Word of the day


Carriwitchet – a conundrum; absurd, nonsensical, hoaxing or riddling question, a pun; a piece of jocularity or facetiousness.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Not quite 365 days of gratitude


This is the last of last year’s 365 days of gratitude post, being written this morning because last night I was having fun with friends and had neither the time nor inclination to write.

I didn’t quite get to 365 – this is only the 357th post, so there must have been a few days when for reasons now forgotten I didn’t write one.

I started these posts last New Year’s Day because 2017 had been an annus horriblis for reasons which weren’t mine to write about and I knew last year would also have more steep mountains to climb and deep valleys to traverse.

It did. But it also had love and support from, and fun with, family and friends; our daughter’s wedding; travel, and excitement as well as the ordinary days when it wasn’t hard to count my blessings.

In the last few weeks I’ve had several unexpected reminders that almost everyone has tough times for a whole variety of reasons.

But I’ve also had reminders of the inner resources and outside support that enable most of us to not only deal with the challenges but to make the most of life in spite of, and sometimes, because of them.

So here’s to 2019, may it be kind to you and yours.




Quote of the day


World records are the pinnacle. If you run 100m or 5000m faster than anyone else has ever run in the world, on that day you have climbed a mountain that no one else has ever climbed. – Dick Quax who was born on this day in 1948.

January 1 in history


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.

1873 – Margaret Barnett Cruickshank, the first female doctor to be registered in New Zealand, was born (d. 1918).

Margaret Cruickshank, ca 1897.jpg

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 (d. 2018).

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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