¡Vamos Argentina!


If we were hosting the rugby World Cup, lost the semi-final to England, played against South Africa for 3rd and 4th place and lost and had to watch Australia in the final, how would we be feeling?

We’d be somewhat less than ecstatic but southern hemisphere loyalty would probably beat trans-Tasman rivalry and we’d be cheering for the Aussies.

That will probably be how it is for Brazil, having to watch Argentina play Germany in the World Cup final today after losing to the Netherlands yesterday.

They’d rather it was them but South American solidarity will probably trump their rivalry with their neighbours and they’ll back them against the European team.

We have German friends and our surname has German origins.

My farmer’s great-grandfather and his brother were Germans who jumped ship in the 18th century to avoid conscription into the Prussian army.

They ended up in New Zealand where eventually the name became Anglicised.

Relatives of the two brothers still live in Germany and we have friends there too so I could be backing the Germans.

But our links with Argentina are stronger.

We hosted an AFS student from there, his family is now ours. We’ve been there seven times and they’ve visited us too and the links were strengthened when our nephew married and Argentinean.

So today we’ll be backing the team in blue and white and shouting, ¡vamos Argentina!


Argentina 0 – Netherlands 0


At the end of extra time Argentina and the Netherlands are locked 0 – 0.

This, the second World Cup semi final, will now be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

I know almost nothing about football but I’m on the edge of my seat.

December 19 in history


On December 19:

1154  Henry II of England was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1606  The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery left England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.

1683  Philip V of Spain, was born.

1820 Mary Livermore, American journalist and women’s rights advocate, was born.

1906 Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, was born.

The evacuation of Suvla Bay

1915 Édith Piaf, French singer and actress, was born.

1920  King Constantine I was restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece and a plebiscite.

1923  Gordon Jackson, Scottish actor, was born.

1924  The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was sold in London.

AX 201 at the Rolls-Royce centenary celebrations, Manchester, 2004

 1925 Robert B. Sherman, American songwriter, was born.

1932  BBC World Service began broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

BBC World Service logo

1934  Pratibha Patil, President of India, was born.

1941 The Royal Navy cruiser HMS Neptune struck enemy mines and sank off Libya – more than 750 men lost their lives including 150 New Zealanders.

HMS <em>Neptune</em> lost in Mediterranean minefield

1941 Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.

1941 – Maurice White, American singer and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1944 Zal Yanovsky, Canadian guitarist (The Lovin’ Spoonful, was born.

1946  Start of the First Indochina War.

1972  Apollo program: The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.

Apollo 17-insignia.png

1983  The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, was stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation.


1984 The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People’s Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997 was signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.

1998  Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwarded articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.

2001  A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg )was recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia.

2001 – Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots – Riots erupted in Buenos Aires.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

NZ 1 – Bahrain 0


Now is not the time to confess I’ve never been interested in what some call the beautiful game.

The last time the All Whites qualified for a FIFA World Cup was 1982.

I was in Britain then. As happens when you’re overseas and someone from home does something of note, even those of us who had no interest in what we then called soccer and is now known as football, got excited.

UPDATE: Keeping Stock has come out of retirement for an enthusiastic first hand report on the game.

July 30 in history


On July 30:

762 Baghdad was founded.

1818 Emily Bronte was born.

Portrait by Branwell Brontë

 1930 Uruguay won the first Football World Cup.

1979 carless days were enforced on New Zealand motorists.

1980 Vanuatu gained Independence.


 Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History Online.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. Who said “Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men”?

2. Who wrote The Uncommon Reader?

3. What is manchego?

4. How many countries have won the FIFA World Cup?

5. Who was the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal?

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday’s quiz


1. Who said “Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men”?

2. Who wrote The Uncommon Reader?

3. What is manchego?

4. How many countries have won the FIFA World Cup?

5. Who was the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal?

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