In case you’re wondering . . .


. . . why I posted videos to mark the birthdays of Petula Clark and Frida Lyngstad but not one for Mantovani’s, I decided that some things are best left to memory.

However, if you want to listen to the man and his orchestra, there’s plenty to choose from on YouTube.

Ag exempt from Aussie ETS


The Melbourne Age reports:

Labor has agreed to a keystone Coalition demand that agriculture be excluded permanently from the carbon pollution reduction scheme, raising hopes that Government legislation will pass through Parliament before the Copenhagen climate summit in December.

And the Australian reports Kevin Rudd:

. . . confirmed the government had agreed with the Coalition to exclude agriculture from its proposed emissions trading scheme, to be debated in Parliament this week.

This is one of the reasons that an ETS won’t be imposed on farming in New Zealand when it’s first introduced.

If our ETS isn’t in step with Australia’s we’ll be exporting production across the Tasman, making no reduction in global emissions and depressing the economy in the process.

I Have A Dream


Happy birthday Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad.



Happy birthday Petula Clark.

I’d forgotten that she sang Sailor but I remember it on 4ZB’s Listeners Requests which provided the background music to Sunday dinners when I was a child.



One of the last things my father did before retiring every night from Sunday to Thursday was soak the oats for the next morning’s porridge.

When he got up he’d cook it, stirring it with what started as a wooden spoon but was turned into a spirtle by years of use.

He left for work before my brothers and I got up and Mum reheated the porridge for us.

On weekends we were allwoed cereal, served with home preserved fruit. But every week day breakfast of my childhood we got porridge.

It was nutrious and filling but I didn’t enjoy it and because of that I’ve never had it since I left home 34 years ago.

However, the porridge served by Caffe Roma in Chirstchurch has persuaded me to try it again.

We breakfasted there on Friday morning.

I ordered ciabatta which came with tomato, feta and basil pesto and was delicious.

My farmer ordered porridge which came with caramalised walnuts and stewed apple.

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Courage Day for right to write


The freedom to speak, write and read are rights most of us take for granted.

In too many other parts of the world people lose their liberty and their lives because they don’t have that freedom.

Today PEN (the international writers’ organisation which champions freedom of expression) marks the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

Since November 2008, thirty-five print and online journalists have been murdered,” said Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee “All over the world, writers and journalists and bloggers are suffering for practicing their right to speak out on issues that matter.”

On 15 November 2009, International PEN’s membership of writers world wide will commemorate their colleagues world wide who are imprisoned, attacked and even killed. In any given year PEN is monitoring around 1,000 cases of attacks on writers, journalists and publishers. Of these around 200 are in prison, some serving sentences of over 20 years. Others are suffering unfair trials, harassment and threats.

The New Zealand Society of Authors, honours the day as  Courage Day:

. . . named jointly after James Courage, a novelist and poet whose novel A way of love was banned because he dared to express homosexuality in his writing prior to the setting up of the Indecent Publications Tribunal in 1964, and his grandmother Sarah Courage whose book describing colonial life in New Zealand was burned by neighbours who resented comments she made about them.

NZSA is asking for letters of support for writers imprisoned for expressing their opinions.

Addresses and templates for letters are on the NZSA website.

November 15 in history


On November 15:

1515  Thomas Wolsey wass invested as a Cardinal.

1532 Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto meet Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533  Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1708 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1769 Captain James Cook raised the British flag at Mercury Bay and claimed the area in the name of King George III.

1791 The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened.

1854 the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was given the royal concession.


1861 The first issue of the Otago Daily Times was published.

1889 Brazil was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II  was deposed in a military coup.

1891  Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, “The Desert Fox”, was born.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-012-43, Erwin Rommel.jpg

 Iskander Mirza, first President of Pakistan, was born.

1903  Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1905 Mantovani, Italian-born composer, was born.

1926  The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

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1928  C. W. McCall, American singer, was born.

1932 Petula Clark, English singer, was born.

1942 Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist, was born.

1942 First flight of the Heinkel He 219.

1942  The Battle of Guadalcanal ends in a decisive Allied victory.

1945  Roger Donaldson, Australian- born New Zealand film producer/director.

1945  Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Norwegian (By Birth) singer (ABBA) was born.

1960  The Polaris missile was test launched.

1966  Gemini 12 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

Gemini 12 insignia.png

1971 Intel released the world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1983  Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded. Recognised only by Turkey.

 1985 The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

1988 The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands.

1990 Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with flight STS-38.

Space Shuttle Atlantis

2002  – Hu Jintao became general secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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