Monday’s quiz


1. Who said, “Curiosity is freewheeling intelligence.”?

2. Who wrote The Sundowners?

3. Where in New Zealand is Sebastopol Hill and who is commemorated by the cairn on top of it?

4. Which country has the lowest high point?

5. What is an epistrophe?

Why not make everyone a beneficiary Phil?


Labour leader Phil Goff’s latest bright idea is to pay the unemployment benefit to people who lose their jobs even if their partners are working.

His party introduced taxpayer funded maternity leave which wasn’t means tested. It turned middle and income families into beneficiaries with Working for Families. It’s a logical next step to make the unemployment benefit available for those who don’t necessarily need it.

How long will it be before he calls for everyone to get a benefit?

How long after that will it take him to work out that taking too much money from the taxpayer, churning it through a bureaucracy and giving some of it back to people who can afford necessities themselves is inefficient and costly in both economic and social terms?

Using taxes to help people in genuine need can be justified. Using taxes to turn people who don’t need help into beneficiaries can’t.

On the street where we lived


Calle La Fuente (Fountain Street) runs from the Plaza de Espana in the heart of the old part of Vejer de la Frontera.

la fuente

The house we rented is about 2/3 the way down the street. Its footprint isn’t much bigger than our living room at home, but it’s on three levels.

The door opens off the street to an entrance way and internal patio which is a typical feature of Andalucian houses.


 A bathroom and living room open on to that and there are a couple of bedrooms off the living room.

Up a flight of stairs is a kitchen and dining room, a landing, an office/living room another bedroom and bathroom.

Up another flight of stairs is the roof top terrace.

Rental details and photos of the house are here.

Google Map is here.

They’re listening to our PM here


New Zealanders often complain about the lack of news from home in overseas media.

I am sure that people from most countries could make the same complaint about the coverage of news from their homes in our media.

However, we did see the first mention of New Zealand in Spanish media on Saturday. It an item about the terrorist bombing in Jakarta in a paper and John Key was interviewed on Sky TV broadcast in Spain.

We noticed a very visible presence of the Guarda Civil while in Spain.

One of their roles is anti-terrorism. That’s a major concern because they have home-grown terrorists  – ETA, although they tend to be more active in the Basque country in the north than the south where we were.

Dunedin to get free central city WiFi?


The Dunedin City Council is considering funding free wireless internet zones  in the Octagon.

I mentioned in a post yesterday, Spain and France seem to be well ahead of New Zealand with the provision of WiFi but it’s businesses doing it, not councils.

In 2005 there were three internet cafes in Vejer de la Frontera and all were busy most of the time. Now there’s just one and it also sells and services computers and accessories and also does printing.

That’s because WiFi in hotels and cafes has lessened the demand for internet cafes. Not everyone travels with a laptop so there is still a need for cafes, but it’s not as great as it was.

July 20 in history


On July 20:

1919 Sir Edmund Hillary was born.

1921 Alice Mary Robertson became the first woman to preside over the USA House of Representatives.

Alice Mary Robertson

1926 The Methodist Church  allowed women to become ministers.

1938 Dame Diana Rigg was born.


1968 The Special Olympics were founded.

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