Give and take by Trevor Plumbly

Visitors Most countries in the so-called ‘free world’ are attempting to absorb as many refugees as their social framework can cope with, but the urgency and the increase in numbers poses problems for all concerned. Most established residents are fairly comfortable with their lot and generally complacent about freedom of expression, education and religious choice. Refugees or migrants, on the other hand, understandably find it difficult to adjust to highly liberal societies and to what we regard as basic rights. Small wonder, then, that a ‘them and us’ scenario could develop unless… Read More

A Moving Experience by Angela Caldin

Last year, in July, I wrote about sorting through the myriad paraphernalia that had accumulated during 31 years of life in our family home. I confidently expected that we’d have completed our downsizing move by the time the pears had ripened on the beloved pear tree in the garden. Well, you may not be surprised to learn that this was not to be. A Setback Soon after I wrote so optimistically, we heard that our cash buyer had withdrawn his offer because we could not exchange contracts soon enough for his liking…. Read More

Is a problem halved? By Trevor Plumbly

Cause and effect The trouble with high speed internet news is that it burns too brightly to have lasting value. Yesterday’s news, it seems, regardless of its horror or educational value is routinely discarded in favour of ‘breaking news’. Stories on the plight of refugees flooding into Europe dominate world news, and rightly so, but for how long? And sadder still, to what effect? As I’m writing this, the story is being aired of a dead toddler washed ashore on a Mediterranean beach along with the bodies of his brother and mother…. Read More

The Moon and Sixpence by Trevor Plumbly

Lost in space ‘One giant leap for mankind’, but was it really? I don’t want to belittle Mr. Armstrong’s or even America’s achievements in 1969, but I can’t help wondering what, outside a bit of boffin back-slapping and national flag waving, the moon landing and the ensuing trillion dollars’ worth of junk chucked up there has provided any real benefit to improve things down here. I guess the main benefits could be communication, but increasing the current speed of communication is like gilding a lily that’s got a bit rotten in parts…. Read More