Channelling Henry Higgins

July 11, 2011

Act’s strength has always been its social liberalsim.

It’s difficult to see quite how anti-Maori rants  fit that philosophy nor why a social liberal would channel Henry Higgins:

“It’s a men’s party. I can’t get them to agree to that but it’s a party for men and women who think like men. “

Ah yes, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Deborah ahs the answer – our feeble lady brains can’t cope with anything rational.


Our rain gauge overfloweth

May 25, 2010

Our rain gauge holds only 25 mls.

My farmer tipped out 20 early yesterday evening and it was overflowing first thing this morning.

At Five Forks just over the hill  and Totara about 10 kilometres as the crow flies, they’ve had 80 mls. Glencoe on the eastern edge of the Kakanui Range, above Waianakarua, has had 100 mls and  there’s been 120 at Weston which is about half way between Oamaru and home.

The Kakanui River is rising at a rate of about 45 mls  mms an hour.

Recent rainfall softened the ground so a lot has soaked in but we’re starting to get run off. The radio is broadcasting advice for country people to stay at home and State Highway 1 is closed at Deborah.

I don’t need to use that stretch of road but there are a few spots between here and town which flood.

I’m supposed to be MCing the Enterprising Rural Women Award presentations at the Rural Women NZ annual conference in Oamaru this evening.  I’ll make a reconnaissance  this afternoon to see if the roads are passable. If they are I’ll take  the precaution of packing a toothbrush and change of clothes with me in case I get there then find I can’t get home again.

Not wanting this to be seen as a sign of ingratitude, I’ll declare the drought over and be grateful that we will now be set up for good spring growth.


Valentines Day round up

February 14, 2010

He may say – and believe – it’s better to know you’re loved every day than just once a year – but Valentines Day is also my birthday and my farmer gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers.

Over at In A Strange Land, Deborah writes about doing it right.

Busted Blonde’s Rock rocks.

Cactus Kate had computer problems but got flowers from a mystery man.

Andrei makes up for the lack of a duet in my list of top 10 (11) love songs with My Kind of Woman My Kind of Man.

And Quote Unquote has a bitter-sweet Valentine’s Day.


The King’s Breakfast

May 22, 2009

Over at In a Strange Land, Deborah is asking people for their party piece poems – those they can recite by heart.

That’s prompted this choice for Friday’s poem, A.A. Milne’s The King’s Breakfast.

There was a time I could recite it, word perfect but when I tried to type it out I had some gaps in the middle and had to peek at When We Were Very Young,  the collection of poems from which it comes to refresh my memory.

The King’s Breakfast

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, “Certainly,
I’ll go and tell the cow
Now
Before she goes to bed.”

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told
The Alderney:
“Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.”
The Alderney
Said sleepily:
“You’d better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade
Instead.”

The Dairymaid
Said, “Fancy!”
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
“Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It’s very
Thickly
Spread.”

The Queen said
“Oh!:
And went to
His Majesty:
“Talking of the butter for
The royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Marmalade
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little
Marmalade
Instead?”

The King said,
“Bother!”
And then he said,
“Oh, deary me!”
The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
And went back to bed.
“Nobody,”
He whimpered,
“Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!”

The Queen said,
“There, there!”
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, “There, there!”
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
“There, there!
I didn’t really
Mean it;
Here’s milk for his porringer,
And butter for his bread.”

The Queen took
The butter
And brought it to
His Majesty;
The King said,
“Butter, eh?”
And bounced out of bed.
“Nobody,” he said,
As he kissed her
Tenderly,
“Nobody,” he said,
As he slid down the banisters,
“Nobody,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man –
BUT
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”

        –  A. A. Milne –


Remembering Mothers Day – updated

May 10, 2009

That National Party Mainland Conference opened this morning with a recognition of all the mothers present.

Several bloggers have acknowleged their, or other people’s mums with a post:

Monkeywith typewriter qutoes Corinthians For Mums Everywhere

Frenemy posts on his plans for Moms Day (and because the mother in question is American he can get away with Mom rather than Mum).

