On Her Majesty’s Service by Trevor Plumbly

Bulldogs abroad We Brits plonk embassies down all over the place in an effort to reinforce our sense of superiority. I admit that I’ve never paid these far flung monuments too much attention until recently. When my eyesight decided that it didn’t need me anymore, little things like the driving licence and passport got ignored. Rally driving isn’t on my to-do list, but I figured the passport should be kept valid. Problem was it’s already three years out of date. I’d never bothered to adopt NZ citizenship; bugger that black vest, colonial… Read More

Vimeo Killed the Video Star by Emily Smart

I went down to the video shop yesterday, and had a real ‘fuck I’m old’ moment. And have now just discovered that this is a real thing – see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3hwisr/what_was_your_fuck_im_old_moment/ Anyway, video shop, videos. When was the last time you actually played a video tape? I found a video the other day: Toy Story 2 and just checked when it was released. It was 1999! So give or take a year or so to go from cinema ‘straight to video’ (you don’t hear that anymore) and that’s about 18 years ago. Flippin’… Read More

Needful things by Trevor Plumbly

It happens as a matter of course and, as is the case for most blindies, the sound of breaking stuff doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me; what the hell, a wineglass or two ain’t much in the scheme of things. But some stuff is glued to my daily routine, essential to maintaining the remnants of my sanguinity. Broken toys So I was somewhat annoyed when the radio and my newest iPad took a dive. A falling radio, I’ve discovered, makes a fixable sounding thud, an iPad, however, lands with an… Read More

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