Word of the day


Alerion – a small bird of the eagle tribe, depicted in heraldry as without a beak or feet.

Friday’s answers


J. Bloggs posed the questions, gaining my thanks and if they’ve stumped us all a virtual box of apricots.

366 days of gratitude


My mother once said to me that if ever she was incapable of speech and movement she’d like to be seated with her back to the sun.

Those heat-loving genes have been passed on to me and I sometimes explain my need for light and heat on having been a tomato in a former life.

But like many of my generation I had too much exposure to sun without protection when I was young.

I’ve paid for that with a couple of basal cell carcinomas.

I’ve learned from that and now am much more careful about following the slip, slop, slap mantra to protect myself and seek shade rather than the sun when it’s at its strongest.

So while I’ve been enjoying the hot summer, I’ve also appreciated the opportunities to keep out of the sun.

Today I’m grateful for trees which provide shade and the people who planted them decades ago.


Quote of the day


You don’t get older, you get better. – Dame Shirley Bassey who celebrates her 79th birthday today.

January 8 in history


307 – Jin Huidi, Chinese Emperor of the Jin Dynasty, was poisoned and succeeded by his son Jin Huaidi.

871 – Alfred the Great led a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.

1297 – François Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, led his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.

1455 – The Romanus Pontifex was written.

1499 – Louis XII of France married Anne of Brittany.

1697 – Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh.

1734  Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1746 Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.

1790 George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address in New York City.

1835  The United States national debt was 0 for the only time.

1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph system using dots and dashes ( the forerunner of Morse code).

1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, was born  (d. 1934).

1863 Geologist Julius von Haast led an exploratory expedition in search of a route from the east to the west coasts of the South Island.

Haast begins West Coast expedition

1867 African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

1867  Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born  (d. 1961).

1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

1900  Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist, was born  (d. 1982).

1908 – William Hartnell, British actor, was born(d. 1975)

1911  – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress and entertainer, was born (d. 1970).

1912 The African National Congress was founded.

1926  Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud became the King of Hejaz and renamed it Saudi Arabia.

1926 Soupy Sales, American comedian, was born(d. 2009).

1935  Elvis Presley, American singer, was born (d. 1977).v>1937  Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.

1937 – Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.

1940  Britain introduced food rationing.

1941  Graham Chapman, British comedian, was born  (d. 1989).

1946  Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors), was born.

1947  David Bowie, English musician, was born.

1959 – Fidel Castro‘s Cuban Revolution was completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.

1959 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House), was born (d. 2005).

1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in The Netherlands.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in the United States.

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 was launched.

1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.

1975 Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband .

1994  Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 left for the space station  Mir. He stayed on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

2004 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collided at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man was killed, but the sub surfaces and was repaired.

2010 – Gunmen from an offshoot the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda attacked the bus carrying the Togo national football team on its way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, killing three.

2011 – An attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store killed 6 people and wounded 13, including Giffords.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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