No laughing matter by Trevor Plumbly

Hubble bubble By general admission mainstream news is a bit of a witches’ brew of late. Despite wearing my ‘Pennies from Heaven’ (PFH) raincoat, I’m finding it hard to avoid dampening spirits. Sight loss (mercifully) killed off the newspapers as a source while the radio seems pre-set to dollop out hourly doses of depression. Sure, there’s heaps of the bad stuff out there that all of us need to be made aware of, but despite the relative insulation of life down here in NZ, the willingness of half-baked hacks to trumpet the… Read More

Pennies from heaven by Trevor Plumbly

‘Every time it rains’ It was one of those corny old songs I caught on the radio the other day and it struck me that one of the advantages of age is that you can afford to let others do their heads in worrying about the future of the planet. I’m not what I’d describe as smug about things, more calmly observant; it would be nice to report that I’ve achieved this semi-tranquil state by some form of self-discipline or religious experience but sadly, that’s not the case. Water on stone is… Read More

Pride, prejudice and old lace by Trevor Plumbly

Iron ladies Much of my early education outside the classroom came from the afternoon teas where Aunt Phyllis presided over her genteel kangaroo court. Maiden aunts, as a social force, drifted into extinction around the1950s; mine was formidable and possessed of three major traits: an endless store of borrowed quotes, the capacity to consume more gin than a music hall tart and the ability to terrify me. The table was her high court bench and, during tea, dialogue was pretty much restricted to, ‘Sit up please’ and ‘Chew your food properly child.’… Read More

As good as a play by Trevor Plumbly

They bore him barefaced on the bier Let’s not get overdosed with regret over the departure of Aussie PM Scott Morrison; these people come and go, it’s the nature of the beast. We’re taught from infancy that forgiveness is a virtue but when it comes to the odd politician I wonder if that concept might need a re-think. Lots of countries draw a wild card from time to time: Thatcher, Muldoon, Johnson and so on. It seems to me that after a period of relative stability, the punters get lulled into comfort… Read More

A fistful of dollars by Trevor Plumbly

Flashing it It seems to me that money and discretion don’t accompany each other so much of late. Maybe Mother was right when she said, ‘A fool and his money are soon parted.’ But these days it seems some manage to hang on to the stuff and rub our noses in it at the same time. Do you know there’s a few squillionaires willing to pay 60 odd million dollars each for the dubious pleasure of floating round in space for a couple of days? What on earth’s wrong with these people?… Read More