Truth versus opinion by Susan Grimsdell

When did opinion take over from truth?  I’ll give you an illustration. Warrants of fitness Recently, it has been found that some garages in NZ who are authorised to issue warrants of fitness (WoFs), certifying the car is safe in all respects, have been doling them out to drivers without actually checking cars. NZ has an enforcement agency tasked with visiting garages to make sure regulations are being followed.  It seems that in some cases, these enforcers have very “kind” hearts, and have been turning a blind eye to breaches, merely reiterating… Read More

Systemic stupor by Trevor Plumbly

Manna from heaven A recent news report from Canberra announced that some lucky Aussies could now get their groceries delivered by drone. To add a bit of credence to the piece, they included an interview with a grateful mother, who seemed to regard this technological turd as a lifeline. I’d like to say my heart went out to the poor creature, but it didn’t; I find that she’s rather pathetic compared to the women who work at life, instead of sitting around and expecting it to arrive. Millions of women cope with… Read More

The other woman by Trevor Plumbly

The siren’s song Alexa is a ‘Smart Speaker’, an innocent looking cylinder about a foot tall and capable of making the fiddly bits of daily routine a breeze. We blindies are suckers for this sort of stuff; anything that does our fumbling round for us is always welcome. She allowed me to access books and music without the threat of a wrongly pressed button or incorrect spelling. But blindness breeds doubt, and a dependence on gadgets disturbs me. I’ve always had a distrust of devices that do my thinking for me, what… Read More

A good look by Trevor Plumbly

Looking back Historically, the attitude towards ‘blindies’ in the 19th Century left a lot to be desired. We managed the odd mention in literature as interesting background characters, excluded from the central plot, but in life were largely regarded as charity cases, except, of course, for those shielded by wealth. Academically, then, as now, there seemed to be no shortage of scientific papers on causes and effects, but most lapse into a terminology that render them practically useless as a point of reference to those of us experiencing sight loss on a… Read More

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