365 days of gratitude

January 1, 2018

Two years ago I resolved to post a daily gratitude post.

For reasons that aren’t mine to explain, the last year was a very, very tough one and the factors which made it that way are on-going.

Everyone has their own way to cope with major challenges and focusing on the good things in life in spite of the bad helps me.

In light of that I’m aiming to post a gratitude post again each day this year, starting here:

We’re dog-sitting a chocolate  labrador while her people are on holiday.

She is five years-old with the energy and enthusiasm of a pup and requires at least one good walk a day.

When it’s safe to do so I let her off the lead. She responds by running at full speed, ears, flapping, tail wagging, a picture of unalloyed joy which is contagious.

Today I’m grateful for contagious joy.


Word of the day

January 1, 2018

Ingenuous –  noble, honorable; naive, artless; innocent and unsuspecting; showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness;  honest, sincere, and trusting, sometimes in a way that seems silly.


Sowell says

January 1, 2018


Rural round-up

January 1, 2018

Former Federated Farmers president William Rolleston heads agricultural honours list – Gerard Hutching

Farming leaders who made a contribution touching many New Zealanders’ lives have been recognised in the New Year honours list.

Receiving an award was humbling on a personal level, said former Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston, but real recognition needed to go to the thousands of farmers who “continue to produce the food which feeds us three times a day and sustains our economy.”

Farming and science advocate Dr William Rolleston

Feds leader from 2014-17, Rolleston has been awarded with a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM). He said during his tenure farmers had “started on a journey which will be to the environment what the 1980s reforms were to the economy”. . . 

Sheep and beef farmers buoyed by strong prices and demand – Gerard Hutching:

Sheep and beef farmers are more upbeat about prospects than at any time since November 2014, the latest Beef+Lamb NZ confidence survey shows.

Confidence has risen to 59 per cent, up 16 per cent, since the last survey in August and has been attributed to strong product prices, growing demand for meat from an increasing population and belief in the quality of the product farmers are producing.

All regions showed a positive sentiment, with the strongest in the eastern North Island and central South Island. . . 

Govt gives to trusts to help drought-stricken farmers:

Little showers of rain over the last week have not been enough to end the drought that is getting its grip on coastal farmland, Brian Doughty says.

He’s a trustee of the Ruapehu/Wanganui Rural Support Trust, which will get a share of $160,000 announced by Government on December 23.

The money will go to trusts supporting farmers afflicted by drought along the lower North Island’s west coast. The dry spell has been called a “medium scale adverse event”. . .

Fonterra Revises Milk Collection Forecast:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised the forecast for its New Zealand milk collections for the current 2017/2018 season to 1,480 million kilograms of milk solids (kgMS), down from its forecast in November 2017 of 1,525 million kgMS.

Fonterra’s revised forecast of 1,480 million kgMS is down around 4 per cent on the 2016/2017 season which itself was negatively impacted by weather conditions. . . 

Disagreement over stock truck effluent disposal site– Pam Jones:

The Central Otago District Council (CODC) and Otago Regional Council (ORC) are at odds over the siting of one of two proposed stock truck effluent disposal sites in Central Otago.CODC roading committee chairman Dr Barrie Wills told councillors at a committee meeting in Alexandra recently that the ORC was “bulldozing” the CODC into accepting its proposal.

The ORC proposed new sites on State Highway 6, near the Highlands Park corner, near Cromwell, and on SH85, near Brassknocker Rd, between Alexandra and Chatto Creek, Dr Wills said.

Councillors supported the SH85 site, but thought it was “entirely inappropriate” to have a site on SH6, just before the Kawarau Gorge. . .

Fighting in Italy for the freedom to farm – Giorgio Fidenato:

I may be the world’s most embattled farmer.

My goal is simple: I want to grow good crops on my small farm in the northeast corner of Italy. This includes a variety of GMO corn that European regulators approved for commercial use nearly 20 years ago.

