The other vote in Scotland

September 19, 2014

While Scottish people are voting to decide whether to become independent, members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews have voted to allow women to join them:

. . . The St Andrews-based club has 2,400 global members who were entitled to vote and more than three-quarters took part in the ballot.

Of those that voted, 85% were in favour of change.

“This is an important and positive day in the history of the R&A Golf Club,” said chief executive Peter Dawson.

“The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men.” . . .

The club is still royal, but now not so ancient is its attitude to people.


September 14, 2014


Hawke’s Bay have made comfortable work of their opening Shield challenge, producing a first half onslaught to account for Otago 41-0.

The match was effectively over after 40 minutes, the Magpies having run in five tries to lead 31-0 at the half. . . .

Campaign openings vs All Blacks

August 23, 2014

Political party campaign opening broadcasts start with the National Party at 7:30 this evening.

What’s the bet even political tragics will be tuned to the Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and Wallabies instead?

¡Vamos Argentina!

July 14, 2014

If we were hosting the rugby World Cup, lost the semi-final to England, played against South Africa for 3rd and 4th place and lost and had to watch Australia in the final, how would we be feeling?

We’d be somewhat less than ecstatic but southern hemisphere loyalty would probably beat trans-Tasman rivalry and we’d be cheering for the Aussies.

That will probably be how it is for Brazil, having to watch Argentina play Germany in the World Cup final today after losing to the Netherlands yesterday.

They’d rather it was them but South American solidarity will probably trump their rivalry with their neighbours and they’ll back them against the European team.

We have German friends and our surname has German origins.

My farmer’s great-grandfather and his brother were Germans who jumped ship in the 18th century to avoid conscription into the Prussian army.

They ended up in New Zealand where eventually the name became Anglicised.

Relatives of the two brothers still live in Germany and we have friends there too so I could be backing the Germans.

But our links with Argentina are stronger.

We hosted an AFS student from there, his family is now ours. We’ve been there seven times and they’ve visited us too and the links were strengthened when our nephew married and Argentinean.

So today we’ll be backing the team in blue and white and shouting, ¡vamos Argentina!


So close . . .

July 11, 2014

Scott Donaldson has had to abandon his attempt to be the first solo kayaker to cross the Tasman Sea.

Mr Donaldson was winched on board the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter around 2.15pm after requesting a rescue from the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre. . .

A freshly shaven Mr Donaldson told a press conference at the hospital later that he was feeling “pretty good physically” but a third attempt at the transtasman crossing was unlikely.

He said he was hurting after not completing his journey.

“I didn’t hit the finish line and that hurts me deeply and will hurt me for a long, long time,” he said.

“I didn’t want to go home.”

Mr Donaldson said he felt gutted when he saw the helicopter arrive to pluck him from his kayak, which was “wearing thin” following the “nastiest night” of the journey.

“34 miles short — that really gets me,” he said.

He said the decision to call off his mission was not made based on emotions.

“It wasn’t hard to make the call.”

He said if he had gone through the weather conditions forecast for tonight he would have risked losing communications, and that wasn’t a risk he was willing to take. . .

It must be frustrating to come so close and have to give up after all he’s been through, but the record wasn’t worth risking his life, or that of anyone who might have attempted to rescue him had he carried on and got into trouble.

Argentina 0 – Netherlands 0

July 10, 2014

At the end of extra time Argentina and the Netherlands are locked 0 – 0.

This, the second World Cup semi final, will now be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

I know almost nothing about football but I’m on the edge of my seat.

Sign of the day

June 15, 2014



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