Fakery by Susan Grimsdell

Have any of you readers out there seen the video of the Queen doing an excellent TikTok routine?  Who knew she could move like that at the age of 95? Just incredible.  Well, incredible is the word – it’s a fake video going round the world, but it’s completely real in every respect other than that it’s not.  What’s worrying isn’t so much the making fun of our dear old queen, it’s thinking about what else we believe is real when someone has decided to do their best to fool us.  Finding… Read More

Resolution of a resolution by Angela Caldin

Last January, I made a New Year resolution not to buy any more clothes for the duration of the coming year. I’m happy to be able to report that I kept my resolution more or less. There were two blips: in August I bought some new pyjamas online because I had a sudden uncontrollable urge for some slightly more glamourous nightwear than the nightie I was wearing which has Trés Normal written on the front. This has always bugged me because there should be a grave accent rather than an acute one… Read More

Selfies by Trevor Plumbly

On reflection Looking in the mirror’s one thing, but when it comes to describing yourself it can get a bit tricky. Emily provoked this train of thought the other day after her second glass of Shiraz by blurting out, ‘We need to upgrade our bios; Christ I’m still 40 in mine.’ After a re-read, I had to agree. Those scanning that little puff-piece would think that I’m bloody spotless! It comes across like a eulogy in one of those new-age churches, delivered by a celebrant who had never met me. Who the… Read More

Modem installation barriers by Susan Grimsdell

Language barrier Recently my modem played up and, on phoning Orcon, I was told that it needed replacing.  Quite magical that they can check it at a distance like that.  OK, new modem arrives – just swap it over, what could be simpler than that.  I’m not stupid – I can read instructions and follow pictures on a diagram.  Well, yes, I can read instructions when they’re in English.  What about “plug the small end of the ethernet cable into the port on the filter”.  “Ethernet” – which dictionary has that word… Read More

Scooters then and now by Susan Grimsdell

There was a wonderful photo in the Christchurch NZ newspaper a week ago.  It showed about a dozen 10-year-old boys in the year 1921 at a primary school in a small Canterbury town, lined up on their home-made wooden scooters, looking deadly serious, several of them with bare feet.  The picture tells a story about each of those boys and their scooters.  We can be almost certain they had help from a parent or sibling through everything it took to get to the finished scooter.  Planning and designing, scrounging timber from around… Read More