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

Yellow Brick Road by Trevor Plumbly

Paved with good intentions Time was; every major city had a seedy side. I remember Soho in the late 1950s, awash with hints of vice and criminal activity, yet oddly appealing and relatively safe for gawking visitors: sadly the place traded its character for gentrification. However, here in Auckland our fringe citizens are made of sterner stuff and Karangahapi Road (‘K’ Road to locals) continues to thrive amidst ethnic cuisine, sexual scrabble and good old-fashioned character. The ladies and gents of the night, as well as most known gender variations in between,… Read More

The two sides of Christmas by Angela Caldin

I was in Newmarket a couple of days ago with my elder daughter doing a little Christmas shopping. In the streets the decorations glittered in the sunshine while in the shops the Christmas songs warbled over the festive wares. That’s when it happened, or perhaps I should say more correctly, that’s when it started. It washed over me like a wave, took over my body and mind and turned my heart into a heavy stone. It’s a malaise, a melancholy, a disquiet and a discontent. It’s called Seasonal Curmudgeon Disorder. The Christmas… Read More

Eureka and all that by Trevor Plumbly

The fab lab As I’ve indicated before, I think it’s highly unlikely that I’ll return in recognisable form once I’ve conked it. BUT… if I did, I’d want to be a researcher; they seem to have all the fun when it comes to academic studies. If you’re one of these bods you can do all sorts of stuff, like getting a degree in Beatles music. Imagine! Interminable hours spent analysing the social impact of ‘Yellow Submarine’; such a sacrifice surely deserves a degree. It would be nice to think that that particular… Read More