Word of the day


Valorise – give or ascribe value or validity  to something; to establish and maintain price by government action; to set a fixed arbitrary price.

Green thumbs on Critical Mass


My wandering round the blogosphere for Critical Mass had a green-thumbed theme, visiting gardeners who blog.

Out from Under My Hat has gardening advice, musings and photos from Art Mama whose philosophy is live simply, love uniquely, learn abundantly, create beauty.

Heritage Irises is a celebration of these beautiful bulbs by Iris Hunter, from East Taratahi in the Waiarapa. I was hooked from the moment I read the quote at the top:

I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error.
Sara Stein

The photos are stunning and accompanied by interesting background information.

Our Wee Farm is the work of Laura who shifted with her husband from a Glasgow townhouse to a 24 acre farm in Northland. Her posts cover their vegetable garden, animals, sewing, fishing, friends and recipes with lots of photos. She has also entered the 365 day photographic journey challenge – posting a photo a day which you can see at livelifelovethroughthelens.

We ran out of time to do justice to Robert Guyton, nurseryman, gardener, columnist and new Environment Southland councillor who celebrates a giant daikon (Japanese radish).

The inspiration for the green-thumbed theme came from Quote Unquote who started competitive gardening after reading about Dim Post’s Labour Weekend.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What does Labour Day commemorate?

2. Who was the London-born, Petone carpenter credited with what Labour Day commemorates?

3. Who said: “ Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need“?

4. Labour Weekend is traditionally when vegetable gardens are planted – did you do that and if so what did you plant?

5. What was your job, how old were you when you started it and can you remember how much it paid? 

Points for answers:

Deborah, Ray, JCand Adam get an electronic bouquet each for perfect scores.

Paul, PDM and David get a bonus posey for four right.

And you all get thanks for interesting contributions on the work front.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

When people act like animals


The SPCA has released its annual list of shame:

“Our List of Shame is not a comprehensive account of every act of cruelty, callousness or unmitigated sadism committed against New Zealand’s animals,” SPCA’s national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said.

“But it does contain many of the worst cases committed over the past year and provides us with a reminder of the challenges we face in reducing and eventually, we hope, eliminating the abuse of animals.”

She said that young people unfortunately again figured prominently amongst those committing horrendous acts against animals.

“The most disturbing aspect of this youth behaviour is that we know there is a link between cruelty to animals and violence and abuse towards other humans.

The list provides a chilling reminder that people can act like animals and  not just towards other species.

It wouldn’t be difficult to draw up a similar list of shame cateloguing cruelty, callousness and unmitigated sadism committed against children.

Second best day walk


If you’re back at work you might want to skip this.

Labour Weekend hasn’t finished for me yet. I’ve sneaked an extra day in Wanaka and yesterday as part of the get-fit-enough-to-climb- Mt-Roy-before-year’s-end campaign* I walked up to Rocky Point.

It took an hour and seven minutes which is five minutes slower than it took when I last did it in January. Mount Roy is about three times higher so the need for more training is clear.

Rob Roy Glacier is my pick for the best day walk in the country and Rocky Point is the runner-up.

The track starts at a car park about 12 kilometres from Wanaka. It follows an old road to Diamond Lake then the track gets much narrower and steeper.

About 10 minutes from the start, the track divides allowing you to take the east or west route.

The west route goes through bush then into tussock country, the east route is more open all the way. We usually go up the west side and down the east.

Either way you’re rewarded with stunning vistas at the top.

Looking westish up the lake and Matukituki Valley you can see Mount Aspiring:

Looking eastish you get views across West Wanaka Station to the town:

*A friend and I agreed we’d climb Mt Roy (or more correctly Roy’s Peak)  this year – I wasn’t fit enough until mid January by which time it didn’t suit her. For a variety of reasons we haven’t been able to find a day which suits us both since then and we’re rapidly running out of year. We’re both still determined to do it and have pencilled in a day in December. I don’t want to hate every step, hence the get-fit campaign.

October 26 in history


On October 26:

306  Martyrdom of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

1597  Imjin War: Admiral Yi Sun-sin routed the Japanese Navy of 300 ships with only 13 ships at the Battle of Myeongnyang.

1640 The Treaty of Ripon was signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.

1689  General Piccolomini of Austria burned down Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. He died of cholera soon after.

1774  The first Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

Congress voting independence.jpg

1775  King George III went before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorised a military response to quell the American Revolution.

1776  Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

1795  The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, was created.

1811  The Argentine government declared the freedom of expression for the press by decree.

1825 The Erie Canal opened – passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.


1859 The Royal Charter was wrecked on the coast of Anglesey, north Wales with 459 dead.


1860  Meeting of Teano. Giuseppe Garibaldi, conqueror of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, gives it to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

1861  The Pony Express officially ceased operations.

1865  Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman, was born (d. 1912).


1881  The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.


1883  Napoleon Hill, American writer and philosopher, was born (d. 1970).

1905 Norway became independent from Sweden.

1909 Itō Hirobumi, Resident-General of Korea, was shot to death by Korean independence supporter Ahn Jung-geun.


1912  First Balkan War: The capital city of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, was unified with Greece on the feast day of its patron Saint Demetrius. Serbian troops captured Skopje.

1916 François Mitterrand, President of France, was born (d. 1996).

1917   Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The young unknown Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel captured Mount Matajur with only 100 Germans against a force of over 7000 Italians.

Battle of Caporetto.jpg

1918  Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster-general of the Imperial German Army, was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany for refusing to cooperate in peace negotiations.

Erich Ludendorff.jpg

1921  The Chicago Theatre opened.


1936  The first electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.


1940  The P-51 Mustang made its maiden flight.

1942 The Women’s Jurors Act enabled women to sit on juries in New Zealand.

Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

1942  Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, was sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, was heavily damaged.

The aircraft carrier Hornet under attack

1943 World War II: First flight of the Dornier Do 335 “Pfeil”.


1944  World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ended with an overwhelming American victory.

1947  Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State, was born.

Formal pose of middle-aged white woman with shortish blonde hair wearing dark blue jacket over orange top with American flag in background

1947 The Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to allow his kingdom to join India.

1948  Killer smog settled into Donora, Pennsylvania.

1955  After the last Allied troops left the country and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, Austria declared permanent neutrality.

1955 – Ngô Đình Diệm declared himself Premier of South Vietnam.

1958  Pan American Airways made the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.

1959  The world saw the far side of the Moon for the first time.

1964 Eric Edgar Cooke became last person in Western Australia to be executed.

1967  Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowned himself Emperor of Iran and then crowned his wife Farah Empress of Iran.


1977 The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.

1979  Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea was assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President. 


1984  “Baby Fae” receives a heart transplant from a baboon.

1985  The Australian government returns ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines.

1992 The London Ambulance Service was thrown into chaos after the implementation of a new CAD, (Computer Aided Despatch) system which failed.

1994 Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty

1995  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Mossad agents assassinated Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki.


1999  Britain’s House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament.

Crowned Portcullis red.svg

2000  Laurent Gbagbo took over as president of Côte d’Ivoire following a popular uprising against President Robert Guéï.

2002 Moscow Theatre Siege: Around 50 Chechen terrorists and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz stormed a theatre building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists three days before.

2003  The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, killed 15 people, consumed 250,000 acres (1,000 km²), and destroyed 2,200 homes around San Diego.

Cedar Fire

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia.

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