Friday, November 11, 2011


I couldn't resist making note of the rare time and date combination today.
According to right now it is 11:11 am on 11.11.11
(I tried to get 11:11:11 am as well but my reaction time was one second too slow to capture it!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Disasters and a Triumph

It's been a tough year for New Zealand but last night was a chance to celebrate when the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup. After a run of disasters (Pike River mine, Christchurch earthquake and the Rena grounding/oil spill) it's a great morale boost to the country for the national team of the most popular sport in NZ to become world champions.

There were a few disasters along the way for All Blacks too. After Dan Carter was injured they had to call on the reserve of the reserve of the reserve after two of his replacements were also injured. Luckily there are plenty of rugby players in New Zealand and Stephen Donald stepped in and kicked a penalty to keep the All Blacks a hair's breadth in front of France. Even though I'm not really a rugby fan I was desperately hoping the mighty All Blacks could hold onto their lead in the face of an equally mighty challenge by the French. A one point lead was all they needed for a win and a one point lead was what it took to win the World Cup: All Blacks 8 - France 7.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Squash Legends

This weekend was the Te Awamutu Squash Club 50 Years Reunion - a celebration for the club and a chance to reminisce with many people who have enjoyed squash over the years.

Yesterday there was a fun tournament with a twist - we had to play with old rackets. Amazingly there were a few 30 year old rackets still in one piece that we were able to use. Many of us 'masters' learned to play using a wooden racket. In my case I had a really flash racket when I started, a Dunlop Maxply, which had a wooden head with a fibreclass shaft. It was the latest technology at the time. I had forgotten that the old rackets had towelling grips. After a while the grips got hard and scratchy, just like old towels, and if you didn't replace the grip soon enough you'd end up with a blister on your thumb. We all laughed at how small the heads of the rackets were and how heavy the old rackets were - but we all learned to play the game and some players even became squash legends.

Last night we acknowledged some of the legends. Ross Collins who has won the Men's Championship 23 times and can still thrash the up and coming young whipper-snappers. Les Brain who was a founding member 50 years ago, has contributed in many ways to the club and who is still playing competitive squash. And Susan Devoy who, though never a Te Awamutu Club member, is an inspiration to squash players everywhere - she won the World Championship four times and the British Open 8 times. Oh, and she walked the entire length of New Zealand for charity. She was kind enough to be our guest speaker and turned up even though Peter Leitch (AKA the Mad Butcher) had offered to take her to Sydney to watch the Warriors play in the NRL final today. I was glad to know that Susan has her priorities right and that her loyalties still lie with squash.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rugby World Cup

Although I'm not a rugby fan it's hard not to get caught up in some of the spirit, some of the enthusiasm and some of the hype around the Rugby World Cup. If you live in New Zealand you'd almost believe that the Rugby World Cup is THE MOST IMPORTANT sports tournament in the world, ... ever ... anywhere. The fact that any country that has enough rugby players to make a team of 15 can send their team to compete doesn't matter one bit. It's still THE MOST IMPORTANT sports competition on Earth.

I enjoyed the Opening Ceremony, it's fun to see All Black and New Zealand flags flying all around the country and it's great to see people showing national pride and loyalty. Yesterday I was in Wellington. It was a rare Wellington weather day of complete calm and brilliant sunshine. The central city was buzzing as people got out and enjoyed the day. There were also a significant number of South Africans and Fijian supporters enjoying the build up to the match between their countries that evening. I spent some time in town with my nephew. He is also caught up in World Cup fever although his enthusiasm is from the curious perspective of a six year old. His focus is on flags. He can name the country of every flag of competing RWC nations and likes colouring in photocopies of the flags. He has a small, fabric All Black flag.
"Where did you get the flag from?" my sister prompted him to explain.
"From Richie McCaw" he said.
"You mean Richie McCaw the All Black?" I asked.
"Mmm," he murmured, as he fiddled with a couple of Weetbix rugby cards.
"As in Richie McCaw the captain of the All Blacks?" I said, "Wow! Did you meet Richie McCaw?"
"Yes," he said.
He wasn't interested in elaborating on the whole event so I had to find out from my sister how Zak got to meet Richie McCaw (at a public event promoting the RWC). I'm sure Zak must have been excited at the time but he clearly wasn't awed by the experience. Maybe that's a good thing. He's not hero-worshipping the players nor showing an over-the-top obsession with rugby. I don't think he'll mind too much which country wins the World Cup as long as he likes their flag!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gap Filler

