‘A platform for the next generation of contemporary musicians to step out and perform in a supportive and encouraging competition format.’ I went along not feeling supportive or encouraging and rather wishing I could be at home in front of the TV on a Friday night. However, my just-turned 13 daughter was performing as the drummer with her band Socially Awkward, so I felt a little obligated. I don’t do gigs…. Read More

Moss gathering by Trevor Plumbly

By the book I think I’ve mentioned the importance books have played in my life. After my schooling was severely truncated, they were the cheapest form of entertainment and education available. In the late 1950s, I was living in a bedsit in North London, 12 bob a week, share bathroom and toilet with penny-in-the-meter electricity. Kilburn in the late 50s was far from welcoming, but it did have a public library. Bedsit etiquette was pretty much ‘mind your own business’, so in the absence of social contact, I wandered up and down… Read More

Vimeo Killed the Video Star by Emily Smart

I went down to the video shop yesterday, and had a real ‘fuck I’m old’ moment. And have now just discovered that this is a real thing – see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3hwisr/what_was_your_fuck_im_old_moment/ Anyway, video shop, videos. When was the last time you actually played a video tape? I found a video the other day: Toy Story 2 and just checked when it was released. It was 1999! So give or take a year or so to go from cinema ‘straight to video’ (you don’t hear that anymore) and that’s about 18 years ago. Flippin’… Read More