Northcote election result

June 9, 2018

8:50 – A win for Dan Bidois, 13,82 votes ahead with 100% of the votes counted.

(And after a shakey start, All Blacks are ahead 25-11 in the test against France).

8:20 – 84.8% of votes counted, Dan Bidois is leading by 1,282.

8:10 – 75 % of votes counted, Dan Bidois ahead by 1,071.

8pm – Dan Bidois leads by 800 with 54.5% of votes counted.

7:20pm  National’s candidate Dan Bidois has a 790 vote lead over Labour’s candidate Shanan Halbert with 48.5% of votes counted.


Game by game

September 20, 2015

The All Blacks’ World Cup campaign begins tomorrow morning (NZ time) with a match against the Pumas.

Our team is number one in the world and among the favourites to win the Cup but championships have to be taken game by game.

The Highlanders’ win over the Hurricanes in this year’s Super Rugby final is a recent reminder that an underdog can beat a favourite and this mornings Pool B match reinforced that.

Who would have thought that Japan’s Cherry Blossoms would beat South Africa’s Springboks  at all, let alone 34 – 32? Georgia’s 17 – 10 win against Tonga was also a surprise.

And wasn’t it an unexpected win by Argentina against the French hosts in a previous Cup opener which led to the French meeting, and beating, the All Blacks in the quarter-final?

All my fingers and toes are crossed for the All Blacks because in spite of all they’ve done to prepare, their fitness, tactics and skill, luck will play a part in which team makes it to the final and which wins the Cup.


Phew: All Blacks 8 – France 7

October 24, 2011

We won.

It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but we won.

Just.

The French who had lost two games in pool games saved their best for last.

They might not have deserved last week’s semi-final win but they played the final like they deserved to be there.

Maybe the All Blacks had played their best against Australia in the semi-final, because last night didn’t look like their best on attack.

But to hold off such a strong French attack in the last quarter, without conceding a penalties, took the best defence.

And that was enough.

Just.

They were the best team in the tournament though it’s debatable which was the best team in last night’s match..

In the last few minutes I was so scared we were going to lose that I pledged to give up chocolate for the rest of the year.

It was worth it to see the grins on the All Blacks faces.

We won.


And then there were two

October 22, 2011

Australia claimed the bronze with a 20-18 win over Wales in this Rugby World Cup’s second last match last night.

I’m pleased the Southern Hemisphere team won and I’ll be even happier if the south beats the north tomorrow.

Twenty teams started the tournament six weeks ago, now there are just two left, the All Blacks and Les Bleus, who will play in the final.

On paper the All Blacks are the stronger team but the French are unpredictable.

They’ve beaten us before and could do it again so I’m pleased to read that Rich McCaw and his team understand there are no guarantees for the All Blacks.

While the All Blacks captain knows exactly what rugby’s greatest prize looks like, he has never laid a hand on it.

“I don’t think you should touch it until you’ve earned it,” he said.

On the eve of the big match against France, that may well change for the 30-year-old.

For McCaw, however, Sunday night’s clash at Eden Park is all about the men who wear the All Blacks jersey with him.

“It’s not about personal stuff,” he said. “It’s about this team having an opportunity and not wasting it. Going out and performing, playing the best game we’ve ever played in a World Cup final. That’s the opportunity that’s there and from our point of view we don’t want to let that slip by.”

They’ve got preparation and determination, we’ve all got optimism and hope but there will be no certainty until the final whistle blows.

 


There’s still one more game

October 17, 2011

Several commentators said the match between the All Blacks and Wallabies would be the final.

We won it, but it was only the semi-final.

Several commentators have said whichever team won the All Blacks versus Wallaby match would win the Rugby World Cup.

The odds are on that but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The All Blacks deserved to win last night’s game and the French didn’t really deserve to win Saturday’s.

That makes us the favourite but it doesn’t make us winners.

Let’s enjoy last night’s victory but let’s not get cocky.

There’s still one more game to play.


What’s the Welsh word for . . .

October 16, 2011

. . . bugger?

France 9 Wales 8.

Sigh.


Vamos Argentina pero . . .

October 9, 2011

If Argentina was playing any other team than the All Blacks I’d be backing Los Pumas.

Since they are playing New Zealand I’m saying vamos Argentina pero no demasiado bien  – play well Argentina, but not too well.

I’m conflicted with the other quarter-final game.

I want the winner to be whichever team the All Blacks are most likely to defeat should we get through to the next round and I’d like that to be Australia. But my farmer who knows far more about rugby than I do and who was in Brisbane to for the last Tri-Nations game when the Wallabies beat the All Blacks, reckons South Africa might be an easier semi-final opponent.

