The two sides of Christmas by Angela Caldin

I was in Newmarket a couple of days ago with my elder daughter doing a little Christmas shopping. In the streets the decorations glittered in the sunshine while in the shops the Christmas songs warbled over the festive wares. That’s when it happened, or perhaps I should say more correctly, that’s when it started. It washed over me like a wave, took over my body and mind and turned my heart into a heavy stone. It’s a malaise, a melancholy, a disquiet and a discontent. It’s called Seasonal Curmudgeon Disorder. The Christmas… Read More

Self-publish and be damned! By Emily Smart

Women with clean houses do not have finished books According to the esteemed writer Ernest Hemingway, ‘The first draft of anything is shit.’ So, you’ll be pleased to know we (the three of us wot write our thoughts for the worldwide web to read) have produced a book which has been several (hundred) drafts in the making. Not content with sharing our (ahem) wisdom and witticisms every week, we thought we’d produce a book together. We actually wrote this ‘tome’ several years ago. The manuscript has subsequently been languishing on Angela’s hard… Read More

Sorry Mr Orwell by Trevor Plumbly

I prefer to avoid movies; they’re a bit like self-punishment, whereas verbal pictures are more real to us ‘blindies’ than a grey screen. But every now and then there’s an ‘I wish I’d gone to that picture’ moment. From radio reviews and comments from those that did see it, ‘I Daniel Blake’ would have been well worth the effort and frustration of ‘viewing’. I won’t re-visit the plot, but will hopefully underline its message. The growing trend of increasing the electronic and bureaucratic barriers between the general public and those elected and… Read More

Bridget’s Love Eggs by Emily Smart

So: it was Bridget’s birthday do last Saturday night, and I was in something of a quandary when it came to buying her a present. Bridget is what one would call a lady. I met her through Posh Clare, which should already tell you everything you need to know about her. She is refined, well spoken (for a Kiwi) and can often be heard telling me ‘Emily, don’t be so vulgar.’ A beauteous creature: I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without her ‘face on’ and outrageously high and expensive shoes. Even… Read More

Open air concerts by Angela Caldin

I’d never been to a big open air concert, not properly, so when my friend suggested that we could go and see Carole King perform in Hyde Park this July, I leapt at the chance. We were on the last minute with our booking, but managed somehow to get half price tickets in the Premier View section. My friend spied a picture of some chairs as we were booking and we convinced ourselves we’d be comfortably seated just near the stage with a clear view of the delightful Carole. Going back in… Read More