365 days of gratitude

February 3, 2018

Today’s wedding was on a lawn surrounded by mature trees.

The bride and groom were relaxed and focused on what matters – first  the ceremony and then the celebration that followed.

Being a marriage celebrant is both a privilege and a pleasure and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

February 3, 2018

Foy – a farewell feast, drink, or gift given by or to a person departing on a journey; or at the end of harvest or fishing season, or at a wedding.


Saturday smiles

February 3, 2018

Wee Jock was in a terrible state. Too terrified to go to a doctor in case they declare him mad he went to see a private therapist,

“So how can I help?” asked the therapist.

“It’s like this,” saidWee Jock. “Ah’ve started getting these fears at night, and they are getting worse! I keep thinking somebody is under the bed, so I go down under it to look and no one’s there. Then my brain tells me there’s somebody on top of the bed and it goes on like this all night: under, top, under, top. It’s driving me mental!”

The therapist thought for a bit and said, “I am positive I can cure you of this. Now, I want you to come and see me twice a week for the next six months for a two hour session each time.”

“And how much will that be?” asked Wee Jock.

“£60 per session,” the therapist replied. Jock left, troubled at the thought of all that money, and went for a consoling drink at his local.

It was months later that the therapist bumped into Wee Jock again. The therapist was surprised to see Jock looking so well, not the sleep-deprived maniac he’d seen before.

“Why did you never come back?” he asked.

“At £60 a pop, twice a week, for six months? You must be kidding! The barman at the local cured me for a tenner!”

“How on earth did he do that?”

“He told me to buy a saw and cut the legs off the bed!”


Rural round-up

February 3, 2018

Farmers band together for storm clean-up – Alexa Cook:

West Coast farmers are picking up the pieces after ex-cyclone Fehi left paddocks ruined, fences ripped out, and trees down.

The Westland dairy factory in Hokitika only has limited power and can’t process milk or pick it up from several parts of the region – including farms in Ikamatua and north, Runanga up to Karama, and Mount Hercules south.

Dairy farmer Rebecca Keoghan lives near Westport and manages seven Landcorp farms in the area. . . 

Events to offer advice to farmers – Sally Rae:

Various events and gatherings to help farmers coping with drought conditions have already been scheduled throughout Otago.

On Tuesday, the drought in Southland and parts of Otago was classified as a medium-scale adverse event.

That classification covered all of Southland, plus the Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Clutha districts and triggered additional funding of up to $130,000 for rural support trusts and industry groups to co-ordinate recovery support. . . 

Bull attack: ‘Pushed me into the ground, gored me a bit‘ – Phil Pennington:

A Hawke’s Bay farmer and his dogs have survived an attack by a half-tonne bull that flipped over his quad bike.

“One bull just broke out of the mob and snorted a couple of times, and you have that sense of dread that something’s not going to go right here,” said Robert Pattullo, 57, from his family farm at Puketitiri 15km west of Napier.

“He charged at the bike – I’d hopped off by that stage – completely flipped it over in one go. This is a 650-kilo bull against a probably 350-kilo bike.”

Friesian bulls were normally placid and he did not know what had set the animal off yesterday morning, Mr Patullo said. . .

Milk producer cuts forecast price:

Westland Milk Products has cut its forecast milk price back by more than 20 cents.

The co-operative is now expecting a price of between $6.20 and $6.50.

Fonterra’s farmgate forecast milk price is currently $6.40 kg/ms, and Synlait is forecasting $6.50.

Westland chair Pete Morrison said the drop in milk price was in line with other milk companies.

“We’re kind to all our stakeholders and we want to keep it as reliable and with as much integrity as possible … so we thought best to indicate that now. . . 

Rising milk price helps push Open Country annual revenue above $1B –  Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Open Country Dairy, New Zealand’s second-largest milk processor, generated more than $1 billion of revenue last year but payments for milk rose faster than receipts from customers and profit fell.

Profit was $23 million in the year ended Sept. 30 from about $62 million a year earlier, its accounts show. Sales rose 34 percent to $1.1 billion while cost of sales gained about 44 percent.

Open Country didn’t disclose volume figures in its public annual accounts but chair Laurie Margrain said it was up on a year ago.. . .

Beef + Lamb NZ to review investment in Sector Capability:

Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) is seeking farmers’ views on its Sector Capability Programme.

Richard Wakelin, B+LNZ’s General Manager Innovation, says the review will consider farmer investment through B+LNZ in the Sector Capability Programme overall and its various activities.

“The review will look at B+LNZ investment in the current portfolio of activities, how these activities align with farmer needs and perceptions, and how they provide value back to the sheep and beef sector.” . . 

Global demand for NZ kiwifruit creating regional growth opps:

The New Zealand kiwifruit sector is set for growth following 2017’s record season and new development opportunities across the country, according to the ANZ Kiwifruit Insights paper.

The sector has bounced back following the PSA crisis, helped by increasing global demand which saw kiwifruit sales rise by $694m from the 2015/16 – 2016/17 seasons.

“The success of the kiwifruit sector is remarkable. It has continued to invest in new varieties while staying connected to consumer demand and has worked hard to keep international markets alive,” said ANZ Managing Director for Commercial & Agri, Mark Hiddleston. . . 

