Riverstone Kitchen gains 2nd Cuisine Award

August 15, 2011

Riverstone Kitchen was judged first equal in the best casual dining section of Cuisine’s annual restaurant awards.

Riverstone which won the supreme award specialises in superb fresh food – most of which is sourced locally, including fruit and vegetables from its own garden.

If you’re travelling on State Highway 1, it’s about a kilometre south of the Waitaki River and about 20 kilometres north of Oamaru and well worth a stop.

Leave plenty of time to visit the on-site gift store.

Riverstone shared the award with Hamilton’s Palate. The supreme award went to Meredith’s in Auckland.


Word of the day

August 15, 2011

Graupel –  soft or granular snow pellets; soft hail.

Hat Tip: Afternoons


Reminders good and bad

August 15, 2011

My grandfather was nominally a Presbyterian. However, although he rarely attended church he wouldn’t attend the marriage of one of his sons because he was marrying a Catholic.

Last night’s Sunday Theatre Tangiwai was a reminder of the religious bigotry that was common in the 1950s.

The story of Nerissa Love and her fiancée New Zealand cricketer Bob Blair was a moving portrayal of one of our country’s greatest tragedies and it was also a reminder of how good television can be.

If you didn’t see the film last night, the link above will take you to it.

Jacqueline Smith tells the story behind the film here.

The Tangiwai blog is collecting personal stories of the disaster.

NZ History tells the story of the Boxing Day cricket test.


Sun sense

August 15, 2011

Our house is about 80 years old and whoever built it, and others of that era, had no sun sense.

We’ve had a couple of goes at altering it but the living room is still towards the rear of the house. The only sun one side gets is early on mid summer mornings. The other side has a conservatory and gets all day sun in winter.

The two sides are divided by sliding doors which we close at night and on cloudy days to reduce the area the fire in the shady end needs to heat.

I’ve had a fire and heater on all day and by 1pm the temperature in that end of the living room had got to 16.5 degrees. The sun had been at best intermittent. It had come and gone between snow showers most of the morning but by that time had still managed to heat the conservatory end to the same temperature.

We’ve built three house for dairy staff on our farm and each time I’ve taken a compass to the site to ensure the house is orientated to the north.

Higher building standards with better insulation and double glazing make modern houses far more heat efficient than old ones, but making sure they have maximum exposure to the natural heat and light of the sun makes them better still.


Opting out is easy

August 15, 2011

A few, very polite protesters against voluntary student union membership stood at the entry to the National Party’s conference on Saturday.

“We’re not protesting, we just want you to consider our views,” one told me.

One of the justifications for compulsory membership is that those who really don’t want to belong can opt out.

Mydeaology writes about just how easy that is:

It is easy to opt out. All you need to do is:

That’s easy, isn’t it?


Four layer merino day

August 15, 2011

Last night’s post about no snow was premature.

It was snowing when we went to bed and we woke up to a couple of inches on the lawn.

Grass is showing through the snow that’s lying on the paddocks. The sun is trying to shine and there are patches of blue in the sky but dark clouds to the south look ominous and the wind is coming straight from the South Pole.

So far, the wind chill is of more concern than the snow for stock, especially the young.

It’s a four layer merino day- even inside with the fire burning.

I’ll be waiting until it warms up before I prune that rose.


Inertia savings could work

August 15, 2011

If you’re not in Kiwisaver you probably don’t need it, don’t understand it or can’t afford it.

To put it more bluntly – you’re too rich, too stupid or too poor.

Kiwisaver is a generous scheme and anyone who isn’t making good provision for their retirement and has even a little spare money each week is by-passing a relatively painless way to be much better-off in their later years.

The scheme has had a better than expected take-up but there are still a good number of people who either didn’t enrol, or who were enrolled and opted out.

All new workers are automatically enrolled and have to opt-out if they don’t want to stay in. National is considering extending automatic enrolment to all workers.

The idea behind this is that if people had to opt-out inertia would capture a good number of those who hadn’t got round to enrolling.

It’s not compulsory saving because people could choose to leave, but just as many haven’t got round to opting in, at least some wouldn’t get round to opting out.


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