Goodbye cruel world! By Trevor Plumbly

Lead kindly light! It’s worrying when governments decide to hold a referendum. It usually means the issue could turn stale and they’re looking to shift it away from the cabinet table before it starts to smell. Most of the iffy stuff gets handled by way of a conscience vote; this theoretically allows them to express their beliefs independently of party lines without pressure from on high (yeah right!). Sometimes though the cross-party chummy stuff wears a bit thin and their safest escape from confusion is a referendum; the old chestnut, ‘the people… Read More

Canaan to chaos by Trevor Plumbly

I used to find books a comfort in my autumnal years, but I’ve decided not to seek enlightenment via the Old Testament any more. The BC stuff’s OK, but it’s all a bit passé compared to our NZ parliamentary scene. Forget that ‘thou shalt not’ crap, down here most of it’s bloody near compulsory. In a few weeks we’ve had back-stabbing, voluntary exile, dummy-spitting and, for those who find government doings boring, there’s cyber willy-waving and a bit of backroom bonking. I know about ‘casting the first stone’ and all that stuff,… Read More

A warrant of fitness by Trevor Plumbly

A vintage model I’m into pensive a bit more lately. This was sparked by seeing one of those 1950s Mercedes parked up the street. I felt a sense of kinship with the old heap; it’s done a few miles and, like me, shows a bit of wear and tear. Of late I seem to be losing a little more sight: simple actions, such as fitting a key into a lock, require a fair bit of fumbling and, of course, patience. Torches and magnifiers are more like outgrown toys than vision aids these… Read More

The Holy City by Trevor Plumbly

The New Jerusalem I’ve never had much trust in the value of history, but there’s a lot to be drawn from the Bible, especially where politics is concerned. It’s election time down here and the harvest awaits those who still believe politicians control access to the Citadel. Personally I don’t: I lost faith in promises when Spot Simpson’s sister told me she’d never done it before and the school dentist told me it wasn’t going to hurt; these are difficult times for those of us blessed with a smidgeon of cynicism. MMP… Read More

Varsity blues by Trevor Plumbly

On our annual visit to Auckland University’s Visual Science Faculty, five of us ‘blindies’ do a Q&A panel session with students as part of low vision day. I love these days; I can’t see the faces, but the energy in the theatre is contagious. However, the warm fuzzies cool down after a couple of days and I get whimsical. As a lad I never had a serious education; the income from a paper round was deemed more important to the family than a structured mind. So, ill-equipped and a little resentful, I… Read More