Tis the gift to be simple Part 2 by Trevor Plumbly

‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’                         I’m enjoying simplicity of thought a lot more of late. I’ve reached the conclusion that most of the discontent going round is caused by too much information and not enough understanding; everyone seems to suck stuff up these days. Life’s hiccups used to be a lot more public and whatever it chucked at you somebody had a cliché on hand for verbal therapy and, of course, to let others know that it wasn’t their fault and, more importantly, it wasn’t happening to them. The… Read More

Tis the gift to be simple by Trevor Plumbly

The philosopher’s stoned Yesterday, I was relaxing in the armchair (the dreamspace), sipping rather a nice single malt, contemplating the vagaries of life and it occurred to me that there’s a degree of comfort about things when you’re approaching 80. Time was I used to think I knew it all, now I’m absolutely sure of it. Over the years I’ve read heaps of stuff by deep thinkers, academics, learned clergy and even educated drunks, but nothing tangible emerged from their musings and I’m now convinced I know a bloody sight more about… Read More

Barnum, Bailey and BS by Trevor Plumbly

Roll up! Roll up! Barnum and Bailey were two of history’s greatest con men, charging people to see ‘Tom Thumb’, ‘The Bearded Woman’, The Cardiff Giant and all manner of human misfits and, people being what they are, many happily lined up to gawk. Human nature hasn’t changed much since B&B’s day; the shock factor and, of course, scandal still attract most of us. So, despite the mildly pathetic participants, we all sat glued to the telly to watch ‘the interview’. There’s still a bit of the nosey neighbour in all of… Read More

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” (Joni Mitchell) by Trevor Plumbly

“There ain’t half been some clever bastards” (Ian Dury) I listened to a British talk show recently and, like NZ and Oz, they’ve got loads of folk waffling about the mundane things of life. The target for these media crusaders (let’s call them ‘progressives’) was language; this particular bunch decided, after some deliberation, that certain descriptive terms are no longer acceptable. They focussed on name-calling: describing someone as ‘skinny’, ‘tubby’ and the like is ‘body shaming’ and must now be considered emotionally damaging. I was shocked by the attack on British schoolboy… Read More

Carry on camping…without me by Emily Smart

Pack it in The annual tent dust off took place last weekend. As an English person, I came rather late to camping. I say this because the only people I knew in the UK who spent any time under canvas were posh families who would hop on a ferry and drive to the Dordogne every summer for two weeks. We Brits are not a nation of outdoor sleepers. The nearest we get is caravan parks, which only feature on the news when a child has been abducted. New Zealanders however, are made… Read More