Some hae meat

25/01/2011

It’s Robbie Burns’ birthday.

My father, who came from Dundee, was often called on to address the haggis on Burns night, a task he did with great relish.

While enjoying the words and music, I didn’t share his enthusiasm for the feast. In spite of my tartan genes I’ve never acquired a taste for haggis or whisky but if you’ve a mind to celebrate the BBC has instructions for a Burns Night Supper which will include the Selkirk Grace:

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat and we can eat,

And sae the Lord be thankit.

For something a little lighter but still in the spirit of the day:

 An MP was being shown around a hospital. At the end of his visit, she was shown into a ward with a number of patients who show no obvious signs of injury.

She went to speak to the first patient and the man proclaimed, ‘Fair fa’ yer honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race!’

The MP, somewhat taken aback, went to the next patient, and immediately the patient launched into, ‘Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it.’

That continued with the next patient, ‘Wee sleekit cow’rin tim’rous beastie, O what a panic’s in thy breastie!’

‘Well,’ the MP said to the manger accompanying her, I see you’ve saved the psychiatric ward to the end.’

‘Och no,’ the manager corrected her, ‘this is the serious Burns unit.’


Which is the real Goff?

25/01/2011

During discussions on politics from the right and left  on Nine to Noon yesterday, Mike Williams said:

. . . the problem I think at the moment for Phil  is that  he’s kind of one dimensional. You know I can name both of John Key’s kids for example but I can’t tell you the names of Phil Goff’s kids. You’ve got to get him more three dimensional . . .

Politics is very hard on families and if they choose to keep out of public gaze the public, and the media, should respect that choice. Although it does seem a  bit strange that a former Labour Party president doesn’t know at least the names of the leader’s children.

But the more damning observation came from Matthew Hooton:

You could argue that Phil Goff is incredibly multi-dimensional. He starts out as a Vietnam activist then he becomes Roger Douglas’s chief lieutenant; then he’s Helen Clark’s foreign Minister and now he’s wanting to reposition the Labour party to the left . . .

The problem isn’t that Goff doesn’t have enough dimensions, it’s that we don’t know which is the real one.

There’s the long-haired anti-war student.

There’s the lawyer  Political Studies lecturer and union organiser.

There’s the Cabinet Minister from 1984 – 1990 who supported, and helped implement, Roger Douglas’s policies.

There’s the MP who in opposition and then government kept talking about the “failed” policies of the 80s and 90s.

There’s the Cabinet Minister in the 1999 – 2008 government that changed some, but not many, of those policies and introduced nanny-state legislation.

And now there’s the party leader who’s apologised for getting that wrong.

There’s a fine line between being a man for all seasons and being one who shifts with the wind.

Which is the real Goff and which will be delivering his state of the nation address today?


Bad day in Government beats best in Opposition

25/01/2011

Prime Minister John Key gave a very strong message  at Ratana yesterday:

“I say to the critics what can you achieve from opposition, and the answer is nothing. You achieve things when you are part of the solution not when you are solely carping on about the problems,”

It was directed at Maori Party MP Hone Harawira but could also apply to the Ratana church which traditionally supports Labour.

The links between the Ratana movement and Labour go back a long way. But that isn’t necessarily the best way to operate now, especially under MMP when smaller parties can have greater influence.

Governments work with all sorts of groups irrespective of their political allegiance. But non-political groups which support one party risk being taken for granted by that party and are less likely to achieve much when that party isn’t in power.

It’s a well worn political phrase that a bad day in Government beats the best in Opposition. That’s where the power lies and where the ability to make positive changes.

It’s better for minor parties to achieve some of their aims in Government even if they don’t support all its policies than to achieve nothing in Opposition.

It’s better for groups other than political parties to keep their options open and work with those in power to advance their cause.


January 25 in history

25/01/2011

41 Claudius was accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate.

1327 Edward III becomes King of England.

1494 Alfonso II becomes King of Naples.

1533 Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn.

1554  Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

          

1627  Robert Boyle, Irish chemist, was born (d. 1691).

1755 Moscow University established on Tatiana Day.

1759 Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born   (d. 1796).

 

1791 The British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act of 1791 and split the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.

1792 The London Corresponding Society  was founded.

1796 William MacGillivray, Scottish naturalist and ornithologist, was born  (d. 1852).

1841 Jackie Fisher, British First Sea Lord, was born  (d. 1920).

Fisher&Churchill.jpg

1858 The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn became a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia.

1873 Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana was born.

