Group Therapy by Trevor Plumbly

We’re a mixed bunch in the ‘Focus Group’. All retirees, with backgrounds including The Diplomatic Corps, Journalism, Audiology, Ophthalmology, Engineering and down to Antique Dealing. Our common link is sight loss, but whilst we refer to ourselves as ‘blindies’, most of us still nurse some sort of blurred, but fading vision. It amazes me that I’m part of the group! Years ago the idea that I’d trot along twice-monthly to an organised meeting would have been laughable, but Focus isn’t really a group, nor do we hold ‘proper’ meetings; ours are more… Read More

Desolation row by Trevor Plumbly

‘They’re selling postcards of the hanging’ We’re in the election war zone again, and the buggers have armed themselves to the teeth with righteousness in the hope of convincing us they actually care what we think! Deep down, lots of us oldies feel it’s a wasted effort, but years of ‘don’t vote, don’t moan’ have brainwashed us to the extent that we now feel obliged to do it. It’s not that the essence of the process is wrong; it’s like religion really, it’d work fine if people didn’t tinker with it all… Read More

Wordplay by Trevor Plumbly

As she is spoke Since losing most of my operational sight, I rely heavily on language to gauge reactions. Blindness, despite the myth, hasn’t improved my hearing capacity, just forced me to place more value on word use. I find it hard to accept the current trend of cutting perfectly good words in half without comment, though every time I moan about someone butchering language, I get the same chorus, ‘language is constantly evolving’. If it is, then surely it’s preferable that the process is tailored to improve it rather than reduce… Read More

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