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a tiny phone booth library in England. Now I've discovered that New Zealand has its own version, and not only that, it's part of a creative use of post-earthquake and post-demolition gaps in the Christchurch city landscape. The 'Gap Filler' website describes the project as follows:

'Gap Filler is a creative urban regeneration initiative started in response to the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and revised and expanded in light of the more destructive February 22, 2011 quake. It is now administered by the Gap Filler Charitable Trust. Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city.'

There have been a number of individual projects such as a petanque pitch and a photographic art gallery. I learned about Gap Filler it when I read Moata's Blog on the Stuff news website. She describes a book exchange Gap Filler that she uses and helps to keep tidy. It's a glass fronted fridge, complete with paving stones leading to it from the roadside, for anyone in the community to use. Moata explains the book exchange in a bit more detail and she describes a rather unique book she acquired this week. I recommend you read her blog post about the book. I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog. Her posts are entertaining and it's refreshing to enjoy the clever and thoughtful comments that people leave compared to the rubbish comments that appear on some websites.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Host of Daffodils

Today was a sparkling spring day with real warmth in the sun and clear blue sky. Mum and I went to an open day at a local daffodil growers property and we enjoyed the scent, sight and show of masses of daffodils. I love the shapes and colours of daffodils, but I think I love them that little bit more because they signify the end of winter and the welcome arrival of spring.

Funnily enough as we were wandering around we both thought of the poem by William Wordsworth. Mum could remember 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' and I remembered 'A host of golden daffodils' but that's all we could remember. Google made it easy to find the whole poem simply by searching the first line. So here is the poem along with a few photos I took of the daffodils.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er
vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Special Library in England

This might just be the smallest library in the world. The phone booth was purchased for 1 pound and reopened as a community book exchange in Westbury. There are over 100 books plus movies and music CDs in the little library.

The white notice says the following "This is a unique and well used facility but to operate efficiently, an exchange of books is essential. If you take a book, please leave one in its place for the continuing success of the book exchange and the enjoyment of all its users. Thank You."

It reminds me of tourist fales in Samoa and backpackers in different parts of the world where there is a bookshelf for travellers to leave a book they finish reading and swap it for one left by a previous traveller. If e-readers take over there won't be a need to exchange bag and beach battered books. That would be a shame because it's interesting to see what other travellers have been reading.

Image by David Hillas

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snowing? In Te Awamutu? Really?

In a rare occurence today we had several flurries of snow in Te Awamutu. It didn't last long but the white stuff falling gently from the sky and swirling in the wind did look pretty for a few minutes. Nobody is talking about global warming in New Zealand today. Instead many areas of the North Island are experiencing the novelty of snow.

I was excited to see the white stuff this morning and rushed to the phone to urge my Mum to look out the window before it stopped. She talked about sleet but I'm sure there were genuine snowflakes landing on the glass. Later on there was a lovely flurry with snowflakes like white polka dots decorating the deck chairs. My sister phoned from the Kapiti Coast to share her delight about snow falling there.

The South Islanders are probably scoffing at the North Islanders as we get all excited over an itty bitty amount of snow. They are blanketed in snow for the second time this winter and of course the Southern Alps are majestic white mountains every winter. But it is so unusual to have snow in northern, low altitude areas of the country that we are enjoying the unique experience.

The woman recording the video below captured the rare event and her commentary says it all really.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Still Squashing After All These Years

It can be a bit tough sitting at the computer for hours at a time while I'm studying. It's not a lifestyle I'm used to and I know I couldn't tolerate a desk job 8 hours a day 5 days a week. But at least I get a break from studying several days a week with a game of squash. I don't play competitively any more but I've got some regular social games that I thoroughly enjoy. I've had the odd squash injury and have a niggling lower back problem. Fortunately it rarely bothers me on the squash court. Once I sprained my ankle exactly a year to the day that I had sprained it previously. However I have never had an accident on the squash court like the one in the video below. Maybe it's just as well my club doesn't have glass backed courts!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Economic News Baffles Me

There is plenty of information about the world economy in the media but not much in the way of explaining how it all works. At least not in a way that I can understand it. I saw an article in the New Zealand Herald by columnist Garth George who asked the questions that I've been wondering, such as where does all that borrowed money come from? He doesn't give any answers but his article and some of the comments were interesting to read.

