This Friday’s poem was chosen to mark Alfred Lord Tennyson’s birthday yesterday.

I found it on this site dedicated to his poetry.


 We move, the wheel must always move,
    Nor always on the plain,
And if we move to such a goal
    As Wisdom hopes to gain,
Then you that drive, and know your craft,
    Will firmly hold the rein,
Nor lend an ear to random cries,
    Or you may drive in vain;
For some cry ‘Quick’ and some cry ‘Slow,’
    But, while the hills remain,
Up hill ‘Too-slow’ will need the whip,
    Down hill ‘Too-quick’ the chain.

      – Alfred Lord Tennyson –

Here’s a house . . .


. . . here’s a door, windows one, two, three, four . . .

As soon as I read this  story of the discovery of the Play School Clock  in the Invercargill library, that came back to me.

Ah yes, I just loved Play School – not so much as a part of an audience but because my daughter was a fan which allowed me half an hour in the afternoon when I could be almost certain I’d have no interruptions.

I was reminded what an important part Play School played in the childhoods of people who were pre-schoollers in the 1980s when I was out campaigning with Jacqui Dean just after she’d been selected as the National Party candidate for Otago in 2004.

We’d been introduced to some young people in a Queenstown pub and while Jacqui was chatting to a couple of them a third asked me what she’d done in the past.

I mentioned she’d been an actress and worked on Play School. He grinned, said, “Well that’s all she needs to get my vote,” and started reciting, “Here’s a house, here’s a door. . . “

Remember Bogor?


Last week’s Listener celebrates its 70th birthday.

It dedicated the issue to humour, with contributions by or about some of the people who had entertained and amused readers in the past.

These incldued John Clarke, Tom Scott, A.K. Grant and Lyn of Tawa.

Then there was Bogor.

dairy 10006

(Some stars are much brighter than others. Bright stars are like important people. they stand out amongst the many unimportant dim ones. But dim stars aren’t really dim. They just seem to be becasue they’re far away. I’m like that. Not really dim, just  far away).

I loved the little woodsman and was very sad when he left The Listener.

The magazine thrived in the days it had exclusive rights to schedules for TV programmes. Once it lost those rights its readership fell but it has survived and a few months ago after years of buying it casually I became a subscriber.

It still has good writers, including Jane Clifton and Joanne Black,  but I miss the regular cartoon.

Apropos of the magazine, the current edition which asks is Phil Goff’s Labour Party strong enough to rise from Helen Clark’s long shadow?

Over at Keeping Stock, Inventory 2 has been having some fun with some of the quotes part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.

Is there more?


Trans Tasman thinks there might be.

In its Play of the Week  it says:

. . . But those with suspicious minds should consider how the Opposition is acting. The biggest spender, Chris Carter, snootily told media it was all a bit of politician bashing and answering for his $200,000 plus expenses was beneath him. Darren Hughes put it around National had changed the rules. But at question time?  Silence.  Normally something this embarrassing to the Govt would take up at least half question time.

If competing companies colluded like this the Commerce Commission would be all over them.  The message for journos?  Keep digging. There’s more.

 I don’t think any of our MPs have moats to clean as some of their British counterparts do. But a window into their spending has been opened and taxpayers aren’t impressed by what’s been exposed.

John Key has ordered an inquiry into Ministerial expenses but that needs to be widened to all MPs’ expenses.

Good MPs more than earn their salaries, which for some are much less than they could command in the private sector; and I have no objection to them receiving a fair allowance or reimbursement for out of pocket work related expenses.

Air travel for children and spice* to join MPs in Wellington isn’t a problem either.

But all payments should end when they leave parliament and certainly shouldn’t continue for those found guilty of corruption.

It is reasonable to ensure the system doesn’t allow stretching the rules for those still employed by the taxpayer either. There is a suspicion that some MPs are taking more than their fair share of public money, albeit within the rules, and that the rigor which is applied to other public spending is not applied to all spending on and by MPs.

That suspicion will continue until and unless a full review takes place and it is clear the rules are fair to both MPs and taxpayers.

 P.S. Trans Tasman is a weekly newsletter available on subscription. I subscribed a year ago after reading references to it in The Hive and consider the sub value for money. Whoever thought up the password for this month has a sense of humour.

*Spice n pl of husband, wife, spouse, partner and/or significant other.

August 7 in history


On August 7:

1876 Dutch spy Mata Hari was born.

1908: The Parliament Special, travelled from Auckland to Wellington, becoming the first train to run thelength of the North Island main trunk line.

1948 Australian cricketer Greg Chappell was born.

Sourced from Wikipedia & NZ History Online.

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