Quote of the day

November 16, 2015

We need a corrective on who is a genuine artist. I’m an opportunist. I have no talent. That’s true of 99 per cent of people in the British media. Ricky Gervais or Graham and Arthur who wrote Father Ted or Armando Iannucci are God-like as they have talent. Everyone else is a drone. Griff Rhys Jones who turns 62 today.

Maureen O’Hara 17.8.20 – 24.20.15

October 25, 2015

Actress Maureen O’Hara has died:

. . . O’Hara starred in the 1941 multi-Oscar winning drama, How Green Was My Valley, set in a Welsh mining village. She also regularly featured alongside John Wayne, in films such as the Quiet Man.

Born in Dublin, she moved to Hollywood in 1939 and later became a US citizen.

Obituary: Maureen O’Hara

“Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life,” her family said in a statement.

“She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world.” . . .

She also starred in one of my favourite childhood films – The Parent Trap.



Omar Sharif 10.4.32 – 10.7.15

July 11, 2015

Omar Sharif has died:

Actor Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died aged 83.

Egypt-born Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.

He won a further Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago.

Earlier this year, his agent confirmed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. . .



Things to do in Oamaru

May 1, 2015

Victorian Oamaru events for May:

Saturday 11th April – Sunday 24th May
Bodytok Quartet: the human instrument archive at the Forrester Gallery A sonics from scratch project. ‘The human body is our first instrument. Every one of us can make sounds which are as unique to us as individuals as our fingerprints or facial features. Our bodies are the sites from which all communication and music stems. This installation creates a visual and non-verbal sound conversation between viewer and on-screen performer.’

Sunday 3rd
Taste of Autumn at the Oamaru Farmers Market – celebrating the seasonality of our region!

Thursday 7th
Adventure Books presents: John Crick ECO ROCK – Ecology & lore of Kiwiland with a laugh & a song. Join us at 6pm!

Evening with Allyson Gofton: 7.30pm Loan & Merc Building in the Victorian Precinct. $15 per person. Funds to local Hospice Building. Organised by Lions Club of Oamaru and Paper Plus. Tickets available from Paper Plus.

Saturday 9th 
Oamaru Penguin Club: Peter Coulton with an acoustic tribute to Johnny Cash- 8pm

Saturday 16th 
Oamaru Penguin Club: “Pick at the Remnants and Friends” 8pm.

Saturday 18th – Sunday 31th May
Jackie Margaret at the Forrester Gallery Local artists Jackie Margaret presents a series of inspired still life and botanical paintings. These works are sculptural and almost come ‘alive’ with movement and colour.

Thursday 28th
The Ice Suite: Direct from Australia for Steampunk NZ. Symphonic Electronic Live Music and Digital Visual Performance commemorating the heroism and tragedy of Arctic Explorer Robert Falcon Scott as perceived by multi-media ensemble co.sonance. 6pm Adventure Books, Oamaru.

Friday 29th
Oamaru Penguin Club: Jam Night.

Oamaru Fire and Steam festival

Friday 29 May 6.30pm (Queens Birthday Weekend)
Oamaru Fire and Steam festival is a fire, steam, sound and lighting spectacular. This premier event will take place in Harbour Street on Friday 29 May 2015 from 6.30 – 9.00pm. It is an evening of fire themed entertainment for the entire family produced by professionals.

The unique Victorian architecture of Harbour St will be beautifully illuminated with feature lighting displays, smoke effects, controlled explosions, projected images, music, bands, dancers, sports and films.

Oamaru Farmers’ Market

Sundays 9.30am – 1pm
Tyne Street, Harbour Area, Oamaru

Taste of Autumn at the Oamaru Farmers Market – celebrating the seasonality of our region!

Meet the growers, farmers and producers of the best seasonal produce our region has to offer. You’ll be sure to find a fantastic selection of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, plants, baking, preserves, eggs and more.

Take the time to enjoy the Oamaru Farmers’ Market experience. Grab a coffee and a tasty bite to eat, listen to some music and catch up with friends.

Steampunk NZ Festival

Thursday 28 May – Monday 1 June (Queens Birthday Weekend)
The Premier Steampunk event of the Southern Hemisphere is based in the Steampunk capital, Oamaru, New Zealand.

