The Happiest Man On Earth – Eddie Jaku


Eddie Jaku was a proud German but he and his family were also Jewish and when Hitler came to power their lives changed for the worse, and for ever.

HIs autobiography tells of a happy childhood, harrowing young adulthood, several years of which were spent in concentration camps, and life afterwards where he moved to the other side of the world and his work was rewarded with the Order of Australia.

It is testament to the worst and best of humanity, the power of friendship and love, and how good can triumph over evil.

It also shows the truth of the words of another holocaust survivor, VIktor Frankl: Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku.

Published by Pan Macmillan

The Life of Death




This animation by Marsha Ondeerstijn moves me even though I don’t understand it, but I thought that was appropriate for Good Friday which is about life and death 0 or should that be death and life?

Sir Robin Gray 2.7.31 – 2.4.21


A tartan totara has fallen – former Speaker and true gentleman Sir Robin Gray has died.

I first met Sir Robin at my first meeting as a trustee of the Otago Community Trust. I introduced myself, calling him Sir Robin, and he immediately said, “Just call me Robin”.

That was typical of the man who never stood on ceremony but earned respect by treating everyone equally and well.

I was writing columns for the ODT at the time and had written one about getting TB in our dairy herd. At the next meeting, Sir Robin pulled me aside and told me about the devastation his family faced when he was a child and the whole herd had to be killed when TB struck the herd.

Sir Robin’s wife died during an election campaign. His opponent (whose name escapes me) respectfully stopped campaigning until Sir Robin was able to resume his work.

He opened the National Party Mainland conference when I was regional chair and spoke with his customary wit and wisdom.

Sir Robin was born in Scotland and never lost his accent. He immigrated to New Zealand and farmed at Waitahuna.

He served six terms as the National Party MP for Clutha from 1978 to 1996, retiring before his electorate was swallowed by the enlarged boundaries forced by the introduction of MMP.

He served as both junior and senior Whip before becoming speaker in 1990. National had only a one seat majority after the 1993 election The Speaker can’t vote, so he couldn’t continue as speaker. Labour MP Peter Tapsell (later Sir) took that role and Sir Robin became Minister of State and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sir Robin was a gentle man and a gentleman who more than paid his rent on earth with his good work and good works.



But what can I do?


Robert Fulghum wonders what he can do about Ukraine and starts with the story of the cellist of  Sarajevo:

To make a long and very complicated story short, the breakup of the state of Yugoslavia resulted in a bitter conflict that became known as the Bosnian War. This was 1992.
A horrible time – many war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape.
At the heart of the conflict was the siege of Sarajevo, which was the longest siege of a major city in modern history.

Enter Vedran Smailovic into the history of that place and time.

Here’s what I wrote about him in my book of essays, Maybe, Maybe Not published in 1993:

“Middle-aged, longish hair, great bushy mustache. He is pictured in formal evening clothes. Sitting in a café chair in the middle of a street. In front of a bakery where mortar fire struck a breadline in late May, killing twenty-two people waiting for food.

He is playing his cello. As a member of the Sarajevo Opera Orchestra, there is nothing he can do about hate and war. Even so, every day for twenty-two days he has braved sniper and artillery fire to sit and play Albinoni’s profoundly moving Adagio in G Minor.
Every day. For 22 days. . . .

You’ll find the rest of the story and Fulghum’s answer to but what can I do by clicking on the link above.

The journal posts stay up for a limited time.

Peter Bowles – 16.11.36 – 17.3.22


English actor Peter Bowles has died.

Bounder, criminal, villain. Dandy, duke or diplomat. Peter Bowles, who has died aged 85 of cancer, could be all of these incarnations and often two or three of them at once.

Always distinguished and highly regarded, Bowles himself ruefully admitted that he wasn’t a “star” until, aged 43, he played Richard DeVere, the former costermonger turned supermarket tycoon, in the BBC’s hit comedy series To the Manor Born (1979-81), written by Peter Spence, in which he contested the affections, and the superior social status, of Penelope Keith’s not so merry widow Audrey fforbes-Hamilton.

