Yorkshire mini-break by Angela Caldin

I’m up in Yorkshire enjoying a few days immersion in all that is wonderful about this county including its down-to-earth people, its direct talk, its breath-taking landscapes and its wry humour. Northern rivalry I should point out that I’m from Lancashire, a diamond of a county, but locked in a centuries old rivalry with its neighbour over the Pennines. Who remembers learning about the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century with the white rose for the House of York and the red rose for the house of Lancaster? As if… Read More

Young people on the streets by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve come across two crowds of young people in the past couple of weeks.  On 24 May hundreds and hundreds of students marched down Queen Street in Auckland blocking the entire street. They were angry at us – oldies – who have used and abused the planet: the damaged, degraded planet they will be obliged to cope with in the coming years.  They carried handmade placards with messages from the heart.  These were not mass-produced as is the case in some protests.  “I’d be in School if the Planet were Cool”, “I’ll… Read More

Courtesy calls by Trevor Plumbly

Cellulitis? As befits an old geezer, I’ve stuck to the landline telephone. There are reasons for hanging on to this ancient means of communication: I’m a fully paid up ‘blindy’, so grubbing round for a trilling bit of plastic half the size of a fag packet held little joy for me. Unlike the mobile, the landline is a single entity, it has a dignified ring as opposed to a semi-musical demand for attention, it does all it’s required to do without torturing me with ‘additional features’, it has a tactile reliable feel… Read More

Pillars of the Community by Susan Grimsdell

We’ve been hearing about fraud in the insurance industry lately.  Do you remember way back in the distant past when the trusted insurance guy would come to your house and tell you which insurances were best for you? Did it ever enter anyone’s head to suspect for one minute that the one he chose for you was the one that gave him the highest commission? Well, the insurance headlines are saying – look again.  The folks dealing in insurance aren’t quite the decent people they seem to be. Don’t bank on it… Read More

Trivial Hirsutes by Emily Smart  

Now, I know that looking at me you wouldn’t think that personal grooming would be at the top of my priority list, but I’m afraid you would be wrong. Whilst I seem to have missed out on the ‘female gene’ when it comes to having an interest in men, shopping, clothes, make-up and The Batchelor, I have always been somewhat preoccupied with hair, both growing and removing it. During my teenage years, I experimented with everything from Sun In – natural hair highlighter that was great if you like orange streaks in… Read More