PM of NZ has a Small Test for Mothers Day (though the connection between the test and Mothers Day escapes me).

I hope all the other mother-bloggers are enjoying the day and that the non-mother bloggers are too busy making sure their mothers enjoy the day to blog.

Warm thoughts to those who no longer have a mother, and special mention and aroha for Hekia Parata MP and her whanau who are mourning the loss of  their mother who died last week.

UPDATE: M&M posts on her Mothers Day

                    Deborah posts on Celebrating Mothers Day  at The Hand Mirror and on More Pinkification of Mothers at In A Strange Land

 

UPDATE 2- Lindsay Mitchell wants a get off my back & out of my face day.


Hottest & Hunkiest – How Sad is That?

May 5, 2009

If bloggers were lined up across the politcial spectrum, the erstwhile MP for Eketahuna Alf Grumble would generally be at the blue end and the women at the Hand Mirror would be at the pink to red end.

But today they are in accord over the quest for the hottest businessswoman and hunkiest businessman.

Alf says:

Much more fundamentally, Alf is flabbergasted that the Fairfax clowns have the gall to contend:

Here at BusinessDay we take business very seriously.

. . . Yes, Alf is only too aware of the recessionary bite. It is chewing up jobs and it is corroding people’s investments.

That’s precisely why he doesn’t give a toss about who is the hottest or the hunkiest. . .

Deborah at The Hand Mirror says:

Mind you, it is at least an equal opportunity *headdesk*. They’re promising a poll on NZ’s hottest businessman tomorrow.

Sigh…

There’s a place for  judging people on their appearances but it’s not the business pages of media which wish to be taken seriously and there are far more intelligent ways to bring a bit of lightness and humour if they feel the need to  counteract the economic gloom.


Will she use the title?

April 24, 2009

If it hadn’t been Laws I might have bitten my tongue because while I oppose many of her policies I can’t deny Helen Clark made an impact domestically and internationally.

But I find Auckland University’s decision to award her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws baffling.

This is the woman who forged not just one, but about half a dozen, works of art over 20 years and didn’t understand that it was wrong; who turned her back on her police drivers when they sped through Canterbury on her behalf; and who flouted electoral spending rules then passed legislation to retrospectively validate it and then brought in the Electoral Finance Act in the – mistaken – belief it would let her get away with mis-spending tax payers money again.

The Herald says that  while it is permissable to use the title Dr, it is accepted practice in New Zealand to forgo the title.

Accepted practice or not, given her aversion to titular honours which she reinforced in her valedictory speech, it would seem more than a little hypoctritical to use the honorific.

For other views on the issue:

Keeping stock asks what?

Kiwiblog thinks it should be retrospective

Cactus Kate announces the end of her alumni contributions

Fairfacts Media see the irony

PM of NZ muses on ‘sign of commitment’

While Deborah at The Hand Mirror is far more gracious,  and regards it as a fitting honour


Some Earth Day initiatives off the planet

April 22, 2009

When you work on the land, every day is earth day.

Even when you don’t, but live with someone who makes a living from the land, every day is earth day.

For everyone involved in primary industry on land or sea, the environment isn’t an academic concept, it’s where we live and work and the majority of us regard our responsibility for doing as much as we can to make a positive, and lessen any negative, impact on it seriously.

But today is not every day earth day, it’s capital E capital D Earth Day.

That’s when we’re all supposed to save the world but some of the calls to action have come from people who seem to be not so much for the earth as from another planet.

The most deluded of these had to be European Green MP Caroline Lucas who compares people who fly with those who stab others (Hat tip: Kiwiblog 

Then Alf Grumble spotted PETA’s media release calling on Environment Minister Nick Smith to turn vegetarian and saw an opportunity for Busted Blonde.

She wasn’t impressed  about that, and also took exception  to the suggestion that fat people contribute more CO2 than thin people.

Deborah reacted with justifiable ire to the same story from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine  with a cross post on fat hatred at In A Strange Land and The Hand Mirror.

