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

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

Mindful parenting – discuss… by Emily Smart

I’ve never really been one for self-help in any capacity. What you can’t get solved over a pint or two and a chat with a good mate is not worth sorting really. And as for self-help books, I’d prefer a Lynda La Plante any day of the week. And so, in this cynical, sceptical and slightly resistant mindset, I found myself signed up for a six week mindful parenting course. Not for a full six weeks you understand, who would be minding my children while I was mindfully not minding them? No,… Read More

In the slimelight by Angela Caldin

When I was a child in the 1950s, we had various ways of passing the acres of unoccupied time, including cat’s cradle, jacks, yo-yos, marbles, plasticine and something involving an empty cotton reel, four nails and some wool which was called French knitting. This produced a long thin snake of woven wool which you could spiral round into little mats or even a hat if you went on long enough. Things were much less sophisticated in those far off days. Progress or not? French knitting is not unlike the recent craze of… Read More

Vimeo Killed the Video Star by Emily Smart

I went down to the video shop yesterday, and had a real ‘fuck I’m old’ moment. And have now just discovered that this is a real thing – see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3hwisr/what_was_your_fuck_im_old_moment/ Anyway, video shop, videos. When was the last time you actually played a video tape? I found a video the other day: Toy Story 2 and just checked when it was released. It was 1999! So give or take a year or so to go from cinema ‘straight to video’ (you don’t hear that anymore) and that’s about 18 years ago. Flippin’… Read More