A 4 day event with markets and music, feasting, racing of teapots, airships and magic carpets, – and much more madness; then short story and steampunk literary readings, workshops and dancing. The highlight is the Fashion Show and to top it all a Gala Ball.

Special guest for 2015 is International Steampunk Personality Montague Jacques Fromage from Manchester Township, New Jersey, USA. Montague will be headlining the After Oamaru on Fire music extravaganza on Friday 29th May, involved in as much as he possibly can be on Saturday 30th and then MC at the Steampunk NZ Fashion Show on Sunday 31 May.

The finest dressed, the most fantastic sci-fi accessories and the most friendly, welcoming people, all having fun in the most natural Steampunk backdrop of Oamaru’s Victorian architecture. There is the festival events and then there is the rest of the Waitaki District to enjoy.

Steampunk Events:
28th May: 2015 Steampunk NZ Festival Passport- Loan & Merc and the Oamaru Club.
28th May: Steampunk Magic Night- Early Settlers Hall 6.30pm Family Entertainment.
29th May: Steampunk Friday Night After Party – Loan & Merc 9pm.
30th May: Steampunk Writers’ Workshop with Nathalie Brown 2pm. Early Settlers Hall.
30th May: Steampunk Literacy Readings – 3.20pm Early Settlers Hall
30th May: 2015 Steampunk Market. 10am Oamaru Club.
30th May: League Victorian Imagineers Mess & Dinner & Steampunk Racing. Loan & Merc 5.30pm.
31st May: Steampunk NZ Fashion Show. Oamaru Club 3pm.
31st May: Steampunk NZ Gala Ball. Oamaru Club 7.30pm.

Win family weekend in Queenstown for Hilux NZ Rural Games

January 26, 2015

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games and its sponsors are giving you the chance to enjoy a great family weekend of traditional sports and live entertainment.

Taking place this Waitangi holiday, 7-8 February, the inaugural Games feature national championships and Trans Tasman challenges for ‘sports that built the nation’ including wood chopping, speed shearing, speed fencing, sheep dog trials and the four iconic Highland Games ‘heavy’ events.

The Topp Twins provide entertainment on both days and there are fun events for kids as well as local food and wine all set in the stunning Southern Alps. For more details see www.ruralgames.co.nz

 This amazing prize includes:

– 1 x Family ‘full event’ pass for the Games weekend, 7-8 February; that includes both days and the Queenstown Summer Concert with Jody Direen and friends (Sat 7.30-10.30pm) for 2 adults and up to 3 kids

– Use of a Toyota Hilux for the weekend

– Two nights’ 4-Star hotel accommodation at the Heritage Queenstown provided by Ngai Tahu Farming

– A year’s supply of milk from Fonterra

– Branded clothing from Wild Buck and Line7.

You’ll find the entry form with terms and conditions at the link above.

There’s more on the Hilux NZ Rural Games here.

P.S. I chair the Trust which is running the Games.

Jeremy Lloyd 22.7.30 – 22.12.14

December 24, 2014

We recognise the names and faces of those who star in popular shows but rarely think about or even know the names of those who write them.

Phrases like good moaning and  listen very carefully, I shall say this only once are part of the popular lexicon.

But only today, on the news of his death did I know the name Jeremy Lloyd, who created ‘Allo ‘Allo . Nor did I know he was the writer behind Are You Being Served too.

Selwyn Ballet Christmas

December 19, 2014

The Selwyn Ballet has been a popular feature of  Otago University’s annual capping show for 86 years.

It’s also part of the university’s Christmas message:

Universities are all about serious study and preparing students for high-flying careers, but Otago University has acknowledged the fun side of student life in its Christmas video message.

The clip features a day in the life of the all-male Selwyn Ballet, set to music from popular Christmas ballet The Nutcracker.

The famous classical ballet troupe is the second-oldest in the world, having started as part of Otago University’s capping show in 1928.

It has now become a firm tradition among first-year male students at Dunedin’s Selwyn College hostel.

Most of the guys have no prior dance experience, but work with a professional choreographer during the year to learn their routines. . .


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