A Word from the Other Side by Trevor Plumbly

No Flowers by Request The day started out normally enough: tea in hand, talkback radio blaring (if you’re reasonably sane it’s nice to know what the nutters are up to) and the untouched cryptic crossword sitting like a cerebral kickstarter on the table. This pleasant little vignette of normality got a bit shattered when Pam announced, ‘I’ve just had an email from Glen offering his condolences on your recent demise.’ I considered this for a second or two. It’s not every day you get told you’ve conked it and the news quite… Read More

A Word of Goodbye! By Trevor Plumbly

When you get past three score and ten, you start to consider the shuffling off process a bit more seriously; it tends to focus your mind a bit when the funerals you go to are for friends rather than elderly relatives. Conversations with old friends (both senses) often include the previously unthinkable, that some of us will conk out in a relatively short period and all of us eventually. What’s interesting is the difference in attitudes: some refuse to even consider the prospect of death as if not discussing it will delay… Read More

Being of Sound Mind and Body or What to do with Your Worldly Goods by Trevor Plumbly

Taking Your Treasure with You The Ancient Egyptians were masters when it came to ensuring that their rulers were properly prepared and adequately supplied for the journey upstairs. All manner of bodily preparation was carried out before the dear old thing was boxed up and shunted into his personal pyramid. Presumably, in those days, it was considered that he might need a bit of gear to aid his passage, so they filled the rest of the space with all sorts of valuable stuff. Although probably not the first example of trying to… Read More

Old Age, Death and Last Rights by Trevor Plumbly

How Old is Old? I learned today that in Japan there’s a man who’s 116 years old and this provoked a bit of reflective thinking. I reckon getting to 80 is not a bad innings. Let’s face it; if you haven’t done all you want to in that time you can’t have been trying hard enough. But assuming I make it to 80, if I thought for one moment I had another 36 years to go, I’d have to do some serious thinking. It’s funny really how such mildly interesting snippets of… Read More

Every Sha La La La La… by Emily Smart

At the risk of being boring/predictable/tedious, I find myself again writing about music. I have no qualifications to  talk about the subject matter at any length, having never written a musical score, conducted an orchestra or recorded a track. But, I do love a good tune. Lately I have been waxing lyrical about Michael Jackson, Gene Pitney and even Nik Kershaw. I was going to have a chat about Karen Carpenter today, but instead I got distracted by the importance of music in life and in death. I will just say a… Read More