I Know Him So Well


Happy Birthday Tim Rice.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What’s distinctive about someone with a variation in the MC1R gene?

2. Who said, “Hollow commitments to action in the future are insufficient. Deferring difficult issues must not be tolerated. Our children and grandchildren expect us to speak and act decisively?”

3. Who won this year’s Prime Minister’s Awards for Literature?

4. What is a titipounamu?

5. Name the national presidents of: Federated Farmers, Rural Women NZ and NZ Young Farmers.

Paul Tremewan got two right, a bonus for originality in his answer to #1 and another for humour in his last answer. If his answer to #2 is satirical he’ll get a bonus for that too.

Paul L gets a bonus for lateral thinking and another for humour.

David W got 2 1/3 plus a bonus for teaching me something with the full answer to #1.

PDM – Mike Peterson chiars what was Meat & Wool NZ and will soon be just Meat NZ. But you can have a bonus for humour.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Quoted or first hand, sexist comments aren’t appropriate


North and South was launched during the ag-sag when we weren’t buying anything we didn’t absolutely need. But a kind family member gave us a subscription for Christmas.

I used to read each issue from cover to cover, savouring every word. 

The standard of writing was so good I’d enjoy articles even if I wasn’t particularly interested in the subject.

Although the magazine is smaller now I don’t spend the same amount of time savouring the stories. But if the profile on Judith Collins in the November issue is anything to go by, at least some of the stories aren’t to be savoured anyway.

The writer keeps intruding on the writing and for some inexplicable reason feels the need to note:

One of the few previous profiles of her was in student newspaper Critic,  which took the time to not that she had “one of the few decent racks in parliament.”

But the bigger error is, quoted or first hand, a comment about a male MP, or anyone else, being well hung isn’t appropriate and nor is one about a woman’s breasts. It’s bad enough in a student publication (and for the record Critic is a magazine, not a newspaper). It’s even worse when in an issue of what has been a deserved winner of the Magazine of the Year title several times.

The writer makes another stupid observation further on:

Yes her parents were dairy farmers but they were not Daimler-driving gin-swilling plutocrats.

Were any dairy farmers in the 60s – or at any other time – Daimler-driving gin-swilling plutocrats?

This says a lot more about the writer, his attitudes and ignorance than the subject of the profile and it’s not the standard to which North and South normally adheres.

P.S. When I read the story I remembered Quote Unquote had posted on it. The comment from Cactus Kate is a gem.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald


Paul’s comment in today’s look back in history pointed to Gordon Lightfoot singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Enterprising Rural Woman Award open


Rural Women NZ is calling for entries for its Enterprising Rural Woman Awards.

The award is open to women who own and operate a small business, with fewer than 10 full time equivalent staff, in a rural area; or who are active partners in 50% or more of the business; and have operated the business for at least two years at the date of entry.

The winner of this year’s inaugural Award was Tora Coastal Walk.

Co-owner Kiri Elworthy attributed publicity from the win for a doubling in the number of people doing the walk last month compared with October last year.

Entries for the award close on February 17 next year.


Smells like summer


The paddock nearest to the house was  mown on Saturday.

Every time I went outside I breathed in that wonderful scent of freshly cut pasture.

The grass was baled yesterday and the paddock looks shorn.

But if I sniff hard and concentrate I can still capture a faint whiff.

Hmmmmmm. Smell’s like summer.

Final prick in the perk balloon


If sorry’s worth saying it’s worth saying well and Rodney certainly did that.

His apology was the  mea culpa maxima:

No excuses, no justification or blame laying, none of the qualifications or the carefully worded apology for contrition.

It was a text book triple A apology – he admitted his mistake, accepted responsibility and has since made amends – repaying in full all the money claimed for his partner’s overseas travel.

He said sorry and I believe he meant it.

But was it enough?

The original mistake which turned him from pointing the finger at other’s profligacy with public funds to putting out his hand for his share, was compounded by his initial reaction. The I-didn’t-make-the-rules-I-was-just-playing-the-game response was what did the most harm.

How much will depend on the voters in Epsom who put him into parliament and have the power to remove him in 2011.

Regardless of whether his constituents accept his apology, Hide’s use of perks to which he and his partner qualified, but against which he’d protested in the past, may bring them to an end

John Key has said MPs will have to get their heads around new transparency for their allowances.

It will be a brave, or stupid, MP who courts public displeasure by using the perk for private pleasure now.

It may be that Hide’s actions prove to be the final prick in the travel perks balloon.

But if MPs lose a perk which was taken into account when their salaries were set, the public needs to be prepared for a pay rise to compensate next time the Higher Salaries Commission considers what they’re worth.

November 10 in history


On November 10:

1483 Martin Luther, German Protestant reformer, was born.

1619  René Descartes had the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

1697 – William Hogarth, English artist, was born.

William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745

1728  – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright, was born.

1775 The United States Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philidelphia by Samuel Nicholas.

USMC logo.svg

1810 George Jennings, English sanitary engineer, was born.

1868 About 60 people – roughly equal numbers of Maori and Pakeha – were killed in the Matawhero Massacre led by Te Kooti.

1871  Henry Morton Stanley located missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, allegedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”


1880  Jacob Epstein, American sculptor, was born.

1925  Richard Burton, Welsh actor, was born.

1938 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, dies.ustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, died.

1940 Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician, was born.


1944  Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist, was born.


1947 – Dave Loggins, American songwriter and singer, was born.

1951 Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.

1958  The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

Hope Diamond.jpg

1975 The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

Edmund Fitzgerald NOAA.jpg

2007  ¿Por qué no te callas?  (why don’t you shut up?) incident between King Juan Carlos of Spain and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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