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

Shots from the bunker by Trevor Plumbly

All together now! One of the blokes on the radio the other day was banging on about community spirit and it struck a bit of a nerve. So I’ve taken to sitting on the porch and it’s surprising how many passers-by are happy to chat. One was a young guy from up the road who’s really into this together stuff. He urged us to stand at the gate at 7-00pm to applaud our front line workers. This evoked tales of the London blitz in WW2: the camaraderie, British Bulldogs and all that… Read More