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

West Side Story at Sadler’s Wells, London by Angela Caldin

A Revival of a Timeless Classic If you’re lucky enough to be in London this September, get on to the Sadler’s Wells’ box office and book some tickets for the fabulous new production of West Side Story which is showing there with an energetic, young, international cast. This ground-breaking show made its debut on Broadway in 1957 and very soon after that was made into an outstanding film starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, which went on to win an incredible ten Academy Awards.  The story is a… Read More

The Gift by Trevor Plumbly

A Summons from Betty Dingle Some years ago, during a TV programme on antiques, I made the comment that an interesting or family story behind an item was its greatest value. Shortly after the show was aired, I received a letter from a viewer asking if I would visit and look at her mother’s desk. Such letters weren’t rare at the time and I generally politely sidestepped them by a phone call or letter requesting photographs. Betty Dingle’s letter was different from the norm; it had a sort of polite instructive tone… Read More

The Devil’s Brew by Angela Caldin

It is with trepidation that I start to write about alcohol and its effects on us and our society, because I am more than well aware that my two fellow bloggers like a drink or twelve and that one of them at least has certainly suffered from some almighty hangovers in her time. But I am troubled by the hold that alcohol seems to have on our society at all levels, most dramatically among the young. Its effects are all too apparent in our town centres every weekend, when getting ‘bladdered’ seems… Read More