Shadow Of Your Smile


Sarah Vaughan would have been 86 today.

Celebrating neither Earth nor Edison Hours


Worshippers of the green gods will be turning off their lights for Earth Hour tonight while others will be powering up to celebrate Edison Hour.

I’ll be doing neither – using no more and no less electricity than I normally do.

The greenwash of Earth Hour doesn’t wash with me but deliberately wasting resources as Edison Hour will makes neither environmental nor economic sense.

I know what it’s like to live without power, albeit only part time. I spent 10 months on Great Mercury Island the diesel generator which provided our electricity ran for only eight hours a day.

I much prefer having power 24 hours a day but I’m not going to waste it.

Never Tear Us Apart


Happy birthday Andrew Farriss, 51 today.

Home By The Sea


Happy birthday Tony Banks – 60 today.

Just wondering . . .


. . .  where the lint you find in the clothes dryer goes when you dry the clothes on the line?

Open farms show how it is and was


The importance agriculture plays in New Zealand’s economy is unusual in the developed world and not always appreciated here.

One of the reasons for that is that the country is just something most people travel through at 100 kph – or more – to get from one town or city to another.

When I was a child those of us who didn’t live on farms were usually related to or friends with someone who did.

That isn’t the case now. Most New Zealanders are urban with little if any link to farmers and farming.

Federated Farmers works hard to bridge the growing urban-rural divide and one of its most successful initiatives is the Farm Day when members of the public are invited to discover the country.

Twenty two working farms and one historic one will open their gates to the public tomorrow.

The historic farm is Totara Estate which has scheduled its annual Harvest Home to coincide with Farm Day.

The Topp Twins are special guests at the festival and have secured the services of Ken and Ken to judged the lamb burger competition.

Prue and Dilly will be judging the vegetable produce and will be searching for the longest bean, biggest potato and most appealing apple.

Camp Mother and Camp Leader have been enlisted to judge the Scone & Jam section.

The day starts with a Thanksgiving Service at 10.30.

After that in addition to the entertainment the focus will be on traditional skills with demonstrations on how to preserve the harvest; relishes and jams, and apple cider making. Guest speakers will share their experience with creating a home vegetable garden, growing vegetables and making great compost.

Harvest Home always celebrates the working horse with Clydesdale harnessing and shoeing displays culminating in a grand parade.

Totara’s infamous swaggers regularly descend on the Estate, set up camp and tell tall tales as they await the start of their annual Race to the Brydone Monument. Lunchtime hawkers will prepare and sell traditional farm fare such as  lamb shanks and blackened corn and skilled trades such as blacksmith, blade shearers, saddlers and woodworkers will demonstrate their craft. Young Victorian peddlers will test their entrepreneurial spirit by selling their wares, be it boiled sweets or peg dolls.

There’s also penny-farthing, horse and wagon rides, traditional children’s games, storytellers, bush bands and roving minstrels.

Totara Estate is the home of our frozen meat industry which was the foundation of New Zealand’s economy for many years.

The Historic Places Trust and local volunteers put a lot of effort in to ensuring it’s not just a dusty monument and Harvest Home is one of the ways they ensure that history is brought to life.

Mother power


How do you get farm workers, especially single ones, to maintain a reasonable standard of cleanliness in their houses? was the question.

It provoked plenty of horror stories and one interesting solution.

The farmer had grown tired of asking. He reckoned if he got in a cleaner and docked the young, single worker’s wages the worker would have had very little left, so he invited the worker’s parents to visit.

The mother took one look at the dirt and mess, gave her son a round up and the quarters have been reasonably clean and tidy ever since.

March 27 in history


On March 27:

196 BC  Ptolemy V ascended to the throne of Egypt.


1306 Robert The Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.

1309  Pope Clement V excommunicated Venice and all its population.

Papst klemens v.jpg

1329  Pope John XXII issued his In Agro Dominico condemning some writings of Meister Eckhart as heretical.

Painting of a young cleanshaven man wearing golden robes and a tall conical hat with elaborate designs.  He is holding a large book in his lap, but looking towards the viewer.

