Google doodle: dafs and dragon

01/03/2012

When I’ve googled a couple of times today I’ve ended up on the New Zealand page on which it’s business as usual.

But if you go to google.co.uk you find the Google doodle depicts a dragon in a field of daffodils in honour of St David’s Day and Wales whose patron saint he is.

Google doodle: St David's Day dragon

St David :
or Dewi Sant, as he is known in the Welsh language, . . . was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century. During his life, he was the archbishop of Wales, and he was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. . . Dewi was a very gentle person who lived a frugal life. It is claimed that he ate mostly bread and herbs – probably watercress, which was widely used at the time. Despite this supposedly meagre diet, it is reported that he was tall and physically strong. . . Dewi is sometimes known, in Welsh, as ‘Dewi Ddyfrwr’ (David the Water Drinker) and, indeed, water was an important part of his life – he is said to have drunk nothing else. Sometimes, as a self-imposed penance, he would stand up to his neck in a lake of cold water, reciting Scripture. . .
Hat Tip: The Guardian

And then there were two

22/10/2011

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.

 


Supporting our neighbours

21/10/2011

Australia or Wales? Dragons or Wallabies?

They meet tonight to decide third and fourth place in the Rugby World Cup and it’s not easy to decide which team to support.

Both teams have New Zealand coaches but if I take them into account I’d opt for Robbie Deans who made such a wonderful contribution to Canterbury rugby – even if several of their wins were against Otago teams.

I know Wales deserved to win last week, and maybe the All Blacks would have a less daunting task on Sunday if they had, but if I have to pick a side, it will be the Wallabies.

It’s not personal, the Welsh are lovely people but most of them are on the other side of the world and Australia’s just next door so I’m opting for our neighbours.


What’s the Welsh word for . . .

16/10/2011

. . . bugger?

France 9 Wales 8.

Sigh.


Vamos Argentina pero . . .

09/10/2011

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 . . . ?

08/10/2011

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.


Georgia in my heart

19/09/2011

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.


More than Irish eyes smiling

18/09/2011

The upset win by Ireland over Australia last night will have more than Irish eyes smiling.

Rugby World Tournament organisers will be delighted that the competition, which was warming up anyway, has been well and truly set alight.

Blue and white ruled in Invercargill where Argentina won 43 – 8 against Romania and the Springboks beat Fiji 49 – 3.

The Welsh players will no doubt be thinking of the death of four men after a flood in a coal mine near Swansea on Friday when they meet Samoa this afternoon.

I’m backing Samoa in that game, Canada against France and for what might be the only time in the tournament I’ll be siding with England when the team meets Georgia in Dunedin.

 


Booing boors

26/06/2010

The boors/bores who boo when the team they don’t support are taking kicks for penalties or conversions are unsporting and as irritating as the vuvuzelas.

If the All Blacks vs Wales doesn’t appeal Adam Smith is offering Saturday rock for those who prefer rock to rubgy. The show starts here.


December 16 in history

16/12/2009

On December 16:

1431  Henry VI of Englandwas crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

1485  Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, was born.

1497  Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.

 

1653  Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1707  Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

FujiSunriseKawaguchiko2025WP.jpg

1770  Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer was born.

 Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820

1773  Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

 This iconic 1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier was entitled “The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor

1775 Jane Austen, English writer, was born.

 A watercolour and pencil sketch of Jane Austen, believed to be drawn from life by her sister Cassandra (c. 1810)[A]

1787  – Mary Russell Mitford, English writer, was born.

1790  King Léopold I of Belgium, was born.

1850 The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph brought the firs tsettlres to Lyttelton, New Zealand.

1882   Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricketer, was born.

 Jack Hobbs (left) walks out to the SCG with his opening partner Herbert Sutcliffe.

1883 Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film, was born.

Max Linder

1888  King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, was born.

 

1893  Antonín Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world première at Carnegie Hall.

1899  Sir Noel Coward, English playwright, actor and composer, was born.

Noël Coward, c. 1920s

 1905  Piet Hein, Danish mathematician and inventor


Piet Hein (Kumbel) in front of the H.C. Andersen statue in Copenhagen

1905 A great rugby rivalry was born when a last-minute try to All Black Bob Deans was disallowed, handing the Welsh victory.

All Black's 'non-try' hands Wales historic win

1907 The Great White Fleet (US Naval Battle fleet) began its circumnavigation of the world.

 Map of the Great White Fleet’s voyage.

1915  – Turk Murphy, American trombonist, was born.

1917  Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English writer, was born.

1920 The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, in  Gansu province in China, killed an estimated 200,000.

1938  Adolf Hitler institutd the Cross of Honor of the German Mother.

 Mutterkreuz

1943 Tony Hicks, English guitarist (The Hollies), was born.

 

1944 The Battle of the Bulge began with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.

1946 Benny Andersson, Swedish musician, singer and songwriter (ABBA), was born.

1947 Ben Cross, English actor, was born.

1947  William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first practical point-contact transistor.

1949 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knons as SAAB, was founded in Sweden.

Saab logo.svg

1952 Joel Garner, Barbadian West Indies cricketer, was born.

1955 – Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, was born.

1960  1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collided with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

  • 1971  Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.
  • 1971 – Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status.

    1972  Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress, was born.

    1991 Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.

    1997  Dennō Senshi Porygonan episode of Pokémon, was aired in Japan, inducing seizures in hundreds of Japanese children.

    2003  President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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