The elusive cappuccino by Angela Caldin

When I was a child in the 1950s, if I wasn’t playing with the many shiny and exotic buttons in my mother’s button box, I would probably be reading from a book of poetry for children written by A A Milne, the creator of Christopher Robin, entitled When We Were Very Young. It was first published in 1924, and was illustrated by E H Shepard. It didn’t take long for it to become a best seller. Butter or marmalade One of my favourite poems was The King’s Breakfast, an engaging story of… Read More

Alcohol: the devil’s brew? by Angela Caldin

I went to a lovely dinner the other night, a celebration of someone’s seventieth birthday. It was a wonderful occasion with delicious food, delightful people and lots of fun. But, as is normal for me towards the end of such gatherings, as other people were boisterously laughing and whooping with ever-increasing mirth, I began to wonder how soon I could leave and make my way home to the comfort of my bed.  There’s a simple reason for this turn of mind: the other guests were drinking alcohol and I wasn’t, which means… Read More

Pies, lies and liquids by Trevor Plumbly

Cod’s liver and codswallop Medical science and I have always had what I believe folk now refer to as ‘issues’. Looking back, I realise that my childhood diet was a mass of contradictions: I was expected to shovel down bread and dripping smothered with salt at the same time as receiving daily dollops of ‘Cod Liver Oil and Malt’. This gunk was reputed to provide all the nutrients a growing lad needed; it failed and I remained semi-emaciated and host to every facial blemish in the book until late teenage. Diet for… Read More

Always expect the unexpected by Angela Caldin

You hear a lot about retirement planning these days and I’d be the first to agree that it’s a good idea to put money aside to finance a comfortable retirement so that you can do, with luck, what you’ve always wanted to do. Global citizens But let’s remember that what we’re talking about here is financial planning which is all well and good, but what we can’t plan for is what life and our families are going to bring us. In our case, it is a life in two hemispheres – six… Read More

Food banks in a developed country by Angela Caldin

There’s a scene in Ken Loach’s brilliant film ‘I Daniel Blake’ when the two lead characters visit a food bank. The young single mother is so desperately hungry that she rips the lid off a tin of tomatoes and scoops out a handful to eat with her bare hand. That image was so shocking to me that it became etched on my mind. I had no idea that there was such frantic hunger in our first world country. Trussell Trust food banks Now I know better because I’ve seen at first hand… Read More