It’s only words and words are all I have…by Emily Smart

How many people do you know who don’t like music? I’m guessing that would be none. Everyone likes some type of music from rock to pop, classic to jazz. Music has been on my mind quite a bit of late. This could be something to do with the fact that I have now got my stereo on a shelf surrounded by my CDs. Hitherto, said music machine had been in a box packed away, and then balanced rather precariously on a sofa in the lounge, which is neither safe nor advisable in… Read More

Caveat Emptor! By Trevor Plumbly

Traditionally, the people who attended auction sales were often more interesting than the goods on offer: you had the serious buyers trying to add to their collections, dealers looking for stock, Joe average trying to buy cheaper than retail, and the hoarders who just couldn’t help themselves. All of them trying to conceal any involvement in the bidding process, and all hoping for the ultimate prize: a bargain. The auctioneers who conducted this orchestrated little piece of theatre were as much of a motley bunch as their clients; the worst sounding like… Read More

No News Is…News? By Trevor Plumbly

Stirred by the lead news stories in my country recently, I decided to risk belabouring the issues I raised in an earlier article. The media, it seems, feels that my font of knowledge would be tainted by hard news, and that the daily doings of the rich, famous and infamous are more suited to my intellect. Just for fun, I’ll run a few of these journalistic bombshells past you and trust that your pulse rate remains stable. ‘John Travolta accused of making sexual advances to a male masseur.’ Now apart from Mr… Read More

Last Orders! By Trevor Plumbly

The 1960s were the beginning of the end as far as the traditional pub was concerned. The beat generation demanded novelty and noise; this was quickly provided by franchise chains and disco bars, which left the poor old dedicated drinker out in the cold. Depending where you stood in the social scale it was ‘the boozer’, ‘the pub’ or ‘the local’. For non-locals, they had names that totally belied the ambience and clientèle within. Only an innocent tourist would expect to meet any of the peerage in ‘The King’s Arms’ or find… Read More

The Older, the Better by Angela Caldin

A while ago I wrote about Frankie Valli, Englebert Humperdinck and Diana Gould, older people who are playing a joyously active role in the world. Now, I’d like you to meet Beryl Renwick, 86 and Betty Smith, 90 who have recently won the award for best entertainment programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, beating off the competition from the likes of Frank Skinner and the BBC’s Adam & Joe.