Solo coches, no personas


Traffic on the motorway slowed, the cars in front of us stopped, so did we.

The car behind us didn’t, or at least not soon enough.

There was a screech of brakes then a bump.

We pulled over as close to the side of the road as we could and a moment later the driver of the other car came up to see if we were okay. We were and so was she, her husband and their baby who were travelling with her.

The cars weren’t quite so lucky. Our bumper was torn and scratched but the car was still drivable. Their front bumper and wheel rim were mangled and a tyre had blown.

We filled in the accident report form which is mandatory in Spain and while we were doing it the driver kept saying, Lo siento, lo siento.” (I’m sorry, I’m sorry).

I replied, “Son solo coches, no personas.” (They’re only cars, not people).



It’s a little difficult to comprehend cold when it’s at least 30 degrees outside, but in sympathy with those of you at home, this Friday’s poem is Robert Burns’ dirge on Winter.


The wintry west extends his blast,
  And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
  The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
  And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
  And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
  The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
  Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
  My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
  Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
  These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
  Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
  This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
  Assist me to resign.

    – Robert Burns

Young Farmer of the Year underway


When my farmer came second in the Young Farmer of the Year contest he won a motorbike.

Some 30 years later the prize pool is worth more but the seriousness with which the contestants take the contest hasn’t changed.

And with good reason because the contest tests their intellectual and physical skills, public speaking, farming and general knowledge, personality and sense of humour.

One of the strengths of the contest is the way it moves around the country and involves the community which hosts it. Another is that it gives a taste of the physical and intellectual skills which modern farmign requires.

The grand final started in Palmerston North yesterday and finishes tomorrow . Kate Taylor is there   but she’s not happy with TVNZ. Farmgirl has also posted on the contest.

No bull



July 10 in history


On July 10:

1553 Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England.

The Streatham Portrait, discovered at the beginning of 21st century, is believed by many to be among the first posthumous portraits of Lady Jane Grey.[1]
The Streatham Portrait, discovered at the beginning of 21st century, is believed by many to be among the first posthumous portraits of Lady Jane Grey.[1]

1930 Canadian writer Alice Munro was born.

1967 New Zealand adpoted decimal currency.

1985 The Rainbow Warrior was sunk in Auckland Harbour.

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