As Tears Go By


Happy Birthday Marianne Faithfull.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What was the best Christmas present you’ve ever had?

2. And the worst?

3. What’s your favourite Christmas Day menu?

4. What was your best Christmas?

5. And the worst?

Deborah, Rob, Paul Tremewan and Gravedodger tied for first place with 5/5 because there were no wrong answers.

1. So many to chose from . . . but ones which stand out: a dolls house my father made when I was about 4; a watch when I was 10; the sapphire pendent my farmer gave me the first Christmas after we met;  the book Chicken Soup for the Soul my mother gave me – yes I know it’s syrupy, but I was coming to terms with life with a son with multiple handicaps at the time and syrup helped.

2. Least appreciated was a pair of frilly knickers, given by an aunt when I was about seven. I’d much rather have had the sweets she gave my brothers.

The one which made me feel the worst was bronchitis 8 years ago.

3. Ham, tomatoes with basil, green salad, new potatoes and nut roast (made by one of my sisters in law who is vegetarian) followed by pavlova, strawberries, raspberries and cherries.

4. All but the one below – spent with extended family and or/friends. One which stands out was 1988, the sun shone, the adults lounged in the shade of a tree on the lawn while the children (eight cousins aged from 3 to 10) played with giant bubble makers near by.

5. I’ve had only one not so happy Christmas – it was the first away from home when I was working as a kitchen hand in Omarama in the university holidays. I’d had the two days before off and went back on the bus on Christmas Eve. It was full of blokes who were working at Twizel, they were all drunk and one threw up at the start of the two hour trip. Christmas Day was just another day at work.

More to burn will burn more


The ODT confirms that the fire we witnessed near Butchers Dam yesterday (two posts back) was on conservation land.

About 20 hectares of the 813 estate was burned.

Shingle Creek farmer Jack Miller said the fire was “something that was just waiting to happen”.

The ungrazed conservation estate was a fire risk, he said.

“And when you lock up vast amounts of land like this, it becomes a huge fire risk for everyone,” Mr Miller said.

However Doc deputy principal rural fire officer for Otago, Trevor Mitchell, said:

. . . the fire risk and the dryness of the property was the same whether it was conservation land or farmland.

Who owns the property has no impact on how dry it is but that’s not the only factor which adds to the danger of fire.

 Farmed property is grazed. Most land under DoC management isn’t and at this time of year it’s covered in dry grass and scrub which provides more fuel for fires.

If there’s more to burn it will burn more.

December 29 in history


On December 29:

1170  Thomas Becket: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

13th-century manuscript illumination, an early depiction of Becket’s assassination.

1721  Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France, was born.

Madame de Pompadour, portrait by François Boucher.

1800 Charles Goodyear, American inventor, was born.


1809 William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1835  The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.

1876 The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster occurs, leaving 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.

Ashtabula Bridge disaster.jpg
Wood engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, 20 January 1877

1880 Tuhiata, or Tuhi, was hanged in Wellington for the murder of the artist Mary Dobie at Te Namu Bay, Opunake. Tuhi wrote to the Governor days before his execution asking that ‘my bad companions, your children, beer, rum and other spirits die with me’.

1890 United States soldiers kill more than 200 Oglala Lakota men, women, and children with 4 Hotchkiss guns in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

1911  Sun Yat-sen became the provisional President of the Republic of China.

1911  Mongolia gained independence from the Qing dynasty.

1930  Sir Muhammad Iqbal‘s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the Two-Nation Theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.

1936 Birth of  Mary Tyler Moore, American actress.

1937  The Irish Free State was replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.

1939 First flight of the Consolidated B-24.

1940  In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe firebombed the city, killing almost 200 civilians.
Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph taken 29 December 1940, published front page of Daily Mail 31 December 1940
1941 Birth of Ray Thomas, British musician (The Moody Blues).
1946 Marianne Faithfull, British singer, was born.
1949 KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut became the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
1953 Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, was born.

1972 An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed Tristar) crashes on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.

1975 A bomb exploded at La Guardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.

1889 1989 Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia – the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.


1996  Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.

  • 1997Hong Kong begins to kill all the nation’s 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
  • 1998 Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologised for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million.

    2003 The last known speaker of Akkala Sami – died, rendering the language that was spoken in the Sami villages of A´kkel and Ču´kksuâl, in the inland parts of the Kola Peninsula in Russia extinct.

    Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia.

    %d bloggers like this: