He would say that wouldn’t he

March 22, 2009

Andrew Little denied any conflict of interest between his roles as Labour Party president and General Secretary of the EPMU when he was interviewed on Q & A  this morning.

Well he would wouldn’t he?

If I was a member of Labour Party I’d probably be quite happy to have the voluntary wing led by someone who’d bring the money and mebership of a large union with him.

But if I was in the EPMU I would have concerns about how much of his time Little was devoting to his union duties and that there might be times that the best interests of the union might be different from those of the party.

Little was interviewed by Paul Holmes. The other feature interview on Q&A  was Guyon Espiner with John Key.

I hadn’t realise that the programme was on this morning so have jsut watched the interviews on line, but Kiwiblog,  thought it was pretty good overall while the Home Office  misses Agenda and Frogblog said it was visually and aurally obnoxious.


Water water everywhere . . .

March 22, 2009

In honour of World Water Day I offer this for you to ponder on.

It was written by Ken Gibson who farmed in the Enfield District in North Otago and published his memories in a book, Days Gone By.

We made holes with post hole diggers. We dug wells. We made dams. We carted water from what wells we had on the farm. The cows stood and drank the water as fast as we could lift it to the surface.

We were not alone. With one or two exceptions, the farms between the Waiareka Creek and the Kakanui river were without good supplies of water. It was virtually a risk to stok the farm up because when the dry and heat came on we couldn’t give the animals a drink.

We sledged, we bucketed, we drayed, we truckes, we pumped water to try and get ahead of it. There was never enough until 1957 came, but that is another story.

The other story was the development of rural water schemes. The first in New Zealand was built in 1956 by farmers in the Windsor District, among whom was my father in law. The Enfield scheme was opened the following year and it was greeted as eagerly by farmers of that era as irrigation is today.

Before the advent of rural water schemes, it wasn’t only the land and stock which were short of water, houses were reliant on rain too and with an average of 20 inches  a year that was a scarce commodity.

Even when the rural water schemes were introduced there wasn’t a lot to spare for houses and gardens because stock water was the priority.

One unexpected bonus of irrigation has been enough water for gardens. My mother in law established her plantings by carrying buckets of water to plants. My farmer rigged up a couple of k-lines  for our garden so it’s mostly watered with the turn of a tap.


Wise words

March 22, 2009

We look not to things that are seen, but to things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 I saw this on on a grave stone in the Mount Peel Churchyard. 

In spite of my Presbyterian upbringing I didn’t recognise it and had to do a Google search to discover it is from the Bible – 2 Corinithians 4: 17-18.


Good information and a joke

March 22, 2009

The weekly AgLetter from Wairarapa-based farm consultants Baker & Associates is a must-read for us.

This week’s edition includes a run down on interest rates and the 90 day probation clause for new employees.

The newsletter contents are copyright so I’m not going to divulge what it says (you can subscribe and read a sample here).

But each week’s offering includes at least one joke so in the spirit of St Patrick’s Day which was celebrated last week I offer this:

Patrick walks into a bar in Dublin, orders three pints of Guinness and sits in the corner of the room, drinking a sip out of each pint in turn.

 

When he had finished all three, he went back to the bar and ordered three more.

The barman says, “You know a pint goes flat soon after I pull it … your pint would taste better if you bought one at a time.”

 

Patrick replies, “Well now, I have two brodders, one is in America and de odder in Australia and here I am in Dublin. When we all left home, we promised dat we’d drink dis way to remember de days we all drank togedder.”

 

The barman admits that this is a nice custom and says no more. Patrick becomes a regular customer and always drinks the same way … ordering three pints and drinking a sip out of each in turn, until they are finished. One day, he comes in and orders just two pints.

 

All the other regulars in the bar notice and fall silent. When he goes back to the bar for the second round, the barman says, “I don’t want to intrude on your grief but I wanted to offer my condolences on your great loss.”

 

Patrick looks confused for a moment, then the penny drops and he starts to laugh, “Oh no,” he says, “Bejesus, everyone is fine! Tis me … I’ve quit drinking!”


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