Riverstone Kitchen gains 2nd Cuisine Award


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


Graupel –  soft or granular snow pellets; soft hail.

Hat Tip: Afternoons

Reminders good and bad


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


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


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


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


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.

Nowhere without the numbers


The names of the people who have led the National Party since it was formed 75 years ago were read out to applause at the conference dinner on Saturday.

The response to one, Don Brash, was at best muted.

Then yesterday, while Prime Minister John Key was delivering his address to enthusiastic applause from more than 600 delegates, Brash was delivering his to a much smaller audience.

There are no certainties in politics. But as leader of the National Party, the biggest in the country and the one with the most MPs,  John Key has a very good chance of getting his policies enacted.

Don Brash isn’t even in parliament and as leader of Act, one of the smallest parties, he has little chance of getting much, if any, of what he espouses enacted.

It doesn’t matter how strongly he believes he is right, and Don Brash, certainly does, he will get nowhere with out the numbers.

August 15 in history


778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland was killed.


927 The Saracens conquered and destroy Taranto.

982  Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna.

1018 Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinded and captured Ibatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.

1040  King Duncan I was killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth.


1057  King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.


1185  The cave city of Vardzia was consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.

1248  The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid. 

1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor.

1309  The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes. 

1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrendered to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II – regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David was exiled.

1534 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.


1599  Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambushed English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1760  Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.

 1769  Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was born (d. 1821).

1771  Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet, was born (d. 1832).


1824 Freed American slaves founded Liberia.

1843  The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii was dedicated. 

1843  Tivoli Gardens amusement park  opened in Copenhagen. 

1869  Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, was born (d. 1941). 

1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War began between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom.


1875 Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, English composer, was born (d. 1912).

1893 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, was born (d. 1950).

1907 Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.


1909  A group of mid-level Greek Army officers launched the Goudi coup, seeking wide-ranging reforms.

 1912  Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)


1912 – Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003).


1914  Julian Carlton, servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, set fire to the living quarters of the architect’s home, Taliesin, and  mudered seven people.

1914 The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.


1924 Robert Bolt, English playwright and screenwriter, was born (d. 1995).

1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff.

1939  13 Stukas dived into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer.

1940  An Italian submarine torpedoed and sank the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbour, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October. 

1941  Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.

1942  Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reached the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.


1944 : Operation Dragoon – Allied forces landed in southern France.


1945  Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrendered. 

In New Zealand VJ Day was celebrated. Sirens immediately sounded, a national ceremony was held, and the local celebrations followed.

The war is over!  VJ Day

1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.

1947  India gained independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth.

1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.

1948 The Republic of Korea was established south of the 38th parallel north.

1950 Princess Anne, Princess Royal, was born.

1951 The troop ship Wahine  was wrecked en route to the Korean War.

Troop ship Wahine wrecked en route to Korean War

1954 Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer, was born (d. 2004).

1954 Alfredo Stroessner began his dictatorship in Paraguay.

1952 A flashflood in Lynmouth,Devon, killed 34 people.

1960  Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.

1961Conrad Schumann fled from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall. 

1962  James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ.

1963 Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.

1963  President Fulbert Youlou was overthrown in the Republic of Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.

1965 – The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.


1968  40,000 people protested in Mexico City against repression.

1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opened.

1971  President Richard Nixon completed the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.

1972 Ben Affleck, American actor, was born.

1973 Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ended.

1974  Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, was killed during an apparent assassination attempt on President Park Chung-hee.

1975  Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and most members of his family were killed during a military coup.

1975 Miki Takeo made the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.


1977  The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University received a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project. 

1984 The PKK in Turkey started a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military

1998  Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.

1999  Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria; some 29 people were killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border.

2007  An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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