Wild Plum


We’ve just noticed a plum tree growing up the middle of a magnolia which guided today’s offering for poetry month.

Wild Plum by Ruth Dallas, comes from her Collected Poems,  published by University of Otago Press.

Wild Plum


The fruit is gathered and gone,

       Strawberry, greengage, pear,

               Raspberry, apricot;

       If the apples lean

Still on their props and crutches

        And the mulberries wait,

              Their hour draws near.


But to the wild plum,

       Bird-sown in the hedges,

               The pickers will nt come;

        Purple, dusky as a grape,

Its fruit may drop or hang,

     Like all things sour, sharp,

             Or bitter on the tongue.


        – Ruth Dallas –

Hon Dr, OBE & inspirational bloke

In his typically modest way Sid concluded his speech last night by saying, “In honouring me you have honoured yourselves because we have all been part of this.” He had a point, but he was the leader and continues to be an inspiration. 

The invitation was to celebrate the contribution Sid Hurst had made to the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company and the evening was a tribute to a man who is still doing more at 91 than many people half his age.


He learned about the importance of water early because North Otago was drought prone and farms were dependent on rain to supply water for stock and houses.


Sid’s family was one of the first in the district to install a flush loo in their home. It would have been an improvement on a longdrop but water shortages meant it could be flushed just once a day.


Sid was one of the people behind the Windsor Rural Water Scheme, New Zealand’s first, and one of the first to use irrigation in North Otago. He was also the driving force behind the development of irrigation on the Lower Waitaki.


Last night’s celebration was at Riverstone Kitchen which wouldn’t be there, offering superbly cooked fresh food, had irrigation not transformed the arid Waitaki Valley bringing more people, making more money and improving the environment.


Sid had been an innovator in farming and business, succeeding in both and helping other people and the wider community. His service was recognised when he was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Science from Lincoln University and awarded an OBE.


In his typically modest way, Sid concluded his remarks last night by saying, “In honouring me you have honoured yourselves because we have all been part of this.”


He had a point but he was the leader and continues to be an inspiration.



Shops may open despite risk of being shopped


Wanaka shops aren’t confirming whether or not they’ll defy Easter trading laws  and open tomorrow and Sunday.

But if past actions are any indication they will and people will take the opportunity offered for retail therapy.

The law enables all shops  just over the hill in Queenstown to open because it’s deemed to be a toruist resort, but not those in Wanaka.

Even sillier is that it allows one business in Wanaka to open because it sells to tourists but the one next door can not open legally even though it sells much the same thing.

Then of course because the law prohibits some businesses from opening, Labour Department staff have to work on the holiday to fine shop owners for working.

Whether they target Wanaka as they have in the past, and whether they shop after shopping the shops  for opening to shoppers will remain to be seen.

Kiwiblog has his annual rant on Easter Trading and Big News posts on the issue too.

Dead man wins mayoral election


Democracy might be better than all the other methods of government, but it does have the odd flaw such as enabling people to re-elect someone as mayor a month after his death.

Spotlighting acne deters teen loiterers


Spot the good idea.

First it was playing Barry Manilow music to keep teen loiterers away, now it’s special lights that spotlight acne.

Hat Tip: Visible Hand in economics

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