Word of the day


Renitent – resistant to physical pressure or compulsion; recalcitrant; unyielding.



7/10 in the NZ Herald travel quiz.

Could I have a bonus point for having been to Gibraltar and also having read Scruffy, Paul Gallico’s book which is set there?

Women on land writing competition


Rural Women is inviting entries for its Women on the Land writing competition.

South Canterbury members of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are producing an antholoby with the theme “Women on the Land”, and are running a competition to find winning pieces to include. 

“We’re looking for stories and poems about the pioneering women who shaped our land as well as the farming women of today,” says Margaret Chapman, RWNZ’s South Canterbury Provincial President.

“The anthology is a special way to recognise and record the lives of these women and their valuable contribution to the rich tapestry of rural life.   

“We’d like writing about how the women felt, how they coped and what gave them the courage, determination and inspiration to do what they did and continue to do,” says Chapman.

The nationwide competition is open to both men and women.  The entries (which may include works of fiction as well as non-fiction and poetry) will be judged, with first, second and third prizes of $500, $250 and $100. 

Entries close on August 21st. Entry forms are here.

Just wondering . . .


 . . . why manufacturers put pills in a big bottle and stuff it with cotton wool rather than putting the pills in a smaller bottle?



7/10 in the Herald’s Question Time.

Broadband helps arrest rural decline


Getting broadband into rural areas could help arrest the urban population drift,  findings from a recent survey conducted by Professor Geoff Kearsley from Otago University’s Department of Media, Film and Communication, show.

The survey was carried out in the Maniototo and North Otago and showed that the Internet was essential for a number of businesses and provided some level of business support and employment opportunities for most respondents.

Small businesses associated with the Central Otago Rail Trail and other tourism ventures were particularly dependent on the Internet and most farmers made significant use of it as well.

The study also notes that longer term residents in the Maniototo and North Otago had seen the loss of downgrading of local services such as banks and post offices.

“However, significant numbers said that many of these services had been replaced by online facilities and, for many, the service was as good or better,” says Professor Kearsley.

That tallies with our experience. We use the internet for most of our banking and a good deal of billing and payments, research and communication. It’s now a vital part of running our business.

Nearly everyone said that they wanted to be able to continue to live in the district and, although only ten percent said that the Internet was an essential part of making that possible, around two thirds saw Internet access as contributing to their ability to stay.

“It is clear that even with slow and unreliable access, the Internet is playing an important part in rural people’s lives,” says Professor Kearsley.

“The Internet has enhanced their social lives, created and enhanced business opportunities, replaced lost services and is helping rural people to stay where they would most like to live. One or two people have even been able to go and live in the country because of broadband facilities.

“When ultra-fast broadband becomes available to all rural households, then these benefits are likely to be greatly enhanced.”

We’ve got broadband which works at a similar speed as mobile using a T-stick. It’s considerably better than dial-up but a long way from ultra-fast. Improved speed and connectivity would make a big difference.

Attitude matters – Conor English


Quote of the week from Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English:

If we want to remain a first world country, someone has to make some money somewhere in this country to pay the bills. The attitudes of those who contribute to make that money, and of others towards them, is critical. Wealth creators are like children – there is no future without them. Everyone has their part to play, but someone has to start the money go round.

A first world country has first world services, infrastructure and environment.

But it needs first world incomes to sustain them.

The motivation for economic growth isn’t wealth for its own sake but for what can be achieved with it and that depends on successful individuals and businesses.

New Zealanders usually have no trouble appreciating sporting success but we’re not nearly as good at appreciating the hard work and skills required for financial success.

We need a change of attitude from envy and suspicion to appreciation and aspiration.

July 10 in history


48 BC Battle of Dyrrhachium: Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.

988 The city of Dublin was founded on the banks of the river Liffey.


1212 The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground.

 1452  King James III of Scotland  was born (d. 1488).

1460 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick defeated  the king’s Lancastrian forces and took King Henry VI prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.

1499  Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returned to Lisbon, after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama.

1509  John Calvin, French religious reformer, was born  (d. 1564).


1553 Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England.

1584 William I of Orange was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard.


1645  English Civil War: The Battle of Langport.

1778 American Revolution: Louis XVI of France  declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1789 Alexander Mackenzie reached the Mackenzie River delta.

1802 Robert Chambers, Scottish author and naturalist, was born  (d. 1871).

1804  – Emma Smith, Inaugural President of the Women’s Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born (d. 1879).


1806 The Vellore Mutiny, the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company.

1821 The United States took possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain.

1830 Camille Pissarro, French painter, was born  (d. 1903).

1850  Millard Fillmore was inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States.

1859 Big Ben rang for the first time.


 1864  Austin Chapman, Australian policitian, was born (d. 1926).

1871  Marcel Proust, French writer, was born (d. 1922).


1875  Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, was born (d. 1955).

1903 John Wyndham, British author, was born (d. 1969).

First edition hardback cover

1909 Donald Sinclair, British hotel manager, inspiration for Fawlty Towers, was born  (d. 1981).

1913  Death Valley, California hit 134 °F (~56.7 °C), the highest temperature recorded in the United States.


1921 Belfast’s Bloody Sunday: 16 people were killed and 161 houses destroyed during rioting and gun battles in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1921 Harvey Ball, American commercial artist, was born (d. 2001).


1925 Meher Baba began his silence of 44 years. His followers observe Silence Day on this date in commemoration.

1925 Scopes Trial: The so-called “Monkey Trial” began with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.


1931 Alice Munro, Canadian writer, was born.

Too Much Happiness cover.jpg

1938  Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91 hour flight around the world.

1940 Tom Farmer, Scottish entrepreneur, was born.

1940 World War II: the Vichy government is established in France.

1940  World War II: Battle of Britain – The German Luftwaffe began attacking British convoys in the English Channel thus starting the battle (this start date is contested).


1941 Jedwabne Pogrom: the massacre of Jewish people living in and near the village of Jedwabne in Poland.

1943 World War II: The launching of Operation Husky began the Italian Campaign.

1947 Arlo Guthrie, American musician, was born.

1947  Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was recommended as the first Governor General of Pakistan by then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Clement Attlee.

1951 Korean War: Armistice negotiations began.

1954 Neil Tennant, British musician (Pet Shop Boys), was born.

1962  Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.


1966 The Chicago Freedom Movement, lead by Martin Luther King, held a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

1967 New Zealand adpoted decimal currency.

NZ adopts decimal currency

1968 Maurice Couve de Murville became Prime Minister of France.

1973  The Bahamas gained full independence within the Commonwealth of Nations.

1973 – National Assembly of Pakistan passed a resolution on the recognition of Bangladesh.

1971  King Hassan II of Morocco survived an attempted coup d’etat, which lasts until June 11.

1976 The Seveso disaster in Italy.

1976   One American and three British mercenaries were executed in Angola following the Luanda Trial.

1978  President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania was ousted in a bloodless coup d’état.

1980 Alexandra Palace burned down for a second time.


1985  Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sank in Auckland harbour.

Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland harbour

1991 Boris Yeltsin began his 5-year term as the first elected President of Russia.

1991  The South African cricket team was readmitted into the International Cricket Council following the end of Apartheid.

1992 In Miami, Florida, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.

1997 Scientists reported the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supported the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

1997 – Partido Popular (Spain) member Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped in the Basque city of Ermua by ETA members, sparking widespread protests.


1998 The Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.

2000 A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.

2000  EADS, the world’s second-largest aerospace group is formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra, DASA, and CASA.

EADS logo.svg

2002  At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting The Massacre of the Innocents sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Thomson.


2003 A bus collided with a truck, fell off a bridge on Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong, and plunged into the underlying valley, killing 21 people.

2005  Hurricane Dennis slams into the Florida Panhandle, causing billions of dollars in damage.


2006 Pakistan International Flight PK-688 crashes in Multan, Pakistan, shortly after takeoff, killing all 45 people on board.

2008  Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges by a United Nations Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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