I don’t know how you can understand other people or yourself if you haven’t read a lot of books. I just don’t think you’re equipped to deal with the demands and decisions of life, particularly in your dealings with other people. Sebastian Faulks who celebrates his 64th birthday today.
Quite casually I wander into my plot, poke around with my characters for a while, then amble off, leaving no moral proved and no reader improved. – Thorne Smith who was born on this day in 1892.
He’s the author or Night Life of the Gods, a book that still makes me laugh out loud after many rereadings. That might disprove the quote because laughing leaves me much improved.
I haven’t watched the film which was adapted from the book and having enjoyed the reading so much and so often I’m not sure I want to watch it, but should you wish to have a peek you’ll find it on here on YouTube.
Author and illustrator Babette Cole has died.
. . . Among her bestsellers were the Princess Smartypants series, which reimagined the traditional fairytale heroine as a motorbiking Ms; books about Dr Dog, a family pet who dispenses medical advice, which were turned into an animated cartoon series; and The Trouble With Mum and its sequels.
Never conventional in appearance, conversation or lifestyle, in person Babette was a highly entertaining companion, a brilliant raconteur of stories true or fanciful, told in a breathy voice and with theatrical manner. Her life as she relayed it seemed to be a series of entertainingly optimistic plans combined with disasters or near-disasters; and her picture books had a similar sense of high-octane drama underpinned by an anarchic sense of humour.
Despite the fun, Babette was no lightweight. She created books on the kinds of disgusting topics that children love and adults mostly do not, and then, emboldened by their success, she went on to more controversial subjects, partly because she liked to shock and partly because she felt she had a duty to make sure children were properly informed. . .
The Trouble with Mum is a delightful book.
The trouble with Mum is that she’s different. She wears funny hats, makes funny cakes and the other parents don’t like her. This makes her sad. Then one day the school goes on fire and Mum, who is different because she’s a witch, magics up some rain and saves the day.
One of the lines I remember from the book is Mum was sad.
Shortly after one of the many re-readings of the book when my daughter was about two, she found me in tears, gave me a hug and asked, why Mummy sad? I explained I was reading a sad book and was grateful for the story which had taught her to recognise the feeling.
The request to do book reviews on the local radio station came at just the right time.
With two pre-schoolers, one of whom had multiple disabilities, I wasn’t in a position to take on full time work but the offer gave me the excuse to read and call it work.
One of the books in the first pile I was given to review was Grievous Bodily by Craig Harrison.*
It made me laugh out loud and has done each of the many times I’ve re-read it.
I came across it again last night, started reading and with a very few minutes was laughing.
It’s one of very few books I’ve read that have that affect and with every laugh I’m grateful for it.
*( It was published in 1991 and probably only available second-hand now).
The Snow Farmer – John Lee of the Cardrona Valley – Beattie’s Book BLog:
The Snow Farmer
John Lee of the Cardrona Valley
Photographs by Stephen Jaquiery
Published by Random House NZ; July 1, 2016; RRP: $50
“John’s story is one to inspire others. It’s a story of a man with a vision, and the strength of personality and the strong relationships with others to make it happen. It’s a Kiwi story of grit and determination of which we can all be proud.” –
Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008).
John Lee has always been a law unto himself. Entrepreneurial, inventive, determined, he hailed from a farming background in the Cardrona Valley; the third of five boys. Schooled in Oamaru, the young John Lee was no fan of the classroom – he was good at maths, but struggled with words– preferring to spend his time dreaming about the day he would farm in his beloved Cardrona Valley. . . .
An initiative aimed at directing farmers towards sustainable use of land and water has been launched by Federated Farmers.
The farming lobby group’s president Dr William Rolleston, announced the establishment of the Land Water Stewardship initiative at its conference this morning.
Dr Rolleston said the initiative would be a small group that would work together to propose solutions to take the economy and the environment forward and engage with farmers . . .
‘Best in the world’ fruit in demand – Jill Herron:
The Cromwell Basin is now producing around half of New Zealand’s export cherries and they are “the best in the world”.
Quite a claim, but one that can be confidently made, in relation to the Asian palate anyway, newly-elected chairman of Summerfruit NZ, Tim Jones, says.
“We think they are the best in the world and our market is telling us they are. That’s one of the reasons we can charge up to $25 a kg, because we deliver on the promise that when someone over there lifts the lid on a box of our cherries, they will go wow.”
Cherry plantings around Cromwell had expanded in recent years, mainly into the Mount Pisa area, as the Southeast Asian markets developed, Mr Jones said. . .
Silver Fern confident – Sally Rae:
September 30 has been agreed in principle by Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling as the revised date to meet Overseas Investment Office approval for their joint venture.
