Against the natural order


The death of an elderly person, while sad, is part of the natural order of life.

We’re born, we grow up, we grow old, we die.

The death of a younger person is against that natural order.

Parents aren’t supposed to out live their children, young people don’t expect to lose their siblings and their friends.

When the death has come at the end of a prolonged illness like cancer, as it did today for blogger Anna Woolf, there may be relief that her pain and suffering are over. But that won’t lessen the grief of family and friends.

When someone young dies, those close to her lose not just what they had, but the hopes and dreams they would have had for her future with them.

I knew Anna only through her blog. I hope the example of her courage, strength and humour helps those who loved her.

As a member of the Bereaved Parents Club, I hope that they too will learn that, in time, it is possible to be happy again; and to know that a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of life are the most valuable legacy from those we’ve lost.

Not PC posted the news of Anna’s death. Kiwiblog , M&M and Whaleoil who knew her too, also pay tribute to her. Oswald Bastable knew Anna through her blog and writes from his experience with cancer.

Never on Sunday


Happy birthday Connie Francis.

That’s What Friends Are For


Happy Birthday Dionne Warwick.

Cheek to Cheek


Frank Sinatra would have been 94 today.



The Dominion Post has 15 questions in its political quiz  this week.

I got only 11 of them right, a performance that was judged as “adequate”.

‘es been exHonerated


Some people find it more difficult than others to go from poacher to game keeper and parliament is one of the more difficult places to do it.

Hone Harawira’s behaviour and language weren’t out of character for him, but they were unacceptable for an MP and harmed his party.

Had he been a list MP they could have kicked him out of the party. He was in a much stronger position as an electorate MP so I’m not surprised they’ve given him another chance or as Jim Hopkins put it, he’s been exHonerated.

He’s apologised again and done it well. But the test of whether or not he means it will be in whether he’s learned from what’s happened, stops acting like a poacher and starts acting like a game keeper.

And the castle is . . .


The St Andrew’s Day video of Scotland the Brave generated discussion on which castle was shown.

Richard enlisted the help of the Black Watch forum who came up with the answer: it’s Drummond Castle in Crieff, Perthshire.

It was built in 1491 by Sir John Drummond.

The gardens  look stunning and there are lots more photos here.


WMP up 3.6% AMF down 8.6%


The average price of Whole Milk Powder increased by 3.6% to $US 3560 per tonne at Fonterra’s globablDairy Trade auction this morning.

The average price for Anhydrous Milk Fat, which was sold on the globablDairy Trade auction for the first time last month, dropped 8.6% to $US4350 per tonne.

Fonterra chair Henry Van der Heyden noted in an email to shareholders that last month’s AMF price was a record high.

Time to scare the horses


National was determined not to scare the horses before the last election.

That’s why the party swallowed dead rats and why the government is determined not to break any promises.

The reaction to the 2025 Taskforce  recommendations suggest that not scaring the horses is still a priority.

It shouldn’t be.

We might have got through the recession with fewer casualties than expected but the fundamentals underlying our economy are still unsound.

The government is borrowing far too much money to pay for luxuries we can’t afford.

It’s time to scare the horses.

If we don’t face up to the need to cut back government spending the pain of doing so will be even greater when we’re forced to do it in the future.

The government has built up political capital, now’s the time to use some of it by acting on some of the recommendations of the Taskforce.

The odd horse will buck and kick, but if the need for action is explained properly I think they’ll find most don’t scare nearly as easily as they fear.

P.S. Kiwiblog’s post on the Taskforce recommendations is here.




December 2 in history


On December 2:

1779 Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint, was born.


1805 Henry Wells, Founder of American Express, was born.

1862 USS Cairo sank on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.

USS Cairo

1863  Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, was born.

Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895

1870  Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black U.S. congressman.


1893 Edward G. Robinson, American actor, was born.

1900 Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer, was born.

1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.

1911 Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India.

1915  Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, was born.

1917 The six o’clock swill began.

 1927  Robert Noyce, American inventor of the microship, was born.

1929 John Osborne, English dramatist, was born.

 1935  Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction programme, was founded by Heinrich Himmler.


A Lebensborn birth house

1938  Connie Francis, American singer, was born.

1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer, was born.

1941  Adolf Hitler announced the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

1948 Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacred 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.

1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor, was born.

1950  Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, led the congregation in her first services.

1963 Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

1965 Will Carling, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1979  Rhodesia changed its name to Zimbabwe.

1982 Women’s peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women held hands and formed a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence.

1988 The Clapham Junction rail crash killed thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains.

Clapham Junction Railway Accident - Hidden Report cover - HMSO.jpg

1991  Russian Federation gained independence from the USSR.

2006 Peugeot produces its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry.

Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia.

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