New Zealand on the map by Angela Caldin

There was a time when quite a lot of people were vague about where exactly New Zealand was. Somewhere down at the bottom of the world was a good guess; fairly near Australia perhaps. Sometimes maps of the world left New Zealand off altogether, as though its two islands just a bit bigger than the UK were too insignificant to bother about. Containing the virus But in the last few months New Zealand’s stock has risen dramatically, because under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Covid-19 has to all intents and… Read More

Staying alert by Angela Caldin

I’m living in New Zealand at the moment, but I’ve been following developments in the UK as well. On TV here, there’s an adaption of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker prizewinning novel The Luminaries. I read this book when it first came out and couldn’t put it down. The only problem was that when I arrived breathless at the end, I had no idea what was going on among the huge cast of characters. It was good therefore to understand from the first episode on TV that two of the main protagonists, Anna… Read More

From squo to woe by Trevor Plumbly

The older I get the less polite I’m inclined to be about things that really piss me off. Bad language I dislike it when people tinker with things that are working OK, like words. We’re losing the battle against geek-speak every day and these bright sparks are continually cooking up acronyms and verbal obscurities which we swallow without question, not wanting to look dumb. Though not well educated in the full sense of the term, I do have a regard for clarity. Computer programmers however, loathe simplicity and neither do they fight… Read More

Christmas blog by everyone

It’s that time of year again folks! The time when Trevor wants us to do a joint blog. His idea this year is to choose a well-known person and select a suitable gift or gifts for them. So here we go with Trevor kicking off. Merry Christmas Mr President! Greetings from Trev It’s Christmas time again Donald; you know, caring, sharing and all that syrupy stuff, so I thought I’d send you a few bits and pieces to reassure you that whilst a great deal of folk may prefer to forget you,… Read More

How safe is New Zealand? By Angela Caldin

‘On behalf of New Zealand, I would like to apologise to Grace’s family; your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn’t and I’m sorry for that.’ These are the words of Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, speaking about the recent murder of Grace Millane. She continued, ‘We pride ourselves on being a place where people are welcome, where they are safe and this hasn’t happened. I feel a sense that New Zealanders are carrying this quite personally.’ Homicide rates I was intrigued by her claim that Grace should… Read More