Word of the day


Abask –  in the sunshine, basking.



Nothing to do and all day to do it –  I love Boxing Day.

We’ve more than enough food left over from yesterday so there’s no need to cook, I’ve a number of books from my to-read pile to choose from, have had one walk and if the mood takes me might do another to blow away the cobwebs . . .


A gift that will keep on delivering


When Jamie Mackay asked on the Farming Show what I wanted for Christmas I said I was getting a goat.

Not in the flesh but as a gift to an aid project on my behalf.

When an email from my daughter arrived yesterday morning I found the gift was something even better than a goat, it was training for a birth attendant in Paupua New Guinea.

This had special relevance because had I been in a third world country the day my daughter was born it is doubtful either of us would have survived and a couple from our neighbourhood have recently returned from their second stint in PNG with Volunteer Service Abraod.

The gift had added poignancy yesterday because one of our whanau required first world health services that most women in PNG couldn’t get.

December 26 in history


1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeated troops of Utrecht.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.


1716  Thomas Gray, English writer, was born (d. 1771).

1780  Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born (d. 1872).

1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born (d. 1871).

1860  The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.

1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

USS Red Rover.jpg

1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.

1871Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.


1979 1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.

Sectarian violence in Canterbury

1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born  (d. 1980).

1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born (d. 1976).

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.


1919   Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.

1933 FM radio was patented.

1935 Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.

1940  Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.

1942  Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.

1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.

1953 Leonel Fernández, Dominican politician and current President of the Dominican Republic.

1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.

1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.

1986 World Population reaches 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.org world population tracker.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the USSR.

2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

 Arg-é Bam, before the 2003 earthquake.

2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake (7.1 magnitude)  hit Taiwan.

  • Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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