366 days of gratitude


We were travelling between farms in Tasmania a couple of weeks ago when I received an email telling us a friend was in hospital in Melbourne.

I checked flights on my iPad then called Air New Zealand. Within a few minutes the very helpful woman on the other end of the phone had altered our flights so that instead of  the scheduled stop over in Melbourne of only a couple of hours we were able to stay the night.

Another few minutes on the iPad sorted a bed hotel.

How very much easier making and changing travel arrangements are now than it was not so many years ago when even simple domestic travel necessitated at least one visit to a travel agent.

Travel agents still provide good service, particularly for multi-stop trips overseas with different airlines and accommodation.

But simple arrangements and changes can easily be made by computer and mobile phone and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day


Omniana – pieces of information concerning everything; thoughts or scraps of information about all or many kinds of things, especially a collection of notes, jottings, or short pieces of writing on all or many kinds of subjects.

Saturday’s smiles


I was in a store that sells  sunglasses and only sunglasses. A young woman walked over  to me and asked :   “What brings you  in today?” I looked at her, and said: “I’m interested in  buying a refrigerator”.  She didn’t quite know how to respond.

I was  thinking about how a status symbol of today is those  cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or  purse. Or a blue tooth stuck in their ear I can’t afford one. So I’m wearing my garage door  opener.

I  thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age  and calling it ‘Pumping Rust’.

When  people see a cat’s litter box they always say, ‘Oh, have  you got a cat?’ Just once I  want to say, ‘No, it’s for company!’

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in  case of an emergency.    I think you should  write, ‘An  ambulance.’

Birds  of a feather flock together and then crap on your  car.

The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have got to  be really good friends.

The  easiest way to find something lost around the house is  to buy a replacement.

Did you ever  notice: The Roman  for forty  is XL.

The sole  purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when  he’s really in trouble.

Did you ever  notice: When you put the 2 words ‘ The’  and  ‘ IRS ‘ together it  spells  ‘Theirs…’

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying  about your age and start bragging about  it.

Some  people try to turn back their personal odometers. Not me. I  want people to know why I look this way. I’ve travelled  a long way and some of the roads weren’t  paved.

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, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Sue Fitzmaurice, Author's photo.

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. Kahil Gibran

March 19 in history


1279  A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ended the Song Dynastyin China.

1687 Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, was murdered by his own men.

1813 David Livingstone, Scottish missionary and explorer, was born (d. 1873).

1821 Richard Francis Burton, British explorer, diplomat and author, was born (d. 1890) .

1839 Bees were introduced to New Zealand.

Honey bees brought to NZ

1848 Wyatt Earp, American policeman and gunfighter, was born (d. 1929).

1853 The Taiping reform movement occupied and made Nanjing its capital.

1861 The First Taranaki War ended.

1863  The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.

1865  The Battle of Bentonville started.

1866 A hurricane caused major damages in Buenos Aires.

1906 Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official, was born (d 1962).

1915 Pluto  was photographed for the first time but is not recognised as a planet.

1916 Irving Wallace, American novelist, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Eight American planes took off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history.

1918 The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.

1921 One of the biggest engagements of theIrish War of Independence took place at Crossbarry, County Cork. About 100 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped an attempt by more than 1,300 British forces to encircle them.

1921 Tommy Cooper, Welsh comedy magician, was born (d. 1984).

1931  Gambling was legalized in Nevada.

1932 The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened.

1933 Philip Roth, American author, was born.

1933 – Renée Taylor, American actress, was born.

1936 Ursula Andress, Swiss actress, was born.

1941 The 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, was activated.

1944 Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize, was born.

1944 World War II: Nazi forces occupied Hungary.

1945 A dive bomber hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13), killing 724 of her crew.

1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler issued his “Nero Decree” ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.

1946 Jayforce landed in Japan.

Jayforce lands in Japan

1946 French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France.

1946  Ruth Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1947 Glenn Close, American actress, was born.

1952  Warren Lees, New Zealand Test wicket-keeper, was born.

1953 Ricky Wilson, American musician (The B-52′s), was born (d. 1985).

1954 Willie Mosconi set the world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio.

1955 Bruce Willis, American actor, was born.

1958 The Monarch Underwear Company fire left 24 dead and 15 injured.

1962 – Algerian War of Independence ceasefire took effect.

1965 The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.

1969 The 385 metres (1,263 ft) tall TV-mast at Emley Moor, collapsed due to ice build- up.

1972 India and Bangladesh signed a friendship treaty.

1982 Falklands War: Argentinian forces landed on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.

1989 The Egyptian Flag was raised on Taba, Egypt announcing the end of the Israeli occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Peace negotiations in 1979.

1990 The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureş began.

2002 Operation Anaconda ended (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.

2002 – Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on charges of human rights abuses and of election tampering, following a turbulent presidential election.

2004 Konginkangas bus disaster: A semi-trailer truck and a bus crash head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people were killed and 13 injured.

2004 A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in 1952 over the Baltic Sea was recovered after years of work.

2004 Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot just before the country’s presidential election on March 20.

2008  GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that was the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed.

2011 – Libyan civil war: After the failure of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to take Benghazi, French Air Force launched Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya.

2013 – A series of bombings and shootings killed at least 98 people and injures 240 others across Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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