Word of the day


Gambrinous –  to be full of beer; to be content owing to being full of beer.

Disclaimer: the choice of this word for today has nothing at all to do with the earlier post on the caucus party. Knowing I had to get up for a 6.45 flight south this morning I nursed a single glass of wine before moving on to water.

Friday’s answers


Yesterday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year“?

2. Name the poem and author of:

All this was a long time ago, I
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth,
certainly . . .

3. Name the carol which starts: Not on a snowy night, by star and candle light, but on a summer’s day . . .

4. Who ordered the census which prompted Joseph & Mary’s journey to Bethlehem?

5.What were the first three gifts given in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas? 

The answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Party party


I’ve been to several memorable National Party parties and last night’s caucus Christmas party was one of them.

It was held in Premier House, the mood was buoyant, people interesting, conversations lively, laughter frequent and the food delicious.

As to the names of the people, the content of the conversations and the cause of the laughter – my lips are sealed and I’d retired long before the party moved to The Green Parrot so don’t know which member of the press gallery wasn’t judged hottest.

Fonterra’s forecast payout up 30 cents


Fonterra has increased its forecast payout by 30 cents to $6.09 a kilo of milksolids and those with shares will get a dividend on top of that.

As a consequence, Fonterra now forecasts that a 100 per cent share backed farmer will earn, on average, the equivalent of $7.30-$7.40 before retentions, comprising Milk Price (per kgMS production) plus Distributable Profit (per share held). On a cash basis, the same farmer is forecast to receive a total of $7.15-$7.25, comprising Milk Price (per kgMS) and dividend (per share) – with the balance of the profit being retained by the Co-operative.

This is very good news for farmers, especially those facing drought because reduced production will be compensated for somewhat by an increase in value for the milk they do produce.

In light of the NZIER report on dairying’s contribution to the wider economy released earlier this week it’s also very good news for the whole country.



Just 5/10 in the NZ History Online quiz.

D for democracy


Part of the blame for the poor showing by Kris Faafoi in the Mana by-election can be laid on Labour’s poor selection processes. The union and head office candidate selected wasn’t the one preferred by most members in the electorate.

The party is now facing selection problems in Manuwera:

A by-election in the Labour held Manurewa seat is looking increasingly likely as Labour’s ruling council calls the bluff of sitting MP George Hawkins.

Hawkins has been threatening to resign from Parliament for months unless his preferred candidate, Ian Dunwoodie, is chosen. . .

The seven nominees for Manurewa are list MP Ashraf Choudhary, Dunwoodie, union organiser Jerome Mika, lawyer Amelia Schaaf, human resources manager Shane Te Pou, company director Raj Thandi and former MP Louisa Wall.

Mika has the backing of Labour’s most powerful union affiliate the EPMU.

No sitting MP, or any other individual, should be able to dictate who is selected as a candidate, but allowing head office and unions to have more say than individual members is just as undemocratic.

Labour gets a D for democracy which raises a question: how can a party run a democratic government when it can’t even run a democratic selection?

December 10 in history


On December 10:

1041 – Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevated her adopted son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.

1508 – The League of Cambrai was formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian 1, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.

Northern Italy in 1494

1394 King James I of Scotland was born  (d. 1437).

1520  Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg‘s Elster Gate.

1655 The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter.

1684  Isaac Newton‘s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

Head and shoulders portrait of man in black with shoulder-length gray hair, a large sharp nose, and an abstracted gaze

1830 Emily Dickinson, American poet, was born (d. 1886).

1868 The first traffic lights were installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1878  Rajaji, India’s freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India was born  (d. 1972).

1901 The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

 The committee room of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

1902 Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania.

1906 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to do so.

1907 The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clashed with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals which had been vivisected.

1907 Rumer Godden, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1908 Ernest Rutherford won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Rutherford wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

1914 Dorothy Lamour, American actress, was born (d. 1996).

1927 The Grand Ole Opry premiered on radio.

Grand Ole Opry Logo 2005.png

1932 Thailand adopted a Constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.

1936 Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication.

The Instrument of Abdication signed by Edward VIII and his three brothers.

1948 The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1949 Chinese Civil War: The People’s Liberation Army began its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.


1952 Susan Dey, American actress, was born.

1955 Jacquelyn Mitchard, American novelist, was born.

1960  Kenneth Branagh, Northern Irish actor and director, was born.

1962 New Zealand born Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. His colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick shared the prize for their studies on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in all organisms. Watson used X-rays to show the shape of the double helix.

Wilkins wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

1978 Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1983 Democracy was restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.

1989 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the establishment of Mongolia‘s democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.

1993 The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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