Hot Lemon Drink for colds


My mother’s recipe for hot lemon drink for treating colds and sore throats.

Wash lemons and slice with skin intact.

Put in pot and cover with water.

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Bring to boil, add honey to taste (depends on how sour lemons are and how sweet you like the drink).

Simmer a few minutes.

Remove from heat, strain and serve.

Evenif you’re not drinking it immediately it’s important to strain the drink. It goes bitter if the lemon is left in it when it cools.

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In spite of my tartan genes I haven’t acquired a taste for whisky but those who have recommend adding a wee dram.

Bigger warning needed when drowsy is good


Eyes streaming, nose worst, throat sore, coughing frequently . . . but I must be okay because it’s “only”* a cold.

I’ve been self-medicating with the usual preparations which may or may not work; and hot lemon drink made to my mother’s recipe which placebo effect or not, does help.

Could I make a plea to the people who make the things which are supposed to help to make the warning about non-drowsy formula far more prominent.

I’m obviously not pre-disposed to addiction on uppers. All they do  is make me feel agitated and on a cool Saturday when you’re feeling like I do, drowsy would be good.

* And well under par as I feel I know that it is “only” a cold when compared with shingles which really are the pits.

Rural round-up


Water supply reform coming – Annette Scott:

Major reforms proposed for the water supply sector will pose significant implications for irrigation schemes that provide domestic water supply.

The new Water Services Bill currently before the Government’s Health Select Committee sets out new regulations that will need to be followed by rural agricultural drinking water supplies.

The reforms are designed to provide clear leadership for drinking water regulation through a new dedicated regulator.

They will also strengthen compliance, monitoring and enforcement related to drinking water regulations and equip the new regulator with the powers and resources needed to build capability, support suppliers of all kinds to meet their obligations and take a tougher, more consistent approach to enforcement where needed. . . 

Carbon market to surge in 2021 – Richard Rennie:

The new year promises to bring intense activity to New Zealand’s carbon trading market with new auction activity and investor interest picking up fast.

2020 closed off with NZ carbon units surging to a new high at $38.10 a unit, well ahead of the year’s starting point of $28.60 and significantly above the pre-lockdown low of $22.10.

With the price cap of $25/unit lifted to $35 mid-year, analysts are anticipating the values will continue to surge further still.

The CommTrade carbon trading platform has best offers for April next year at $38.90, rising to $41.05 by April 2024. . . 

Giving 2021 some certainty – Mike Chapman:

As 2020 drew to an end and we mistakenly thought that we were coming out of the Covid chaos, Covid and mother nature doubled down on us. The new more highly contagious Covid variants, hail storms, floods and seasonal labour supply have collectively made growing, selling and exporting fruit, berries and vegetables that much harder.  It is not a great start to 2021.

Looking back on 2020, some interesting trends have emerged, on which United Fresh has reported.  As a result of Covid, these trends include:

  • Eating healthy food is top of the list for consumers
  • Food hygiene is also very important
  • There are fewer visits to supermarkets with shoppers doing bigger shopping trips.  Pre-Covid, the trend had been towards more and smaller shopping trips. . .

2021 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards opens for entries:

Entries are open for the 2021 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, says Ministry for Primary Industries’ Director of Investment, Skills and Performance, Cheyne Gillooly.

The Awards, run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), celebrate primary sector employers who demonstrate exceptional employment practices.

“The Primary Industries Good Employer Awards provide the opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding employers who put their staff at the heart of their operations,” says Mr Gillooly. . . 

Agcarm appoints new animal health expert :

The industry association for crop protection and animal health manufacturers and distributors has appointed Jeff Howe as its technical manager.

Jeff Howe replaces Jan Quay, after a seventeen-year tenure, as Agcarm’s animal health expert. As well as taking the lead on animal health issues, Jeff provides technical support on the company’s crop protection and rural supplier portfolios.

“Getting better outcomes for farmers, animals, and consumers of food and fibre is a key driver for me. I am excited about the possibilities for new technologies to increase productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimise residues, and help in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

“I look forward to working closely with government and industry stakeholders to facilitate access to cutting edge products that will support a more sustainable and innovative sector, and Agcarm’s vision of healthy crops – healthy animals – healthy business,” says Howe. . . 

Chemical identification of lemon myrtle to future proof essential oil – Jamie Brown:

An Australian native whose leaves deliver a lemon scent fit for royalty is now attracting record prices for its essential oil, up from $100 a kilogram a few years ago to more than $350/kg with the price expected to rise as demand increases.