The sure-fire premise of a classic class-conscious comedy was that Audrey, beset with debts and death duties, was obliged to downsize and set up home in the lodge on her own estate, now in the ownership of a monstrous arriviste. The ripples of resentment, compromise and green shoots of affection were the fuel of two brilliant comic performances; while Keith had already achieved national stardom in The Good Life – Bowles had turned down the role taken in that series by Paul Eddington – this was his moment, and he seized it with relish. . . 

The phenomenon of a posh villain or cultured cad was nothing new. But Bowles could suggest complications beyond the superficially suave. He often paraded his charm as a veil for true menace or nastiness, as well as spivvery, and there was always a hint of phoniness around the smooth-talking self-assurance. Even off-stage or off-set he was always impeccably dressed in pronounced pin-stripes and high, starched collars.

This was a result of his background. Both his parents were in domestic service, but only, as they used to say, to the quality. An only child, Bowles was born in Upper Boddington, Northamptonshire, 12 miles from Banbury, to Sarah Jane (nee Harrison) and Herbert Bowles. Herbert was valet to Drogo Montagu, son of the Earl of Sandwich, while Sarah was nanny to Lady Jeanne Campbell, Lord Beaverbrook’s granddaughter, whose mother married the Duke of Argyll.

In 1940, the Bowleses moved to a two-up, two-down (with outside lavatory) in Nottingham, where Herbert now worked for Rolls-Royce and Peter was educated at High Pavement grammar school, alma mater too of the comedian John Bird. Encouraged by his own aptitude in school plays, and the example of two former pupils, Philip Voss and John Turner, who had both entered the acting profession with success, Bowles secured a scholarship to Rada in London. . .


‘This is an illegal war’ – Schwarzenegger


Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks to the Russian people:

Sir Wira Gardiner 1945 – 17.3.22


Sir Wira Gardiner, soldier, public servant and founding member of the Waitangi Tribunal,  has died:

. . . Sir Wira Gardiner was of Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pikiao, Whakatōhea and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui descent.

He had a long career as a senior public servant. He was the first director of the Waitangi Tribunal, the first Chief Executive of the Ministry of Māori Development (Te Puni Kōkiri) and the first Māori to be appointed as the National Director of Civil Defence.

Sir Wira served in the Vietnam war and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, the highest ranking Māori officer at the time.

He gained degrees from Canterbury University and Kings College at the University of London, and wrote extensively on a range of subjects such as kapa haka, the Māori Battalion and a biography on the life of former Minister of Māori Affairs, Parekura Horomia.

Building Māori-Crown relationships was his specialty especially in Treaty of Waitangi settlements, fisheries, broadcasting, local and regional government and tertiary education. . .

He was also an active, and valued, member of the National Party and a man who earned the tribute kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne’ (the tōtara in the great forest of Tāne has fallen)..

The message from his whanau announcing his death is here.

A message from a Dutch farmer in the Ukraine


A message from a Dutch farmer in Ukraine:

What is the local situation in Ukraine?

The Ukrainians are fighting hard, everyone side by side. All important politicians are united in staying in Kiev and our president has risen to the occasion and has shown the world his courage. 

So far the Ukrainian army holds on strong against the army of Putin. Putin’s army which is made up of young boys who are told to fight their brothers, their cousins, their uncles.

We need to stop this slaughtering of those young men and women by wish of only one man. And let’s not fool ourselves, these men and women are not only fighting for their own life and their own country, they are fighting for the safety of the whole of Europe, the whole of the world.

NATO is no guarantee for fending of a war in the rest of Europe, Putin has proven to be unstable and unpredictable and self-destructive.

If he is willing to destroy Ukraine, he is willing to destroy the rest of Europe and take himself down with us.

All the people in Ukraine are doing their bit, our company has sent of their machines to build roadblocks on the central highway, we send our milk for free to the factory and they will distribute it for free among those who need it.

