Invasion of the cluster flies


Flies aren’t supposed to be about in witner but we returned home to find a couple of dozen of live ones  and a similar number of their dead relatives in the bedroom, which is the sunniest room in the house.

I think they’re cluster flies. The larvae of the species feed on earthworms in lawns and pastures over summer and in autumn the adults move inside.

I’m not keen on flies in general and dislike these in particular because they’re very difficult to get rid of.

One of the unpleasant features is their ability to store fat which causes vacuum cleaner bags to rot if you leave the flies in them.

Monday’s quiz


1. Who said: “There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed if he sees them accepted by everyone about him”?

2. What’s a gillie (sometimes written as ghillie)?

3. Which is Italy’s biggest lake?

4. Which sheep breed resulted from crossing Cheviots and Romneys?

5. Who wrote The Curly Pyjama Letters?

Getting young people working


There are always risks involved in taking on new employees and when times are tough employers may be even more reluctant to take on young people who have yet to develop work skills and maturity.

But it’s not good for the individuals or society to have young people leaving school and going straight on to benefits.

The youth opportunities package announced by John Key yesterday will help get more young people into jobs.

The main features of the package are:

* job placements for those with low-skills which includes a wage subsidy for employers.

* jobs in community programmes.

* jobs on cycleway projects.

* new industry-specific training opportunities.

* new training opportunities.

* new places for Limited Service Volunteers.

* funding boosts for polytechnics and technology institutes.

* summer research scholarships for university students.

This package shows the government sees youth employment as a priority as it should be, not just to mitigate the worst effects of the recession but to help with the recovery.

Normal transmission will resume soonish


It was 29 degrees when we left Verona on Thursday morning, it’s a wee bit cooler at home.

But the sign of a good holiday is enjoying it while you’re away and being happy when you’re back. We did and we are.

The brain and body haven’t quite caught up with the clock yet but today’s better than yesterday and normal blogging will resume soonish.

August 3 in history


On August 3:

1887 English poet Rupert Brooke was born.

1920 English crime wirter P.D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James was born.

1936 Jesse Owens won the gold medal in the 100 metre dash at the Berlin Olympics.

Olympic medalist

1941 The Finnish Barque Pamir was seized as a war prize five days after it sailed into Wellington. It is the only “enemy”  ship the New Zealand government has ever seized.

Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History online.

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