We were at a 21st birthday party last night but what from what I saw of the two games,  Wales deserved its 22-10 victory over Ireland and the French earned their semi-fianl spot by beating England 19 -12.

 


Go . . . ?

October 8, 2011

I was a day ahead of myself with yesterday’s post about the first two Rugby World Cup quarter-final games between Ireland and Wales and England and France.

Twenty four hours hasn’t helped me decide who to back so I’ll bow to Inventory 2 who knows much more than I do about rugby.

He’s picking wins by  the Irish and French.

He’s also picking Wanganui to beat East Coast in the Meads Cup.


Upsets good and bad

October 2, 2011

Last night’s upset win by Tonga against the French was a good upset.

Unless you happen to be French or a Francophile.

Scotland’s loss to England after a good start will have upset some.

Unless you’re one of those who weren’t hoping that Sctoland would go against the odds, win with a bonus point and so progress ot the quarter finals.

The Wallabies 68 -22 win over Russia wasn’t an upset but what’s described as a tournament-threatening injury to wing Drew Mitchell, on top of serious injuries to other players could be upsetting.

Unless you’re one of those who’s not wanting Australia to do very well.

This afternoon it looked like Georgia might upset Argentina until  Los Pumas took charge of the game which ensures them a spot in the quarter finals.

That would have upset Argentina’s supporters but pelased the Scots who would then have secured a place in the next round.

Like Adam Smith I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s heartbreaking that Dan Carter is out of the Rugby World Cup altogether though I acknowledge that will be upsetting to many.

Although not those in or supporting one of the teams hoping to beat the All Blacks.

But let’s keep it in perspective, a team is made up of 15 players plus reserves. They will all be doing their best to ensure there’s no upsets for them and their supporters, especially in today’s match against Canada.

This afternoon I’m backing Fiji against Wales and will take the underdog in the match between Ireland and Italy.


Georgia in my heart

September 19, 2011

When I wrote yesterday’s post on the Rugby World Cup I said I was going to back England.

But when I got to Otago Stadium last evening I had a change of heart and swapped my allegiance to Georgia.

The team played really well and I think the 41-10 score flattered the English. They deserved to win but not by that margin.

Georgia spent a lot of time in England’s half and though they weren’t able to turn territory into points they kept up the pressure until the final whistle.

They didn’t win the game but they did win hearts, including mine.

It’s good for the tournament and for rugby that the minnows are giving the bigger fish more than a run for their money.

Canada started well and scoring 19 points to France’s 46 would have given Les Bleus cause for concern.

 I didn’t see or hear the game between Wales and Samoa but reports suggest the 17-10 victory to the Welsh didn’t come easily.

Our decision to go to the game in Dunedin last evening was a last minute won but booking online secured us seats in the front row at half way which gave us a very good view.

Among the people sitting near us were several Argentineans. They are following the Pumas all around New Zealand and attending other random games which fit their travels.

My Spanish is a bit rusty but the gist of what one of them told me was that he had travelled all over the world but never thought of coming to New Zealand before. However, he and his travelling companions were having a wonderful time, the country is beautiful, the people friendly and they’re enjoying the food and wine.

That is exactly the sort of off-field benefits to New Zealand the organisers are hoping for.


Viva La France

July 14, 2011

Happy Bastille Day to France and merci beaucoup for fine wine, delicious bread and cheese, for delightful perfume and for giving us words and phrases like aide-mémoire, bon mot, chez and je ne sais quoi . . .


Bastille Day

July 14, 2010

The French call it  le 14 juillet, the day on which the people stormed the Bastille.

I can drag up avery  little schoool French from the recesses of my memory when in France. However, bonjour, merci beaucoup, je m’excuse,  sil vous plait, fromage, pan. . . aren’t much use for wishing France and the French a joyous day.

The only vaguely relevant phrase I can think of  is viva la France!


Confession of a fair weather fan

November 29, 2009

I’ve barely glanced at a rugby game all year.

I still didn’t watch the All Balcks vs France test properly.

But my farmer was watching it so I was aware of what was happening in the background.

And now they’re not just winning but winning well ( 39 -12 with three mintues to go), I’m interested.


October 5 in history

October 5, 2009

On October 5:

1944 Suffrage was extended to women in France

1951 Irish singer Bob Geldof was born.

1953 The first documented recovery meeting of Narcotics Anonymous was held.

1961 Businessman & former All Black David Kirk was born.

1968 Police batoned civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland – this was considered to mark the beginning of The Troubles.

1969 The first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC.

CompleteFlyingCircusDVD.jpg
(DVD cover) – Monty Python members – left to right:
Back: Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Graham Chapman
Front row: Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle

Sourced from Wikipedia.


Train thoughts

July 22, 2009

It’s always better to start with the worst and move up to the best.

We did it the other way round with European trains.

