Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ANZAC Day - Tirau 2015

I have mentioned in a previous post that the 25th April is ANZAC day in New Zealand (and Australia).

I just thought I would post some pics of how we in Tirau have commemorated this special day.

A service is held in the Town Hall and had a lot of people from our church participating in it. I have been going to them most years since arriving in Tirau, 30 years ago and was saddened to note that there was only one RSA member left from those first days.

The service started with Mrs Nora Martelletti, a long standing member of the Tirau Community Board welcoming and introducing our new minister Rev John Rush.

A message from the Governor-General of New Zealand Lt.Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM, GSO, was read out by a local RSA member, Clive Collingwood.

Like most services throughout New Zealand we all then stood while the bringing in and presentation of colours (the New Zealand and British flags) by members of local RSA War Veterans takes place and are stood next to the Roll of Honour.

We all then sung God Save the Queen.

Then members of organisations are invited to bring in their wreaths which are placed at the foot of the Roll of Honour.

Prayers were then said and a reading from Psalm 100 with a response per line by the congregation.

Amazing Grace was sung and the Lord ’s Prayer said.

Then two members of our Churches youth group read lessons from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and John 15:9-13, with all people saying Psalm 23 a Psalm said by many a soldier in his final hours.

A member of our Parish, Mary Tidbury, told the story of her family connection to Melville Mirfin. who was one of the first men to volunteer for World War 1 in 1914. He is featured on a special stamp issued to commemorate King and Empire. He served from 1914 through to the occupation of Germany in 1919 and became one of the longest serving soldiers of WW1.

We listened to a recording of “Sons of Gallipoli" composed and sung by Fr Chris Skinner from the disc entitled “You Raise Me Up.

The message from the Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt John Key was read by Cassandra Robinson, Chairwoman of the Tirau Community Board.

We all stood for the singing of the National Anthem of New Zealand and then a Dedication was said by Rev John Rush.

As we sung a last song Let There Be Peace an offering was taken up for the RSA Welfare Programmes.

Then the bit that always gets me is the playing of the Last Post and the Reveille with the reciting by of us all

They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them.
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them;
We will remember them.

The service is closed with the Benediction and the retiring of the colours.

All the wreaths are taken to the Tirau Cemetery and placed at the foot of the flag pole in the RSA section and a single poppy is laid on the graves of RSA members buried there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ANZAC Day 2015

New Zealanders observe Anzac Day on April 25.

Poppies outside the Information Centre
On 25 April 1915, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, the site of New Zealand’s first major battle of World War One with the loss of over 2,721 New Zealand soldiers. The Australian and New Zealand soldiers were part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula. What followed was a bitter eight-month campaign that helped to forge our nation.

Tirau's ANZAC service is held here
Messages were encouraged to be written he

Anzac Day is a national day of commemoration (also observed in Australia) and it is a time of remembering all New Zealanders who died serving New Zealand during war and it honours returned servicemen and women, past and present, who served their country in wars and conflicts. Many New Zealanders attend parades, dawn services (a moving rite of passage for many kiwis) or commemorative ceremonies on Anzac Day. The Anzac Day parades involve returned service personnel wearing their medals while marching behind banners. Defence force members, cadets and youth organizations also join in the parade. It’s also common to lay wreaths to remember New Zealanders who fought and died in past wars and conflicts.

We Will Remember Them banners
Anzac Day has been a public holiday in New Zealand since 1921. Schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed. However, it was observed as early as 1916. A civic delegation in Wellington persuaded the government to gazette April 25 as a general half-day holiday. By 1920 it was apparent that most New Zealanders wanted Anzac Day observed as a sacred day and later that year the government introduced a bill to make Anzac Day a national holiday. As of January the 1st 2014, Anzac Day became "Mondayised" which means if it falls on a weekend, the following Monday becomes a day off work. ANZAC day is still  commemorated on its actual holiday date.

