Timeless Land


Brian Turner’s poetry, Owen Marshall’s prose and Grahame Sydney’s paintings combine to capture the people and places of heartland New Zealand.

Timeless Land, published by Longacre Press, is a glorious tribute to Central Otago.

In Place,  Turner writes: Once in a while/you may come across a place/where everything/seems as close to perfection/ as you will ever need . . .

Once in a while you may come across a book in which everything seems as close to perfection as you will ever need. This is such a book, one to linger over, read and re-read.

dairy 10013

Post 20 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

Deborah at In A Strange Land posts on Matariki by Melanie Drewery, illustrated by Bruce Potter.

Oswald Bastable posts on Jim Henderson’s Open Country  and Shooting from the HipLip by Lee Hughes.

book month logo green


Bagging customer service


Paper Plus has a new look  and a new focus on books.

The Oamaru store in one of the first in the country to get a makeover. It looks quite different but has retained the friendly, helpful customer service to which I’ve been accustomed.

I bought several books today and was given a reusable bag in which to carry them.

I went from there to the supermarket where I spent a similar sum of money and was charged an extra 15 cents for plastic bags.

Next time I’ll have to remember to take my Paper Plus bag to the supermarket.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What does fiat panis mean?

2. What is a Kārearea?

3. Who said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid of misinformed beholder a black eye.”?

4. Where is Timbuktu?

5. Who wrote Beak of the Moon?

Samo is this week’s champion with a clean sweep.

Gravedodger got three right, a half for knowing where the motto came from in #1 and a bonus for extra information in answering 2 & 4.

Lilacsigil got three right and a bonus for getting the whole answer to #1.

Cactus Kate gets a point because it was inevitable someone would make the suggestion she did.

PDM got 2 and a bonus for reasoning, albeit wrongly, with #3.

Paul Tremewan got two, a half for his answer to #2 (not wrong but not the whole answer) and a bonus for remembering school Latin.

The answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Deciding how to vote


Justice Minister Simon Power has announced that the first referendum on MMP will be held with the 2011 election.

We’ll be asked if we want the status quo or a change and then which of the alternatives we’d prefer.

If a majority want a change a second referendum between the system which gets the most votes and MMP will be held with the 2014 election.

Cabinet hasn’t yet drafted the questions to be included in the first referendum, the alternate electoral systems to be offered, and how that referendum will be conducted.

I hope they’ll consider using preferential voting for the second part when we’re being asked to decide between different systems.

When too many people still don’t understand how MMP works the information campaigns on alternatives will be interesting.

If you’re interested in testing your understanding of MMP, the Electoral Commission has a quiz here and an advanced quiz here.

I got 9/9 in the first but only 7/9 in the advanced one.

RadioNZ poll


Yesterday’s post asking for additional nominations for RadioNZ’s best broadcaster and best programme attracted a modest response.

This could mean the most popular ones had already been nominated.

This could mean not many people are interested.

Be that as it may, I promised a poll and not one but two polls are now posted in the sidebar (thanks to Scrubone whose instructions on how to do it I managed to follow at the third attempt).

I’ll leave it there until I remember to close it (let’s not pretend this is scientific) and will send the winners a box of Whitestone Cheese.

Adam Smith asked for a most unpopular broadcaster category but I decided there was sufficient ignominy in not being included in the best

I was surprised no-one nominated Sean Plunket, if for nothing else but sympathy because he’s not allowed to write a column for Metro in his spare time. Cactus sums up that as only she can.



Two blocks of cheese in the supermarket chiller.

Both are edam.

The 700 gram block says it’s got 25% less fat than standard cheddar.

The 900 gram block says it’s got 28% less fat than standard cheddar.

If different blocks of edam produced by different companies have different fat contents did the standard cheddars against which they were measured also have different fat contents?

If so is it possible the block with 25% less fat might have less fat than the block with 28% less fat?

Is the difference between 25% less fat and 28% less fat significant?

Does it matter?

But is it news?


Children do stupid thing.

That’s not a good headline and it’s not a news story either.

Children have always done stupid things.

Until recently unless they were caught doing them and if no-one told someone in authority they usually got away with it. If they were found out they would have been punished appropriately and the matter would have ended there.

But now if children do something stupid, someone’s silly enough to post pictures of themselves doing it and it becomes headline news.

Most of the time if shouldn’t.

If, as is the latest case, the children do the ignorant act during a school trip it is up to the school and the children’s parents to punish them.

There is no need for the rest of us to know about it.

That’s not censorship, it’s acknowledgement that not everything that happens should be published or broadcast through the media.

Once it is, reporters then seek comments from people who have been offended, not understanding that they are party to the offense. Had the reporters not reported the acts people who were offended, albeit often justifiably, wouldn’t have known about them and therefore wouldn’t have been offended.

This in no way excuses what happened.

What these children did was stupid, insensitive and ignorant and their stupidity, insensitivity and ignorance was compounded when photos of what they did were posted on Facebook.

But that still doesn’t make it news.

October 20 in history


On October 20:

1632 Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, was born.

1740 Maria Theresa tookthe throne of Austria.

1859 US philosopher John Dewey was born.

1904 English actress Anna Neagle was born.

1932 William Christopher, US actor who played Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, was born.

The cast of M*A*S*H from Season 8 onwards (clockwise from left): Mike Farrell, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, David Ogden Stiers, Loretta Swit, Alan Alda, Harry Morgan.

1934 Japanese emporess Michiko was born.

1935 The Long March ended.

Overview map of the route of the Long March
Overview map of the route of the Long March

1941 Police shot Stan Graham who had been on the run for 12 days.

1950 US singer Tom Petty was born.

1968 Former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy  married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1973 The Sydney Opera House opened.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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