Collected thoughts about Christmas by Emily, Trevor, Susan and Angela

The Christmas debate according to Emily I had a rather robust discussion with my three fellow bloggers recently about Christmas. My outtake from it was that the learned trio don’t believe in spinning the myth of the fat bloke in the red suit to kids, and that lying about it to children is wrong and will inevitably lead to disappointment. I got quite annoyed about it and tried my hardest to think of an argument to put forward to explain why I don’t mind perpetuating the Santa clause, which to my mind,… 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

The Smart social barometer by Emily Smart

Step back in time I’ve been thinking a lot about my school days recently and, in particular, the two years I spent at sixth form college between the ages of 16-18. Having left my secondary school, which really was a mixed bag of youngsters, I then moved to a rather exclusive college which was full of ex-private school kids who had bags of money, attitude and posh accents. Strangely, I immediately felt at home there and thoroughly enjoyed making new friends and having fun. Oh, and writing the odd essay or two,… Read More

Shopping as a source of discord by Angela Caldin

There’s tension and discord in our house again. This time it’s a dispute over shopping practices in general and where to shop in particular. Vouchers as focus of irritation My husband favours Sainsbury’s because he says there is a wide variety of products of good quality – he finds their muesli is second to none and values the generous amount of fruit it contains. I don’t argue with this at all. He also thinks their check-outs are efficient with their combination of self service and cashier tills. I grind my teeth in… Read More

Me and IT by Trevor Plumbly

For BH a dear friend and TH a brother outside law From top to bottom It’s not been the best year healthwise: back surgery in December, a Giardia infection in March, followed by an ear infection in July and now ‘IT’ in August. Cancer, I’ve discovered, is a cunning bugger; it doesn’t announce its presence, it just sneaks in to any body part willing to house it. With me it’s the colon. Like most, I’ve never paid that much attention to that particular part of my body; it’s worked as a waste… Read More