Reasons to be thankful by Angela Caldin

There’s an advert on the BBC World Service broadcast here in Auckland which encourages listeners to think of ten things they are grateful for first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Whether you can have the same ten things at both times is not clear, but even so, I don’t usually get beyond five or six before the demands of the day or the lure of sleep take over. Top of the list today for things I am thankful for would be the prospect of making shortbread with my… Read More

Group Therapy by Trevor Plumbly

We’re a mixed bunch in the ‘Focus Group’. All retirees, with backgrounds including The Diplomatic Corps, Journalism, Audiology, Ophthalmology, Engineering and down to Antique Dealing. Our common link is sight loss, but whilst we refer to ourselves as ‘blindies’, most of us still nurse some sort of blurred, but fading vision. It amazes me that I’m part of the group! Years ago the idea that I’d trot along twice-monthly to an organised meeting would have been laughable, but Focus isn’t really a group, nor do we hold ‘proper’ meetings; ours are more… Read More

Seeing clearly by Angela Caldin

My husband has had his cataracts removed and a whole new world of light and detail has opened up before him to his delight and wonder. It had all got pretty bad over the last year or so. He had given up driving, especially at night, because he couldn’t judge distances. Things appeared blurry with milky overtones. In order to read any writing on the TV, he had to perch right in front of it sitting on the coffee table. Successful surgery He was nervous about the surgery which was to be… Read More

Puberty revisited by Trevor Plumbly and Susan Grimsdell

Once again, Trevor has taken it into his head that we should have a joint blog, each of us writing our own take on a common subject. This time he has chosen the topic of puberty. Devoted readers will be aware that Trevor often returns to this topic and we can only guess at why this stage in his development looms so large. First flickers by Trevor These days it’s an easy trip: you can blame anything short of climate change on puberty and get away with a sympathetic nod. In my… Read More

A class act by Trevor Plumbly

In reduced circumstances I only met Aunt Phyllis a few times, but she was one of those characters who continue to tap you on the shoulder throughout life. I was never quite sure of her place in what could euphemistically be described as my ‘family’ circle. I never knew if she was an actual ‘aunt’ or some sort of straggler who became attached before my time. The main consensus (whispered, of course), was that she had ‘a past’. At the time I assumed everybody had one of those and it wasn’t until… Read More