Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


Happy birthday Neil Sedaka, 71 today.

With Or Without You


Happy birthday Adam Clayton – 50 today.

Spot the MP


In election year you might spot MPs from a variety of parties at the Upper Clutha A&P Show but in the intervening years, National is the only party which always has a presence.

Yesterday Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, in whose electorate the show takes place, had the company of a couple of her colleagues, Wairarapa MP John Hayes and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.

Tent pitched, tempers intact


Many moons ago I won a Girl Guide contest for solo tent pitching.

That was way back in the days when tents were white canvas with green roofs. They had a centre pole and one at each corner. If you lay it out on the ground, banged in the pegs and attached the guy ropes you could put up the corner poles one by one then the middle one.

Modern tents can be a wee bit more complicated as a couple of volunteers discovered when they went to erect one borrowed for the National Party at the Wanaka Show. Several years later they joke about it but in a way which suggests that at the time things were a little tense between them. Their moods weren’t improved when they finally had the tent up and looking as it should and found they had several poles to spare.

They weren’t game to try to find a place for them but asked the owner about them when they saw him next day. He said he’d never known what to do with them either.

The next couple of years then-candidate, now MP, Jacqui Dean brought her camper van the awning for which went up pretty easily.

The year after that we borrowed a tent which went up reasonably easily but we then got a complaint that the guy ropes were extending beyond the site and might cause a hazard. When you’re representing a political party you don’t argue so we followed instructions to take it down and put it up on another site where the guys wouldn’t be in anyone’s way.

After that the electorate  bought a Kwik n Ezy tent – so called because it’s supposed to be able to be erected quickly and easily.

Quickly and easily are relative terms which can depend on the number of people helping and their ability to retain their senses of humour. This year with seven helpers it did go up without too much trouble and with the tempers of the tent pitchers intact.

The trick will be to remember how we did it so we can do it as quickly and easily next year.

Caption competition


The Upper Clutha A&P Show is the South Island’s second biggest.

It comes behind the Canterbury Show on numbers but it’s first for location – in Wanaka with views up the lake to the mountains.

Trade exhibits have spread across the road and now take up about half of Pembroke Park. There’s just about anything for sale from cars to compost makers.

In spite of that it still includes the old features including wool and stock competitions and vegetable sculptures such as this which is begging for a caption.

March 13 in history


On March 13:

1138 Cardinal Gregorio Conti was elected Antipope as Victor IV.

1639  Harvard College was named for clergyman John Harvard.


1764 Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1781  William Herschel discovered Uranus.

1809  Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden was deposed in a coup d’état.

1845  Felix Mendelssohn‘s Violin Concerto received its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.


1862  The U.S. federal government forbade all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.

1881 Alexander II of Russia was killed when a bomb is thrown at him.

1884 Sir Hugh Walpole, English novelist, was born.


1884 The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan began.

Death of General Gordon at Khartoum, by J.L.G. Ferris.jpg

1897 San Diego State University was founded.

1900  British forces occupied Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.

1900 The length of the workday for women and children is limited by law to 11 hours in France.

1920 The Kapp Putsch briefly ousted the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.


1921 Mongolia, under Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg, declared its independence from China.

1925 Scopes Trial: A law in Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution.

1930 The news of the discovery of Pluto was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.


1933 Banks in the U.S. began to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandated a “bank holiday“.

1938 – Anschluss of Austria to the Third Reich.


1939  Neil Sedaka, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1943 German forces destroyed the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.


1954  Battle of Điện Biên Phủ: Viet Minh forces attacked the French.

1956 – New Zealand won its first cricket test – playing against the West Indies at Eden Park.

NZ's first test cricket victory

 1957 Cuban student revolutionaries stormed the presidential palace in Havana  in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.

1960  Adam Clayton, Irish bassist (U2), was born.


1969  Apollo 9 returned safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.


1979 The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousted Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d’etat in Grenada.


1986 Microsoft had its initial public offering.

 An early Microsoft logo, filed August 26, 1982 

1989 A geomagnetic storm causef the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid.

Hydro-Québec Logo.svg

1991 The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon had agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.


1992 An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale killed  over 500 in Erzincan, eastern Turkey.

1996 Dunblane massacre: 16 children and 1 teacher were shot dead by Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.

1997 India’s Missionaries of Charity chose  Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.

1997 The Phoenix lights were seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television.


2003 The journal Nature reported that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy.

2005 Terry Ratzmann shot and killed six members of the Living Church of God and the minister before killing himself.

2008 Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: