Group Therapy by Trevor Plumbly

We’re a mixed bunch in the ‘Focus Group’. All retirees, with backgrounds including The Diplomatic Corps, Journalism, Audiology, Ophthalmology, Engineering and down to Antique Dealing. Our common link is sight loss, but whilst we refer to ourselves as ‘blindies’, most of us still nurse some sort of blurred, but fading vision. It amazes me that I’m part of the group! Years ago the idea that I’d trot along twice-monthly to an organised meeting would have been laughable, but Focus isn’t really a group, nor do we hold ‘proper’ meetings; ours are more… Read More

Goodbye cruel world! By Trevor Plumbly

Lead kindly light! It’s worrying when governments decide to hold a referendum. It usually means the issue could turn stale and they’re looking to shift it away from the cabinet table before it starts to smell. Most of the iffy stuff gets handled by way of a conscience vote; this theoretically allows them to express their beliefs independently of party lines without pressure from on high (yeah right!). Sometimes though the cross-party chummy stuff wears a bit thin and their safest escape from confusion is a referendum; the old chestnut, ‘the people… Read More

Education, creativity, life and death by Angela Caldin

I was sad to see that Sir Ken Robinson, educationalist, author and speaker, had died on 21 August 2020. One of his core beliefs was that education should encourage creativity rather than stifle it and his career was focussed on unlocking the creative energy of both people and organisations. I remember a few years ago watching his TED talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ and finding it both inspirational and funny. Apparently, Sir Ken was the most watched speaker in TED’s history and this talk was viewed online over 60 million times and… Read More

A warrant of fitness by Trevor Plumbly

A vintage model I’m into pensive a bit more lately. This was sparked by seeing one of those 1950s Mercedes parked up the street. I felt a sense of kinship with the old heap; it’s done a few miles and, like me, shows a bit of wear and tear. Of late I seem to be losing a little more sight: simple actions, such as fitting a key into a lock, require a fair bit of fumbling and, of course, patience. Torches and magnifiers are more like outgrown toys than vision aids these… Read More

Varsity blues by Trevor Plumbly

On our annual visit to Auckland University’s Visual Science Faculty, five of us ‘blindies’ do a Q&A panel session with students as part of low vision day. I love these days; I can’t see the faces, but the energy in the theatre is contagious. However, the warm fuzzies cool down after a couple of days and I get whimsical. As a lad I never had a serious education; the income from a paper round was deemed more important to the family than a structured mind. So, ill-equipped and a little resentful, I… Read More