What should we tell the children? By Emily Smart

It’s been a busy week in the Glasgow-Smart household as we’ve been ‘celebrating’ Halloween. Decisions and then more decisions. What costumes to wear? Which make-up? What size loot bags?  How many sweets required for trick or treaters calling at our house? We are now of course suffering the after effects. All round grumpiness due to staying up past 8pm and no doubt massive dental bills for the next 10 years as a result of the bucket loads of sugar the kids have been consuming morning, noon and night. Halloween: it’s a strange… Read More

A Prevaricator’s Progress by Trevor Plumbly

Ain’t progress grand? Or is it? I wonder if we really understand the ultimate costs of the new technology. Sure, I use it when it suits, like a lot of folk, but lately it’s becoming more of a habit than a convenience and more concerning, it’s a habit increasingly hard to break, with most middle level and major companies directing me to web sites rather than written or spoken contact. More disturbingly still, government departments have happily joined up, all in the name of efficiency and economy.

Donors and Dodgers by Trevor Plumbly

After donning my plastic identity vest, salting my donation bucket to ensure a guilt-producing rattle, I took up my station for the street appeal day. That’s when I met most of you, not in person of course, more in personality. The rules governing street collectors are unwritten but quite basic: don’t obstruct the footpath, don’t accost pedestrians, smile lots and thank everybody.

Caveat Emptor! By Trevor Plumbly

Traditionally, the people who attended auction sales were often more interesting than the goods on offer: you had the serious buyers trying to add to their collections, dealers looking for stock, Joe average trying to buy cheaper than retail, and the hoarders who just couldn’t help themselves. All of them trying to conceal any involvement in the bidding process, and all hoping for the ultimate prize: a bargain. The auctioneers who conducted this orchestrated little piece of theatre were as much of a motley bunch as their clients; the worst sounding like… Read More

Changing the World One Gift at a Time™* by Angela Caldin

What happens when you’ve lived in the same place for 38 years, 27 of them in the same house? You accumulate a whole lot of possessions, that’s what; and most of them remind you of someone or somewhere so that you’re sentimentally attached to them, even though they have little monetary value. Our garage was so full of chattels that the car was parked on the driveway whatever the weather. I stood in the midst of it all one day and decided that something had to be done; the clutter had to… Read More