God Bless The Child


Billie Holiday would have been 95 today.



Happy birthday Janis Ian, 59 today.

‘Allo ‘Allo


Happy birthday Gordon Kaye – 69 today.

Why don’t we plant more natives?


The leaves are turning on the deciduous trees bringing a welcome blaze of colour to the garden.

Out on the farm the shelter belts are evergreens and exotic ones at that – mostly pines and another species the name of which always escapes me.

They do provide shade and shelter but I wonder why we use exotics when natives could do the job as well.

Pittosporums, for instance, grow quickly, are hardy, aren’t eaten by stock and might attract more native birds.

Taking easy a bit far


The relative easy access we have to public figures, particularly politicians, is something we take for granted.

But wanting to stick your tongue in the Prime Minister’s ear is taking easy a bit far.

Only 5/10


Oh dear – this week’s Dominion Post politics quiz was a toughie but not sure that excuses just 5/10 when Kiwiblog managed 10/10.

Milk price up 23% – updated


The average price for whole milk powder  increased 21% and the price across whole milk, skim milk and Anhydrous Milk Fat rose by about 23% in this morning’s globalDairy trade auction.

In an email to shareholders, Fonterra chair Henry Van der Heyden attributed the price increase to  tightening supply because of  drier conditions and the season coming towards a close in New Zealand and Australia.

Fonterra has taken an option on some land in Central Canterbury as the site of a possible new processing operation.

Fonterra trade and operations manager Gary Romano said Fonterra was looking to secure enough land to expand the site, from an initial processing plant with the capacity to process 2.2 million litres of milk a day to a site capable of processing 10 million litres a day “at some point”.

“Canterbury is the fastest-growing dairying region in New Zealand. It is now producing about 15 per cent of the country’s milk for export and growing at a rate of more than 5 per cent annually,” he said.

The 50 new permanent jobs the development will create will be a significant boost for the economy of Darfiled, a very small rural town. 

The proposal is also a vote of confidence in the future of dairying.

UPDATE: The right hand end of the cut and paste copy of the graph above which shows the encouraging increase in price over time has been cut off.

This might be better:

You can see the original here.

UPDATE 2: interest.co.nz posts on the increase, notes it’s only 10% below the peak and could mean a better payout next season.

To light or not to light . . .


. . . that was the question last night.

The autumn chill which had greeted us in the morning stayed through the day and by evening I was seriously tempted to light the first fire of the year.

Some years we get well in to May before we have to resort to a fire so I decided the first week in April was far too soon.

But I did put on a warmer jersey, plug in the heater and the electric blanket.

April 7 in history


On April 7:

529 First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) was issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.


1348 Charles University was founded in Prague.

1506  Saint Francis Xavier, Spanish co-founder of the Society of Jesus, was born.

1521  Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.

1541 Francis Xavier left Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.

1718 Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters, was born.


1770 William Wordsworth, English poet, was born.

1776 Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captured the Edward.

USS Lexington

1788 American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.


1795 France adopted the metre as the basic measure of length.

1803 Flora Tristan, French feminist and socialist philosopher, was born.


1827 John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.


1856 New Zealand’s first state secondary school, Nelson College, opened.

First state secondary school opens in Nelson

1860 Will Keith Kellogg, American cereal manufacturer, was born.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ended – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates.

Battle of Shiloh Thulstrup.jpg

1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation was assassinated.

1890 Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.


1908 Percy Faith, Canadian composer and musician, was born.

1906  Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated Naples.


1906 – The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco.

1908 H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1915 Billie Holiday, American singer, was born.

1922 Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leased Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.


1927 First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

1933 Prohibition  in the USA was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

1934 Ian Richardson, Scottish actor (, was born.

Francis Urquhart.jpg

1938 Spencer Dryden, American drummer (Jefferson Airplane), was born.

1939  World War II: Italy invaded Albania.

1939   Francis Ford Coppola, American film director, was born.

1939  Sir David Frost, English broadcaster and TV host, was born.

1940 Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.


1941 Gorden Kaye, British actor, was born.


1943 Germans ordered 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they were shot dead and buried in ditches.

1944 Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1945 World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

Yamato sinking from the aft

1945 – World War II: Visoko was liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

1946 Syria‘s independence from France was officially recognised.

1948 The World Health Organisation was established by the United Nations.

Flag of WHO.svg

1948 A Buddhist monastery burned in Shanghai, leaving twenty monks dead.

1951 Janis Ian, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.


1954 Jackie Chan, Chinese actor, director, producer, and martial artist., was born.

1956 Spain relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.

1963 Yugoslavia was proclaimed to be a Socialist republic and Josip Broz Tito was named President for life.

1964  IBM announcedthe System/360.


1964 Russell Crowe, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.


1971 U.S. President Richard Nixon announced his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

1977 German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.


1978 Development of the neutron bomb was canceled by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

1983 During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space shuttle spacewalk.

L-R Peterson, Weitz, Musgrave, Bobko

1985 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

1989  Soviet submarine Komsomolets sank in the Barents Sea killing 42 sailors.

K-278 Komsomolets

1990 John Poindexter was found guilty of five charges for his part in the Iran Contra Affiar (the conviction was later reversed on appeal).

1992 Republika Srpska announced its independence.

Flag Seal

1994  Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

1999 The World Trade Organisation ruled in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

2001 Mars Odyssey wass launched.

2001 mars odyssey wizja.jpg

2003 U.S. troops captured Baghdad.

2009 Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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