Shopping as a source of discord by Angela Caldin

There’s tension and discord in our house again. This time it’s a dispute over shopping practices in general and where to shop in particular. Vouchers as focus of irritation My husband favours Sainsbury’s because he says there is a wide variety of products of good quality – he finds their muesli is second to none and values the generous amount of fruit it contains. I don’t argue with this at all. He also thinks their check-outs are efficient with their combination of self service and cashier tills. I grind my teeth in… Read More

Dear Mr Bell by Trevor Plumbly

I am assured by some fairly bright folk that an ‘up there’ exists; that being the case, you will probably receive this OK and perhaps ponder on the misfortune you inflicted on us. You are not entirely to blame for the current situation but you did kick things off. History recalls you as a decent bloke, but given to tinkering; unfortunately, like most inventors, in the euphoria of discovery you lost sight of the potential harm you would cause. The 19th Century heralded the birth of technology and no doubt your telephone… Read More

A smart gadget too far by Angela Caldin

The atmosphere in our house is electric. It’s full of accusations, recriminations and suspicion. And all because of the introduction into our ménage of an allegedly money saving gadget which is meant to make life run more smoothly and happily. A cuckoo in the nest This dangerous and sinister interloper is called a Smart Meter and it comes with a twinkling Wi-Fi sidekick called a Smart Energy Tracker. I am a thrifty person by nature, always ready to embark on an economy drive in order to save a penny or two, so… Read More

The last flat pack by Angela Caldin

When we moved to our small new home, I vowed that we would never again buy any flat pack furniture. Absolutely no need as we had all the furniture we could possibly want. The days of puzzling and sweating and getting short tempered over bits of white MDF were behind us. Shoe problems Everything was going well under the new regime until I got exasperated with the large pile of shoes which had accumulated in my wardrobe. What was needed, I felt, was some shoe shelving which could live in the (admittedly… Read More

A blind date by Trevor Plumbly

By the book? Tuesday was to be a busy day: coffee and world correction with the gang, then on to Book Club which is much like any other, except we listen rather than read. We start off in an orderly round robin critique, but the fun starts with the open discussion; thanks to the stamina of Chairperson Janice, this falls short of verbal warfare but lacks nothing in the way of diversity. After dissecting this month’s offering (boring to brilliant), we moved effortlessly on to parrot ownership (honestly!). Never having owned one,… Read More