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

Way to go! By Trevor Plumbly

I know I bang on about it a bit, but this age thing is starting to get to me. Lots of old fogies tranquilise themselves with verbal crap like ‘You’re only as old as you feel’ in an attempt to ignore the inevitable. Apart from a few odd-bods, for most of us ‘dead is dead’ and I’m OK with that; what’s fascinating to me is how it gets handled these days as opposed to the ‘gently drawn sable curtain’ approach. Dying was a big deal in Victorian times: regardless of your achievements… Read More

From squo to woe by Trevor Plumbly

The older I get the less polite I’m inclined to be about things that really piss me off. Bad language I dislike it when people tinker with things that are working OK, like words. We’re losing the battle against geek-speak every day and these bright sparks are continually cooking up acronyms and verbal obscurities which we swallow without question, not wanting to look dumb. Though not well educated in the full sense of the term, I do have a regard for clarity. Computer programmers however, loathe simplicity and neither do they fight… Read More

The golden past by Susan Grimsdell

It seems to be a human tendency to look back on the way we were in the past somewhat fondly, through rose-tinted glasses in fact. A variation on the age-old “things were better in my day!”  can be heard wherever and whenever a group of oldies gets together.  This enhancement of memories of how good we were compared to how ghastly the current generation is, has been going on since the beginning of recorded history. Back in the day In the 8th century BC  Hesiod said: “I see no hope for the… Read More