1613  The first English child born in Canada at Cuper’s Cov, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.

1625  Charles I beccame King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1794 The United States Government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates.

United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg

1794 Denmark and Sweden formed a neutrality compact.

1814 War of 1812: Forces under General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Battle of Horseshoe Bend.jpg

1836 Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre – Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered the Mexican army to kill about 400 Texans at Goliad, Texas.

1836 Kirtland Temple in Ohio was dedicated in an 8 hour long service led by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

KirtlandTemple Ohio USA.jpg

1846  Mexican-American War: Siege of Fort Texas.

Siege of Fort Texas.gif

1851 irst reported sighting of the Yosemite Valley by Europeans.


1854 Crimean War: The United Kingdom declared war on Russia.


1863 Sir Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer, was born.


1871 The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, was played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

1881 Rioting took place in Basingstoke in protest against the daily vociferous promotion of rigid Temperance by the Salvation Army.

1883 English Salvation Army officers, Captain George Pollard and Lieutenant Edward Wright, arrived at Port Chalmers on a mission to establish a New Zealand branch of the quasi-military Christian evangelical movement, which had been founded in the slums of London’s East End in 1865.

The 'Sallies' come to New Zealand

1886 Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

1899 Gloria Swanson, American actress, was born.

  1906 The Alpine Club of Canada was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Alpine Club of Canada

1910 A fire during a barn-dance in Ököritófülpös, Hungary, killed 312.

1912 James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1917  Cyrus Vance, American politician, was born.

1918 Moldova and Bessarabia joined Romania.

1924 Sarah Vaughan, American singer, was born.

1931 David Janssen, American actor, was born.

The Futgitive title screen.png

1938  The Battle of Taierzhuang.


1941 Yugoslavian Air Force officers toppled the pro-axis government in a bloodless coup.

1943  Battle of the Komandorski Islands – In the Aleutian Islands battle started when United States Navy forces intercepted Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

USS Salt Lake City

1945 Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan’s ports and waterways began.

1950 Tony Banks, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1958  Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union.

A portrait shot of an older, bald man with bifocal glasses. He is wearing a blazer over a collared shirt and tie. In his hands, he is holding a set of papers.

1959 Andrew Farriss, Australian musician (INXS), was born.

1963  Beeching axe: Dr. Richard Beeching issued a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom’s rail network.

1964  The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 struck South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.


1969 Mariner 7  was launched.

Mariner 67.gif

1970 Concorde made its first supersonic flight.


1975 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System began.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Luca Galuzzi 2005.jpg

1975  Fergie, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), was born.

1976 The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened.

Black and white Washington Metro logo with a big white M above smaller white letters spelling Metro

1977 Tenerife disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). 61 survived on the Pan Am flight.

1980 The Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapsed in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.


1980 Silver Thursday: A steep fall in silver prices, resulting from the Hunt Brothers attempting to corner the market in silver, led to panic on commodity and futures exchanges.

1984 Ernie Abbott, the caretaker at Wellington’s Trades Hall, was killed instantly when he moved a booby-trapped suitcase.

Trades Hall bombing

1986 A car bomb exploded at Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, killing 1 police officer and injuring 21 people.

1990 The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba in an effort to bridge the information blackout imposed by the Castro regime.

1993  Jiang Zemin was appointed President of the People’s Republic of China.

1993 – Italian former minister and Christian Democracy leader Giulio Andreotti was accused of mafia allegiance by the tribunal of Palermo.

1994 – One of the biggest tornado outbreaks in recent memory hit the Southeastern United States. One tornado slammed into a church in Piedmont, Alabama during Palm Sunday services killing 20 and injuring 90.

1994 – The Eurofighter took its first flight in Manching, Germany.

1998 The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

1999 An F-117 Nighthawk was shot down during the Kosovo War.

2002 – Passover Massacre: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people partaking of the Passover meal in Netanya, Israel.

2004 HMS Scylla (F71), a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.

Scylla - Odinn scrap.jpg

2009  Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Indonesia, failed killing at least 99 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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