366 days of gratitude


This has been my first whole weekend at home with nothing in particular to do for several weeks.

I got up in the early hours of the morning, twice, to watch the rowing at the Olympics, did the bare necessities of domestic chores and cooking, walked, read,  went to church, caught up with friends while wandering round Oamaru’s historic precinct and the Farmers’ Market and read some more (now onto my fourth book).

It’s been a wonderfully lazy weekend and I’m grateful for it.

Word of the day


Sitzfleisch – the ability to sit through or tolerate something boring; ability to endure or persist in a task; power to persevere in an activity; stamina; buttocks.

Another NZ World Champion


Not sport this time. From the Royal New Zealand Pipe Bands’ Association‘s Facebook page:

A kiwi claims a World Championship title! Congratulations to Scott Marshall, who competed with the Johnstone band and claimed the grade two World title in the wee hours of the morning. From all of us at home here in New Zealand, Scott, we are very proud of your efforts!

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Relaxed Fit


relaxed fit StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

This is a loose-fitting body, so it’s still comfortable after a long carbohydrate binge. 

Relaxed Fit  ©2016 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can sign up for a daily email delivering a dose of whimsy like this at Story People.

Photo finish for gold


It was worth getting up in the middle of the night to watch the rowing.

Mahe Drysdale won gold in a photo finish with an Olympic best time of 6:41.34.

From the NZ Olympic Team‘s Facebook page:

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NZ Olympic Team's photo.
NZ Olympic Team's photo.

NZ Olympic Team's photo.

Emma Twigg finished fourth in the single sculls and the women’s eight also finished fourth by a hair’s breadth.

New Zealand is now 13th in the medal tally.

NZ Olympic Team's photo.


Sunday soapbox


Sunday’s Sunday’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.

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When you don’t care what anyone thinks, you have reached a dangerously awesome level of freedom.

August 14 in history


1183  Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan took the young Emperor Antoku and the three sacred treasures and fled to western Japan to escape pursuit by the Minamoto clan.

1385 – Portuguese Crisis of 1383–1385: Battle of Aljubarrota – Portuguese forces commanded by King João I and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilian army of King Juan I.

1598  Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

1842 Indian Wars: Second Seminole War ended.

1846  The Cape Girardeau meteorite, a 2.3 kg chondrite-type meteorite struck near in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

1848  – Margaret Lindsay Huggins, Anglo-Irish astronomer and author, was born (d. 1915).

1867 John Galsworthy, English novelist and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born (d. 1933).

1880  Construction of Cologne Cathedral was completed.

1885  Japan’s first patent was issued to the inventor of a rust-proof paint.

1888  A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph in London.

1891 Petitions organised by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union(WCTU) seeking women’s suffrage and signed by a total of 9000 women were presented to New Zealand’s Parliament.

Women's vote petitions presented to Parliament

1893  France introduced motor vehicle registration.

1900  A joint European-Japanese-United States force (Eight-Nation Alliance) occupied Beijing, in a campaign to end the Boxer Rebellion.

1901  The first claimed powered flight, by Gustave Whitehead in hisNumber 21.

1908  The first beauty contest was held in Folkestone.

1912   U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government.

1921  Tannu Tuva, later Tuvinian People’s Republic was established as a completely independent country.

1933  Loggers caused a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon – the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn.

1935  United States Social Security Act passes, creating a government pension system for the retired.

1936 Rainey Bethea was hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.

1937 Chinese Air Force Day: The beginning of air-to-air combat of the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II in general, when 6 Imperial Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers were shot down by the Nationalist Chinese Air Force.

1941 David Crosby, American musician, was born.

1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter of war stating postwar aims.

1945  Steve Martin, American actor and comedian, was born.

1945 Japan accepted the Allied terms of surrender  and the Emperor recorded the Imperial Rescript on Surrender.

1946 Susan Saint James, American actress, was born.

1947  – Danielle Steel, American author, was born.

1947  Pakistan and India gained Independence from the British Indian Empire and joined the British Commonwealth.

1948  Don Bradman, widely regarded as the best cricket batsman in history, makes a duck in his final Test innings.

1950  Gary Larson, American cartoonist (The Far Side), was born.

1957 – Peter Costello, Australian lawyer and politician, 35th Treasurer of Australia, was born.

1959 – Magic Johnson, American basketball player and coach, was born.

1960 – Sarah Brightman, English singer-songwriter and actress, was born.

1966 – Halle Berry, American model, actress, and producer, Miss World United States 1986, was born.

1967  UK Marine Broadcasting Offences Act declared participation in offshore pirate radio illegal.

1969 British troops were deployed in Northern Ireland.

1972  An East German Ilyushin Il-62 crashed during takeoff from East Berlin, killing 156.

1980  Lech Wałęsa led strikes at the Gdańsk shipyards.

1987  All the children held at Kia Lama, a rural property on Lake Eildon, Australia, run by the Santiniketan Park Association, were released after a police raid.

1994 Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the terrorist known as “Carlos the Jackal“, was captured.

2003  Widescale power blackout in the northeast United States and Canada.

2006  Chencholai bombing – 61 Tamil girls were killed in Sri Lankan Airforce bombing.

2007   Kahtaniya bombings killed at least 400 people.

2010 –  2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games, first ever Youth Olympics, officially started in Singapore.

2013 – Egypt declared a state of emergency as security forces killed hundreds of demonstrators supporting former president Mohamed Morsi.

2015 – The US Embassy in Havana, Cuba re-opened after 54 years of being closed when Cuba–United States relations were broken off.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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