We send carrots, onions and meat to the army and arrange shelter for refugees to stay.

We are only a small company and our efforts will not make the final decision in this war and Ukraine is only a small country that will take the worst against their bigger brother, like Abel did to Cain.

Cain was doomed after killing his brother, just like we know Putin will be in the end but do we really want to wait for that?

We need to stand up and request our governments to act fast and with fury, ALL EFFORTS TO UKRAINE!

We need to send all we have, weapons that we don’t want to use now in Ukraine, we will later have to be used in the rest of Europe and the rest of the world. We simply cannot afford to have Ukraine loose this war.

There is no time for lingering and extensive consultation. This is no Covid, this isn’t an enemy that we know nothing about.

We know who the enemy is, his name is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin 69 years old, he is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is the current president of Russia.

The target is identified, and we need all power we have to take him down. If you are wondering what you can do?

Go out, demonstrate, request your government that they act even faster than they do; volunteer to take up Ukrainians in your house, women and children whose men have stayed behind to fight for all of us.

Send out this email to everyone you know and most important of all don’t relax, don’t sit back until we have brought this man down.

We will pay a price, that’s for sure, but if we let him get away with it the price will be so much higher.

We are now paying for not stepping up eight years ago when we were selfish and our thoughts were that it is better they fight in Ukraine than they fight with us.

Wake up people! They are fighting with us, and Ukraine is taking the blows.

Don’t let them down, don’t let your children down, don’t let the future down.

Rise up to the occasion: ALL EFFORTS TO UKRAINE!

Please share

Gail Seymour Halvorsen – 10.10.20 – 16.2.22


Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, the Candy Bomber of the Berlin Airlift has died:

Halvorsen grew up in Utah and earned a private pilot’s license at the age of 21, when he joined the Civil Air Patrol. Following the outbreak of WWII, Halvorsen joined the Army Air Forces and flew ferry flights of C-46s and C-47s in the South Atlantic theater of operations.

He stayed in the Air Force after the war and in July 1948 was assigned as one of the pilots in the Berlin Airlift, flying C-54s and C-47s into Tempelhof Airport with crucial sustenance for the citizens of divided Berlin, who were cut off from land resupply by a Soviet blockade. On a sightseeing tour of Berlin during time off, he saw children watching the cargo aircraft operation. Talking to them, he was touched by their appreciation for the airlift and one’s comment that “when the weather gets bad, don’t worry about us. We can get by on little food, but if we lose our freedom, we may never get it back.” He offered them a few sticks of gum, which 30 children shared eagerly but politely. He resolved to do more, and promised to drop candy to them from his plane the next day. He would “wiggle” his wings to let them know which plane to watch for.

Starting with candy rations pooled with friends, Halvorsen devised small parachutes made from handkerchiefs, so the falling candy parcels wouldn’t hurt the children waiting below. For three weeks, he made candy drops once a week. As the weeks passed, the number of children waiting below grew.

The commander of “Operation Vittles,” as the Berlin Airlift was called, was Lt. Gen. William H. Tunner. When he found out about Halvorsen’s unauthorized airdrops, he approved and ordered them expanded as Operation “Little Vittles.” Soon Halvorsen’s whole squadron was buying candy and gum and assembling the parcels with small parachutes. As word reached the U.S. of the mini-airlift, American schoolchildren and confectionary companies donated candy, and soon many other pilots were making candy drops as well. Halvorsen became known as “Uncle Wiggly Wings” or “The Chocolate Flier,” among other names, by the children of Berlin, and the “Candy Bomber” in the U.S.

“Little Vittles” continued from September 1948 through May 1949, when the Soviet Union lifted its blockade and the larger airlift ended. Halvorsen had rotated home in January 1949, but the operation was taken up by his squadron mate, Capt. Lawrence Caskey. “Little Vittles” had dropped an estimated 46,000 pounds of candy tied with more than 250,000 parachutes, and Halvorsen received international attention for his efforts. In his autobiography, Halvorsen recalled that a Berlin child told him the candy was not just chocolate, “it was hope.” . . 

