Pride, prejudice and old lace by Trevor Plumbly

Iron ladies Much of my early education outside the classroom came from the afternoon teas where Aunt Phyllis presided over her genteel kangaroo court. Maiden aunts, as a social force, drifted into extinction around the1950s; mine was formidable and possessed of three major traits: an endless store of borrowed quotes, the capacity to consume more gin than a music hall tart and the ability to terrify me. The table was her high court bench and, during tea, dialogue was pretty much restricted to, ‘Sit up please’ and ‘Chew your food properly child.’… Read More

The doggy idea by Angela Caldin

I’m wrestling once again with an idea that won’t go away. It resurfaces from time to time just when I feel sure that I’ve knocked it on the head. It’s the idea that getting a dog might bring some extra fun and happiness into our lives. A few months ago, I had a phase of watching those videos on Facebook showing emaciated, bedraggled and abandoned dogs rescued by dedicated dog-savers and nursed back to life until they are bouncing around looking the picture of health, ready to go to a forever home…. Read More

Life with a dog by Angela Caldin

I’m a bit late with my blog contribution this week because of circumstances beyond my control. It’s fair to say that not many people have noticed, apart from Trevor who has sent an email of admonishment this morning. The new year is now underway which seems a fitting time to correct the omission. The situation is as follows: our daughter and family have gone away for a short break at Lake Taupo and in a moment of extreme generosity I agreed that we would look after their dog. The dog in question… Read More

The eyes have it! By Trevor Plumbly

Dirty politics This month will see me reach my 80th birthday. It is, for me, a time to reflect on my place in the scheme of things. What’s concerning me is that the ‘we know best’ lobby won’t give up, and I reckon they’ve been shoving campaign leaflets in my letter box.        As a result, someone in the family must have found something like the ‘How to be a happy blindy’ app and suggested that my path to contentment lay in getting out and about more. I wasn’t present when the vote… Read More

The source of happiness by Susan Grimsdell

We’re living in an age of self-fulfilment, finding ourselves, getting to our inner selves, mindfulness, meditation, all about looking deep into ourselves to find happiness.  Self, self, self.  Ancient values When I was a kid, we had no idea who we were or what we were all about – such notions never entered our heads.   It was drummed into us that we didn’t matter, other people mattered – don’t be selfish, stop thinking of yourself, share your toys, share your lollies, children should be seen and not heard, don’t talk about yourself… Read More