Every year, thousands of Kiwis and Australians – young and old – travel to be part of a commemorative service at Gallipoli, in Turkey. Australia and New Zealand conduct three commemorative services at Gallipoli on Anzac Day each year. The Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site is jointly conducted by both countries and is followed by an Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine, and a New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair. As the Anzac Commemorative Site has a limited capacity, anticipated demand to attend represents a challenge to ensuring a secure, safe and comfortable visitor experience, while maintaining the dignity and solemnity of the centenary commemorations. such was the demand this year a ballot was taken and draen on 31 March 2014.

Tirau's fallen soldiers
Crosses for Tirau's fallen
Students from Tirau School researched information on fallen soliders
Since the first commemorative services in 1916, Anzac Day has evolved into the observance we know today, with Kiwis and Australians of all ages attending services and events across the world, from dawn until dusk. In the afternoon we relax, spend time with our loved ones and if we are lucky, enjoy a day off work. We honor the Anzac values of courage, compassion, camaraderie, and commitment and a time we depended on each other as brothers.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mecki’s Courgette Cake - Part two

Before I post this recipe I thought I would tell you a bit more of the story behind it.

For those of you who follow this blog and my facebook page you will know I have another blog My Julie/Julia Attempt  On this other blog I am trying to work through a plastic bag of recipes I have collected from all manner of places. You know; magazines, newspapers, flyers, friends, web sites, the back of packets food comes in and just anything that catches my eye. I had originally thought I would make a recipe a day – just like in the book by Julie Powell, ‘Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously’, that was made in to the film Julie Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Since it is just Harry and I at home I am reluctant to do too much of the baking of some food because unless I can freeze it (and there is a limit as to how much I can fit in the freezer!) I have to eat it myself (and yes the weight is going on!) or take it to somewhere where it will be eaten for me.

Now as I have lamented to you before, my vegetable garden was not very successful this year (well of course it isn't – you have to work at it to have things grow) but I have friends (no smart comments thank you) and they have gardens – and abundance of crops.

As in a previous post I was given some zucchini; also known as the courgette and if left for too long – the marrow, and attempted a new recipe to add to my Julie/Julia Attempt. Then I discovered the omission of the amount of flour. But not to be down at the first or second hurdle I finally decided, after the gifting of more zucchinis from Frances, to try the recipe again.

The recipe below is what was posted in the newspaper with the added amount of flour. Now I still think the first cake I made with 2 ¾ cups of flour and being left in the oven for slightly longer was nicer than this one but it was still quite nice.

Mecki’s Courgette Cake,
named after Mecki the German Wwoofers who made it while staying at Annette’s Taylor’s place.

500g courgettes, grated
1 small cup oil
1 ½ cups sugar
3 beaten eggs
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a 22cm coke tine with greased paper.
Combine courgettes, oil sugar and eggs.
In another bowl sift flour and other ingredients except almonds.
Slowly stir the flour into the courgette mixture. Add almonds and mix well.
Pour into cake tin and bake for about an hour. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from tin. Sprinkle with icing sugar, and if desired, slice in held and add whipped cream

Monday, April 20, 2015

Little Boy Blue

Little Boy Blue By Mother Goose
Little boy blue, 
Come blow your horn, 
The sheep's in the meadow, 
The cow's in the corn. 
But where is the boy 
Who looks after the sheep? 
He's under a haystack, 
Fast asleep. 

The additional lines in one version which I know now, but didn’t as a child when I first learnt this rhyme are:

Will you wake him? 
No, not I - for if I do, 
he's sure to cry 

"Little Boy Blue" is a popular English-language nursery rhyme, often used in popular culture. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 11318. The earliest printed version of the rhyme is in Tommy Thumb's Little Song Book (c. 1744), but the rhyme may be much older. The Origins of the Little Boy Blue story - A Connection with Tudor History?

