Far from Perfect by Trevor Plumbly

Mutiny and Management Leaving aside countries beset by internal unrest and religious intolerance, there are places in this world I simply don’t want to visit and the Pitcairn Islands rank pretty high among them. The previously settled Polynesian islands were long abandoned until 1790 when they were chosen as the final destination for Fletcher Christian, his crew and six Tahitians, following the mutiny on HMS Bounty. Pitcairn is one of those sad little bits of the old Empire Britain can’t or won’t get rid of. It has minimal commercial or strategic appeal;… Read More

Grandparents Crossing the Globe by Angela Caldin

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 the Music Died by Trevor Plumbly

A Non-Golden Silence I was collapsed in the armchair enjoying Julian Lloyd Webber playing ‘The Prelude in E Minor’ (opus I forget which), when the worst happened: a bloody power cut. I checked the fuse box: no blue smoke or strange odours, so it must be external, but caused by what? Earthquake, power surge, electrical storms or whatever, it was still an annoying interruption to an afternoon that had kicked off with a posh lunch that should have led to hours of quiet contemplation rather than half-mouthed curses at the electricity supply… Read More