All good things by the verbalberbal collective

Angela begins We’re closing our beautiful blog. We’re putting it to bed after more than a decade of thoughts, ideas, musings and opinions. It’s been enormous fun and we’ve learnt a lot about writing and publishing. I remember the excitement when we first managed to upload a picture. For my part, I’ve now got eight grandchildren compared to the three that I started off with. They are a source of immense joy and though the family is scattered throughout the world, somehow we manage to keep in touch. I live permanently in… Read More

Pestilence by Trevor Plumbly

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em I might be making a bit of a meal of this one, but quite frankly I’ve had a gutful of nit-pickers. Despite some opinions to the contrary, I’ve still got a functioning brain that can operate without contact with Silicone Valley or Beijing. But there’s a growing army out there armed with Google and Wikipedia hell-bent on proving that there’s something to be gained from second-hand thought or worse, gilding an already wilting lily. ‘I wonder?’ doesn’t seem to exist much… Read More

Daycare by Angela Caldin

I’m back on daycare duty. It’s quite a few years since I used to take my grandchildren to kindergarten and occasionally stay for a while to help with their activities and prepare the fruit for morning tea. It’s an even longer time since I took my own children to one playgroup or another and rushed off home to make the most of the freedom, until all too soon it was time to pick them up again. Not that I was anxious to get rid of them, but they needed the socialising and… Read More

Bright ideas by Susan Grimsdell

The wrong choice A generation ago NZ kids were 4th out of 41 countries for reading ability, and 3rd for maths.  We were better than world class, we were world leaders.  Teaching strategies used then were ones that worked.  Now our kids are failing miserably.  We are 5th from the bottom of those 41 countries.  The reason kids’ performance has plummeted is that experts decided to radically change the way the 3 Rs are taught.   It seems strange to me that anyone would want to mess with something that was clearly so… Read More

A pocketful of mumbles by Trevor Plumbly

Who knows where the time goes? One of the benefits of age, as far as I can see, is that it waters down a lot of unnecessary mental clutter and excuses you for taking a more jaundiced view of stuff you once thought serious enough to worry about. I’m not thinking about the big things like war, starvation, climate change and so-on, more the irritating personal baggage other people expect us to carry on their behalf. Such people have been around since biblical days, but they’ve got more sophisticated since then and… Read More