You can read more at Kiwiblog

P.J. O’Rourke 14.1..47 – 15.2.22


P.J. (Patrick Jake) O’Rourke, journalist, satirist and writer, has died:

P.J. O’Rourke, the conservative satirist and political commentator who was unafraid to skewer Democrats and Republicans alike in best-selling books like “Parliament of Whores,” in articles for a wide range of magazines and newspapers, and on television and radio talk shows, died on Tuesday at his home in Sharon, N.H. He was 74.

The cause was complications of lung cancer, said Deb Seager, the director of publicity at Grove/Atlantic, Mr. O’Rourke’s publisher.

Mr. O’Rourke’s political writing was in the caustic tradition of H.L. Mencken. As writers and commentators go, he was something of a celebrity, welcome on talk shows of almost any political bent and known for appearances on NPR’s comedy quiz show “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me.”

He was a proud conservative Republican — one of his books was called “Republican Party Reptile: The Confessions, Adventures, Essays and (Other) Outrages of P.J. O’Rourke” — but he was widely admired by readers of many stripes because of his fearless style and his willingness to mock just about anyone who deserved it, including himself. In “Republican Party Reptile” he recalled his youthful flirtation with Mao Zedong.

“But I couldn’t stay a Maoist forever,” he wrote. “I got too fat to wear bell-bottoms. And I realized that communism meant giving my golf clubs to a family in Zaire.”

In 2010, The New York Times invited him and assorted other prominent people to define “Republican” and “Democrat.” He offered this:

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer and remove the crab grass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then get elected and prove it.”

Mr. O’Rourke was prolific. In addition to some 20 books, he wrote a column for The Daily Beast for a time and appeared regularly in The Atlantic, The American Spectator, Rolling Stone and The Weekly Standard, where he was a contributing editor. He was the conservative side of a point-counterpoint segment on “60 Minutes” in the mid-1990s, opposite Molly Ivins, and a guest on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” “The Daily Show,” “Charlie Rose” and other talk shows.

Mr. O’Rourke was most often identified as a political satirist, but his subjects ranged well beyond the political. His first book, published in 1983 (and reissued in 1989), was called “Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People.”

“Good manners can replace intellect by providing a set of memorized responses to almost every situation in life,” he wrote. “Memorized responses eliminate the need for thought. Thought is not a very worthwhile pastime anyway. Thinking allows the brain, an inert and mushy organ, to exert unfair domination over more sturdy and active body parts.” . . 

He was renowned for his pithy quotes which include:

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.

To mistrust science and deny the validity of scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You’d better go look for work as a plant or wild animal.

Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance.

Fiscal conservatism is just an easy way to express something that is a bit more difficult, which is that the size and scope of government, and really the size and scope of politics in our lives, has grown uncomfortable, unwieldy, intrusive and inefficient.

The idea of capitalism is not just success but also the failure that allows success to happen.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.


3 secrets of resilient people


Everyone experiences loss, but how do you cope with the tough moments that follow? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone shares three hard-won strategies for developing the capacity to brave adversity, overcome struggle and face whatever may come head-on with fortitude and grace.

Meat Loaf 27.9.47 – 20.1.22


Meat Loaf  has died:

Meat Loaf, the hardworking singer and actor whose Bat Out of Hell is one of the best-selling albums ever and who played Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, has died. He was 74.

The Grammy winner born Marvin Lee Aday died Thursday night with his wife Deborah by his side, Meat Loaf’s longtime agent Michael Greene told Deadline on behalf of the family. He added that the singer’s daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends also had a chance to spend time with him and say their goodbyes during the last 24 hours. A cause of death is not being released.

“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man,” Meat Loaf’s family said in a statement. “From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!” . . 

