Word of the day


Repine – feel or express discontent or gloom; be in low spirits or brooding; complain, fret; long for or yearn after something.

Rural round-up


Snow records tell own story – Tim Fulton:

You often hear claims about the biggest snowfall in decades.

This week’s weather in Canterbury led to a study that puts the term “big snow” in context.

The Canterbury snow of June 12, 2006, tagged the Big Chill at the time, egged electricity lines company Orion into some historical homework.

Snow depths in areas north of the Rakaia River were not unprecedented, NIWA reported in work on Orion’s behalf.

Comparing six Canterbury storms, NIWA said the covering in areas north of the Rakaia was similar to the 1973 storm although the 2006 blast did produce pockets of significantly deeper snow west of Darfield and towards the foothills. That rolling country experienced conditions more similar to the 1945 storm. . .

Chinese demand drives kiwi sales – Richard Rennie:

Positive Asian market prospects are providing a bright start for the kiwifruit export season, after the industry grappled with the Psa disease and Chinese import issues last year.

Zespri’s manager for grower and government relations Simon Limmer has spent several weeks in Asian markets and has returned buoyed by prospects.

The limited volumes of gold fruit available for export this season created some supply tension, with growth strong in the established Chinese eastern seaboard region, he said. . .

Attitude change encouraging – Tim Cronshaw:

New Zealand agriculture seems to have moved beyond talk of great trade opportunities in Asia to executing ways of making the most of them.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said the agriculture sector had experienced a change of attitude.

“There has been a big change in the tenor of conversations between now and three years ago.

“Three years ago we were talking about opportunity. Now there are a lot more thought leadership forums around the country that are centred around execution and how we unlock those gains. Those sort of shifts are subtle, but I think they are very important as they signal where New Zealand is moving to.” . .

School rolls drop in Psa-afflicted area – Sonya Bateson:

A number of Te Puke school rolls have dropped as orchard workers struggle to find work in the Psa-afflicted area.

Fairhaven School and Rangiuru School said their rolls had dropped in the past year because of the effect Psa had had on kiwifruit orchards. . .

HortNZ president steps down

Horticulture New Zealand president Andrew Fenton is stepping down as president after the group’s annual meeting next month.

Fenton has held the role since HortNZ’s inception in 2005.

He said he was very proud of what HortNZ had achieved over the past eight years and it was now time for new leadership.

“It has been a real team effort and we could not have achieved what we have without the strong support of our grower members,” he said. . .

12 questions: Simon Washer – Sarah Stuart:

Simon Washer, 25, was last week named Rural Bachelor of the Year at Fieldays. He’s a sharemilker on his family farm in south Taranaki and says he needs to find a partner pronto as his cooking is pretty much limited to roasts.

1. So, how many calls, emails, texts, stalkers have you had since winning Rural Bachelor last week?

I had the cellphone in my back pocket when I won and it didn’t stop vibrating for a couple of hours. I’ve now got 80 texts on the cellphone and 180 emails to browse through.

2. Did your mates hassle you about entering?

That’s an understatement.

3. You’re a dairy farmer: are profits booming?

I’ve got the biggest overdraft I’ve ever had as I just started sharemilking this month. My staff and farm expenses get paid on the 20th of every month but I won’t see any income until September. Our company Fonterra is doing a great job and looking after us this year.

4. Your granddad set up the family farm after returning from the war: how much pressure do you feel to make it succeed?

Little to none. I can honestly tell myself each day this industry is what I love doing. The best advice I’ve had from Jim, my granddad, is “Find what you love doing and you’ll never work a day of your life”. I’ll be telling my kids that too. . . .


Saturday smiles


Lessons from snow men/women/people:

Wearing white is always in style.

Getting outside in the winter is good for your health even if it’s just to stand around on your lawn.

We’re all made up of mostly water.

Accessories don’t have to be expensive.

Too much sun is bad for your health, even in winter.

Being a little bottom heavy has its good points, one of which is helping your balance.

You’ve made it when they write a song about you.

If you look down and can’t see your feet, you should probably get more exercise.

Sometimes sweating too much can have disastrous results.

If you need some inspiration for your own snow people, check out Calvin and Hobbes.

Unhappy, unfocused and slap-happy


Trans Tasman’s verdict on Labour:

This is an unhappy, unfocused and slap-happy team.

It’s difficult to disagree with that.



8/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

Though I’m awarding myself a bonus for knowing that in question 4  it’s Jacqui Dean, not Jackie Blue, who chairs the Law and Order select committee.

Growing, growing,


And now for some good news:


None of these growth rates are particularly good in isolation and the recession in the Eurozone is concerning.

But growth in the face of the global financial crisis is encouraging.

New Zealand’s growth rate is particularly good when it’s been achieved in spite of the Canterbury earthquakes and various other natural disasters.

It shows the policies of John Key, Bill English and their team are on the right track.

On solo blogging


Dear Robert,

Every now and then you get your knickers in a knot over what you regard as my failure to react in the way you want to an issue.

The most recent example is over the animal limb found in PKE.

I posted on that  on Thursday,  linking not only to the media release from MPI but a story in Rural News which gave background from Federated Farmers.

