Dealing with criminals has been a problem since biblical times, and it’s pretty obvious that most permutations of solving matters have been tried over the centuries. From dismemberment medieval torture to the current favourite of avuncular admonishment, the most inventive solution, deportation, was devised by the British in the 18th Century. It was heralded as a win-win piece of legislation, dumping the undesirables as far away as geographically possible, whilst planting the Union Jack in yet another quarter of the planet. Anything of value to the Mother Country would be virtually free… Read More
The Pain of Separation A year or two before I became a grandmother, I had a job providing support to witnesses called to give evidence in criminal trials at a magistrates’ court in London. All kinds of people of all ages, races, socio-economic groups, prejudices, temperaments and beliefs flowed through the doors and I remember very few individual cases. But two people have always stayed in my mind: an elderly couple who had been the victims of a fraudulent builder who had marched the husband to the bank and made him draw… Read More
Most English speaking countries or areas develop their own special words which may not be readily understood elsewhere. Manchester and the Midlands have the word mardy for example which means grumpy or surly, like a moaning child, while in Yorkshire parky means chilly or cold. Americans use sidewalk for pavement and in Canada they say eavestrough for gutter. Since living in New Zealand on and off for the last few years, I’ve heard and learnt a few new words which are particular to this land at the southernmost part of the world.