Identity crisis by Trevor Plumbly

Don’t ask me, I only work here! Despite sight loss, I can still get all manner of stuff: audio books, podcasts, international news and as I’m writing this, the machine is spelling out the text for me. But when it comes to talking to somebody, especially corporate employees, I have problems; they’re pleasant enough, but they’ve got a sort of spray painted unworldliness about them that I find difficult. After having a credit card ‘compromised’, we rang the 24 hour number, the cards were duly cancelled and the replacements arrived in record… Read More

Dead End Road by Susan Grimsdell

‘Road to zero’ campaign Even the name is ridiculous.  There will never ever be zero deaths on the roads.  Considering that a PR company here in NZ was paid big dollars to come up with that meaningless and unreal slogan, it doesn’t bode well for what those doing the spending will choose to throw money at next.  Sure enough, just as stupidly, what they’re spending hugely on is urging us to stop being normal human beings, and for all of us to be perfect.  Zero, right?  No margin of error.  As normal… Read More

I’ll be with you in a tick! By Trevor Plumbly

Wise council I fumbled past 81 last week and decided to look around for amusement instead of reality. If you’re not careful, at that age, there’s far too much to be serious about. Fortunately, it’s local election time down here in Auckland and that’s always good for a few laughs, mainly provided by the wild card candidates. Not protected by party training wheels, they sometimes wobble and get forced to wing it, which brings an element of farce, largely driven by the unlikelihood of them ever getting elected. I found it was… Read More

Food banks and a funeral by Angela Caldin

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks which provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. It campaigns for change to end the need for food banks in the UK where more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. There are more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK providing a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. I find… Read More

A fistful of dollars by Trevor Plumbly

Flashing it It seems to me that money and discretion don’t accompany each other so much of late. Maybe Mother was right when she said, ‘A fool and his money are soon parted.’ But these days it seems some manage to hang on to the stuff and rub our noses in it at the same time. Do you know there’s a few squillionaires willing to pay 60 odd million dollars each for the dubious pleasure of floating round in space for a couple of days? What on earth’s wrong with these people?… Read More