The industry’s next challenge is to fingerprint the plant’s chemistry and identify key components with the aim of branding it as 100pc natural in a way that sets itself apart from synthetic copies.

In a project managed by the Essential Oil Producers Association of Australia, plant cuttings from a range of lemon myrtle varieties originally found growing in the wild, from the Kimberley and North Queensland to the Sunshine Coast hinterland and Currumbin Valley in south east Queensland, will be distilled in a laboratory at Lismore’s Southern Cross University and the natural range of chemical variations within their oils will be analysed. . .


Great service


What do you do when there’s 16 hungry people ready for dinner in Wellington on a Friday night without a booking?

We were at the Museum Hotel which has a wonderful restaurant but we didn’t want fine dining. I knew a cafe near by and asked one of the staff if she could book a table for us.

She tried three times but kept getting an answerphone. She asked if we wanted her to try somewhere else, asked what we were looking for, suggested Restaurant 88, phoned and booked a table for us in 15 minutes which was just enough time to finish our drinks and walk there.

We were greeted by smiles which didn’t falter when we did a recount, found we had a couple of extras and that required a rejigging of tables.

The menus and water were delivered straight away and orders taken as soon as we were ready.

The meals turned up in a very short time, beautifully presented and tasting delicious. Restaurant 88 specialises in provincial Vietnamese dishes (there’s just one steak on the menu which comes with the explanation:  “OK, this is not a Vietnamese dish but it’s still a fine piece of steak”).

I chose the vegetarian option for the SAIGON LEMONGRASS BEEF SALAD WITH CRISPY SPRING ROLLS   – described as a refreshing rice noodle salad, mixed with fresh Asian herbs, lime dressing and spring onion oil. Topped with stir-fry lemongrass beef, roasted peanuts, Vietnamese crispy pork and crab spring rolls. Famous in Vietnam.

It was delicious and satisfying in terms of both quality and quantity.

Everyone else expressed similar high praise for their meals.

We finished the evening impressed with Melissa at the Museum for her service and recommendation and Restaurant 88 for a service and food. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend  both.

It’s only a common cold


My throat was sore, the morning light hurt my eyes and my nose was running. I’d have liked to have turned over and gone back to sleep but I had no excuse for that because it was only a common cold.

The kitchen was full of morning busyness – radio on, phone ringing, toast cooking . . . I wanted to leave it and return to bed but I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t really sick I only had a common cold.

My farmer went out. Peace reigned but so did mess. Yesterday’s papers were strewn across the sofa, dishes cluttered the bench, in the laundry a pile of washing waited for attention. I wanted ignore it, sit down beside the fire and have a wee nap. But I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t really sick, I only had a common cold.

The phone kept ringing and all the callers started their conversations by asking, ‘how are you?” Of course I answered ‘fine thanks’ because they were not really interested in my well-being and although I wasn’t fine at all there was nothing to make a song and dance about. I only had a common cold.

The box of tissues was empty but the pretty bits of cotton and lace in my drawer would have been soaked by a single blow. I found more substantial handkerchiefs in my farmer’s drawer, hoping he wouldn’t mind me using them in an emergency. Not that this was an emergency. It was only a common cold.

It was nearly lunchtime but I wasn’t hungry, nor would I have been able to taste anything had I had an appetite for it. What I really wanted was to tuck myself up with a large lemon & honey drink and leave the day to get on without me. But I couldn’t do that when I only had a common cold.

It felt like someone had filled my sinuses with putty and one ear was a bit sore. I thought about ringing my doctor but the medical students with whom I flatted in my youth said if you treat a cold it lasts a week and if you leave it alone it’s over in seven days. Besides, it would be silly to subject others to infection in a doctor’s surgery when I wasn’t really sick and I only had a common cold.

I was supposed to be going down to Dunedin to the opening of MP Michael Woodhouse’s office this afternoon then on to Clinton where I’d been invited to speak to the Lions. I made apologies for both, knowing it would be foolish to spread any germs, but feeling guilty when I only had a common cold.

We were supposed to go to a combined 21st and 50th birthday party in Gore tomorrow but cancelled that too, still feeling guilty when I only had a common cold.

I prescribed myself an early night, last night and as I tried to get to sleep I thought about this “only a common cold” business. No doubt colds are common but why is something which makes you feel so lousy always prefaced with an “only”?

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