New Zealand and India building stronger horticultural relationships:

A new partnership has been announced between New Zealand and the State of Himachal Pradesh under the Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Development Project which targets smallholder farmers in northern India.

The Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Development project aims to be the start of a much broader relationship with New Zealand horticulture.

The New Zealand team, working on the project, includes scientists from Plant & Food Research, Agfirst Engineering, Fruition Horticulture and other New Zealand-based specialists with additional support from the New Zealand pipfruit industry body, New Zealand Apples & Pears and New Zealand Government agencies. . . 

The Woolmark Company and adidas present the Woolmark Performance Challenge:

The Woolmark Company and leading sports brand adidas have joined forces to launch a design competition focussing on the development of innovative, forward-thinking products for the performance industry. The Woolmark Performance Challenge is a new annual competition for tertiary students in Europe and North America and is set to kick-start the career of the eventual winner.

The competition provides an unrivalled opportunity for tertiary students to develop innovative new product applications within the sports and performance market, by applying the science and performance benefits of Australian Merino wool. . .


Saturday soapbox

February 3, 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.

No automatic alt text available.

Technology has connected the world and disconnected all the humans.

(I do see the irony in posting this on a blog).


February 3 in history

February 3, 2018

1112 Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence married, uniting the fortunes of those two states.

1377  More than 2,000 people of Cesena were slaughtered by Papal Troops (Cesena Bloodbath).

1451 Sultan Mehmed II inherited the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

1488 Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay after rounding theCape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.

1637 Tulip mania collapsed in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) by government order.

1690 The colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in America.

1777 –  John Cheyne, British physician, surgeon and author, was born  (d. 1836).

1807 A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captured the city of Montevideo.

1809 Felix Mendelssohn, German composer, was born (d. 1847).

1821 Elizabeth Blackwell, first female American physician, was born  (d. 1910)

1830 The sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in a London Protocol.

1867 Emperor Meiji became the 122nd emperor of Japan.

1868 – A killer storm swept New Zealand. The greatest loss of life in a single event during this storm was at Waireka Creek, near Oamaru, where nine people were killed as a flash flood swept away their houses. Another 13 fatalities came from the 12 ships wrecked by the wild seas whipped up by the storm. Seven lives were lost when the Fortune was stranded 10 miles south of Hokianga and five when the Star of Tasmania went ashore at Oamaru, including the two Baker children, who drowned in berths where they had been put to keep safe.


1870 The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting voting rights to citizens regardless of race.

1874 Gertrude Stein, American writer, was born (d. 1946).

1894 Norman Rockwell, American illustrator, was born  (d. 1978).

1899 Doris Speed, English actress, was born (d. 1994).

1907 James Michener, American author, was born  (d. 1997).

1913 The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.

1916  Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada burned down.

1918 The Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco started service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet (3,633 meters) long.

1927  Val Doonican, Irish singer and entertainer, was born (d. 2015).

1931 The Hawkes Bay earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck – New Zealand’s worst natural disaster killed 258 people.

Hawke's Bay earthquake strikes

1932 Peggy Ann Garner, American actress, was born (d. 1984).

1943 Dennis Edwards, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1944 Trisha Noble, Australian singer and actress, was born.

1947 Dave Davies, English musician (The Kinks), was born.

1947 The lowest temperature in North America  was recorded in Snag, Yukon.

1950 Morgan Fairchild, American actress, was born.

1958 Founding of the Benelux Economic Union.

1959 Lol Tolhurst, English musician (The Cure), was born.

1959 A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa killed Buddy HollyRitchie ValensThe Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson and the incident becomes known as The Day the Music Died.

1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan spoke of the “a wind of change” of increasing national consciousness blowing through colonial Africa, signalling that his Government was likely to support decolonisation.

1966 The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft made the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.

1967 Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia was hanged in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne.

1969 Yasser Arafat was appointed Palestine Liberation Organisation leader at the Palestinian National Congress.

1971 New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survived to later testify against police corruption. Many believe the incident proves that NYPD officers tried to kill him.

1976 Isla Fisher, Australian actress, was born.

1984 Dr. John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announced history’s first embryo transfer, from one women to another resulting in a live birth.

1984 Space Shuttle programme: STS-41-B Mission was launched toInternational Space Station.

1988  Iran-Contra Affair: The United States House of Representatives rejected President Ronald Reagan’s request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.

1989 P.W. Botha resigned party leadership and the presidency of South Africa.

1989 A military coup overthrew Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.

1991The Italian Communist Party dissolved and split into the Democratic Party of the Left and the Communist Refoundation Party.

1996 The Lijiang earthquake in China struck, killing 200 people.

1998 – Cavalese cable-car disaster: a United States Military pilot caused the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy.

2007 A Baghdad market bombing killed at least 135 people and injured a further 339.

2010 – A cast of the sculpture L’Homme qui marche I by Swiss sculptorAlberto Giacometti sells for £65 million, setting the record for most expensive sculpture sold at a public auction.

2011 – All available blocks of IPv4 internet addresses were officially distributed to regional authorities.

2014 – Two peoplewere shot and killed and 29 students are taken hostage at a high school in Moscow, Russia.

2015  – A collision between a commuter train and a passenger vehicle killed six in Valhalla, New York.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: