Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot

Quote of the day


 We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot who’s as born on this day in 1888.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. A cold coming we had of it,/just the worst time of the year/For a journey, and such a long journey;/The ways deep and the weather sharp. . .  Who wrote this and about whom was it written?

2. What is a metrosideros excelsa?

3. Who said, “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.“?

4. Chef Richard Gordon is a shareholder in which Waitaki Valley wine company?

5. Which MP is patron and a former national president of Young Farmers?

Paul Tremewan got three and a bonus for imagination in his answer to #1.

Andrei got four.

Samo got 4 with a 1/2 for #3.

Deborah got two and a bonus for being able to recite the poem.

PDM got one.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break. Read the rest of this entry »



Since it’s T.S. Eliot’s birthday, and we went to Cats last night:



Cats had opened not long before I was in London in 1982 and tickets were booked out months in advance.

The only way to get a ticket at short notice was to queue for returns.

I decided to do it once, do it well and turned up at mid day for an 8pm show. there were already three others waiting.

It was an entertaining afternoon as the queue grew. At about 6.30 the first people arrived with returned tickets and I got a front row seat.

It was worth the wait and I’ve enjoyed the show three more times since then – in Christchurch in 1995, Dunedin last year and Oamaru last night.

A friend pointed out that London, Christchurch, Dunedin, Oamaru could be seen as a regression and I admit I wondered if I’d be disappointed by last night’s show.

I wasn’t it.

It was an Oamaru Operatic Society production and I am in awe that a group of amateurs could give such a polished performance. The singing, dancing, costumes, set, music were all of a very high standard and the performers earned the sustained applause they received.

dairy 10009

September 26 in history


On September 26:

1580 Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1888 US poet & playwright T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot was born.

Drawing of Eliot by Simon Fieldhouse

1898 composer George Gershwin was born.

 1907 Elnglish art historian & Soviet spy Anthony Blunt was born.

1907 Sir Joseph Ward proclaimed New Zealand’s dominion status.

1932 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born.

 1933 Donna Douglas, US actress who played Ely May Clampet in the Beverly Hillbillies, was born.

1936 South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born.

1945 English singer Bryan Ferry was born.

1947 US country singer Lynn Anderson was born.

1948 English-born Australian singer Olivia Newton John was born.

1949 US novelist Jane Smiley was born.

1949 English crime writer Minette Walters was born.


1962 The Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed.
Flag Coat of arms
1964 English singer Nicki French was born.


1973 Concorde made its first Trans Atlantic flight in record time.

1981 US tennis player Serena Williams was born.
Serena Williams at the 2008 WTA Tour Championships2.jpg

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