September 25, 2015
The scoreboard showed the All Blacks won but given the difference between the teams, Namibia who were very much expected to be the underdogs, didn’t lose.
The 58 – 14 score gives the All Blacks a bonus. But it wasn’t the walk-over many had expected and will also give them lots to work on.
It’s good for rugby, and the World Cup competition, that some of the lower-ranked teams are more competitive, although Japan didn’t manage to follow up from its win over South Africa with a second upset yesterday.
While a little bit of me was backing the Cherry Blossoms, my tartan genes were happy when Scotland won 45 – 10.
September 19, 2014
It looks like a majority of Scots have voted no to independence:
. . .With 29 out of the country’s 32 council areas having declared after Thursday’s vote, the “No” side has 55% of the vote, with the “Yes” campaign on 45%.
By 06:00 BST (07:00 GMT), the “No” campaign had more than 1,737,000 votes, with “Yes” on just over 1,398,000.
A total of 1,852,828 votes is needed for victory. The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign. . .
If I’d been voting with my heart I’d have said yes but if I’d voted with my head I’d have said no.
Although they haven’t got independence they will probably get more devolution of power from the United Kingdom.
February 4, 2012
A reader emailed me this and wondered if I could understand it.
(Warning: it uses the word which manages to cross most language/accent barriers).
I dinnae have a problem and could understand every worrrrd he said.
My father was a Scot and while my friends all told me he had a really strong accent I couldn’t hear it.
But when we went to Scotland I had no trouble understanding the locals and often had to translate for my farmer.
November 30, 2011
It’s St Andrew’s Day.
Probably best known as the patron saint of Scotland, his patronage also covers of Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Diocese of Parañaque, Philippines, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Diocese of Victoria, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, golfers and performers.
You can find 10 more facts about him here
In recognition of my tartan genes and in memory of my father who would have been 99 a couple of weeks ago, here’s Scotland the Brave:
P.S. While searching YouTube for a clip to post I came across this one of the Black Watch march past in Dundee, which was Dad’s home town, and on another clip this comment:
There’s an old scottish saying…
We’ll play the bagpipes until the english love ’em!
P.P.S. It’s also Andrei’s name day.
September 10, 2011
White has always seemed to be a particularly inappropriate colour for a rugby team to wear when the game is one in which most players get dirty.
It reminds me of stock agents who wear light coloured trousers in sheep pens.
Your decision to choose black as your away strip must be a relief to the people charged with cleaning the shirts and shorts but it’s put me in a bit of a quandary.
You see today I’m supporting blue and white – first Scotland and then Argentina – but my wardrobe, like that of many New Zealanders is full of black.
Should you look around the Forsyth Barr stadium today and see a sea of black, don’t think it means we’re all supporting you.
It’s just our Presbyterian heritage showing up. No matter that we’re backing blue and white today, many of us will be wearing black, in spite of rather than because of you.
It doesn’t mean we’re supporting your team, it’s just that we’re not going to the expense of changing our wardrobes.
Yours in blue (and black),
November 30, 2009
The appeal of whisky escapes me and I’m not very keen on porridge.
But it’s St Andrew’s Day and I’ve got tartan genes which require me to acknowledge Scotland’s patron saint and the country’s national day.
September 11, 2009
On September 11:
1816 German lens maker Carl Zeiss was born.
1862 USA author O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) was born.
1885 English writer D. H (David Herbert Richards) Lawrence was born.
1917 English writer Jessica Mitford was born.
1928 The first Trans-Tasman flight took place.
1961 the World Wildlife Fund was formed.
1973 Chilean President Salvador Allende was killed in a revolt.
1997 Scotland voted in a referendum to form a devlolved parliament within the United Kingdom .
2001 The September 11 suicide attacks took place in the USA.
Twin towers of the World Trade Center burning.
Sourced from BBC On This Day, NZ History Online, Wikipedia.
June 21, 2009
On June 21:
1644 The Scottish parliament first imposed an exise duty on alcoholic beverages: a duty of 2s 8d “on everie pynt of aquavytie or strong watteris sold within the country.”
Obverse of the cross.
1854 Charles Davis Lucas hurled a shell from the deck of HMS Hecla, saving the lives of all on board, for which act of bravery he was awarded the first Victoria Cross.
1957 Canada’s first female cabinet minister, Ellen Fairclough was sworn in.
1964 The Beatles landed in New Zealand
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.
November 30, 2008
If there’s such a thing as genetic memory, it kicked in when we got to Scotland eight years ago.
It wasn’t a feeling of coming home, that’s definitely New Zealand, but there was a sense of familiarity and recognition.
The prosaic explanation for this could be similarities in the landscape which made me realise why the Scots felt at home in the southern South Island. But the romantic in me put the sense of connection down to the knowledge that this was the land from which my forbears came.
My mother’s grandfather and all her great grandparents were Scottish. My father was born and brought up there and although he moved to New Zealand in his late 20s and spent nearly three quarters of his life here and loved the land he chose, he also retained a close affinity to the land of his birth.
In many ways he became more Scottish as he aged. The kilt which was worn only when he went to Scottish Country Dancing when my brother and I were children, became a staple part of his wardrobe and his clothing of choice for semi formal and formal occasions. Even now, nearly nine years after his death I meet people who tell me they remember Charlie in his kilt, greeting them at the church door on Sundays or addressing the haggis on Burns night.
For all the great inventions and distinguished people that have come out of Scotland, St Andrew’s Day doesn’t get the recognition that St Patrick’s Day does. While I’m quite happy that it hasn’t been commercialised my tarten genes called for a post in recognition of Scotland’s patron saint.