It was only just warm enough for al fresco dining last night but we chose an outside table at Relishes so we could enjoy the view up Lake Wanaka.

My farmer went for lamb rack, I chose hapuka and we shared a bowl of Mediterranean roast vegetables and another of asparagus. Yum.

We eat at Relishes several times a year and have yet to be disappointed. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, in any season – the food has always been delicious and the service warm but unobtrusive.

Did you see the one about . . .


Architectural mini tutorial: the New Zealand house – not PC

Dr Seuss the blogger visionary at Opinionated Mummy

The Other Yorkshiremen   – goNZo Freakpower  shows us deprivation from another point of view.

MfE groundwater report: ‘propaganda’ or misunderstood? – by Daniel Collins at Sciblogs.

Science journalism – critical analysis not debate –  Grant Jacobs at Sciblogs looks at balance – and what goes for it.

Saturday’s smiles


The Dumpster Saga


Ben, the narrator of The Dumpster Saga is contending with aliens, secret agents, a bothersome little brother, he’s trying to impress a girl and he’s got a job which requries him to wear a bear suit.

That might not be much fun for Ben but it’s a lot of fun for the reader.

The Dumpster Saga, by Craig Harrison was a finalist in last year’s children’s book awards. It’s aimed at older children and teenagers but like any good young people’s book will be enjoyed by adults too.

I gave copies to a friend and a niece who are teachers and both then bought class sets of it.


dairy 10004

Post 24 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge

book month logo green

Deborah at In A Strange Land posts on Home is the High Country by Mona Anderson, illustrated by David Cowe.

SFF $43.6m profit


Silver Fern Farms finished the year to August with a net profit of $43.6m, which included a $37m settlement from PGG Wrightson.

Chair Eion Garden said:

Shareholders should be pleased the company comes out of the past year in a vastly stronger financial position than recent years. “This is no mean achievement given the current economic environment which has had severe impacts on many businesses and sectors.”

It hasn’t been an easy year for meat companies and the new season isn’t expected to be any better. However, SFF is getting rewards for the work it’s put in to its marketing plan.

It secured the right to sell branded chilled lamb in French supermarkets and Stuff reports the company will be selling branded lamb in New Zealand supermarkets next month.

It is a departure for each of the local chains, Progressive and Foodstuffs, who cut and package red meat under their own brands.

From November 16, Silver Fern’s small leg roasts, loin fillets, boneless rumps and lamb stir-fry will be on the shelves. This will be premium product, reliably lean and tasty, and will be priced accordingly.

 For all the fame of our lamb, it isn’t easy to find good quality cuts in local supermarkets.

This is very good news for home cooks and should improve the image of lamb in New Zealand.

Bad bag charge gets worse


North Island New Worlds dropped the 5 cent charge on plastic bags after customers voted with their feet and went to other supermarkets.

We were less bolshie in the south but obviously there were complaints from more than the small group of customers which Foodstuffs general manager said has now prompted the company to drop the charge in South Island New World’s too.

However, the charge will remain in Pak’N Save and Four Square supermarkets because they had not experienced the same negative feedback.

I’ve been using reusable bags most of the time for several years but the principle of being charged more than the plastic bags cost so the company could donate money to charity annoyed me.

Now it’s not just the principle that I”m tetchy about, it’s the fact that they’ve removed it from some supermarkets but not all of them.

Groceries at Four Square stores are usually more expensive than at other supermarkets because they tend to be the smaller neighbourhood or rural stores which don’t usually have competitors near by.

In town many of the people who use them are likely to be unable to get to bigger supermarkets easily, perhaps because they’re elderly or don’t have a car.

In the country the cost of going further to another supermarket would be greater than savings to be made from the lower prices.

If there’s one positive thing about the bag charge debacle, it’s that it shows the positive power of competition. Obviously New World supermarkets have competition and enough customers changed to competitors to force Foodstuffs to drop the bag charge there.

Having done that it looks self-serving to continue the charge in Four Square stores just because most of their customers can’t easily take their custom elsewhere.

October 24 in history


On October 24:

1260 Chartres Cathedral was dedicated.

Cathedral of Chartres

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.


1861 The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.


Wood engraving depiction of the construction of the first Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider passing.

1882 English actress Dame Sybil Thorndike was born.

1892 Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1913 Union members and non-unionised workers clashed on Wellington wharves.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.

1929 “Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

Crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 crash
1930 Sultan Ahmad Shah, King of Malaysia was born.
1936 Bill Wyman, English musician from The Rolling Stones, was born.
1944 New Zealand born film director Martin Campbell was born.
1945 The United Nations was founded.
1954 Autralian politician Malcolm Turnbull was born.
1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the United Kingdom and became the Republic of Zambia.



1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.
1980  The Polish government legalised Solidarity trade union.
Astilleros de Gdansk.jpg
2003 Concorde made its last commercial flight.
2008 “Bloody Friday” on which many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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