New Zealand Book Month Challenge


Keeping Stock (sadly, but understandably, in retirement) started the post-a-day for New Zealand Music Month challenge.

In the spirit of that, September is  New Zealand Book Month  – anyone keen to post on a book a day?

It doesn’t have to be a full review. The name, author and/or a little about the book, and/or the author and/or why you like it or not, will suffice.

If you need some inspiration, NZ History Online has 30 reasons to love NZ books and writing.

I’m planning to do a New Zealand book post each day for the month, starting on Tuesday, which is the first of September. I’m posting this now to give you some time to think about whether you want to accept the challenge.

Can he do it?


Winston Peters told Q&A he plans to stand for parliament in 2011.

Can he do it?

No party has managed to get into parliament without a sitting MP since MMP was introduced in 1996.

To do so will be expensive and he won’t be able to travel at the taxpayers’ expense as he has been able to in all the previous elections?

To do so will open him to questions over past mis-deeds which have yet to be answered.

To do so requires the support of only 5% of voters who believe what he says and don’t care about what he’s done.

$550,000 not a baaad price for ram


Deveronvale Perfection, a Scottish ram sold at auction for a record £231,000 (NZ$550,000) at the Scottish National Texel Sale at Lanark market.

The ram was bred by Graham Morrison and sold to Aberdeenshire farmer Jimmy Douglas.

This is believed to be the world’s most expensive ram. The previous record price was £209,000 for an Australian merino.

The UK’s previous most expensive ram was also a Texel. Tophill Joe was  bought for £128,000 in 2004. He died recently after fathering lambs worth around £1 million pounds.

Texels  take their name from the Dutch Island where they were first bred. They have been raised in New Zealand since 1990 and are highly regarded for their lean meat.

You can follow comments on the sale at Taking Stock.

On the horns of a dilemna


A sheep grazing near the Norwegian town of Helgoysund experienced an accidental abseil when its horn became entangled in a live power line.

The story and photos are here.

What isn’t explained is how a live wire came to be only a ram’s-head height from the ground.

Another question


Should Paul Holmes not ask Winston Peters the $158,000 question on Q&A this morning he could ask another:

How can we trust you?


*  the illegal use of public money for campaigning for the 2005 election (illegal at the time but not now because of retrospective legislation).

*  the lies about money from Owen Gleen and other donors;.

* he took the baubles of office and clung to them after he lost the office.

We can’t.

Take one poet . . .


Take one poet and book reviewer, combine with an MC with a deep knowledge and appreciation of literature, quick wit and keen sense of humour.

Add a sprinkling of poems and meditations on books and authors.

Mix with an audience of book lovers, season with questions and you’ve got what was promised: an evening of literary brilliance and sparkling repartée, chaired by Jim Hopkins and starring the fabulous Kate Camp.

It was a stimulating and entertaining evening, organised by the Janet Frame Eden Street Trust.

They even served desert – the launch of the Friends of Janet Frame House.

August 30 in history


On August 30:

1797 English author Mary Shelley was born.

Half-length portrait of a woman wearing a black dress sitting on a red sofa. Her dress is off the shoulder, exposing her shoulders. The brush strokes are broad.

Richard Rothwell’s portrait of Mary Shelley

1835 the city of Melbourne was founded.

1836 the city of Houston was founded.

1871 Nobel prize winning chemist Ernest Rutherford was born at Brightwater, near Nelson.

Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson (1871-1937)
1903 Guide Joseph Warbrick and three tourists were killed instantly when the Waimangu geyser erupted unexpectedly.

1908: US Actor Fred MacMurray was born.

1912 Nancy Wake, New Zealand born British secret agent.

Nancy Wake c.1945

1930 US entrepreneur Warren Buffet was born.


1937 Bruce McLaren, racing car driver, designer, engineer and inventor, was born.

1943 French skier Jean-Claude Killy was born.

1946 US actor Peggy Lipton was born.

Clarence Williams III, Michael Cole, Lipton, Tige Andrews in a publicity photo for the television series The Mod Squad.

1972 US actor Cameron Diaz was born.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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