365 days of gratitude

December 26, 2018

Boxing Days is one of my favourites.

The rush and bustle in the lead up to Christmas is behind me; there’s enough food left over from yesterday to require little in the way of meal preparations and there’s at least one Christmas gift to read.

Today I’m grateful for a day of walking and reading.


Word of the day

December 26, 2018

Crawmassing – gathering up or going through the remnants of a Christmas meal; go around begging gifts at Christmas.


Rural round-up

December 26, 2018

One half of New Zealand’s kūmara-saving couple dies – Harrison Christian:

At the age of 85, Fay Gock was still driving a tractor and tending to her market garden.

The woman who, with her husband Joe, is credited with saving New Zealand’s kūmara, died peacefully last week after a sudden illness.

Her daughter, Jayne Gock, recalls her mother’s generous spirit. Fay Gock was a “loving, caring, and giving person,” with a strong desire to contribute to her community — and country. . . 

Kiwi shearing industry is heading for a crash as Aus beckons – Pat Deavoll:

Its 7.45am in a North Canterbury shearing shed and the day is in full swing. The walls vibrate with the hum and rattle of the machines; the air is pungent with the sweet-sour smell of sheep and sweat, and the radio blares.

Four men take sweeping blows with their handpieces across the sheep they grip between their knees. The wool cascades to the floor. The shearers tattooed arms shine with sweat, even though it is still early morning and chilly. . . 

‘Small city’ of Lake Dunstan summer visitors leads to camping changes:

Authorities in Central Otago have introduced a new regime to tackle freedom campers as “a small city” of visitors descends on the area.

Land Information NZ (LINZ) and Central Otago District Council have teamed up to ensure visitors to Lake Dunstan respect the area.

Self-contained vehicles are a must at most camping sites in the area and a three-day maximum stay is being enforced.

LINZ deputy chief executive for crown property Jerome Sheppard said the new approach was in response to a massive increase in visitor numbers. . . 

Nurses’ accord concerns rural hospitals – Mike Houlahan:

Otago rural hospitals are bracing for possible industrial action next year, as the implications of the Government’s much heralded nursing safe staffing accord begin to affect them.

Under the accord, signed in July as part of the deal to settle the nurse’s pay dispute, DHBs and the Government committed to safe staffing levels in all hospitals.

All DHBs have been scrambling to hire more nurses – the Otago Daily Times last week reported that the Southern DHB had hired 16 nurses and was looking for more staff. . . 

Farmers’ champion gives up desk – Annette Scott:

People have kept Kevin Geddes associated with Federated Farmers for 60 years but at 80 he’s decided it’s time to call it a day.

Clutching a personalised Federated Farmers life membership certificate presented to him at the national council meeting in Wellington on November 29 Geddes feels very honoured to have worked so long with such amazing people.

He was speechless when given the recognition for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the business and sustainability of agriculture through innovation, determination and practical leadership. . . 

Outlook for lamb looks fair for farmers – Sally Rae:

International lamb prices might soften a little, but tight supplies in New Zealand and Australia and a weakening New Zealand dollar should ensure any slippage at the farm gate is modest.

That was the message from Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface in the latest Agri Update where she outlined the outlook for lamb, which has experienced bumper prices.

On balance, international prices were expected to slip a little from current levels as growth in China slowed and Brexit continued to weigh on the UK economy.

But back at the farm gate, . . 


Quote of the day

December 26, 2018

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. – Henry Miller who was born on this day in 1891.


December 26 in history

December 26, 2018

1135 – Coronation of King Stephen of England.

1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeated troops of Utrecht.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.

1716  Thomas Gray, English writer, was born (d. 1771).

1780  Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born (d. 1872).

1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born (d. 1871).

1860  The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.

1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.

1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.

1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.

Sectarian violence in Canterbury

1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born  (d. 1980).

1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born (d. 1976).

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.

1919   Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.

1933 FM radio was patented.

1935 – Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.

1940 –  Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.

1942 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.

1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.

1953 Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic, was born.

1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.

1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.

1986 World Population reached 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.org world population tracker.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the USSR.

2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

2004 – Orange Revolution: The final run-off election in Ukraine was held under heavy international scrutiny.

2006 – An oil pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria exploded, killing at least 260 people.

2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake (7.1 magnitude)  hit Taiwan.

2009 – China opened the world’s longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.

2011 –  Cyclone Dagmar swept over Scandinavia, deracinating trees, disrupting public traffic, and destroying buildings.

2015 – During the December 2015 North American storm complex, a Tornado Outbreak occurred in the DFW Metroplex, with the most notable tornadoes being an EF2, EF3, and an EF4. About a dozen people died due to various reasons, 10 of which due to the EF4, which did substantial damage to the suburb of Rowlett.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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