It Was A Pleasure To…By Trevor Plumbly

After hearing an old friend’s comments on his final regular broadcast, I couldn’t help feeling short-changed by the folks that run national radio here in New Zealand. Dougal Stevenson’s final remarks were delivered with the same calm dignity with which he had presented TVNZ national news for so many years. There’s far more to Dougal than a BBC accent, there’s a genuine love of the English language, a deceptively dry wit and, as I discovered, a willingness to encourage those new to public performances. My first encounter with him was for the… Read More

I’d Be Honoured! By Trevor Plumbly

It’s that time again: Queen’s Birthday Honours! And I’m eyeing the postman with all the expectancy of Hyacinth Bucket waiting for the mayoral invitation. Surely Her Majesty won’t overlook me again? I know I’m tucked away a bit down here, but that shouldn’t be a problem with communication the way it is these days. Unless some bugger in Wellington is putting the diplomatic boot in, it must be my year. A knighthood? Thank you, but no, perhaps later when she’s run out of pop stars. In the meantime, something a bit more… Read More

Happy Birthday To Me! By Trevor Plumbly

On the morning of September 18th 2006, I rose out of bed a little more tentatively than normal. I was now 65 years old and it was time for a bit of a stock take. A glance in the mirror confirmed hair loss, teeth intact and the basics of the old chiselled features discernible, dimly, but nevertheless discernible. Sadly that didn’t extend south. The beer, pies and fish and chips had sent in their account and my waistline had paid in full. Turning sideways I drew in a deep breath in an… Read More

Where Sensitives Fear To Tread by Trevor Plumbly

I must confess to being more of a concert programme type than a talk-back radio fan, but needs must when it comes to writing about a slice of the media that amounts to little more than a call-free kangaroo court with one judge and thousands of jurors, none of whom could honestly include the word impartial in their vocabulary. The few hours I spent listening to the outpourings of bigotry, racism and sheer despair were fascinating to the point of addiction. The whole thing is brilliantly orchestrated for presentation to an audience… Read More

Mind and Matter Over Time by Angela Caldin

It’s April the world over and that means that here in the Antipodes we’re moving inexorably into autumn. Not for us white and pink blossom foaming on the trees and showy daffodils trumpeting their yellow gaudiness under trees and on grassy slopes. We can’t rejoice at new shoots poking their heads through the soil to reach for the gentle sun and we don’t enjoy lengthening days with light balmy evenings and the smell of barbecues in the air. We have violent winds and driving, teaming rain and daylight saving bringing darker evenings… Read More