The first was one of Spain’s fast trains which was clean, comfortable and on time. We changed in Madrid to another fast train which was of a similar standard (though I wouldn’t recommend the food).

In Barcelona we swapped to a slower train. The seats were still comfortable but not as good as those in the fast trains. It was about half an hour late but as we were in holiday mode that didn’t worry us.

Yesterday we left Montpellier on a French fast train which was better than the previous day’s slow one but not as comfortable as the Spainish one. We swapped in Avignon to a slower one, got in late to Nice where we only just had time to catch our connection to Ventimiglia and then found it had been cancelled.

The train we were supposed to catch had been leaving from platform E. When it was cancelled we were told to go to G – down the stairs we’d just lugged our cases up and up another set of stairs. We milled there with other confused travellers for about 10 minutes until someone who could understand French translated an annoucnement which told us we had to go to platform D – back down the stairs and  up the ones we’d descended from platform E.

The train eventually turned up and left 20 minutes late. We had originally had 15 minutes to spare to get the connecting train and weren’t hopeful of making it but there were so many of us they’d held it back.

That was a good start and the seats were comfortable but the train was slow, it started off 20 mintues behind schedule and ended up 50 minutes late in Milan.

The only food on offer was very expensive junk (2.70 euros for a very small packet of dried fruit).

But the worst was the loo – clean enough but all it was just a seat with a pipe straight on to the track. Pity the poor people who live close to the railway.


Better standing on our own feet

May 27, 2009

New Zealand farmers’ anger at the USA’s decision to subsidise its dairy exports is well founded.

Federated Farmers dairy section vice-chair John Bluett says:

“It’s a serious concern. The US is going to subsidise 92,000 tonnes of export product. In perspective, New Zealand only produces 105,000 tonnes, so it’s the equivalent of almost subsidising all New Zealand’s production.”

In the Waikato alone it could cost farmers $180 million and it is likely to mean a lower payout next season.

There may be a small benefit to consumers if the subsidies result in lower international commodity prices because that could flow through to lower retail prices here. But any gain will be more than cancelled out by the pain imposed on the wider economy.

However, angry as farmers are, none are calling for a return to subsidies. Hard as it is in the real world at the mercy of markets, it beats the days which Rob describes when farmers’ incomes went up and down at the whim of the government.

There’s another reminder of how bad that is at Phil Clarkes’ Business Blog:

In France, for example, some 81 dairies have been blockaded and dairy farmers have threatened a national “milk strike” if an ongoing “mediation process” fails to deliver a meaningful lift in prices.

In Germany, meanwhile, six women have gone on hunger strike, while around 6000 dairy farmers took to the streets of Berlin to demand a national milk summit.

And this week the protest headed to Brussels, with a claimed 2000 farmers from 10 member states clashing with riot police outside the EU Council building, while farm ministers discussed the market situation.

Taking what the market offers isn’t always easy, but standing on our own feet beats going cap in hands to governments as they do in Europe to find out not only what they’ll earn but also how much they can produce.

Hat Tip: QuoteUnquote


French public back citizenship ban for burqa wearer

July 23, 2008

A French court has denied citizenship to a foreign woman because she  wears a burqa and swears total submission to her husband.

The woman, identified only as Fazia M., is a 32-year-old Moroccan who has been living in France since 2000. She speaks French and has had three children, all of whom have acquired French citizenship.

Under the laws prevailing at the time of her citizenship application, a spouse had the right to acquire nationality provided he or she had been married for two years and had a good level of French. However, the authorities could reject the application on the grounds of “lack of integration” into French life.

Fazia M. was rejected on these grounds after she attended several interviews, dressed in the burqa, with the social services and police, which are normal steps in the process.

She and her husband volunteered the information that they were Salafists – members of an ultra-strict Saudi-inspired branch of Islam – and that the husband had asked her to wear the burqa and that she accepted “submission” to him, Le Monde reported.

Fazia M. appealed to the State Council, arguing that she had been denied the right to freedom of religious expression. The court rejected her suit, saying she had “adopted a radical practice of religion that is incompatible with the essential values of the French community, notably on the principle of equality of the sexes”.

“According to her own statements, Faiza M. leads a virtually reclusive life, cut off from French society,” explained Emmanuelle Prada-Bordenave, a government lawyer. “She has no idea about secularism or the right to vote. She lives in total submission to the men of her family.” Read the rest of this entry »


Viva La France

July 14, 2008

It’s Bastille Day.

My school French wasn’t particularly good to start with and the foreign language files in my memory are now dominated by Spanish, so I’ll leave it at: Viva La France!

[Update: Adam Smith’s  acknowledges his French ancestry, gives a brief explanation of Bastille Day and links to the singing of La Marseillaise.]


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