Written and produced by Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell is among the best-selling albums in U.S. history, racking up 14 million units sold, per the RIAA. Its singles “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — which peaked at No. 11 and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively — both were certified platinum in 2018.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — a duet with Ellen Foley, who went on to star in Season 1 of Night Court — famously features longtime New York Yankees announcer “calling the action” as the teenage narrator makes a move on his girlfriend.  . . 

Black Heels and Tractor Wheels – Ele Ludemann


Black Heels and Tractor Wheels Podcasts are a Rural Women NZ initiative in which they share stories from a range of women around New Zealand.

And yes, this week’s episode is about me.

RWNZ’s intro says:

Ele Ludemann’s journey has been a challenging one . . .

Ele speaks of the importance of naming and taming feelings as part of the grief cycle, strategies for everyone to help deal with grief, and shares her interesting farming journey with her husband Grant, from the “ag sag” of the eighties through to today.

Ele has experienced great tragedy within her life so far, and has graciously and candidly shared her story with our listeners today

I’ve been educated, entertained and inspired by listening to these podcasts on my daily walks and feel both humble and privileged to be included in the series.

You can catch up on all the podcasts at Rural Women NZ Black Heels and Tractor Wheels. A new interview is posted every Wednesday.

Sidney Poitier 20.2.27 -6.1.22


Actor, director and Bahamian ambassador, Sidney Poitier has died:

His parents were Bahamian farmers who had travelled to the US to sell tomatoes. His premature birth meant he gained US citizenship as well as Bahamian. . . .

He was brought up on Cat Island in the Bahamas before the family moved to the capital, Nassau.

Aged 15 he went to live with his brother in Miami before moving to New York, where he worked as a dishwasher.

It was in the US that he experienced racism for the first time.

“I lived in a country where I couldn’t get a job, except those put aside for my colour or my caste.”

After a spell in the US Army he joined the American Negro Theatre, which had been set up as a community project in Harlem in 1940.

Film breakthrough

Unfortunately Poitier was tone-deaf and was unable to sing, something audiences felt was a prerequisite of black actors at that time.

Instead he decided his future lay as a serious stage actor and he was offered a leading role in a production of Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata in 1946.

It was a sign of the times that the production featured only black actors.

In 1949 he took the difficult decision to move away from stage productions and into films.

It was a sound decision. His performance in the 1950 film No Way Out, in which he played a newly-qualified doctor confronted by a racist patient, brought him to the attention of the studios.

His breakthrough came in The Blackboard Jungle in 1955, in the role of a disruptive pupil in an inner-city school.

The film was immensely popular, not least because it was one of the first to have a soundtrack featuring rock ‘n’ roll, including Bill Haley’s classic Rock Around the Clock.

The Defiant Ones, in 1958, saw Poitier nominated for best actor at the Academy Awards, and he won a Bafta for the same film.

Five years later he was awarded an Oscar for Lilies of the Field, the first black winner of the Best Actor trophy.

With the growing civil rights movement in the US, it was inevitable Poitier would find himself lauded as an example of black achievement. It was a role he gladly accepted.

“I was a pretty good actor and I believed in brotherhood. I hated racism and segregation. And I was a symbol against those things.”

However, he was concerned that his Oscar may have been indicative of Hollywood’s need for a token black actor, rather than something he achieved on merit.

Then 1967 saw him at his commercial peak with three films, making him Hollywood’s most bankable star that year.

He played a newly-qualified teacher in a tough London school in To Sir, With Love, based on the autobiographical novel by E R Braithwaite. . .

Every girl in my class fell in love with Sir after we’d seen the film, and a lot of the boys wanted to be him.

You Can’t Have It All


. . . poetry stands as the only mode of remembrance that can give shape and space to the amorphous largeness of feeling that is grief.

YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL by Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.

Keep the all safe


This column from Joe Stanley, UK Farmers Weekly opinion writer, was too important to include in the daily rural round-up.