An excerpt from his article is below or click on the title to view the full article.

Debt Madness Demands An Explanation

What I would very much like is to have someone explain to those of us who are fiscal ignoramuses what these incomprehensible figures mean.

For instance, where does all this unbelievable amount of borrowed money come from and why do governments allow themselves to get into such a situation?

How come the US$5 trillion surplus that Democrat Bill Clinton bequeathed to the US in 2001 has in a decade, most of it under Republican George W Bush, been turned into a $15 trillion deficit? How does the US Government manage to pay the interest, let alone any principal? What is the money spent on? What are the chances of such a debt ever being repaid and, if so, with what?

What happens if a major creditor suddenly calls in loans? What is the security offered on such loans?

Where does the IMF get the money to lend to nearly bankrupt nations? Is that also borrowed and if so where from? If all the borrowed money was repaid today, where would it end up?

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Special Library in Colombia

Take one dedicated teacher, a donkey and a stack of children's books and what do you have? Biblioburro of course. This library in Colombia gives new meaning to the term 'mobile library'. Luis Sorian Boroquez inspires a love of reading and learning in children who might otherwise have little, if any, access to books. He believes that 'a child who we educate today will understand rights, duties and commitments, and will say no to war and violence.' His own commitment to getting books to children is admirable. What a great man.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to spend a foggy, freezing Sunday morning.

Don’t get out of bed until the house is warm. The cat will let me know when it's warm enough (and she's hungry enough) to uncurl herself from the end of the bed. Hang out a load of washing and hope the fog clears so it will dry.

Read some chapters of Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein. It’s centred around murder and mystery at the New York Public Library. I seem to be finding library connections everywhere this year. It’s the 10th book in the Alex Cooper series I’ve read. All have settings in and about significant New York landmarks so I’ve learnt a fair bit about New York history.

Write an article for the new blog I set up on WordPress yesterday. See It’s a blog for and about my university studies. More of a professional blog than this one and will include some posts that are required for my digital technologies paper. I decided to use WordPress because I wanted to try a different blogging platform and see how it compares to Blogger.

Start roaming around the WordPress blogs to see what other people are doing and how they've set their blogs up. I spent ages looking through a blog by Bridget Schaumann, who has a really good school library blog as well as an interesting personal blog. Get distracted by some entertaining YouTube videos – there goes half an hour. Check my e-mail. There's already a comment to approve on my first WordPress article!

The sun is coming out. Time to go outside and soak up a few rays.

Here is one of the entertaining YouTube videos I watched - the best of Funny Talking Animals by the BBC.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does my cat need a CAT scan?

After blood tests, a microbiology culture, an X-ray, two lots of antibiotics and three visits to the vet the cause of Molly's nasal discharge is still a mystery. Although it has eased and she seems happy enough there is something not quite right in her tiny little nose. The vet mentioned an MRI or CAT scan as they suspect a foreign body, maybe from a previous event in 2007, could be causing the problem. But they admit they don't really know, and without more sophisticated (and expensive) investigations the problem will remain a mystery. After discussing the situation with the vet today we agreed to leave the mystery unsolved for now as Molly is OK and the antibiotics seem to have dealt with the recent infection.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trimester Two Starts

My second trimester as a full-time distance student at Victoria University of Wellington started this week. I'm taking three information studies papers:
Info521 Management in Information Services
Info525 Digital Technologies for Information Professionals
Info528 Research Methods

Each paper has a weekly online class. It's good to be able to hear and speak to the course coordinators and other students although it is a little odd to be in a class full of people you can't see. One advantage is that I don't have to worry if I'm having a bad hair day and no one would know if I attended class in my pyjamas! As these will be my 5th, 6th and 7th papers I'm used to the system now. I feel more comfortable about speaking using the microphone and can focus on getting the most out of the sessions. I'm looking forward to learning more about the subjects of management, digital technologies and research, and I hope the assignments will be as interesting as they were last semester.

