The Smart social barometer by Emily Smart

Step back in time I’ve been thinking a lot about my school days recently and, in particular, the two years I spent at sixth form college between the ages of 16-18. Having left my secondary school, which really was a mixed bag of youngsters, I then moved to a rather exclusive college which was full of ex-private school kids who had bags of money, attitude and posh accents. Strangely, I immediately felt at home there and thoroughly enjoyed making new friends and having fun. Oh, and writing the odd essay or two,… Read More

New year resolution by Angela Caldin

I understand that the people who make new year resolutions generally make them about losing weight, adopting a more healthy lifestyle, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise or a combination of all four of these. Like many others, I resolved on 1 January to lose some weight by cutting down on fattening food such as biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries, at the same time enjoying low calorie healthy salads, lean meat and vegetables. In my mind’s eye, I saw a slimmer me, glowing with health, emerging by about the end of… Read More

Fun Without Emily Smart by Trevor Plumbly

Always the Entrance! Some people do and some people don’t. Stand out, I mean. There are those that can fade into the wallpaper, whilst others, without exerting any great effort, can switch on a sort of inbuilt social booster mechanism. With Emily, there aren’t many flat phases in her life. Ange’s last piece reminded me of my birthday: the present seemed about half as big as Emily as she and Susan burst through the front door chanting ‘Happy Birthday to You!’ with considerably more vigour than melodic talent. She placed the box… Read More

On Being a Parent by Angela Caldin

A young mum said to me the other day, talking about her children, ‘I can’t wait until they’re 18 and then I won’t have to worry about them any more.’ She said this in all seriousness and first of all I thought that perhaps I hadn’t heard right. But then I realised that her children were small and that her worries were those associated with small children. She had no idea that as time went on and her children grew up, the issues would change and become more and more intractable. I’m… Read More