He starts movingly describing the very short life and far too early death of his son, George and then writes:

A few days after we lost George, I saw through numb eyes a Health and Safety Executive notification that a child had been killed on-farm – the ninth in the past five years. In each of those cases, I can only imagine the devastation for the parents of losing a child into whom had been poured not just minutes, but years of love. And my heart goes out to them for their loss.

As an industry, please let us take this issue more seriously. We have an appalling safety record in general, and are the only industry where children are still dying in our workplaces every year.

There are many reasons given for this, but let us all remember the law: any access to the farm workplace for children under 16 must be supervised by an adult not engaged in work. Children under the age of 13 must not drive or ride in the cab of any agricultural vehicle. It is illegal and unsafe.

I”m not sure that these laws apply in New Zealand, but keeping children safe certainly does.

None of us ever think tragedy will befall us or our nearest and dearest, but the wheel of fate always stops somewhere. If you can help it, don’t let it be on you and yours. You don’t want this pain.

As farmers, most of us treat “the farm” as an entity in its own right – one that almost resents time spent away from it by the farmer.

Well, the farm will still be there tomorrow. So spend more time with your loved ones, with your family. Don’t lose sight of what’s truly important in life.

When my own end comes, I’m certain I would trade the memories of every day of work between this day and that, for those of the few brief minutes I spent with my darling little George.

Children growing up on farms have opportunities and experiences that town children don’t.

There’s a lot to be gained by seeing and, where appropriate, helping with  their parents’ work; learning how to care for the land and stock, and having hundreds, possibly thousands of hectares as a playground.

But while farms can provide a lot of fun and teach a lot of lessons, they can be dangerous workplaces, especially for children.

As another member of that group none of us choose to join – bereaved parents – I know only too well that you don’t want this pain and that everyone should do everything possible to keep farms safe for children, and for adults.

Max Cryer 1935 or 36 – 25.8.21


Trailblazing broadcaster Max Cryer has died:

Cryer made over 300 appearances on television after beginning on air in the late 1960s. He hosted 12 different television series including Town Cryer.

He is also as New Zealand’s first television quizmaster.

A former New Zealand Entertainer of the Year and a Benny Award winner, Cryer’s dedication to the arts were highly praised.

“Max was an icon and a trailblazer and will be sorely missed,” New Zealand media personality David Hartnell MNZM told 1NEWS.   . .

Don Everly 1.2.37 – 21.8.21


Don Everly of the Everly Brothers has died:

Everly and his brother, Phil, had hits worldwide in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Bye Bye Love and All I Have To Do Is Dream.

They were known for their close harmonies, and influenced groups like The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. . .

Sean Lock 22.4.63 – 16.8.21


Comedian Sean Lock has died:

A comedy panel show favourite, Lock was a team captain on the series 8 Out of 10 Cats, hosted by Jimmy Carr.

He also appeared on QI, The Last Leg, Have I Got News for You, and The Big Fat Quiz of the Year.

Paying tribute, comedian Bill Bailey said: “It’s heartbreaking to lose my dearest friend Sean Lock, he was a true original, a wonderful comic.”

Jon Richardson, who appeared opposite Lock as a fellow team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats, tweeted: “I idolised Sean as a comic long before I became a comedian myself and 10 years working alongside him didn’t diminish that in the least. An incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice.” . . 


I stumbled over 8 Out of 10 Cats Do Countdown only recently while channel surfing and have become a fan.

It is funny in a way that only British comedy is and Sean’s dry wit is a big part of its charm.

Betty Gilderdale – 1923 – 9.7.21


Betty Gilderdale,  author of The Little Yellow Digger has died.

Generations of children know Betty as the author of the much-loved series of five Little Yellow Digger picture books, which she created alongside her artist husband, Alan Gilderdale. With over half a million Little Yellow Digger books in print, the original picture book stands out as one of New Zealand’s all-time bestselling children’s picture books, a wonderful legacy to leave to the world of children’s publishing. It is a legacy that is being continued by their son Peter, who has taken up the mantle of writing new books in the series. . . 

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