Autumn Garden


The sun isn’t rising until after 6.30 so there’s a definite autumnal feel to the air in the mornings and the first leaves are changing colour which prompted this choice for Friday’s poem.

Autumn Garden  by Ruth Dallas comes from her Collected Poems,  published by University of Otago Press.

Autumn Garden


The trees she loved are loosening their leaves,

But not for sorrow will they let them fall;

Younger leaves are stirring in the bough,


Now, when the world should pause, the bees behave

As if these were the earliest flowers, beans

Swell and wing on the trellis, apples ripen.


Nothing in the garden looks for her,

The summer flowers are scattering their seed,

The heavy apples dream of other trees.


            – Ruth Dallas –

Did you see the one about . . .


The latest in milking technology at NZ Conservative.

Press freedom by Karl du Fresne

Extraordinary times ahead for  Fonterra at Roarprawn

The Fat Controller & Lassie at Monkeywithtypewriter

Political ignorance and policy preferences at Anti-Dismal 

Unethical Ethics at Macdoctor and the related It takes 12 to Qango at goNZofreakpower

It’s not what they say


Does the Ministry of Health read George Orwell or was the  memo of words and phrases to be used with the new government their own idea?

Some of the words and phrases the Ministry of Health sees as complicated jargon more suited to the previous government include: ‘social marketing’, ‘organised efforts of society’, ‘public health’, ‘strengthening community action’ and ‘social and economic determinants’.

A memo has been sent around banning the words and phrases and asking staff to replace them with new words and phrases described as the “in” words which include: ‘prevention’, ‘personal choices/decision’, ‘socio-cultural aspects of human behaviour’, ‘productivity’ and ‘value for money’.

The Minister wasn’t impressed:

Health Minister Tony Ryall says he didn’t order the list and doesn’t support it: “It’s just been dreamt up by some people in the Ministry of Health and I’d actually rather they spent a lot more time putting some focus on health service than writing up a list like this.”

If they’ve spent too much of the last nine years wasting time on things like this they may not know how to focus on what really matters.

What if ACC didn’t cover initial visits?


If I had personal accident insurance and was offered a lower premium if I wasn’t covered for the first visit or two to a doctor of physiotherapist I’d take it.

I wonder how many people get ACC for just one or two consultations. I suspect it’s a significant number in which case requiring us to pay for the first couple of consultations might make a significant difference to the costs of the scheme.

I don’t see any problems with visits to GPs and physios but there could be a problem with hospital emergency departments.

At the moment treatment there for injuries which result from accidents are paid for by ACC not the general health vote. If ACC no longer covered those initial visits there would be a huge political backlash if people were required to pay for public hospital treatment, but if they weren’t charged then people would go to EDs with injuries which could be treated by GPs.

But if someone can see a way round this then removing ACC cover from those initial consultations might be part of the solution to the large hole in the budget.

Apropos of the ACC problems: Macdoctor says it’s Not Free; Keeping Stock attacks Labour for its part in the ACC dilemma; and Lou Taylor has worked out what ACC stands for

2000 posts


This is my 2000th post.

I started blogging on April 22nd and wrote 10 posts that month, building up to a ridiculous 390 in October when I was suffering from pre-election fever.

I calmed down a bit after November 8th and 2 1/2 weeks in Argentina in December helped me get things back in perspective again – 92 posts in January & 124 last month.

The two most popular posts are innocuous but I suspect the headlines  Public porn makes boobs of all  and  Peta boobs with breast milk camapign turn up in searches by sad individuals expecting something nasty who are no doubt disappointed all they get is my thoughts on topless women on motorbikes and breast milk ice cream.

After that, most people have looked at About Homepaddock, Photo finish for Melbourne Cup , double decker bus for sale,  then a post on Pregorexia   and various posts on melamine in milk.

Quite a few posts don’t attract comments but there have been more comments  – 2937 – than posts  and more spam – 3474 – than posts and comments combined.

I suppose I could be upset that the most popular posts are that way because of people looking for porn and spammers outweigh commenters. But I’m taking the glass more than half-full view that a few people who want to read my blue tinted rural view and leave comments worth reading – in agreement with mine or not – more than compensate for the rest.

So to those of you who do that – thanks for your contributions.



In Spanish they’re called girasol  which means turn to the sun –  although the idea that the heads of sunflowers follow the sun is a myth.

True or not, they still look pretty.


These are grown by Mitchell and Webster who specialise in bird seed, marketed under the Top Flite brand.

They start sowing in late spring and the plants grow slowlly until temepratures rise and the plants gain four or five centimetres a day until they get to about two metres when they start to bloom.

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