España 4 – Italia 0

July 2, 2012

El Pais says:España ha inscrito su nombre con letras de oro en la historia del fútbol –  Spain has written its name with gold letters in the history of football.

They’ve won their second European Cup final against Italy, 4 – 0, following their World Cup win last year and European Cup four years ago.

They are the first team to successfully  defend the European championship title and win three major titles in succession.

I watched the start of Spain’s opening pool match against Italy, which they drew 1 -1, in a wee bar in Vejer de la Frontera. The locals were very excited about that; the oles will be even louder now.


A draw’s a win and a loss

June 21, 2010

Last week’s post on the All Whites’ 1-1 draw with Slovenia Slovakia was to be my only one about the World Cup.

But after this morning’s game against Italy I couldn’t resist the urge to comment on perspective.

The game finished with another single goal for each side draw which is regarded as a loss for Italy and a win for us.

For more informed commentssee:

 Keeping Stock 78 versus 5

At No Minister Barnsley Bill reckons the result would be like Iceland holding the All Blacks to a draw.

Not PC says Woohoo! and has a round up of international media reports.


March 17 in history

March 17, 2010

On March 17:

45 BC Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.

Caesar campaigns from Rome to Munda-fr.svg

180 Marcus Aurelius died leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

Commodus Musei Capitolini MC1120.jpg

624 Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.

 

1337 Edward, the Black Prince was made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.

1473 King James IV of Scotland was born.

1756 Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).

 

1776 American Revolution: British forces evacuated Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery overlooking the city.

1780 American Revolution: George Washington granted the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.

1805 The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.

1834 Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor was born.

 

1845 The rubber band was patented.

 

1846 Kate Greenaway, English children’s author and illustrator, was born.

 

1860 The opening shots of the first Taranaki War were fired when imperial troops attacked a pa built by the Te Ati Awa chief Te Rangitake at Te Kohia.

First Taranaki war erupts at Waitara

1861 The Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) was proclaimed.

1864 Joseph Baptista Indian Home Rule founder was born.

1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer, was born.

1919 Nat King Cole, American singer, was born.

1920 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding Leader of Bangladesh, was born.

1938 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer, was born.

1938 Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters), was born.

1939 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan started.

1941 The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Paul Kantner, American musician (Jefferson Airplane) was born.

1942 The first Jews from the Lviv Ghetto were gassed at the Belzec death camp (eastern Poland).

1945 The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany collapsed, ten days after its capture.

1947 First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.

1948 Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels.

Signing of the Treaty of Brussels (1948).jpeg

1950  Researchers at the University of California announced the creation of element 98, which they name “Californium.”

1951 Scott Gorham, American musician (Thin Lizzy) was born.

1954 Lesley-Anne Down, English actress, was born.

1957 A plane crash in Cebu killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.

1958 The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.

Vanguard 1.jpg

1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India.

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting

1960 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action programme that led to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1966  Off the coast of Spain, the Alvin submarine found a missing American hydrogen bomb.

 

1967 Billy Corgan, American musician (Smashing Pumpkins), was born.

1969 Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer, was born.

1969 Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1970 My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charged 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.

1973 The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy was taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

 The photograph Burst of Joy. From left to right, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, Lorrie Stirm, Bo Stirm, Cindy Stirm, Loretta Stirm, and Roger Stirm. (© Slava Veder / Associated Press)

1976 Stephen Gately, Irish singer, musician, and actor (Boyzone) was born.

1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers.

1988 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashed into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, was attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.

1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack killed 29 and injured 242.

2000 More than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a mass murder and suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult.

2003 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigned from the British Cabinet over his disagreement with government plans for the war with Iraq.

2004 Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.

Sourced from NZ History and Wikipedia.


September 8 in history

September 8, 2009

On September 8:

1504 Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1840 Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák was born.

 

1886 English poet Siegfried Sassoon was born.

1921 Welsh comedian Harry Secombe was born.

1925 English actor Peter Sellers was born.

1930 3M began marketing Scotch tape.

1932 USA singer Patsy Cline was born.

1943 Italy’s unconditional armistice with the Allies was announced.

1954 The South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was formed.

Flag of Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact.

1966 Star Trek premiered on NBC.

The 2006 Star Trek 40th Anniversary franchise logo, featuring Captain Kirk (William Shatner) (left) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)

1991 The republic of Macedonia became independent.

 

Sourced from BBC On This Day, NZ History Online, Wikipedia.


Monday’s quiz

August 3, 2009

1. Who said: “There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed if he sees them accepted by everyone about him”?

2. What’s a gillie (sometimes written as ghillie)?

3. Which is Italy’s biggest lake?

4. Which sheep breed resulted from crossing Cheviots and Romneys?

5. Who wrote The Curly Pyjama Letters?


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.


June 2 in history – Italian Republic Day

June 2, 2009

Today is Republic Day in Italy,  Festa della Republica, marking the overthrow of the monarchy by popular referendum in 1946.

