Word of the day


Hodger – a guest who eats and drinks all his/her host’s food and drink.

Who makes money from this?


Spotted in a bottle store in Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory: “clean skin”  bottles of Marlborough Sauvigon Blanc for just $5.55.

If anyone makes any money from that I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the people who grew the grapes and made the wine.



This Tuesday’s Poem is Time by Ursula Bethell.

Among the links to other Tuesday Poets in the sidebar is Marina Isara’s choice: Three poems on meeting someone by Lucy Orbell.

While on poetry, With Words is inviting entries in an international haiku competition.

Quote of the week


“We in the Labour Party have a serious problem with John Key,” says Moore, who this month became New Zealand’s ambassador to the U.S. “He’s a very hard man to hate.”

Mike Moore in a Bloomberg interview.

One s or two?


On an early morning walk in Kununurra last week we spotted this sign and were highly amused:

Especially because it was outside a school.

Then we began to wonder if the sign was right and we were wrong – should there be one s or two in the middle of the plural of bus?

Is it buses or busses?

My spelling, like that of Pohh Bear’s friend Wol, can be wobbly but I was reasonably sure that buses looked right and busses didn’t unless it was a verb. My farmer who spells well and the friends who were with us thought so too.

I was all set to post this photo with the caption sign of the times and ask what’s the world coming to when school signs are spelled incorrectly.

Then I checked the Concise Oxford Dictionary and found: Bus n (pl*-ss), read further and became more confused because the entry read  . . . for use by buses.

I then checked what the asterisk meant and discovered it denotes spelling chiefly used in the U.S.  (often also Canadian, Australian, etc.).

I think that means the sign was right in Australia but as the four of us are New Zealanders we were right to think it looked wrong.

Further down the road we came across another sign and were on much firmer ground when we laughed at the spelling:

August 27 in history


On August 27:

479 BC Persian forces led by Mardonius were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea.

410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ended after three days.

Sack of Rome by the Visigoths on 24 August 410 by JN Sylvestre 1890.jpg

663 Battle of Baekgang: Remnants of the Korean Baekje Kingdom and their Yamato Japanese allies engaged the combined naval forces of the Tang Chinese and Silla Koreans on the Geum River.

1172  Henry the Young King and Margaret of France were crowned as junior king and queen of England.

1232  The Formulary of Adjudications was promulgated by Regent Hōjō Yasutoki.

1689  The Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed by Russia and the Qing empire.


1776 The Battle of Long Island:  British forces under General William Howe defeated Americans under General George Washington.


1793 French counter-revolution: the port of Toulon revolted and admitted the British fleet, which landed troops and seized the port leading to Siege of Toulon.

1798 Wolfe Tone’s United Irish and French forces clashed with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar.

Castlebar Races WynneC.jpg

1803 Edward Beecher, American theologian, was born (d. 1895).

1810 Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeated the British Royal Navy, preventing them from taking the harbour of Grand Port on Île de France.

1813  French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a larger force of Austrians, Russians, and Prussians at the Battle of Dresden.

Battle of Dresden by Naudet.jpg

1828 Uruguay was formally proclaimed independent at preliminary peace talks brokered by Great Britain between Brazil and Argentina during the Argentina-Brazil War.

1859 Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.

1875 Katharine McCormick, American women’s rights activist, was born (d. 1967).

1877 Charles Rolls, British co-founder of Rolls-Royce, was born (d. 1910).


1896 Anglo-Zanzibar War: the shortest war in world history (09:00 to 09:45) between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar.


1899 C. S. Forester, British author, was born (d. 1966).


1904 The foundation stone for Victoria College (now Victoria University of Wellington), was laid.

Foundation stone for Victoria’s first building laid

1904 Norah Lofts, British author, was born (d. 1983).

1908 Sir Donald Bradman, Australian cricketer, was born (d. 2001).


1908 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, was born (d. 1973).


1911 Joseph Pawelka escaped from Wellington’s Terrace Gaol – the last in a series of bold but seemingly effortless prison escapes Pawelka made over an 18-month period.

Pawelka's last prison break

1921 The British installed the son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali as King Faisal I of Iraq.


1922 The Turkish army took the Aegean city of Afyonkarahisar from the Greeks.

1928 The Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war was signed by the first fifteen nations.


1932 Antonia Fraser, British author, was born.

Cover of recent US paperback edition

1939 First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world’s first jet aircraft.


1942 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille), was born.

1947 John Morrison, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1962  The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission was launched to Venus by NASA.

Mariner 2 in space.jpg

1979  An IRA bomb killed  Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and 3 others in Sligo. Another bomb near Warrenpoint killed 18 British soldiers.


1982  Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altıkat was shot and killed in Ottawa. Justice Commandos Against Armenian Genocide claimed responsibility, saying they were avenging the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

1985 The Nigerian government was peacefully overthrown by Army Chief of Staff Major General Ibrahim Babangida.

1991 – Moldova declared independence from the USSR.

1993  The Rainbow Bridge, connecting Tokyo’s Shibaura and the island of Odaiba, was completed.

2000  The 540-metre (1,772 ft)-tall Ostankino Tower in Moscow caught fire, killing three people.


2003 Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

The planet Mars 

2006  Comair Flight 5191 crashed on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky killing 49 of the 50 passengers and crew.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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