New year resolution by Angela Caldin

I understand that the people who make new year resolutions generally make them about losing weight, adopting a more healthy lifestyle, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise or a combination of all four of these. Like many others, I resolved on 1 January to lose some weight by cutting down on fattening food such as biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries, at the same time enjoying low calorie healthy salads, lean meat and vegetables. In my mind’s eye, I saw a slimmer me, glowing with health, emerging by about the end of… Read More

Morphine musings by Trevor Plumbly

Milligram miracles Prior to my recent hospital visit, my experience with drugs was limited to malt whisky and strong beer. Whilst not generally accepted as clinical pain relievers, they didn’t do a bad job when the old Plumbly spirit level dropped a bit. To be fair to the medical profession, these liquid lifelines largely eased emotional wounds rather than physical pain. I’ve always held a mild distrust of tablets, to me they just don’t add up: there you are, writhing in pain, up pops Doc and slips you something about the size… Read More

From rationing to abundance by Angela Caldin

I was born in 1947, two years after the end of the second world war, when food was still rationed. Bread, potatoes, tea, sugar and eggs were all on ration. To buy most rationed items, each person had to register at chosen shops, and was provided with a ration book containing coupons. The shopkeeper was provided with enough food for registered customers. Purchasers had to take ration books with them when shopping, so the relevant coupon or coupons could be cancelled. Short commons People were expected to manage with one egg a… Read More

75th birthday celebration by Angela Caldin

If you’d reached your three score years and ten, plus another five, how do you think you might celebrate reaching this milestone in life? The average age of death in the UK is 82 years, so at 75 you really haven’t got that many birthdays to go. Would you splash out on a big do, or would you be content with a smaller affair with family and close friends? Party ideas I asked around the whanau and this is what they came up with: A meal in a Yorkshire pub with family… Read More

Recipes for disaster by Trevor Plumbly

Making a meal of it I’ve reached the conclusion (somewhat late in life) that celebrity chefs are a social disease. Like many people, I yearn to have a go and rollick around the kitchen, nonchalantly tossing exotic odds and sods into pots and pans, then presenting the creation to astonished guests. But if you’re three parts blind like me and ham-fisted, life is not like it is on telly. It’s all very well for Nigella and Jamie; they’ve probably got half a dozen lackeys out back pre-cooking the stuff, while they ponce… Read More