Moss gathering by Trevor Plumbly

By the book I think I’ve mentioned the importance books have played in my life. After my schooling was severely truncated, they were the cheapest form of entertainment and education available. In the late 1950s, I was living in a bedsit in North London, 12 bob a week, share bathroom and toilet with penny-in-the-meter electricity. Kilburn in the late 50s was far from welcoming, but it did have a public library. Bedsit etiquette was pretty much ‘mind your own business’, so in the absence of social contact, I wandered up and down… Read More

The confession of a cunning old fart by Trevor Plumbly

Culpa! Mea? This aging biz isn’t turning out to be the doddle I thought it would be; there’s lots of stuff to adjust to. The nights of six pints of lager and a curry have been replaced by a glass of wine, rabbit food and easy access to the toilets. It does, however, have some compensations: the old standby ‘he’s getting on a bit’ allows me to avoid inconvenient disruptions to my routine by resigned martyrdom rather than open defiance and as a result I’ve mastered a strained patient grimace along with… Read More

The dictates of fashion by Susan Grimsdell

One of the best things about being old is that I no longer care about being fashionable and fitting in with the way my friends dress.   As a teenager it was a different story.  Whatever was “in” is what I wanted.  In my day it was miniskirts, sack dresses, teased hair, crinolines, and like everyone else, I was right in there with it all. Flesh on show Looking back on those days it all seems a bit innocent compared to what’s happening now.  We worried about showing bra straps, girls now worry… Read More

In loco parentis by Angela Caldin

Our daughter and her husband have departed for the UK with the sad task of burying my son-in-law’s beloved mother who died unexpectedly a few days ago. We have been entrusted for the duration with the care and sustenance of our three delightful granddaughters aged 11, 9 and 6. What a responsibility, what an honour. Action packed Our daughter has made us a spreadsheet so that we know exactly what each child is meant to be doing each day. As always happens here in any crisis, friends have rallied round with offers… Read More

Needful things by Trevor Plumbly

It happens as a matter of course and, as is the case for most blindies, the sound of breaking stuff doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me; what the hell, a wineglass or two ain’t much in the scheme of things. But some stuff is glued to my daily routine, essential to maintaining the remnants of my sanguinity. Broken toys So I was somewhat annoyed when the radio and my newest iPad took a dive. A falling radio, I’ve discovered, makes a fixable sounding thud, an iPad, however, lands with an… Read More