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

Long live the Beatles by Angela Caldin

The granddaughters have discovered the Beatles. In a BIG way. For the last two days of the summer holidays, before the new school year starts here in NZ, the house has resounded to the rhythm of those enduring songs with the granddaughters joining in with gusto. I’m amazed at how quickly they’ve learnt all the words. I think it all started with a recent showing on NZ TV of Carpool Karaoke – When Corden met McCartney in which Paul went around his old hometown of Liverpool, pointed out the church where he… Read More

From Batman to boobs by Trevor Plumbly

At 76 it’s a bit late to be concerning myself with the perils of puberty, but God’s idea of a teenage joke has re-entered my life courtesy of my grandson. With the exception of Harry Potter and a slew of genitally dead fictional heroes, most boys are forced to endure this biological torture. The majority allow the abrasive effect of maturity to clear the psychological muck away before it causes any lasting damage. Others, like Donald Trump, clearly illustrate that, if unchecked, its debilitating effect on behaviour patterns can last for years…. Read More