1874  W. Somerset Maugham, English writer, was born (d. 1965).

1879  The Bulgarian National Bank was founded.

Coat of Arms of the Bulgarian National Bank

1881Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company.

1882 Virginia Woolf, English writer, was born  (d. 1941).

1890  Nellie Bly completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1909 Richard Strauss‘ opera Elektra received its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.

Strauss3.jpg

1915  Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1918 The Ukrainian people declared independence from Bolshevik Russia.

  

1919 The League of Nations was founded.

1924 The first Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix.

I Olympic Winter Games

1942 : Thailand declared war on the United States and United Kingdom.

1945 World War II: Battle of the Bulge ended.

Battle of the Bulge.jpgAmerican soldiers of the 75th Division photographed in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.

1949  The first Emmy Awards were presented.

1954 Richard Finch, American bass player (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1955 Terry Chimes, English musician (The Clash), was born.

1960 The National Association of Broadcasters reacted to the Payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records.

1961 John F. Kennedy delivered the first live presidential television news conference.

1971 – Idi Amin led a coup deposing Milton Obote and became Uganda’s president.

1974 Dick Taylor won the 10,000 metre race on the first day of competitions at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games.

First day of competition at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games

 1981 Jiang Qing, the widow of Mao Zedong, was sentenced to death.

1986 The National Resistance Movement toppled the government of Tito Okello in Uganda.

1990 The Burns’ Day storm hits northwestern Europe.

1994 The Clementine space probe launched.

Clementine

1995 The Norwegian Rocket Incident: Russia almost launched a nuclear attack after it mistook Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.

1996 Billy Bailey became the last person to be hanged in the United States of America.

1999 A 6.0 Richter scale earthquake hit western Colombia killing at least 1,000.

2004 Opportunity rover (MER-B) landed on surface of Mars.

NASA Mars Rover.jpg

2005 A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi in India kills at least 258.

2006 Three independent observing campaigns announced the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star.

OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb.jpg

2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on-board.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

24/01/2011

Malefaction –  criminal, evil doer; evil doing.


Great grandmother hearth brush heroine

24/01/2011

You wouldn’t normally expect a hearth brush to beat  a samurai sword in an altercation, especially when the brush was being wielded by an elderly woman with health problems:

 A Christchurch great-grandmother saved a woman from being attacked with a samurai sword by hitting the attacker with a plastic brush.

Lois Kennedy, 81, has been praised for her bravery by police, who said she may have saved the victim’s life. . .

Kennedy – who has severely impaired vision, asthma and walks with a frame – was woken by the sound of a neighbour calling her name.

“It was awful. I was in bed and I heard her calling for help so, as you do, I went out there and all I could manage to see was this mass on the footpath. So I went whacking with my hearth brush,” she said.

That’s what you call a great Great Gran.


Who?

24/01/2011

The open secret is no longer secret:

The ‘celebrity’ charged with disorderly behaviour after an incident in central Auckland in December can now be named after name suppression was lifted at a court hearing this morning.

Sports broadcaster Martin Devlin, 46, was arrested on the morning of December 29 after sitting on the bonnet of his and his wife’s car on Quay Street.

He issued a statement:

I have no problem in admitting that I behaved like a right plum that morning on Quay Street. . .

I sought name suppression in an effort to try and protect my children from being identified and embarrassed by my behaviour.

Obviously the only effective way to prevent that was not to do it in the first place.

Quite.

And had he not sought name suppression the whole thing would have been done and dusted the day it happened.

What he did is between him and his family, the attempt at suppression made it news.


Did you see the one about

24/01/2011

Coalition of losers – Graeme Edgler the Legal Beagle at Public Address on the second place getter leading a government. Chris Trotter responds to this post with Dangerous Falsehoods  at Bowalley Road.

Changing or not – Progressive Turmoil on why procrastination isn’t always wrong.

Baby boomers lift share of job market: David Chaston at Interest.co.nz with stats and graphs on employment and population trends.

Book Aid International – A Cat of Impossible Colour reminds me not to take access to books for granted.



I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore Quote Unquote maps the USA states’ economic status.

Here they come again Morry Myna’s cartoon on the coming year.

Bedouin bush mechanics – Around the World’s desert adventures.


Spam attack

24/01/2011

Twenty or 30 spam comments a day aren’t unusual but yesterday I got more than 100 and there’s already been 305 today.

When there’s only a few comments in the spam folder I do a quick check before deleting, when there’s this many I don’t.

If you’ve left a comment which hasn’t been published you’ll need to try again without links which is what usually marks genuine comments as spam.


Where are the highest and lowest fuel prices?

