365 days of gratitude

January 20, 2018

When I was in Wanaka I met a German tourist.

His English was very basic and my German much less so but we managed a conversation.

He’d been in Queenstown the day before and didn’t like it.

“People,” he said, gesturing to show me there were too many. “Here there is space.”

Like the tourist, I like space and I don’t do crowds.

It’s not that I don’t like people, I just prefer them in smaller numbers.

Living in the country as I do, I usually have plenty of space and only encounter people in very small numbers and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

January 20, 2018

Freck – eager; ready; forward; impetuous; hearty.


Saturday’s smiles

January 20, 2018

Early one morning a shepherd was moving his flock from one
paddock to another when something frightened the animals. They
bolted onto the road, and nothing the shepherd or his dogs did could bring them under control.

As he became more and more frantic, a truck rounded the bend, stopped suddenly in front of the running sheep and a suitcase
fell out of the back.

The shepherd stared in amazement as his flock stopped running and walked slowly across the road.

As the driver of the truck got out to retrieve his suitcase the shepherd said, “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

The driver replied, “I’ve always been told I had a case that would stop a flock.”


Rural round-up

January 20, 2018

Agriculture is not the villain when it comes to NZ’s emissions – Steve Cranston:

Now that we have heard that a climate change commission will be established, this makes 2018 an important year politically for farmers.

There is a real possibility that if the truth about agricultural emissions is not better circulated amongst farmers and the general public alike, the New Zealand agricultural industry may be forced into a highly damaging and completely unnecessary emissions reduction scheme if it is not set up correctly.

With the notable exception of Northland avocado farmer Robin Grieve, few people or organisations have been prepared to state this basic fact that in my opinion, New Zealand agriculture is not the problem it is made out to be. . .

Lives imperiled by cellphone blackspot – Sarah Harris:

Sited in one of New Zealand’s remotest regions, Haast township continues to lobby for life-saving cellphone reception. Sarah Harris reports.

Blair Farmer will never forget how a woman’s life slipped away as he tried to save her on the floor of the information centre in Haast.

Yi-Chieh Feng, from Taiwan, had been flung from the rental camper van when it crashed into a bank. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

Driver Yu-Hsiang Chen could not call 111 as there was no reception. So he bundled her into the van and drove 30 minutes to Haast at the bottom of the West Coast. . . .

Southern Rangitikei vet Kristina Dykes determined to keep vets in the job – Kate Taylor:

A southern Rangitikei vet is determined to improve retention numbers in the profession she loves. She spoke with Kate Taylor.

As one of five children growing up in Auckland, Kristina Dykes never pictured herself working as a rural vet in provincial New Zealand.

She did want to be a vet from an early age, but it was cats and dogs in her sights more than cattle and sheep. She went to vet school quite indifferent to the rural sector but soon realised the opportunities available to her. . . 

NZ crossbred wool ‘in a crisis’:

Low financial returns have pitched the New Zealand crossbred wool industry into a crisis, a leading grower says.

Sales of merino wool were doing fine, but these represented less than 15 per cent of our national wool clip, with most of the country not high and dry enough to run merino sheep.

In contrast, returns from coarser crossbred wool were so low, many farmers found it barely worth taking their quadbikes out of the shed.

Campaign for Wool NZ Trust chairperson Renata Apatu, in particular, paints a grim picture. . .

Hunter Downs good to go – Annette Scott:

A desperate plea to farmers and investors has finally pushed Hunter Downs Water across the start line.

Late last year the proposed multi-million dollar South Canterbury irrigation scheme was at risk of being abandoned but a last-ditch effort proved successful.

After a renewed push for investors, HDW chairman Andrew Fraser confirmed the company had the shareholders needed to proceed with the $110 million scheme. . . 

Snow levels as high as 12 inches across Scotland – Zoë Wilson:

TOWNS across Scotland have been affected by heavy snow since Monday evening, and, although some people have experienced chaotic situations, others are taking advantage of the glorious views, and even considered the impact snow can have on their current situation.

One lorry couldn’t access Scotstounbank Farm, in Blyth Bridge, West Linton, due to heavy snowfall, and instead of abandoning the job, the lorry driver waited in the village while the farmer, William Aitken, dropped 270 prime Blackface wedder lambs off using a Massey Ferguson tractor and trailer. . .


Saturday soapbox

January 20, 2018

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.

Image may contain: night and text

Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present – Alan Watts


January 20 in history

January 20, 2018

250 – Emperor Decius began a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian was martyred.

1265 In Westminster, the first English parliament conducted its first meeting held by Simon de Montfort in the Palace of Westminster.

1356 Edward Balliol abdicated as King of Scotland.

1523 Christian II was forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.

1649 Charles I of England went on trial for treason and other “high crimes”.

1788 The third and main part of First Fleet arrived at Botany BayArthur Phillip decided that Botany Bay was unsuitable for location of a penal colony, and decided to move to Port Jackson.

1840 Dumont D’Urville discovered Adélie Land, Antarctica.

1840 – Willem II became King of the Netherlands.

1841  Hong Kong Island was occupied by the British.

1885 L.A. Thompson patented the roller coaster.

1887  The United States Senate allowed the Navy to lease Pearl Harboras a naval base.

1892  At the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first official basketball game was played.

1896  George Burns, American actor, comedian, was born (d. 1996).

1899  Clarice Cliff, English ceramicist, was born (d. 1972).

1910 Joy Adamson, Austrian naturalist and writer, was born (d. 1980).

1921 The first Constitution of Turkey was adopted, making fundamental changes in the source and exercise of sovereignty by consecrating the principle of national sovereignty.

1926 Patricia Neal, American actress, was born (d. 2010).

1929  In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, was released.

1930  Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut, was born.

1934  Tom Baker, British actor, was born.

1936  Edward VIII became King of the United Kingdom.

1937 Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. This was the first inauguration scheduled on January 20, following adoption of the 20th Amendment. Previous inaugurations were scheduled on March 4.

1950  Liza Goddard, British actress, was born.

1952 Paul Stanley, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1957 Scott Base opened in Antarctica.

Scott Base opened in Antarctica

1959 The first flight of the Vickers Vanguard.

1960 Hendrik Verwoerd announced a plebiscite on whether South Africa should become a Republic.

1961  John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the youngest man, and first-ever Roman Catholic, to become elected President of the United States.

1965   Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, was born.

1981 Iran released 52 American hostages twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as U.S. President, the oldest man to be inaugurated at 69.

1987  Church of England envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Lebanon.

1990  Black January – crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations by Soviet army in Baku.

Soviet tanks in Baku during Black January.

1991 Sudan‘s government imposed Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.

2001  Philippine president Joseph Estrada was ousted in a nonviolent 4-day revolution, and was succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

2009 Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America – the United States’ first African-American president.

2009 – A protest movement in Iceland culminated as the 2009 Icelandic financial crisis protests started.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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