Yet Italian government officials and political activists keep getting in the way, blocking me with new regulations and violent attacks on my land. . . 


Quote of the day

January 1, 2018

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. –  E.M. Forster who was born on this day in 1879.


January 1 in history

January 1, 2018

45 BC  The Julian calendar took effect for the first time.

1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary was named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.

1651  Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.

1735 Paul Revere,  American patriot, was born (d. 1818).

1769 – Marie Lachapelle, French obstetrician was born (d. 1821).

1772 – The first traveller’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, went on sale in London.

1779  William Clowes, English printer, was born  (d. 1847).

1788  First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, was published.

1800  The Dutch East India Company was dissolved.

1801 The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland was completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1801 The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

1803  Emperor Gia Long ordered all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynastyto be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.

1804 French rule ended in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country on the American Continent after the U.S.

1808  The importation of slaves into the United States was banned.

1810  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially became Governor of New South Wales.

1833 The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1833 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect, was born  (d. 1902).

1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.
NZ's first lighthouse, Pencarrow, lit for the first time

1860 First Polish stamp was issued.

1861  Porfirio Díaz conquered Mexico City.

1876  The Reichsbank opened in Berlin.

1877  Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

1879 E. M. Forster, English novelist, was born (d. 1970).

1880 Ferdinand de Lesseps began French construction of the Panama Canal.

1890  Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

1892  Ellis Island opened to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal,was officially opened to traffic.

1895  J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director, was born (d. 1972).

1899 – Spanish rule ended in Cuba.

1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of AustraliaEdmund Barton was appointed the first Prime Minister.

1912 The Republic of China was established.

1912  Kim Philby, British spy, was born  (d. 1988).

1919 J. D. Salinger, American novelist, was born (d. 2010).

1925  American astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.

1934  Alcatraz Island became a United States federal prison.

1939  William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard.

1948 – Dick Quax, New Zealand runner and politician was born.

Dick Quax (1977).jpg

1948 The British railway network was nationalised to form British Railways.

1949  – Olivia Goldsmith, American author was born (d. 2004).

1951 New Zealand’s upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished.

Legislative Council abolished

1956  The Republic of the Sudan gained independence.

1958 The European Communitywas established.

1959 Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba was overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

1960 The Republic of Cameroon achieved independence.

1962 Western Samoa achieved independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.

1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to be Secretary General of the United Nations.

1983 – The ARPANET officially changed to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei became independent.

1985 The Internet‘s Domain Name Systemwas created.

1985 – The first British mobile phone callwais made by Ernie WisetoVodafone.

1990 – David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.

1993 – A single market within the European Community was introduced.

1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.

1995  The World Trade Organisation came  into effect.

1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea was detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.

1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.

1998 – The European Central Bank was established.

2006 – Sydney, sweltered through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometer peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.

2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared over Indonesia with 102 people on board.

2009 – 66 died in nightclub fire in Bangkok.

2010 – A suicide car bomber detonated at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.

2011 – A bomb exploded as Coptic Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, left a new year service, killing 23 people.

2012 – A Moldovan civilian was fatally wounded by a Russian peacekeeper in the Transnistrian security zone, leading to demonstrations against Russia.

2013 – At least 60 people were killed and 200 injured in a stampede after celebrations at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

2014 – Latvia joined the Eurozone.

2014 – asteroid 2014 AA hit the Earth over the Atlantic Ocean.

2015 – The Eurasian Economic Union cameinto effect, creating a political and economic union between Russia, Belarus, Armenia,Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

2015 – Lithuania became the 19th member of the Eurozone.

2016 – The Address Downtown Dubai burned over midnight as the New Year was rung in. The blaze started on the night of New Year’s Eve 2015, by currently unknown causes. There was one fatality.

2017 – An attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, during New Year’s celebrations, killed at least 39 people and injures more than 60 others.

2017 – Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres was officially elected Secretary-General of the United Nationals.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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