The Moon and Sixpence by Trevor Plumbly

Lost in space ‘One giant leap for mankind’, but was it really? I don’t want to belittle Mr. Armstrong’s or even America’s achievements in 1969, but I can’t help wondering what, outside a bit of boffin back-slapping and national flag waving, the moon landing and the ensuing trillion dollars’ worth of junk chucked up there has provided any real benefit to improve things down here. I guess the main benefits could be communication, but increasing the current speed of communication is like gilding a lily that’s got a bit rotten in parts…. Read More

The Home Front by Trevor Plumbly

A New Order The sound of marching soldiers signals the beginning of Karl Jenkins’ haunting work ‘The Armed Man’, or ‘The Mass for Peace’; in its way the sound is far more poignant than the music and choral work that follows. Just marching boots, but in their way seeming to ask age old questions. Marching for what? Duty? Or towards what? The dream of a better, safer world, or defeat? The practice of soldiers actually marching into battle is somewhat redundant these days, as is the idea of ‘going to war’. War,… Read More

Looking Forward by Trevor Plumbly

You’ve Got Your Troubles My last piece was about looking back at some of the positives from last year, so it makes sense (at least to me) to look at the negatives which it looks as though we’ll be carrying into 2015. We’re somewhat isolated from the world’s problems down here in New Zealand. To compensate for that, we grace ourselves with nifty titles to describe our little corner, like ‘Godzone Country’ and to an extent, there’s a bit of truth in that title. We don’t suffer from many of the social… Read More

Looking back by Trevor Plumbly

It’s that time again! Most of us have recovered from the excesses of feel-good and overindulgence and are bracing ourselves for the new year. But hang on folks! What about putting the last one to bed. Lots of stuff happened in 2014, and it seems a shame to let it go without some comment. Enlightened Faith Man of the year? I am not a Catholic but surely it must be Pope Francis. Rising from relative obscurity to become the world’s most recognised religious leader must be daunting enough, especially in the light… Read More

Mindfields by Trevor Plumbly

Another World With all the advantages of modern scientific thought, it’s astonishing that nobody’s come up with a safe, quick cure for the common need to escape reality: I can hear the cries of ‘moderation in all things!’ even as I’ve written that, let alone the following. I guess reality is a bit hard to pin down, since we’ve all got a personal version of it rattling inside and around us to cope with, along with finding ways to put it to one side when the harsher facts of life don’t suit… Read More