Growing old by Angela Caldin

Talented man Headlining at Glastonbury at aged 80 seems an unlikely achievement, but not if you are Paul McCartney. This man has been part of my life since the Beatles burst on the scene when I was a teenager. Last week, he occupied the Pyramid Stage for more than two hours with a gig described by the Guardian as phenomenal. In a dark waistcoat and a simple white shirt, he looked great: no paunch, no stoop, no concessions at all to what is undeniably an advanced age. How does he do it?… Read More

Pride, prejudice and old lace by Trevor Plumbly

Iron ladies Much of my early education outside the classroom came from the afternoon teas where Aunt Phyllis presided over her genteel kangaroo court. Maiden aunts, as a social force, drifted into extinction around the1950s; mine was formidable and possessed of three major traits: an endless store of borrowed quotes, the capacity to consume more gin than a music hall tart and the ability to terrify me. The table was her high court bench and, during tea, dialogue was pretty much restricted to, ‘Sit up please’ and ‘Chew your food properly child.’… Read More

The autumn of discontent by Trevor Plumbly

Fatigue, vertigo and water torture Despite practically hibernating and trying hard not to inhale outdoors, I’ve somehow managed to catch the bloody thing and I’m scribbling this between bouts of horizontal stupor. In Britain, when the monarch was ill, they used to post daily health reports by the palace gates but they don’t advertise infirmity down here and I’m trying to adopt the ‘suck it up’ culture. However, this one’s a toughie for me, with total exhaustion and brain fade, interrupted by occasional bursts of mental flatulence. As with most infectious ailments,… Read More

Selfies by Trevor Plumbly

On reflection Looking in the mirror’s one thing, but when it comes to describing yourself it can get a bit tricky. Emily provoked this train of thought the other day after her second glass of Shiraz by blurting out, ‘We need to upgrade our bios; Christ I’m still 40 in mine.’ After a re-read, I had to agree. Those scanning that little puff-piece would think that I’m bloody spotless! It comes across like a eulogy in one of those new-age churches, delivered by a celebrant who had never met me. Who the… Read More

Life with a dog by Angela Caldin

I’m a bit late with my blog contribution this week because of circumstances beyond my control. It’s fair to say that not many people have noticed, apart from Trevor who has sent an email of admonishment this morning. The new year is now underway which seems a fitting time to correct the omission. The situation is as follows: our daughter and family have gone away for a short break at Lake Taupo and in a moment of extreme generosity I agreed that we would look after their dog. The dog in question… Read More