24/01/2011

Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock spotted unleaded 91 petrol selling for $2.00.9  a litre at BP in W(h)anganui last week.

BP & Caltex in Wanaka were both selling unleaded 91 for $2.07.9 at the weekend.

Is this the range of fuel prices in the country or are they higher and lower in other places?


4/10

24/01/2011

Can I take a mere 4/10 in the NZ Herald news quiz as a good sign meaning I”m still in holiday mode?

P.S. For those who subscribe to the theory you should go with your first choice when you’re unsure, I’d have got 7/10 if I’d done that.


January 24 in history

24/01/2011

On January 24:

41 Gaius Caesar (Caligula), known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, was assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. Claudius succeeded his nephew.

76 – Hadrian, Roman Emperor, was born (d. 138).

Bust Hadrian Musei Capitolini MC817.jpg

1670  William Congreve, English playwright, was born (d. 1729).

1679 – King Charles II disbanded Parliament.

1742 – Charles VII Albert became Holy Roman Emperor.

1848 – California Gold Rush: James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento.

1857 The University of Calcutta was formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia.

1859  Political union of Moldavia and Wallachia; Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as ruler.

Alexander Ioan Cuza.jpg

1862  Bucharest proclaimed capital of Romania.

             

1864 Marguerite Durand, French feminist leader, was born (d. 1936).

1865 General Cameron left Wanganui with 1200 Imperial troops to invade southern Taranaki.

Imperial forces invade South Taranaki
1872 Ethel Turner, Australian author, was born (d. 1958).
SevenLittleAustralians16thEdnCvr.jpg

1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the federal income tax constitutional.

1924 –Petrograd, formerly Saint Petersburg, was renamed Leningrad.

1928 Desmond Morris, British anthropologist, was born.

1930 – Bernard Matthews, British poultry industry figure , was born (d. 2010).

1941 Neil Diamond, American singer, was born.

1952 Vincent Massey was sworn in as the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada.

1957 Adrian Edmondson, English comedian, was born.

Adrian Edmondson.jpg

1961 – 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs broke up in mid-air over North Carolina. One weapon nearly detonated.

1972 Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II.

Shoichi Yokoi cropped.jpg

1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, during the Spanish transition to democracy.

1978 Soviet satellite Cosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor onboard, burnt up in Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories.
 
1984 The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.
A screenshot of the original Mac OS. See caption. The original 1984 Mac OS desktop featured a radically new graphical user interface. Users communicated with the computer not through abstract lines of code  but rather using a metaphorical desktop. that included items that the user was already familiar with.

1986 Voyager 2 passed within 81,500 km (50,680 miles) of Uranus.

Voyager.jpg

2003 The United States Department of Homeland Security officially began operation.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

23/01/2011

Banausic –  mundane, routine, common, ordinary, undistinguished; dull and insipid.


Wrong comparison misses real story

23/01/2011

You’d be forgiven if you imagined our MPs lived in a different world, writes Rob Stock.

That’s the opening statement of a Sunday Star Times story (not online) headlined A peek at how the other half lives.

It looks at likely policy initiatives this year and then says:

Examples of that kind of whack in the wallet came last year when working parents of young chidlren were told they would have to absorb the rising costs of pre-school childcare after the government cut funding to the sector by $449 million, and many feel that GST hikes left them worse off.

Whack in the wallet is a wonderfully emotive term and Stock makes no mention of the tax cuts and one-off increases to benefits which offset the GST increase.

While it would be foolish to expect the average MP to be on a par financially with the average person, the average man or woman in the street could be forgiven for thinking the parliamentarians making the decisions that hit their wallets live in a different world when it comes to personal finances.

And certainly, the 122 men and women occupying seats in parliament have a different financial profile from the average man or woman.

Stock then takes the 2010 register of parliamentarians pecuniary interests as a guide and says:

Though the register is now dated, it provides a view into the personal wealth themes among MPs, and allows readers to contrast parliamentarians fortunes with their own.

Passing over wealth themes whatever they might be, the inference from all this is that there is something wrong, on the contrary it shows there is something right.

It indicates that many of the people who govern us had successful careers before entering parliament and that they invested wisely. Rather than being something to envy, it’s something which ought to give us reassurance. If they know how to earn, and look after, their own money they are more likely to take a responsible attitude to policies which impact on ours.

It is meaningless to compare MPs’ salaries and assets with those of the average working-age person because the average person doesn’t have the work load and responsibilities of most MPs. (I say most because there could be the odd list MP who does little to earn his/her salary and I specify list because any electorate MP who doesn’t more than earn his/her salary loses his/her seat).

