Hark The Herald Angels Sing


Charles Wesley would have been 302 today.

He wrote the lyrics for this:

You Can’t Always Get What You Want


Happy Birthday Keith Richards –  66 today.

Need to know if need to help


A young man was chatting to me about the deplorable trend for friends of people celebrating 21sts to tell-all during the speeches.

“I treat my parents on a need to know basis,” he said.

As a parent, I agree with that policy and the older the children the less parents need to know.

I’m quite happy to remain ignorant of minor transgressions and random acts of silliness at any stage and my view of what constitutes minor and random becomes more relaxed as the children age.

However, I would want and need to know, if I needed to help.

Yesterday Cactus Kate  asked a question: should she tell friends she saw their 17 year old using illegal drugs?

She’s had 96 responses, almost all of which said yes.

 A child doing something which could endanger her health and well being,  and lead to arrest and charges which would limit her future travel and professional options will almost certainly need help eventually.

If it was my daughter I’d want to know about it and I’d be better able to help if I found out sooner rather than later.

Sport talk


’tis the season for best and worst.

Best sporting feat of the year – Southland winning the Ranfurly Shield. I’m awarding that not for the match but the enthusiastic response of the province to winning it.

And worst? Does my failure to maintain last summer’s fitness for the whole year count?

It’s a sham


Our Riverton farm was on the market earlier this year.

At the time the grapevine was buzzing about a Maori bloke who was signing up farms without setting foot on them.

Shortly after ours was signed up by a man offering a 1% deposit after unspecified due dilligence.

The real estate agent told us he had absolutely no confidence in the offer and we didn’t accept it.

It sounds very like the offer came from the same outfit which the ODT reports has bought 28 farms in Southland.

A Maori trust, with financial backing believed to come from Dubai, has contracted to buy 28 farms in Southland, with plans to buy others throughout the country.

The cost of the farm purchases so far is estimated at more than $150 million.

Inquiries by the Otago Daily Times have revealed concerns in the rural industry about the group’s actions, from delays confirming the sales contracts to deposits not being paid as expected.

Two of Southland’s largest rural real estate companies, PGG Wrightson and Southern Wide, declined to deal with the trust, but the farms have been bought through other real estate agents.

That the two major firms won’t have anything to do with the trust is pertinent.

If it’s the same outfit which made the offer to us, it’s a sham.

To h and not to h that is the decision


Who’d want to be Maurice Williamson, Minister of Land Information charged with making the decision on whether or not it’s Wanganui or Whanganui?

Neither will please everybody so he’s opted for both.

Wanganui is to be given its “h” back in a compromise under which Government agencies will have to follow the new spelling but others will have a choice.

I’m impressed with this diplomatic decision. Government agencies w(h)ill have to do as they’re told and the rest of us can do what w(h)e w(h)ant.

Do you want sex with that?


What message does a billboard with an unhappy Joseph and Mary under the duvet and the words: Poor Joseph, God is a hard act to follow give?

Catholics, evangelical protestants and other denominations who revere Mary are offended. I’ve read and heard a range of views from Christians who take a less literal interpretation of the Bible and none of them was amused either.

Archdeacon Glyn Cardy said:

“What we’re trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about,”

Does that mean he wants us to think Christmas is about sex?

I thought it was supposed to be about hope, faith, peace, joy and love.

December 18 in history


On December 18:

1271  Kublai Khan renamed his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.


  • 1620 – The Mayflower landed in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts with 102 Pilgrims on board.
  • MayflowerHarbor.jpgMayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

    1642  Abel Tasman and his men had the first known European encounter with Maori.

    First contact between Maori and Europeans

    1707 Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist, was born.

    1777 The United States celebrated its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.


    1778 Joseph Grimaldi, English clown, was born.

    1849 Henrietta Edwards, Canadian women’s rights activist, was born.

    1863 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, was born.

    1878 Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, was born.

    1888Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discovered the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde.


    Cliff Palace

    1890  Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (FM radio) was born.

    1898  Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the new land speed record going 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognized land speed record.

    1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia opened.

     The Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge.

    1905 – Irving Kahn, American financial analyst and investor, was born.

    1908  Celia Johnson, English actress, was born.

    1910 – Eric Tindill, New Zealand cricketer and rugby player, was born.

    1912 The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, was found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.


    1913 Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

    1916  Betty Grable, American actress, was born.

    1935  Jacques Pépin, French chef, was born.

    Jacques Pépin 2006.JPG

    1938 Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals), was born.

    1943  Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones), was born.


    1946  Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born.


    1946 – Steven Spielberg, American film director, was born.


    1963 Brad Pitt, American actor, was born.

    A Caucasian male in his mid-40s with brown hair. He is wearing a black suit and white shirt with a black bow-tie.

    1966 Saturn‘s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.

    The planet Saturn

    1969  Home Secretary James Callaghan‘s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years, was carried by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

    1973 Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, was launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

    1987  Larry Wall released the first version of the Perl programming language.

    1997  HTML 4.0 was published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

    1999 NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

    TERRA am1.jpg

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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