Never mind Cha Cha Changes Emily, what about Pas de Puberty? By Trevor Plumbly

Okay Em: I read it and whilst I realised the importance of the event to you and indeed to all of the fair sex, I couldn’t help thinking that you’ve had 40 years to ready yourself for the biological time-bomb while I only had about 13 to prepare for nature’s wake-up call to teenage boys. It’s not like ageing you know, you can’t just roll with the flow, it’s as swift and painful as a kick in the privates, if you’ll pardon the analogy. One day I was reasonably normal with more… Read More

The Confessions of a Tin Opener by Trevor Plumbly

As the car drove off, I faced a few days fending for myself and I realised that it wasn’t going to be quite as simple or relaxing as it once was. The old system worked fine in a big house; the washing, dishes, pots and empties could be ignored until the eve-of-return blitz. In a small cottage however, some sort of system would need to be followed to get the full benefit out of my temporary return to batchelorhood. First, a quick stock-take: the liquids were easy, tea, a few beers and… Read More

Donors and Dodgers by Trevor Plumbly

After donning my plastic identity vest, salting my donation bucket to ensure a guilt-producing rattle, I took up my station for the street appeal day. That’s when I met most of you, not in person of course, more in personality. The rules governing street collectors are unwritten but quite basic: don’t obstruct the footpath, don’t accost pedestrians, smile lots and thank everybody.

Cha Cha Cha Changes. By Emily Smart

It’s a funny thing turning forty. Not funny ha ha, or even peculiar, more bloody annoying than funny actually. I remember when I was kid and my parents hit the big 40. In my mind they may just as well have turned seventy. I have been in my forties now for  a while and I am starting to realise just why people have a ‘mid-life crisis’ or look at things differently when they say goodbye to their thirties.

The Older, the Better by Angela Caldin

A while ago I wrote about Frankie Valli, Englebert Humperdinck and Diana Gould, older people who are playing a joyously active role in the world. Now, I’d like you to meet Beryl Renwick, 86 and Betty Smith, 90 who have recently won the award for best entertainment programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, beating off the competition from the likes of Frank Skinner and the BBC’s Adam & Joe.