The colours of the flag have two meanings: green for the countryside, white for the snow capped mountains and red for the blood shed in the fight for independence; or green for hope, white for faith and red for charity.


Aiming for Italy, Landing in Holland

May 10, 2009

The images for Mothers Day are usually of happy families with happy, healthy children.

That’s not the case for all mothers and one who knows what it feles like when your baby isn’t the happy, healthy one you expected is  Emily Perl Kingsley, who was a writer for Sesame Street.

Her son, Jason, had Down Syndrome which prompted her to write this:

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

 

by
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

 

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.


His story

April 25, 2009

My father came to New Zealand, from his home country, Scotland, in the late 1930s. He worked for relatives on a station in the Hakatarmea Valley.

 

While there he joined the Otago Mounted Rifles as a territorial. When war broke out Dad enlisted with the 20th Battalion and went overseas to fight in Egypt and Italy.

 

He was badly burnt when a tank exploded and spent a fortnight in a saline bath. He was later taken prisoner but managed to escape and find his way back to allied troops. Dad was one of the soldiers described by Battalion commander Jim Burrows as those magnificent men after the break out from Minqar Qaim.

 

He didn’t talk much about what the war was like – but we do have a photo of Dad and four others which illustrates it: They were part of the company of 120 who started the battle of Ruweisat Ridge, and those five in the photo were the only ones left on survivors’ parade at the battle’s end.

 

When his active service finished after the Battle of Casino, Dad stayed with the New Zealand army and was posted to London as a driver. One night he was called to take Lord and Lady Freyberg to the Dorchester Hotel. The only vehicle available was a three tonne truck so he put a chair in the back for the General and Lady Freyburg sat in the cab.  When he pulled up outside the Dorchester, beside Eisenhower’s car, the doorman rushed up to direct him to the tradesman’s entrance. However, Dad ignored his agitated “round the back Chum”, helped his passengers out and drove off leaving the doorman speechless.

 

After the war Dad sailed back to New Zealand. He was manpowered to the freezing works at Pukeuri where he worked 18 hour days, six days a week. Then he got an adult apprenticeship as a carpenter in Oamaru.

 

Dad died in 1999 and as I wrote on the earlier post about my mother’s memories, I have lots of questions I regret not asking him.


Emotion Beats Facts

June 14, 2008

We pride ourselves on our agricultural efficiency but I have yet to see anything here to rival a small farming cooperative on the outskirts of Sorrento, in Italy, when it comes to using every square centimetre of land.

 

Eleven families pooled their small, uneconomic units to form a four hectare farm. Their main crops are lemons and olives. They plant olive trees between the rows of lemons and the olives grow taller so their fruit is above the shade of the citrus trees’ leaves.  Some of the trees were grafted so they produced oranges and lemons from the same trunk to diversify production without taking up any more space. They grew grape vines along the outside rows of trees too. The farm also kept four pigs and three cows – all of which were housed inside; and in a bid for both self-sufficiency and organic production, their manure provided the fertiliser for the orchard.

 

The farm produced its own olive oil, and made cheeses, wine and limoncello. It also welcomed tourists to walk through the orchard, inspect the olive press, watch the cheese making, taste their produce and of course buy it. Our guide didn’t talk about budgets or bottom lines, but the cooperative looked prosperous and if the slick operation of the tour and size of the farm shop, where the visit ended, were anything to go by then tourism made an important contribution to the income.

 

The main emphasis of the tour was horticulture and only passing reference was made to the stock, but as we passed them I wondered about the quality of life for animals which are housed inside all year round. This thought was reinforced by an article headlined “The Ethics of eating Meat” which I read in a Bangkok newspaper on the way home.

 

The author argued it was unethical to eat meat because of the environmental cost of growing and harvesting feed for animals raised on feedlots, although he had no problem with pasture-grazed stock. He didn’t mention welfare issues but I remember looking at cattle standing on concrete under mid summer sun in both the United States and Argentina and wondering how happy they were. Those who knew more about animals than I do, assured me that their demeanour, health and condition indicated they were quite content, and pointed out that there was shade available which the stock chose not to make use of.

 

 

I couldn’t argue with that, but I still felt something was wrong and in matters like this science takes second place to sentiment. I remembered that when we passed a herd of cows standing in the mud on a cold, wet day as we drove from Queenstown to Dipton. It was obvious they were being break-fed and were about to be shifted which I know gives animals better quality grazing, does less damage to soil structure and is a more efficient use of pasture than letting them roam the whole paddock at once. But anyone who knew nothing about our farming practices, and on this prime tourist route there would be many of them, would have seen abject misery. That is not the picture we want them to recall when next they see our meat in their supermarket chiller.

Efficiency of production and quality of produce will count for nothing if customers think our practices are unethical; and arguments to the contrary will be worthless because emotion beats facts in marketing.


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