SFF has been awaiting an announcement from the OIO since farmer shareholders voted in favour of the deal last October.
More time was needed to answer the further information requests from the OIO and then to provide sufficient time for the OIO and then Government ministers to consider the application.
SFF continued to believe the investment would be approved “given its substantial merits”, chief executive Dean Hamilton said in a statement. . .
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox have announced more than $376,000 of funding to improve water quality in seven waterways in the Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki regions.
Local iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi will lead the Te Kāhui o Rauru Trust’s Waterways Restoration Project, working with both local and central government.
“The Government is committed to improving water quality in the Manawatū-Whanganui and Taranaki regions. This initiative is focused on the Kai Iwi, Ototoka and Ōkehu streams, the Waitōtara riverbank, Tapuarau Lagoon, the middle reaches of the Waitōtara River and the Whenuakura River,” Dr Smith says.
“Te Kāhui o Rauru Trust clearly understands the issues in these waterways and its project offers realistic, achievable objectives. It has focused clearly on protecting and restoring the seven waterways and moreover has recognised the need to develop ways to monitor the ongoing health of these rivers, lagoon and streams.” . .
The Marlborough District Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries will establish a Marlborough Sounds Salmon Working Group to consider options to implement the Best Management Practice Guidelines for Salmon Farming in the Marlborough Sounds (the guidelines). Other agencies that will have input into the process include the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment.
The working group will meet starting in July and provide recommendations to Marlborough District Council and the Government on implementing the guidelines.
Ministry for Primary Industries Deputy Director General Ben Dalton said the public, the council, government and industry have shown a commitment to implement the guidelines. . .
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy departs for Stanford University today to attend a primary sector leaders bootcamp, focused on developing collaboration and innovation.
“The week-long conference is part of the Te Hono movement, bringing together Chief Executives and leaders with a vison to accelerate the transformation of the primary sector by adding value and creating demand,” says Mr Guy.
“As a Government we have a goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025 and sector leaders share our ambition to explore new ways of collaboration and building capability in our people. . .
10 Reasons Why Kids Brought Up in Agriculture Make the Best Employees – Raised in a Barn:
Kids involved in agriculture are truly one of a kind. They possess a unique skill set unlike anyone else. For the record, there are more than 10 reasons why you should hire an ag kid, but here are some of the best and most important reasons why ag kids make the best employees.
- They understand the importance of being on time.
For Ag kids they know that time is of the essence and wasting daylight is not an option. Even if your five minutes late feeding that show lamb, it will notice. You can expect us to be 15 minutes early because that’s what we’ve learned from our time at the barn.
- Respect is something they value more than anything.
They have worked hard in the show ring to be well-respected so they understand that respect isn’t something that’s given it’s EARNED. FFA taught them to, “…believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others.” . . .
Farms don’t follow a nine-to-five working day or a five-day working week. Even so, weekends are usually quieter and long weekends provide an excuse to do as much or as little as you want.
I began the day with a longish (10km) walk, am finishing it with a good book (Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave) and I’m grateful for both.
UPDATE – whoops, just realised I’ve done two gratitude posts today. Must count my blessings there’s so much for which I”m grateful. 🙂
Preparing for and working at Rotary’s Bookarama has occupied me for the best part of the past week.
People-watchers would find the buyers interesting. Dealers line up at the door before opening morning and run to the tables, others take a more leisurely approach. Some come once, some make return visits. Some are looking for particular titles or authors, others are less prescriptive. Some seek advice or want to chat, others are happy to browse and buy by themselves.
Quite a few buy bag loads of books, many of which they will donate back next year for re-sale, some buy in singles or small numbers.
A few unusual books are individually priced, few for more than $10 and those published recently are also priced – $2 for those from 2011 and 12; $4 for 2013 and 14 and $6 for the last two years. Children’s books are sold at two for $1, Mills and Boons go for $10 a box and all other books are just $1 each.
When it comes to paying, some forgo generous amounts of change while others accept small amounts back. That should not be seen to be judging anyone. Someone’s $9 change from a $20 note for 10 books might not be as important as another’s $1 from a $20 note for 19 books.
In the last few years we’ve found no interest in encyclopedias, atlases or dictionaries and hard back fiction isn’t as popular as paperbacks.
Today we’ll be cleaning up. Left over children’s books will go to the food bank, any good quality books left will be packed up for next year, some of the old books might be offered to dealers and the rest will go to the resource recovery centre for sale or recycling.
This is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser and all proceeds go to the community.
It depends on the generosity of people who donate books, those who buy them and others, not all of whom are Rotary members, who sort and sell them. It’s hard work but also both enjoyable and rewarding.