The photo is of Rutherford House in Wellington. That's where the School of Information Management is situated apparently. I must visit my university one day!
Photo by TreMichLan

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Special Library in Samoa

This time last year I was in Samoa with some members of my family enjoying a winter getaway. We spent a few days at Lalomanu on the south east coast of Upolu. Lalomanu is a beautiful place and we met some lovely people there. We stayed in a fale on the beach. The fales had just been rebuilt after the tsunami in 2009 had wiped out all of the buildings in the lower part of Lalomanu. Part of the village was on higher ground and escaped the tsunami, including the hospital and school. We visited the school during the weekend and Zak played touch with some of the children there.

I recently learned via the internet that a library has been built at Lalomanu School since we were there. It was the result of a project undertaken by an Australian couple as a tribute to their six year old daughter, Clea, who died in the tsunami. Her parents, Jorge Salavert and Trudie Wykes, decided that building a library would be a fitting tribute to Clea (who loved reading) and it would be a meaningful way to contribute to the community to which they will forever be linked through tragic loss. The Salavert - Wykes family, with the help of family, friends and community, including Clea's school, organised fundraising, book collections and the building and furnishing of a library at Lalomanu School.

I think the library is a wonderful tribute to Clea and will help create a positive future through literacy and education for the young people of Lalomanu.

Images of the Clea Salavert Library by the Library Association of Samoa

Monday, July 4, 2011

Finn Brothers

It's always hard to get in touch with StudyLink by phone and today they were simply refusing to take calls at times. However at least when you do get put on hold they play music by the local lads - Tim and Neil Finn. I don't mind listening to a bit of Crowded House or Split Enz while waiting for a discussion about my student allowance. They are such talented musicians. I first saw them about 30 years ago when they performed as Split Enz in Palmerston North and I saw them again a couple of years ago when they came back to perform in their home town. I love the old songs such as My Mistake, I Got You and I See Red, and one of my favourite more recent songs is Won't Give In. I'm still waiting for an answer to my StudyLink query but it got me into the mood for some Finn brothers music today.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

I have just read the amazing story of William Kamkwamba, a young man from Malawi whose ingenuity and determination changed the lives of his family and community. He was forced to drop out of high school when his parents were unable to pay his school fees. But William was determined to keep up with his studies so he borrowed books from the tiny library (just three shelves) at the local school. He became fascinated by a couple of books about energy and although his English was poor he persevered to make sense of the information. At the same time a famine was sweeping through Malawi and life was a struggle for William and everyone around him. The description of the famine is harrowing yet throughout that time William never gave up on his dream. At the age of just 14, using scrap materials and his own ingenuity, he built a windmill that generated electricity, and changed the lives of his family and community.

I loved this book, it is an inspiration. Although parts of it are horrific throughout the story you can feel the strength of spirit, creativity and determination of William. As a library studies student I was fascinated by the role the tiny library of donated books played in William's life. William's story has spread around the world and he has spoken at TED conferences about his life (see the video below).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Christchurch. Can we fix it?

Christchurch is having tough year and I feel for the people there. But here is a lighthearted look at the situation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holes by Louis Sachar

Today I spent the morning at Puahue School teaching the Year 5 and 6 class. They are all students I have taught in the past year or two. Last week I noticed their teacher was reading the book Holes by Louis Sachar to them. Ironically I had just bought the book at a second hand book fair ten days earlier. It's a story for young people that I had wanted to read for a while and finally got around to doing so. It's a clever story with a straightforward writing style. I liked the way all the pieces of the storyline, from a hundred years in the past to the events of the present, were linked together. The children, every one of the 30 of them, were thoroughly enjoying the story. They have been learning to write letters so today they each wrote a letter to Louis Sachar. I found an address for his publisher in New York so hopefully the letters will reach him and he can enjoy the children's opinions and maybe answer their questions.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Masses of Mandarins

I've had a bumper crop of mandarins this year. Although the tree is no taller than I am it has produced a huge number of mandarins. The tree looked quite droopy for a while as it sagged under the weight of its fruit. I'm eating at least half a dozen a day and I've given lots away. They are Clementine mandarins and they're very sweet and juicy. Delicious.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Winter Holiday

