366 days of gratitude


Freshly mown grass has a distinctive and delightful smell.

Freshly cut lawns also look good and have the benefit of making the garden look better, even if nothing in it has changed.

If I turn to the window as I type, I’ll be greeted with a view of the lawns my farmer mowed this afternoon. They’re smelling good, looking better and enhancing the garden for which I’m grateful.

Word of the day


Imberb – beardless; clean-shaven.

Saturday’s smiles


In 1605 Guy Fawkes plotted to kill King James 1 by blowing up the House of Parliament  in what is known as the Gunpowder Plot. Since then England has commemorated the event, on 5th November, with bonfires and fireworks. Occasionally, over the last few years, you will hear people ask “Where is Guy Fawkes when you really need him?”


How many safety inspectors does it take to light the bonfire? 
Four. One to light the match and three to hold the fire extinguisher.


How many civil servants does it take to set fire to Guy Fawkes? Twenty three.

One to strike the match and twenty two to fill in the paper work.


How many Mafia hitmen does it take to light the bonfire?
Three. One to set fire to the effigy, one to watch his back, and one to shoot any witnesses.


How many aerospace engineers does it take to light the kindling?
None. You don’t need a rocket science to start a bonfire.


How many Apple employees does it take to flame Guy Fawkes?
Five. One to light the match and four to design the t-shirt.


How many Microsoft programmers does it take to start the bonfire?
None. Microsoft declares darkness to be a new standard.


How many fish does it take to set the Guy Fawkes bonfire burning?
Just one surrealist.
How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start your Guy Fawkes bonfire?
A policeman arrested two kids. One for drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. He charged one and let the other off.


I walked passed a burnt out building with a broken sign saying “Fireworks”
How right they were.


I’m good at firework displays. I’ve got a flare for it.


I launched my own clothing line this week. I knew I shouldn’t have lit the fireworks near the washing.


November the 5th has come and gone…
But some of the things still linger.
I held a banger in my hand..
has anyone seen my finger?





Bridge Over Troubled Water


The first LP* I bought was Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits.

I’ve still got the record but no longer own anything on which to play it.

Their music still finds a place on my list of favourites and since it’s Art Garfunkel’s 75th birthday here it is:

* What’s an LP? If you’re young enough to have to ask, you’ll be young enough to Google the answer.

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.

No automatic alt text available.

Please keep on the grass. Lie down. roll around in it. Forget all your responsibilities. Have an ice cream.

November 5 in history


1338  Ly Anh Tong was enthroned as emperor of Vietnam at the age of two, starting a 37-year reign.

1499   Publication of theCatholicon, the first Breton dictionary as well as the first French dictionary.

1530   The St. Felix’s Flood destroyed the city of Reimerswaal in the Netherlands.

1605   Gunpowder Plot: A conspiracy led by Robert Catesby to blow up the English Houses of Parliament was thwarted when Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the House of Lords.

1688  Glorious Revolution began: William of Orange landed at Brixham.

1743  Coordinated scientific observations of the transit of Mercury were organized by Joseph-Nicolas Delisle.

1757  Seven Years’ War: Frederick the Great defeated the allied armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Rossbach.

1768   Treaty of Fort Stanwix, to adjust the boundary line between Indian lands and white settlements set forth in the Proclamation of 1763 in the Thirteen Colonies.

1780   French-American forces under Colonel LaBalme were defeated by Miami Chief Little Turtle.

1831  Nat Turner, American slave leader, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.

1838   The Federal Republic of Central America began to disintegrate when Nicaragua separated from the federation.

1850  Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, was born (d. 1919).

1854   Crimean War: The Battle of Inkerman.

1862 Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors were found guilty of rape and murder of whites and were sentenced to hang.

1872   In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time, and is later fined $100.

1881 – Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka.

Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka

1895   George B. Selden was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.

1911  – Italy annexed Tripoli and Cyrenaica.

1911 Roy Rogers, American actor, was born (d. 1998).

1913 – Battle of Featherston Street – crowds of strike supporters clashed with more than 800 mounted special constables – ‘Massey’s Cossacks’.

Battle of Featherston Street

1913   King Otto of Bavaria was deposed by his cousin, Prince Regent Ludwig, who assumed the title Ludwig III.

1913  Vivien Leigh, English actress, was born (d. 1967).

1916   The Kingdom of Poland was proclaimed by the Act of November 5th.

1916  The Everett Massacre in Everett, Washington as political differences led to a shoot-out between the Industrial Workers of the World organisers and local police.

1917   October Revolution: In Tallinn, Estonia, Communist leader Jaan Anvelt led revolutionaries in overthrowing the Provisional Government (As Estonia and Russia were still using the Julian Calendar, subsequent period references show an October 23 date).

1917  St. Tikhon of Moscow was elected the Patriarch of Moscow and of the Russian Orthodox Church.

1921  Princess Fawzia of Egypt, Queen of Iran, was born.

1931   Ike Turner, American musician, was born (d. 2007).

1937   Adolf Hitler held a secret meeting and stateed his plans for acquiring “living space” for the German people.

1940   Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term as President of the United States.

1941  Art Garfunkel, American musician, was born.

1942   The Second Battle of El Alamein was won by the British Allies.

1963  Tatum O’Neal, American actress, was born.

1967   The Hither Green rail crash killed 49 people. The survivors included Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

1968   United States presidential election, 1968: Republican Richard Nixon won the American presidency.

1983   Byford Dolphin diving bell accident killed five and leaves one severely injured.

1986   USS Rentz, USS Reeves and USS Oldendorf visited Qingdao (Tsing Tao) China — the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.

1987   Govan Mbeki was released from custody after serving 24 years of a life sentence for terrorism and treason.

1990   Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, was shot dead after a speech in New York.

1995   André Dallaire attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada. He is thwarted when the Prime Minister’s wife locked the door.

1996   President of Pakistan Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari dismissed the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and dissolved the National Assembly of Pakistan.

2006   Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar were sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for the role in the massacre of the 148 Shi’as in 1982.

2007   China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1 went into orbit around the Moon.

2009   US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood, Texas in the largest mass shooting ever at a US military installation.

2011 – Bank Transfer Day and a hatred of for-profit banks following a bank-caused economic collapse prompted more than 2.2 million Americans to switch to a not-for-profit credit union in order to punish bankers.

2013 – India launched the Mars Orbiter Mission, its first interplanetary probe.

2015 – An iron ore tailings dam burst in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais flooding a valley, causing mudslides in the nearby village of Bento Rodrigues and causing up to 9 deaths and 19 missing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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