And now I’ve come across to be green eat less red.

Conventionally raised livestock generates 18 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released by the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization in 2006. That’s more than the emissions created by all the world’s cars, trains, planes and boats combined. In comparison, transportation is responsible for 13 percent of the emission problem.

 I’m not sure what conventional means;  and whether this is just the emissions from the animals or from the total production chain from paddock to plate because there is a big difference in the environmental footprint of free range, pasture raised stock like the majority of animals farmed in New Zealand and those reared in feedlots as many are overseas.

Regardless of that, this might not be as off the wall as comparing flying to murder, linking obesity with climate change  and PETA’s call to go vegetarian, but it’s still misguided.

Eating moderate amounts of lean meat is recommended for personal health but I’m not convinced that in itself it would be any better for the planet. If people chose high fat, high sugar, low fibre alternatives to meat their diet would be less healthy and the impact on the environment might be  worse too.

It’s silly to take just one behaviour in isolation, everyone’s total impact on the environment is what matters and if someone chooses to eat a bit more meat but use less petrol it would be difficult to say that they were treading less gently on their patch of the earth than a vegetarian who drives an old, inefficient vehicle.

We have only one world and all have a responsibility to look after it, but let’s base our policies and practices for doing that on science not half-baked emotion.

P.S.

For every action there is a reaction and the reaction to Earth Day is Exploit the Earth Day about which Not PC has a comprehensive post.


Growing up

November 24, 2008

It really was just a few weeks ago that they were babies . . .

hpswans-014

 

. . . and now they’re in their teens:

swans-2-004

Deborah has a sort of related post In A Strange Land.


Wholesome image not sexy enough for sales

November 20, 2008

Hayley Westenra  gets a round of applause from me for resisting demands to present a sexier image to boost sales of her recordings.

Kiwi soprano Hayley Westenra has taken a stand against the music industry, saying she ‘refuses to dress like a tart’ to sell records.

The 21-year-old singer claims she has been in a battle with her record company over her wholesome image.

“Oh there’s definitely the pressure,” says Hayley’s mother Jill. “You’ve only just got to see the artists that are in the media all the time and why they’re in the media and you can see it works.”

Unlike other young performers who have happily morphed from starlet to sexpot, Westenra has staunchly refused.

“Occasionally, I have had to stand my ground on image issues,” she says. “I am not a tarty person and I don’t wear those clothes when I am out, so I don’t wear them to perform or for interviews either.”

Hayley’s not the only star to take a stand against unreasonable demands to conform to an image. Deborah at In A Strange Land found this story on actress Emma Thompson who threatened to quit her role in a movie when she heard co-star Haley Attwell had been told to lose weight for her role. 

In contrast to mainstream cinema’s rollcall of skinny leading ladies with washboard chests, Atwell looks sensual, womanly and normal as a result. “This is where I get a bit fundamentalist, I’m afraid,” says Thompson, a long-time feminist and activist.

“It’s no joke: I would have made a big fat fuss and walked off.” She laments the body fascism of the film industry and, indeed, of society in general. So what can be done?

“Put on weight and say, ‘F..k off!”‘

Her eyes flash. “March into a store that doesn’t stock 38D bras and say, ‘I want a 38D bra or I’m never coming here again!’ If anyone larger than a size eight appears in a film, go and see it. Which is all my films, by the way,” she says with a smile.

“But the fact that Hayley listened to me was the real revolution here. She could have lost confidence and said, ‘I’d better lose a stone’, but she didn’t.”

 

The stands taken by these women are small steps on the long road to the respect for personal modesty and acceptance of healthy body shapes as normal.


Meandering mint

November 13, 2008

Deborah has been growing mint over at In a Strange Land and she’s very sensibly contained it in a pot.

That’s what I ought to have done when I took a few roots from my mother’s garden after she died.

Instead I just popped them into the garden where they grew and grew and grew and now the mints has taken over the rest of my herbs and is threatening the vegetable garden too:

 mint2


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