Word of the day

December 31, 2011

Hogmanay -the eve of New Year’s Day; a present requested or given on this day.


Sunshine in the south

December 31, 2011

People in Tuaranga, Wellington and Nelson and other damp spots might not appreciate this but West Coast and  southern South Island are bathed in sunshine.

Wherever you are and how ever you’re celebrating the end to 2011 I hope you do it well and that 2012 treats you kindly.


Satruday’s smiles

December 31, 2011

A farmer’s wife, who was rather stingy with her whisky, was giving her shepherd a drink.

As she handed him his glass, she said it was extra good whisky, being fourteen years old.

“Weel, mistress,” said the shepherd regarding his glass sorrowfully, “It’s very small for its age.”


Friday’s answers on Saturday

December 31, 2011

Thursday’s questions on Friday were:

1. Am I the only one who finds it hard to keep track of the days this week?

2. What was your most interesting Christmas present (not necessarily this year).

3. It’s vacances in French,  vacanza in Italian, vacación in Spanish and haratei in Maori, what is it in English?

4. If you could choose anywhere in the world to have a summer holiday where would it be?

5. Have you had time to read this week and if so what?

Points for answers:

In the spirit of the season and because there were no wrong answers for four of the five questions, everyone gets an electronic bag of shortbread for Hogmanay.

(And yes thank you, Deborah, I’m having a wonderful week combining enough exercise to feel virtuous and sufficient reading to relax with fun with family and friends.)

 

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


If you’re making New Year resolutions . . .

December 31, 2011

. . . Regrets of the dying might help you decide what to resolve to do and not do:

After working in palliative care Bronnie Ware came up with five things many people who were dying wished:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

As Barking Up the Wrong Tree says: To them, these were regrets. For us, maybe the above can be a checklist of what not to do.

And for advice on how to make resolutions you’re more likely to keep, I read on a website I can no longer find * that it’s better to resolve to be better than to be good.

From memory, the theory behind this was that even a tiny, wee bit better is still an improvement and therefore something to celebrate whereas being good is more an absolute which is much harder to achieve.

* Don’t you hate it when that happens? Memo to self, resolve to keep record of useful websites so can find them again.


Citizens stepping forward – updated

December 31, 2011

Artist Ralph Hotere has been appointed to the Order of New Zealand, the country’s top honour.

“I am very pleased to accept this honour and I was particularly moved by the letter that I received from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Mr John Key.   

 “He spoke of our nation . . . relying on citizens from all walks of life stepping forward, helping others, seeking new ways of doing things, and reaching for their dreams. He also spoke of enriching the lives of others. I am deeply moved,”  Hotere said.  

That captures exactly what the honours are for, recognising the people who step forward.

One of those is Malcolm Farry who has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Merit for his work as chair of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and many years of service in other areas including chair of the fundraising committee for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and:

. . . his decade as chairman of the Otago Youth Wellness Trust, from 1996 to 2006. The trust is a free, community-based service that supports 11- to 18-year-olds      with social workers, mentoring, educational support and health services liaison and information.   

The “wrap-around” service was one of the first to achieve a “high-trust” contract with the Government, heralding a new way of working with the community sector. 

Max Smith has been awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rowing.

Smith, of Waipara, North Canterbury, was Ministry of Works project manager in Twizel, and pushed to retain the Mackenzie Country town and created Lake Ruataniwha at the completion of the Upper Waitaki power scheme.

It is not just tthe sport, but the town which owes so much to him. Twizel might well have died had it not been for Lake Ruataniwha.

Ian Taylor will be  a Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to business and television.

Among others in the list announced today were:

Dr Ralph Allen, who led the work to establish the Orokonui Ecosanctuary has been awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to conservation, and Struan Munro who earned his QSM for service to local body affairs and the community.

Struan was a long-serving Waitaki District Councillor and has given years of service in community activities and farming in the Waitaki Valley.

Graham Henry has been knighted not just for coaching the All blacks to World Cup victory but for his contribution to the sport over many years.

Suzie Moncrieff, who founded World of Wearable Art, and business woman Rosanne Meo will be Dames.

UPDATE:

The full list is here.


Let principals and boards do what they do best

December 31, 2011

Quote of the day:

Principals and boards already have a mass of responsibilities so why do they also need to manage property portfolios that must, at some schools, be worth a fortune? It would not get schools out of the chore of fundraising, of course, but it would mean professional property managers could do what they do best, while the principals and boards focus on the role of teaching kids. Joanne Black discussing private-public partnerships in the Listener (not yet on-line).


December 31 in history

December 31, 2011

400  Vandals, Alans and Suebians crossed the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gaul.

1229  James I of Aragon the Conqueror entered Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma) consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Majorca.

1491 – Jacques Cartier, French explorer, was born (d. 1557)

1599  The British East India Company was chartered.

1687– The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.

1695 A window tax was imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.

1720 Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the British throne, was born  (d. 1788).

1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and started brewing Guinness.

1853 Sir George Grey left New Zealand after finishing his first  term as Governor.

Grey leaves NZ after first term as Governor
1857 Queen Victoria chose Ottawa, as the capital of Canada.
1869 Henri Matisse, French painter, was born (d. 1954).
1878  Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman, was born (d. 1966).

1879 Thomas Edison demonstrated incandescent lighting to the public for the first time.

1904 The first New Year’s Eve celebration was held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in New York.

1908  Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian Holocaust survivor, was born (d. 2005).

1909  Manhattan Bridge opened.

1923 The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

1937 Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor, was born.

1941 – Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish football manager, was born.

1943 John Denver, American singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1997).

1943 Sir Ben Kingsley, English actor was born.

1943  Pete Quaife, English bassist (The Kinks) was born.

1946 President Harry Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

1951 The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $13.3 billion USD in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

1955  The General Motors Corporation became the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion USD in a year.

1960 The farthing coin ceased to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.

1963  The Central African Federation officially collapsed and split into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.

1965  Nicholas Sparks, American author, was born.

1980 – Richie McCaw, All Black captain, was born.

Richie McCaw 2011.jpg

1983 – The AT&T Bell System was broken up by the United States Government.

1991  All official Soviet Union institutions ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union was officially dissolved.

1992 Czechoslovakia was dissolved, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1998  The European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the values of the legacy currencies in the Eurozone, and established the value of the euro currency.

1999  Boris Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.

1999 – The United States Government handed control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

2004  The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 ft).

2007 –  Bocaue Fire: Seven people were injured when a fire resulted in the explosion of several fireworks stores in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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