I've just spent a very enjoyable few days catching up with friends and family in the lower North Island. It was fun to try out Dean's four-wheeler motorbike and go zipping up and down Waitarere Beach.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Molly's Murmur

Molly has had an on-and-off runny nostril for a while so I thought I'd better get it checked out at the vet. She has had the problem before and although it's never been definitively diagnosed a round of antibiotics helps clear it up. Today the vet also discovered that she has a heart murmur. The valve in the right side of her heart isn't working properly and she needs to have some blood tests and an x-ray. She's 11 years old so she's getting on a bit. She was trembling with fear in the consulting room. The vet clinic is a very scary place for a scaredy cat, poor old thing.

Trivia fact: When I got Molly from the SPCA and chose her name I had recently moved to my house. I didn't know at the time that one neighbour had a cat called Holly, another neighbour had a cat called Polly and my immediate neighbour called her car Molly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Only In New Zealand

The latest news from Auckland, from Newstalk ZB and on Yahoo New Zealand News.

A taniwha appears to be in the way of Auckland's planned $2.5 billion CBD rail link project.
The revelation has been made by Maori Statutory Board member Glenn Wilcox at an Auckland Council Transport Committee.
Councillor Cameron Brewer says the issue should've been put to bed with Ngati Whatua by now.
"The fact that the 'T bomb' was let off by an independent Maori Statutory Board member yesterday without anyone aware of the taniwha was disappointing."
Mr Brewer says Mayor Len Brown has been let down by his advisors.

Yahoo really knows how to stir up their readers with some of their 'news' stories. In the four hours since the news item was published on Yahoo NZ there have been 230 comments posted. Such as this one from Lorna:
'The French have trains that can run at 575km/hr and we have taniwha.'

And there are quite a few people who think a Waikato taniwha has just moved north.
According to 'Politically taniwha are not to be treated lightly.
In 2002 Transit New Zealand moved part of State Highway 1 after Ngati Naho of Meremere claimed it was cutting through the domain of one eyed taniwha Karu Tahi.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wonderful Weird Warm Winter Weather

I am not a winter person. I feel the cold in the air as April turns to May and by June my attire is all about keeping warm not fashion. But this year I'm still waiting for the cold. I thought it might be because I don't have to get up in the cold, pre-dawn to get ready for work. One of the major bonuses of my student lifestyle is getting up in the morning when I want to. But last month was the warmest May for 100 years and today, June 5th, it was 21 degrees. I had the doors and windows open and it was a lovely balmy day. I'll make the most of it while it lasts. I'm sure Jack Frost will strike soon and the squash ball will bounce like a stone, the Impatiens will droop and die and a beanie will be my favourite item of clothing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Great Read - Dolci di Love

When workaholic Lily Turner finds a laminated photo hidden in her husband’s golf shoe her world turns upside down. The novel moves quickly from New York to Tuscany and that’s where this delightful story really starts. The Secret League of Widowed Darners, who mend hearts rather than socks, are a spirited group of ancient Italian women who work behind the scenes to find a happy ending for Lily. I loved the setting and humour in this story and I especially loved the wonderful old Italian widows who help weave all the pieces of the story together.

About Sarah-Kate Lynch: "She usually lives in a cliff top house on the wild west coast of New Zealand but likes to escape whenever possible for "research" purposes to far-flung spots in pretty parts of the world where she enjoys the local cuisine and the odd glass of wine."

The Pacific Pearl in Vanuatu

I discovered that the Pacific Pearl has a live cruise cam that sends images to the P&O website via satellite. It's updated every 15 minutes. This photo is from Port Vila, Vanuatu. I hope you're having a great day in the tropics Dad.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dad Cruises Away

I took Dad to Auckland yesterday to board his cruise ship. He will be cruising the South Pacific for 10 days visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu. I wonder what he'll think of that style of travelling. The 'Pacific Pearl' was relaunched in December after an upgrade. The photos on the P&O website make it look quite luxurious. It's an impressive size - more like a floating town than a hotel. I hope he has a wonderful time.
Meanwhile I've got two assigments
left to finish my first semester as a
Victoria University student.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Learning about Censorship

This week I've been reading about censorship for my Information in Society paper. A lot of the week's reading has been about legislation and how censorship applies to libraries. However I sometimes get a bit sidetracked and follow links to interesting but not quite relevant topics. For example, today I found a timeline on the history of censorship for use by school students (in the Office of Film & Literature Classification website).

