Think On by Angela Caldin

A reporter, talking on the radio today about the bankers who have been found to have falsified interest rates in order to make even more money, said: ‘These bankers will very probably know the price of a bottle of Bollinger, but they will have no idea of the price of a bottle of milk.’

It Was A Pleasure To…By Trevor Plumbly

After hearing an old friend’s comments on his final regular broadcast, I couldn’t help feeling short-changed by the folks that run national radio here in New Zealand. Dougal Stevenson’s final remarks were delivered with the same calm dignity with which he had presented TVNZ national news for so many years. There’s far more to Dougal than a BBC accent, there’s a genuine love of the English language, a deceptively dry wit and, as I discovered, a willingness to encourage those new to public performances. My first encounter with him was for the… Read More

Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster! By Emily Smart

The urban myth, or legend as it is sometimes called, has been occupying my thoughts this week. We all love a good story, be it true or fictious, particularly if it’s about celebrities. Who can forget the tale of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and that Mars Bar? Or Richard Gere and his alleged fondness for small furry rodents? Then there’s the ones that have been circulating for years; John Travolta might be gay (massage anyone?), Jamie Lee Curtis was supposedly born a hermaphrodite, and the singer Marc Almond, after collapsing on stage,… Read More

Inheritance versus Election by Angela Caldin

I’ve been watching the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with enormous interest these last days and trying to decide whether I’m a monarchist or not. It’s beyond a doubt that our stalwart Queen has worked extremely hard for 60 years and been utterly committed to her duty. It’s also beyond question that, here in the UK, we know how to celebrate a royal occasion with a majestic flourish and how to put on a spectacular regal show, whatever the weather. Those 60 years embody a powerful argument for the monarchy, an… Read More

Unaccustomed as I am…By Trevor Plumbly

We’ve all suffered it: the wedding reception when the rumble of small-talk has replaced the clatter of crockery being cleared away. The glass pings, almost politely, and he rises to his feet surveying the seated guests in much the same way as Christopher Lee eyed the maiden’s neck in the old Dracula movies. This is the best man and it’s time for his shot at glory: the speech! He looks confidently at his wife, but rather than smile encouragement, she decides that the tablecloth needs her undivided attention. It’s not a good… Read More