Sweet Caroline


It’s still Neil Diamond’s birthday.

Is there anyone who was a teenager in the 70s who hasn’t danced to this?

Hot August Night


Happy birthday Neil Diamond, 69 today.

It wasn’t a hot August night, but it was a very warm January evening when Diamond played at QE II Park in 1970 something (75 or 76?).

A friend and I had bought tickets from our holiday earnings. We were determined to get value for our money and we did – we danced and sang and had a ball.

The Album was called Hot August Night but this song is Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show.

Rabbits galore


My father used to tell us of hillsides moving with rabbits on Ashridge in the Hakataramea Valley where he worked in the late 1930s.

A concerted eradication programme, helped by the establishment of Rabbit Boards got the pests under control.

Numbers increased again until the 1990s when someone – illegally – introduced rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD).

The rabbit population dropped but it’s on the rise again.

It’s not unusual to see several rabbits in a very short distance on the road at night. In spite of regular shoots and the efforts of Pepper, the dog, we often see them on the farm and our lawn.

RCD comes in waves and it must be ebbing now. But even at its peak it needs to be complemented by traditional methods of culling – poisoning and/or shooting.

Unfortunately when farm budgets are strained pest destruction may not be a priority for everyone and rabbits don’t stop at the boundaries of farms which don’t do their bit.

We’re not getting back to the moving hillsides my father witnessed but when we came down Mt Iron a couple of weeks ago we counted more than 30 rabbits on a sunny face about the size of a couple of netball courts.

When numbers are getting that bad on the edge of town they’re even worse in the country.

Is it time to consider reinstating pest destruction boards?

Duntroon renaissance


Duntroon is a small township in the Waitaki Valley.

Like the rest of North Otago it was hard hit in the ag-sag of the 1980s. The school roll dropped, the shop and garage closed as farmers stopped spending and jobs on farms and in supporting businesses were lost.

But gradually Duntroon is returning to life. Irrigation has brought more people and prosperity to the valley. The developing wine industry has added to work opportunities and visitor attractions. The Flying Pig cafe opened, a group of volunteers resurrected the old forge then developed a base for the Vanished World Fossil trail.

More recently they spruced up the old gaol which has now been enhanced by the presence of a post policeman handcuffed to the culprit of a crime which is left to the viewer’s imagination.

January 24 in history


On January 24:

41 Gaius Caesar (Caligula), known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, is assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. Claudius succeeded his nephew.

76 Hadrian, Roman Emperor, was born.

Bust Hadrian Musei Capitolini MC817.jpg

1670  William Congreve, English playwright, was born.

1679 – King Charles II disbanded Parliament.

1742Charles VII Albert became Holy Roman Emperor.

1848California Gold Rush: James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento.

1857 The University of Calcutta was formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia.

1859  Political union of Moldavia and Wallachia; Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as ruler.

Alexander Ioan Cuza.jpg

1862  Bucharest proclaimed capital of Romania.




1864 Marguerite Durand, French feminist leader, was born.

1865 General Cameron left Wanganui with 1200 Imperial troops to invade southern Taranaki.

Imperial forces invade South Taranaki
1872 Ethel Turner, Australian author, was born.

1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the federal income tax constitutional.

1924 –Petrograd, formerly Saint Petersburg, was renamed Leningrad.

1928 Desmond Morris, British anthropologist, was born.

1941 Neil Diamond, American singer, was born.

1952 Vincent Massey was sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada.

1957 Adrian Edmondson, English comedian, was born.

Adrian Edmondson.jpg

19611961 Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs broke up in mid-air over North Carolina. One weapon nearly detonated.

One of the nuclear weapons at Goldsboro, largely intact, with its parachute still attached

1972 Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II.

Shoichi Yokoi cropped.jpg

1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, during the Spanish transition to democracy.

1978 Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor onboard, burnt up in Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories.
 First found Kosmos 954 debris

1984 The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.

A screenshot of the original Mac OS. See caption. The original 1984 Mac OS desktop featured a radically new graphical user interface. Users communicated with the computer not through abstract lines of code but rather using a metaphorical desktop that included items that the user was already familiar with.

1986 Voyager 2 passed within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus.


2003 The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.

2009 Pope Benedict XVI rescinded the excommunications of four bishops consecrated without papal consent in 1988 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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