Later that day I linked to a media release from Federated Farmers in the Rural Round-Up post, and when you questioned my apparent lack of interest at 10:45pm by copying the whole release I responded when I saw it at 7:15am next morning:

That’s the media release I linked to in the post above and of course I’m concerned about FMD. Any New Zealander who isn’t doesn’t understand how serious it would be if it came here.

I didn’t respond to your other comments yesterday because I didn’t have the opportunity.

That’s what happens sometimes when you’re a solo blogger.

New posts appearing doesn’t mean I’m sitting at my computer. I usually write most posts in the evening and time them to publish throughout the following day.

As it happened I’ve been having one of those fortnights this week dealing with the impact of the weather (including leaks inside), major alterations (builders, painters, fire installers), a major mouse invasion requiring extensive and time consuming cleaning,  and travelling – to Christchurch then Wellington  on Tuesday (for a meeting all day Wednesday) then Havelock North (for a funeral on Thursday), then Townsville yesterday (to visit my brother and his family while my farmer copes with the snow and rain at home).

Call me paranoid if you will, but I rarely mention when I’m away – and did so now only because my farmer is still at home. While even when we’re both away there’s staff who aren’t, and the chances of someone who stumbles across the blog working out where we live and taking the opportunity to rob us is remote,  I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell the world my every move.

To get back to your comments. Two posts and a response to your first comment at the first opportunity I had seemed like enough.


Thank you Andrei, Mr E and Tracey for defending me.

Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

>And its Friday! Have a good weekend! TGWM x

June 22 in history


217 BC  Battle of Raphia: Ptolemy IV of Egypt defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom.

168 BC  Battle of Pydna: Romans under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Macedonian King Perseus, ending the Third Macedonian War.

1593 Battle of Sisak: Allied Christian troops defeated the Turks.

1633  The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.

1680 Ebenezer Erskine, Scottish religious dissenter, was born  (d. 1754).

1713 Lord John Philip Sackville, English MP and cricketer, was born  (d. 1765).

1757 George Vancouver, British explorer, was born  (d. 1798).

1783  A poisonous cloud from Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland reached Le Havre in France .

1825  The British Parliament abolished feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1844  North American fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded at Yale University.

1845 Tom Dula, American folk character (Tom Dooley) was born (d. 1868).

1848  Beginning of the June Days Uprising in Paris.

1856  H. Rider Haggard, English author, was born  (d. 1925).

1887 Julian Huxley, British biologist, was born (d. 1975).

1893  The Royal Navy battleship HMS Camperdown accidentally rammed the British Mediterranean Fleet flagship HMS Victoria which sank taking 358 crew with her, including the fleet’s commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.

1897  British colonial officers Rand and Ayerst were assassinated in Pune, Maharashtra, India by the Chapekar brothers and Ranade. They are considered the first martyrs to the cause of India’s freedom from Britain.

1898  Spanish-American War: United States Marines landed in Cuba.

1906 Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author and pilot, was born  (d. 2001).

1906  The Flag of Sweden was adopted.

1907  The London Underground’s Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened.

1910  John Hunt, Leader of the 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest, was born (d. 1998).

1911  George V and Mary of Teck were crowned King and Queen.

1918  The Hammond circus train wreck killed 86 and injured 127 near Hammond, Indiana.

1919  The Flag of the Faroe Islands was raised for the first time.

1922 Bill Blass, American fashion designer, was born (d. 2002).

1922  Herrin massacre: 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners were killed in Herrin, Illinois.

1932 Prunella Scales, English actress, was born.

1936 Kris Kristofferson, American singer/songwriter and actor, was born.

1940 France was forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice with Germany.

1941  Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. Russian The 22 June song is devoted to this day.

1941  The June Uprising in Lithuania began.

1941  Various Communist and Socialist French Resistance movements merged to one group.

1942  Erwin Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal after the capture of Tobruk.

1944 Peter Asher, British singer, guitarist and producer (Peter & Gordon), was born.

1944  Opening day of the Soviet Union’s Operation Bagration against Army Group Centre.

1949 Meryl Streep, American actress. was born.

1953 – Cyndi Lauper, American singer, was born.

1954  Pauline Parker, 16, and her best friend Juliet Hulme, 15,  killed Pauline’s mother, Honora, in Victoria Park, Christchurch.

Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch

1957 Garry Gary Beers, Australian bassist from group INXS, was born.

1957  The Soviet Union launched an R-12 missile for the first time (in Kapustin Yar).

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 jet crashed in bad weather in Guadeloupe, West Indies killing 113.

1964 Dan Brown, American author, was born.

1969  The Cuyahoga River caught fire, which triggered a crack-down on pollution in the river.

1976  The Canadian House of Commons abolished capital punishment.

1978 Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, was discovered.

1984 Virgin Atlantic Airways launched with its first flight from London Heathrow Airport.

2003  The largest hailstone ever recorded fell in Aurora, Nebraska

2009 June 22, 2009 Washington Metro train collision: Two Metro trains collided  in Washington, D.C., killing 9 and injuring over 80.

2009 – Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.

2012 – Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo is removed from office by impeachment and succeeded by Federico Franco.

2012 – A Turkish Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter plane was shot down by the Syrian Armed Forces, killing both of the plane’s pilots and worsening already-strained relations between Turkey and Syria.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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