Lucky Man


Happy birthday Carl Palmer – 60 today.

Did you see the one about . . .


Our contemporary sanctimony puts Vicorians to shame – Thoedore Dalrymple at Pyjamas Media.

Major announcement – Macdoctor sums up the state of the nation’s biggest paper.

We attempt to clip the chickens’ wings  at Private Secret Diary (hat tip Quote UnQuote)

Back to the good old days Keeping Stock doesn’t approve but he does admire a good streak.

The humble swede – Rivetting Kate Taylor in praise of the vegetable which fuels southern stock & people.

Peachy – In A Strange Land is cooking again.

Happy birthday to us – the Hand Mirror celebrates two years in the blogosphere.

Heart  Craft is the New Black with a speech from her grand mother, you might also enjoy Introducing Nana.

Don’t believe everything you read on a T-shirt – unintended humour at Something Goes Here

Banal expression banned on radio – at Eye2thelong run – if only they were.

Tramping without the scroggin and singalongs – Karl du Fresne with tips on the Tongariro Crossing.

Key to victory – meida coverage of the 2008 election at Liberation.

New blog – Latitude 44 is leaving the USA to go gliding in Omarama.

We’ll Meet Again


Happy Birthday Dame Vera Lynn – 93 today.



My New Zealand history knowledge seems to be stuck at 70%:  7/10 again in this week’s NZ Historyonline quiz.

Said Hanrahan


With thanks to Adolf whose comment on the previous post reminded me of this by John O’Brien, Australian priest and poet:

Said Hanrahan

We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  In accents most forlorn,

Outside the church, ere Mass began,

  One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,

  Coat-collars to the ears,

And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,

  As it had done for years.

“It’s looking crook,” said Daniel Croke;

  “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,

For never since the banks went broke

  Has seasons been so bad.”

“It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,

  With which astute remark

He squatted down upon his heel

  And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran

  “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  “Before the year is out.”
“The crops are done; ye’ll have your work

  To save one bag of grain;

From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke

  They’re singin’ out for rain.

“They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,

  “And all the tanks are dry.”

The congregation scratched its head,

  And gazed around the sky.

“There won’t be grass, in any case,

  Enough to feed an ass;

There’s not a blade on Casey’s place

  As I came down to Mass.”

“If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,

  And cleared his throat to speak –

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  “If rain don’t come this week.”

A heavy silence seemed to steal

  On all at this remark;

And each man squatted on his heel,

  And chewed a piece of bark.

“We want an inch of rain, we do,”

  O’Neil observed at last;

But Croke “maintained” we wanted two

  To put the danger past.

“If we don’t get three inches, man,

  Or four to break this drought,

We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  “Before the year is out.”

In God’s good time down came the rain;

  And all the afternoon

On iron roof and window-pane

  It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,

  And lightsome, gladsome elves

On dripping spout and window-sill

  Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,

  A-singing at its work,

Till every heart took up the song

  Way out to Back-o’-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,

  And dams filled overtop;

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  “If this rain doesn’t stop.”

And stop it did, in God’s good time;

  And spring came in to fold

A mantle o’er the hills sublime

  Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,

  With harvest-hopes immense,

And laughing eyes beheld the wheat

  Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,

  As happy lad and lass

Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place

  Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel

  Discoursed the men of mark,

And each man squatted on his heel,

  And chewed his piece of bark.

“There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,

  There will, without a doubt;

We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

  “Before the year is out.”

Just 13 inches


North Otago had just 13 inches of rain in the 12 months to the end of February.

That’s not nearly enough when our average rainfall is about 20 inches (500 mls).

We had recurring droughts through the 1980s and early 1990s which were devastating not just for farmers but for the people who worked for, serviced and supplied them. That impacted on Oamaru and the wider economy and because of that the news was full of drought stories.

This year there’s hardly been a mention.

That’s mostly due to the larger area which is irrigated. Nothing beats water from the sky but at least those of us with irrigation can keep growing grass and feeding our stock.

However, farmers are becoming increasingly worried. There are limits to what irrigation can do and a lot of dairy farmers with irrigated properties rely on dry land farms for wintering stock.

There’s still time for autumn growth if it rains in the next couple of weeks. But temperatures are dropping and if it doesn’t rain soon it will be too late for winter crops.

March 20 in history


On March 20:

43 BC Ovid, Roman poet, was born.

1600 – The Linköping Bloodbath takes place on Maundy Thursday in Linköping, Sweden.

1602 The Dutch East India Company was established.

Logo of the VOC

1616 Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.

1737  Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King of Thailand, was born.

1739 Nadir Shah occupied Delhi and sacked the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne.

Nader Shah Afshar.jpg

1760 The “Great Fire” of Boston, Massachusetts destroyed 349 buildings.

1815 After escaping from Elba, Napoleon entered Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his “Hundred Days” rule.


1834 New Zealand’s first flag was chosen.

NZ's first flag chosen

1848 Ludwig I of Bavaria abdicated.

1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published.


1861 An earthquake completely destroyed Mendoza, Argentina.

1883 The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property was signed.

1888 The premiere of the first Romani language operetta was staged in Moscow.

1913 Sung Chiao-jen, a founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party, was wounded in an assassination attempt and dies 2 days later.

1916 Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity.

 two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional analogy of space-time curvature described in General Relativity.

1917 Vera Lynn, English actress and singer, was born.

1922 The USS Langley (CV-1) is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier.

The USS Langley

1937 Lois Lowry, American children’s author, was born.

1939  Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1942 General Douglas MacArthur, at Terowie, South Australia, made his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines, in which he says: “I came out of Bataan and I shall return”.

1948 With a Musicians Union ban lifted, the first telecasts of classical music in the United States, under Eugene Ormandy and Arturo Toscanini, were given on CBS and NBC.

1950 Carl Palmer, English drummer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.

1956 Tunisia gained independence from France.

1957 David Foster, Australian woodchopper, was born.

1958 Holly Hunter, American actress, was born.

1979 Keven Mealamu, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1980 The Radio Caroline ship, Mi Amigo foundered in a gale off the English coast.


1985 Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.


1987 The Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-AIDS drug, AZT.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front entered the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.

1990 Imelda Marcos, went on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.

1993 An IRA bomb explodes, killing two children in Warrington, Northwest England.

1995 A sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway killed 12 and wounds 1,300 people.

 A wanted poster.

1999 Legoland California, the only Legoland outside Europe, opened in Carlsbad.


2003  2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.

2004 Stephen Harper won the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the party’s first leader.

2005 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit Fukuoka, Japan, its first major quake in over 100 years. One person was killed, hundreds are injured and evacuated.

2006 Cyclone Larry made landfall in eastern Australia, destroying most of the country’s banana crop.

2006  More than 150 Chadian soldiers were killed in eastern Chad by members of the rebel UFDC seeking  to overthrow Chad president Idriss Deby.

2006 Chris and Cru Kahui, New Zealand murder victims were born.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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