Dame Pat Evison


Dame Pat Evison died today.

Arts and Culture Minister Chris Finlayson paid tribute to her:

Dame Pat Evison was one of our most well-known and well-loved actresses for her television roles in groundbreaking series, but she was also a pioneer in New Zealand theatre,” Mr Finlayson said. “She was one of the first New Zealand theatre students to receive a scholarship to study overseas, at the Old Vic Theatre School in London.”

“She was also an important part of television history in this country, acting in Pukemanu, the first continuing drama series ever produced in New Zealand.

Dame Pat acted in a number of early Downstage Theatre productionsn in Wellington. Her performance in the Samuel Beckett play Happy Days was described by director Bruce Mason as the “finest event in New Zealand Theatre”.

I never saw Dame Pat acting in live theatre but Pukemanu was the first local drama I remember and it was a must-see for me.

An interview with Dame Pat was featured on the Arts on Sunday.

The only youTube clip I could find of her was this:

What’s up with RSS feeds?


Using Bloglines or something similar is the easiest way to keep up with several blogs and other websites which update regularly without having to check them individually.

But I’ve noticed recently that Bloglines doesn’t work for some blogs, eg Kiwiblog and Macdoctor, although they update regularly in my side bar.

Then there are others like Beattie’s Book Blog which just shows array  in the side bar but updates normally with Bloglines.

Is it something I’m doing – or not doing – or is it a universal problem?

While on the subject of RSS feeds, some blogs display only an introductory paragraph.

I suspect it’s to draw more visitors to their blog because you have to visit it to read the whole post. But unless I’ve got lots of time to spare or the intro is really, really fascinating I usually pass right on to the next blog and forget about them.

If I Only Had Time


The penultimate dayof NZ Music MOnth – John Rowles sings If  I Only Had Time:

Was it cleaner’s revenge?


It wasn’t cold by South Island standards but the Auckland hotel room was a little cooler than I find comfortable.

It had what we call a heat pump on the Mainland, but I suspect it’s used more often as an air conditioner up here and regardless of which setting I tried, all I could get was cold air.

I had a restless night because I wasn’t quite warm enough, got up at 6.30 without putting brain in gear, turned on the shower and got drenched with cold water.

It’s the fault of the shower designer that the rose is on the wall directly opposite the door. I was staying only one night so couldn’t have done anything to upset the cleaner the day before. But I wonder if someone else had and that’s why s/he had angled the shower rose so the water gushed straight out rather than down?

Much more than management


“Being in government doesn’t just mean managing. It means changing and putting right things we identify as being wrong.”

Commerce and Justice Minister, Simon Power.

Bad back or laid back?


Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was asked about the results of investigations into beneficiaries receiving well above the average wage.

WINZ had investigated more than 300 of these cases and she said they found some were people who were fostering extremely vulnerable and demanding children, and doing it well,  and it would have cost the state far more to care for the children any other way.

However, there were some whose needs and contributions were less obvious.

One of these was a couple who had been beneficiaries  for 15 years. He had a bad back but in that time they’d also had 10 children.

“Bad back or laid back?” the minister asked?

Under promise, over deliver


The problem of drought and the need for irrigation in North Otago was impressed upon John Key when he was in Oamaru for the National Party’s Mainland conference last weekend.

In the week since then we’ve had about half our average annual rainfall.

 I thanked him, with tongue in cheek, for that at the Northern Region’s convention cocktail party last night and added we’d got far more than we’d asked for. 

 He grinned and said, “It’s good politics to under promise and over deliver.”

In drought prone regions we never say we’ve had too much rain and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, but I did say next time he over delivered it needn’t be quite so generously.

May 30 in history


On May 30:

70 Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breached the Second Wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish defenders retreated to the First Wall. The Romans built a circumvallation, all trees within fifteen kilometres were cut down.

Arch of Titus Menorah.png

1416 The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burned Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.


1431  Hundred Years’ War: 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. Because of this the Catholic Church remember this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.

1434  Hussite Wars (Bohemian Wars): Battle of Lipany – effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeated and almost annihilated Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.


1536  Henry VIII of England married Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.

1539  Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida,  with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.


1574  Henry III becomes King of France.

1588 The last ship of the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.


1635  Thirty Years’ War: the Peace of Prague (1635) was signed.

1642  From this date all honours granted by Charles I were retrospectively annulled by Parliament.

1757 Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1844).


1806 Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

1814 Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition – the Treaty of Paris (1814) was signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. 

1832  The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario opened.

Locks in summer.

1842  John Francis attempted to murder Queen Victoria as she drove down Constitution Hill with Prince Albert.

1846 Peter Carl Fabergé, Russian goldsmith and jeweller, was born (d. 1920).


1854 The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

1859 Westminster’s Big Ben rang for the first time in London.

1868  Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day) was observed in the United States for the first time (By “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan‘s proclamation on May 5).

1871  The Paris Commune fell.


1876  Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murat V.

1879 New York City’s Gilmores Garden was renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.

1883  A rumour that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.

1911  At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ended with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.


1913  First Balkan War: the Treaty of London, 1913 is signed ending the war. Albania becomes an independent nation.

1914  The new and then largest Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, set sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York City.

Aquitania 06.jpg

1815  The East Indiaman ship Arniston was wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, the loss of 372 lives.


1917  Alexander I became king of Greece.

1922  In Washington, D.C. the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.


1941  World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb on the Athenian Acropolis, tear down the Nazi swastika and replace it with the Greek flag.


1942  World War II: 1000 British bombers launched a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.


1948  A dike along the flooding Columbia River broke, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.

1955 Topper Headon, British musician (The Clash), was born.

1958  Memorial Day: the remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, were buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.


1959  The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour was officially opened by Governor-General Lord Cobham.

Auckland harbour bridge opened

1961  Long time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo was assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Head and shoulders of a man with a small moustache wearing a military uniform with many medals on his chest. He is looking into the camera, smiling slightly.

1962 Kevin Eastman, American comic book creator (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), was born.

1963  A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis was held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.


1966 Former Congolese Prime Minister Evariste Kimba and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.

1967 Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row.


1967  The Nigerian Eastern Region declared independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.

1971 Mariner 9 was launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.


1972 The Angry Brigade went on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout Britain.


1972  In Tel Aviv members of the Japanese Red Army carried out the Lod Airport Massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.

1989  Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.


1998  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia

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