Six months in New Zealand have passed in a flash and now I’ve changed the Land of the Long White Cloud for the Land of the Rose and its teeming capital city. My fellow blogger, Emily, often refers to her homeland as Blighty and that rather old-fashioned term, so evocative of a bygone era of derring-do and Britishness, always makes me smile. Apparently, the expression was first used by soldiers in the Indian army and was an Anglo-Indian alteration of the Urdu bilāyatī, which means ‘foreign or European’. From there, it developed to be a… 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
The day started normally enough: a quick flick through the news, in the forlorn hope of finding something cheerful, radio tuned to the concert programme, crossword in hand, tea at the elbow, God’s in his heaven and all that stuff. But then the phone rings. ‘We’d like to go for a bike ride, are you OK with the kids for a couple of hours?’ ‘Of course!’ I reply and twenty minutes later Mozart has descended into redundancy and the crossword rendered unsolvable.
Bucolic Idyll Envisaged When my lovely son-in-law asked if we could look after our three delightful granddaughters for a day, while he and our daughter enjoyed a wine tour on Waiheke Island, we agreed with alacrity. What a blissful win-win arrangement, I thought: we would have the three little ones all to ourselves while their parents had a well-deserved and happy day-out together. But as the day drew nearer, the attractiveness of the prospect began to wane ever so slightly, mainly because the uninterrupted summer sunshine of the last few months was… Read More