Stock has made the wrong comparison and missed the real story.

A more meaningful comparison would be between MPs and people who run their own businesses or have senior management or governance roles.

A much more interesting, and useful, story would compare what MPs earned before they got into parliament with what they get as an MP.

An even more fascinating story would show how many, and  from which party, took an income hit when they entered parliament; how many earn more as an MP than they did before and how many earn more afterwards.

Those comparisons would give us the real story.


The value of reputation

23/01/2011

Quote of the week from Jacqueline Rowarth in the print edition of the NBR:

New Zealand exports don’t necessarily have to increase in quantity to grow in value but growing in value through price means maintaining and improving reputation and that will take national support. It is word of mouth that has greatest impact at purchase time.

The ability of individual New Zealanders to afford the price of imported goods, including food, depends on that word being a good one. Food prices are on the increase – but so is the household income and that is because of exports . . .

It won’t be easy to appreciate the increase in the price of meat, fish, dairy produce and other foods we export when you’re at the supermarket.

But higher prices for locally produced food in the domestic market is because we’re getting more for them in overseas markets. That helps strengthen our economy which enables us to pay for imports and provides not just jobs but better paid ones.

Exporters complain about the high dollar, but consumers should be glad of it. The stronger kiwi dollar reduces the cost of imports including many food items, health products, vehicles and fuel.


Time to spend or save?

23/01/2011

Finance Minister Bill English has been quite clear – there is no money for an election year spend-up.

Prime Minister John Key is equally sure that tax and spend policies aren’t what the country needs. The message in an exclusive interview with the NBR  he reinforces that message:

An even tighter rein on new spending than the current $1.1 billion cap is likely over the next few years, Prime Minister John Key says.

A much more aggressive approach to lowering New Zealand’s high national debt levels appears to be under way, with an emphasis on getting government spending under more control as well as on pushing greater private savings. . .

 Mr Key said that as the economy recovers this year there is room to push harder on lowering government spending as a proportion of the economy.

Contrast that with Labour. The first policy announcement for the year came from Annette King who promised to extend paid parental leave and  increase Working for Families’ payments.

How can a party which wants to be taken  seriously ignore the need to reduce government spending? And why would a party which purports to represent poorer people start the year with policies most likely to benefit middle and upper income earners?

If ever there was an election when the party which plays Scrooge is likely to benefit it is this one.

When households are spending less and saving more they’re hardly likely to be receptive to a party which shows itself unwilling to demonstrate similar restraint.


January 23 in history

23/01/2011

On January 23:

971 In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han were soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The Southern Han state was forced to submit to the Song Dynasty, ending not only Southern Han rule, but also the first regular war elephant corps employed in a Chinese army that had gained the Southern Han victories throughout the 10th century.

1368  Zhu Yuanzhang ascended to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that lasted for three centuries.

1510  Henry VIII, then 18 years old, appeared incognito in the lists at Richmond, and was applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.

1556 The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hit Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.

1570  The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray threw Scotland into civil war.

1571 The Royal Exchange opened in London.

1579 The Union of Utrecht formed a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.

 

1656 Blaise Pascal published the first of his Lettres provinciales.

1719 The Principality of Liechtenstein was created within the Holy Roman Empire.

   

1789  Georgetown College, the first Roman Catholic college in the United States, was founded.

1793 Second Partition of Poland: Russia and Prussia partitioned Poland for the second time.

  Poland after the Second Partition (1793).

1813 Camilla Collett, Norwegian writer and feminist, was born  (d. 1895).

 
1832  Edouard Manet, French artist, was born (d. 1883).

1849  Elizabeth Blackwell the USA’s first female doctor, was awarded her M.D. by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York.

1855 John Moses Browning, American inventor, was born (d. 1926).

JohnBrowning.jpeg

1855 A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit the Welington region.

Massive earthquake hits Wellington region

1855  The first bridge over the Mississippi River opened.

1870 U.S. cavalrymen killed 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.

1897  Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Canadian soldier, W.W.II codename, Intrepid. Inspiration for James Bond., was born (d. 1989).

1897 Elva Zona Heaster was found dead.The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.

 

1899 Emilio Aguinaldo was sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.

1904 Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund was devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead.

 Ålesund in 1900 before the fire

1907 Charles Curtis of Kansas became the first Native American U.S. Senator.

1912 The International Opium Convention was signed at The Hague.

1920  The Netherlands refused to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.

1943 Troops of Montgomery‘s 8th Army captured Tripoli from the German-Italian Panzer Army.

1943  World War II: Australian and American forces defeated the Japanese army in Papua. This turning point in the Pacific War marked the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression.