The fascinating fact (i.e. piece of trivia) I learned was this. When the film Ulysses was released in 1967 it was controversial, partly because of its sexual references but mostly because it contained one use of the word 'f**k'. So according to the website this is what happened when it reached New Zealand.

"The Chief Film Censor, screened it to two test audiences, one made up of church representatives (all men) and the other made up of married couples. While the first group recommended an R18 or Restricted to Film Societies classification, the second felt it could only be shown to segregated (split) audiences aged 18 years and over.
The Film Censor followed the second group's recommendation and men and women were separated during screenings. He stated that some of the dialogue in the film would cause embarrassment in 'mixed company'. In smaller theatres this meant a rope was put down the middle of the cinema. In larger theatres the aisle separated men and women, or one group sat upstairs and the other downstairs.
In 1972 the classification was changed to R18. Today the DVD of Ulysses is rated 'M: contains sex scenes'."

Attitudes have certainly changed since then. I wonder what affect this sort of publicity had on box office takings at the time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Learning about Legislation

The Official Information Act, The Privacy Act and Intellectual Property Rights are not topics that I have thought about much in the past. But we've had some interesting readings and discussions in my university class. Apparently last week was Privacy Awareness Week (it's hard to keep up, there seems to be This Week and That Day for everything now). One of our tasks was to take a 'test', that's available to anyone online, to determine how aware of the risks of identity theft we are. If you're interested the link is below - it certainly raised some points for me to consider.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More Wild Wind

Today the wild wind was in Auckland when a tornado struck the suburb of Albany. What's happened to Windy Wellington? The wind news is all from northern regions at present. I found this report from a Euronews Channel on YouTube. It's in Spanish but the pictures tell the story clearly. Tornadoes like this are rare in New Zealand, only about 3 or 4 of this size every century according to the weather expert on TVNZ.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wedding

Last time I was at university I watched Charles and Diana get married. Now I'm back at university, a whole generation later, and I watched their son marry his beautiful bride. The British get 10/10 for doing pomp and ceremony so well, and Kate's dress receives 10/10 for its elegance and style. Princess Beatrice's hat? Well that's a 4/10 with all four points allocated to entertainment value.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Mmm, blueberry cheesecake for lunch. My lovely Mum treated me to lunch today at the Irresistiblue Cafe which is situated in a blueberry orchard. The cheesecake was delicious and I learnt a few fascinating facts about blueberries:

1) There are over 200 varieties.

2) Monavale Blueberries have over 26 varieties on their property, both high bush and rabbiteye varieties. Apparently the rabbiteye varieties go pink (similar to the eye colour of a white rabbit) before they turn blue.

3) And the best part - one serving of blueberries provides as many antioxidants as five servings of broccoli. In with blueberries, out with broccoli I say!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wild Wind

It was a wild and windy day in
Te Awamutu today. I arrived at the squash club at about 11:30am and there were huge gusts of wind blasting through town. As I got inside I heard a crash as a window blew out upstairs. Some of the glass was blown onto Court 1 where a couple of young lads were playing. Luckily they weren't injured. It was also fortunate that the cleaner had forgotten to lock the cleaning cupboard. We were able to clean up the glass and get on court to play. There were sirens wailing frequently over the few next hours as the emergency services dealt with trees down and roofing materials blown off. Then the sound of chainsaws as trees were cut and cleared.

Waikato Times photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What would you do?

What would you do if you found your local supermarket open but not a single staff member in sight to take your money? This happened in Hamilton on Good Friday when Pak 'n Save was officially closed but the lights went on and the doors opened automatically. Store security video shows decisions made by people who entered the store.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

St George's Day

Today is St George's Day. According to legend, St George slayed a dragon to save a princess who was going to be eaten by the dragon. You can read and hear the story here: St George and the Dragon.

Image by Trish Steel

Casa Battlo

It has been said that this building by in Barcelona by Antoni Gaudi represents the dragon (scales along the top) with the sword (turret with cross on top) plunged into its back.
Image by Alexandru Savu