Word of the day


Lambent –  flickering; glowing, gleaming; running lightly over a surface; dealing lightly with a subject; brilliantly playful.

Brain gym


Looking for something to do?

Worried your brain isn’t as fit as it should be?

You could try the workout at  Brainweek.

It’s too late for the offical Brain Week opportunity to grow a bigger brain but you can still do the excercises.

Favourite places


My claim that the Rob Roy Glacier walk in the Matukituki Valley is one of the top 10 day walks in the country, and therefore the world, may be subjective but was reinforced on our last expeditionsix weeks ago.

Previous trips had been in February, January and June. It was even better in November with more snow on the mountain tops and the river full with the early summer thaw.

We also got a reminder of the power of nature – the story boards which used to greet trampers just above the bush line have gone. All that remains is one post, everything else is buried under huge rocks which must have been brought down by an avalanche.

The track had been upgraded since our last visit. My farmer and I both thought it was steeper. We’re blaming an increase in the power of gravity due to climate change which is a kinder explanation than declining fitness.

Chequeing out?


The invitation to a function I was helping to organise gave my name and contact details for replies and address for cheques.

Two people rang to tell me they don’t have cheque accounts and several more emailed asking for a bank account number for direct credits.

It wouldn’t have surprised me if these responses had been from younger people few of whom have cheque books, but some of them came from people my age or older.

I don’t usually carry a cheque book in my handbag as I used to, but do keep one at home for the, admittedly few, occasions when I have to send payment by post.

But this experience suggests that my generation are following younger people in choosing not to use cheques.

January 2 in history


On January 2:

1492  Reconquista: the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrendered.

La rendición de Granada (1882) by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz.
1818 The British Institution of Civil Engineers was founded.
1860  The discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris. 

1871 Amadeus I became King of Spain.

1873 Thérèse de Lisieux, French Roman-Catholic nun, was born (d. 1897).

1896 – Sir Lawrence Wackett, Australian aircraft engineer, was born (d. 1982).

 1938 The first official New Zealand airmail to the United States departed Auckland for San Francisco aboard Pan American Airline’s Samoan Clipper, a Sikorsky S-42B flying boat was piloted by Captain Ed Musick.
First official airmail flight to San Francisco
1947 David Shapiro, American poet, literary critic, and art historian, was born.
1949 Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.

1955  Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon was assassinated.

1959  Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, was launched by the U.S.S.R.

Luna 1

1967 Francois Pienaar, South African rugby player, Sprinbok, was born.

P1010921 FP.jpg

1971 – The second Ibrox disaster killed 66 fans at a Rangers-Celtic football match.


1974  President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve fuel during an OPEC embargo.

1975  Reuben Thorne, New Zealand All Black, was born.

1999  A brutal snowstorm hit the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunged to -13°F (-25°C); 68 deaths were reported

2001 – Sila Calderón became the first female Governor of Puerto Rico.

2002 – Eduardo Duhalde was appointed interim President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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