1943 Duke Ellington played at Carnegie Hall  for the first time.

1948  Anita Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1950 – The Knesset passed a resolution that stated Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

1951 Yachts left Wellington bound for Lyttelton in an ocean yacht race to celebrate Canterbury’s centenary.  Only one, Tawhiri, officially finished the race. Two other yachts, Husky and Argo, were lost along with their 10 crew members.

Disastrous centennial yacht race begins
 
1951  Chesley Sullenberger, Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, a flight that successfully ditched into the Hudson River, was born.
Chesley Sullenberger honored crop.jpg
1957  Princess Caroline of Monaco, was born.
 
1958 Overthrow in Venezuela of Marcos Pérez Jiménez

1960 The bathyscaphe USS Trieste broke a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean.

The bathyscaphe Trieste

1964 The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, was ratified.

1973 President Richard Nixon announced that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.

1973 A volcanic eruption devastated Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.

1985  O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame.

O.J. Simpson 1990 · DN-ST-91-03444 crop.JPEG

1986  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

 

1997 Madeleine Albright became the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.

2003 Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10

Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gifArtist’s Concept of Jupiter Encounter

2009 Dendermonde nursery attack in Dendermonde, Belgium.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

22/01/2011

Macaronic – muddled or mixed up;  

                         – text spoken or written using a mixture of languages, sometimes including bilingual puns, particularly when the languages are used in the same context;

                         – involving or characterised by a mixture of languages; especially burlesque verse in which real or coined words from two or more languages are mixed, or words of a modern language are given Latin case endings and mixed with Latin words;


Losing her head

22/01/2011

The Hay family have been holidaying in Kurow for several years and have always been exemplary visitors.

They’re the sort of quiet, well behaved family you’d hope to find next to you at a camping ground.

But this year Ms Hay lost her head:

The photo was taken on New Year’s eve, the day after the Kurow races so perhaps she’d got carried away at post-race celebrations.

It was a temporary loss of composure, Ms Hay had her head securely back on her shoulders when I passed through Kurow last week:

A photo from the family’s 2010 holiday is here and from the 2009 holiday is here.


Rural round-up

22/01/2011

Optimism prevails despite tough year – Allan Barber at Barbers Meaty Issues writes:

The noises coming from the three meat companies that have declared an annual result to September 2010 are optimistic, although tempered by the knowledge there’s less livestock around this year and farmers need to achieve better profits. The companies with the most reason to be happy are Alliance and AFFCO who have both posted solid profits and reduced debt, as well as increasing their share of EU lamb quota.

Chicory and plantain downunder in New Zealand – Pasture to Profit posts:

I’m in very dry New Zealand awaiting the arrival of my French Discussion group from Brittany.(very impressed with the exciting range of milk products in the supermarkets..much bigger range than when I last visited NZ).

NZ has had very little rain (unlike the poor farming souls in Queensland Australia who are getting floods that are up to 15metres high!!) so since November the dairy farms have struggled for grass.This photo is of Neil & Barbara McLeans farm just north of Hamilton in the Waikato..the cows are getting some pasture plus Barkant turnips. . .

The global dairy industry – who’s to know? Dr Jon Hauser at Xcheque writes:

At a meeting with a client earlier this week I was issued with a “Please Explain”. As something of a market skeptic I have been banging on about EU and US milk production growth and that this was all likely to end in tears. I was looking good up to the end of December – US butter and cheese prices had dropped from October to December, the corresponding futures were ordinary and the EU market was flatlining – the correction was underway.

Then in the first week of January the Fonterra Auction went north and the US dairy futures market followed soon after . . .

Giving up not an option – Sandra Taylor writes in Country Wide:

Determination and tenacity are qualities Bryan Harris has in spades.

Which is just as well, as without them Harris Meats would never have grown beyond a butcher’s shop on the main street of the small North Canterbury town of Cheviot to be the highly regarded abattoir, processing and retailing business it is today. . .

Western Waikato wordsmith Mike Bland in Country Wide:

Waikato farmer Wallace Knight has been playing with words since he was “old enough to pick up a raddle”.

Now living on a 60ha drystock block just outside Te Kowhai, west of Hamilton, Knight has just issued his first book, called Friar Tuck is a Spoonerism.

Laced with humour, the book is a collection of poems written in the past 40 years. It has a distinct rural flavour and while most of the poems are about people not places, much of the inspiration came from the western Waikato district where Knight was  raised. . .


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