The words and story of Little Boy Blue cannot be positively connected to any historical figure in European history but there is, however, a doubtful theory that has been argued that Little Boy Blue was intended to represent Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530) who was the son of an Ipswich butcher, dating back to English Tudor history and the reign of King Henry VIII (although the origins and lyrics cannot be connected to any events in his life). Wolsey a prominent English statesman and figure in the Roman Catholic Church during the reign of Henry VIII, was an extremely rich and arrogant self-made man with many enemies at court and was unpopular with the people of England. He was called the "Boy Bachelor" after obtaining his degree from Oxford at the unusually early age of fifteen. The expression "Blowing one's own horn" meaning to brag was certainly practised by Cardinal Wolsey. Between 1514 and 1525 he transformed a medieval manor into the magnificent Hampton Court Palace. It was an ostentatious display of his wealth and his power giving rise to the rhyme uttered by his enemies:

 "Come ye to court? Which Court?
The King's Court or Hampton Court?"

The anti-Wolsey propaganda worked and in 1529 Henry declared all of Wolsey's lands and possessions forfeit and they became the property of the Crown. At this time England was a prosperous nation largely through the wool trade and the export taxes on wool had augmented both Henry's treasury and Wolsey's assets. The words "where's the boy who looks after the sheep?" could refer to Wolsey's concern with profiting himself by lining his own coffers as opposed to that of the country. The cardinal's robes were scarlet but Wolsey's Blazon of Arms included the blue faces of four leopards, as opposed to traditional scarlet cardinal robes - perhaps this was why the title of the rhyme is Little Boy Blue? The Little Boy Blue rhyme may have been a secret message of dissent concerning the greed of the statesman prior to his downfall. Open criticism of the Cardinal would have lead to imprisonment, confiscation of property or even death.

Another theory of the rhyme reputedly relating to Cardinal Wolsey is Wolsey may have acted as a hayward to his father's livestock, but there is no corroborative evidence to support this assertion.

The idea of a sheep eating in a meadow, or a cow eating in the grain field ("corn" means grain in this context) would have been horrifying to the people of the time, since heavy feeding on lush grass can make sheep sick (grass tetany, for example) so the meaning of the rhyme was quite vivid in earlier times.

It may also be alluded to in Shakespeare's King Lear (III, vi) when Edgar, masquerading as Mad Tom, says:

Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepheard?
Thy sheepe be in the corne;
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth
Thy sheepe shall take no harme.

Another version from Mother Goose, The Original Volland Edition (1915), edited and arranged by Eulalie Osgood Grover:

Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn.
What! Is this the way you mind your sheep,
Under the haycock fast asleep?

However it is also noted that the rhyme neither has a moral objective nor is used to demonstrate any specific use of the English language.

The most common belief is that the origins are not based on actual events or people in history but is merely a reflection of peaceful country life which would appeal to the imagination of a young child.

And so leads to my recollection of this rhyme.

I was visiting my good friends, Allan and Frances, one day and as leaving down their driveway I drove past some cows which appeared, when I first looked, to be in the same paddock as maize was being grown. Stopping I looked and saw they were in fact well and truly fenced off. Still, I thought of the rhyme and couldn't resist taking a few shots for a blog post!

Another day while travelling north I came across a small fenced off area by the roadside where all the sheep had been shepherded into an area of roadside grass. It looked a little odd to have so many in a small place, as if they had "got into the meadow".

On another occasion when I was visiting my friends again as I hadn't bought my camera I asked Frances to take some photos of the cows grazing in an area where some of the maize had been harvested. She emailed them to me from her phone and we were quite amazed (no pun intended) at how on transmission the cows ended up looking like they had been photo shopped into the pic! If you look inparticular at the legs of the black and white cows they definitely look photoshopped on But I can assure you they were there!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd is an author I have enjoyed in the past having read two of her books The Mermaid Chair and the more famously known The Secret Life of Bees,  made into a movie in 2008. So it was with a sense of expectation I started on her latest novel The Invention of Wings

It was not until I was halfway through that I discovered that the main characters the Grimk√© sisters were actually real. The story starts with Sarah Grimke receiving “Handful” (Hetty) a ten year old negro as her servant - a gift from her mother on her eleventh birthday. Sarah, who was intelligent beyond her female expectations, longed to be a lawyer like her father and older brother and felt right from the start that she would not have a servant and would sign her back to her mother to set her free.

Of course this did not go down well and so the story starts as we read about Handful and Sarah – alternative chapter upon chapter from 1803 eventually through to 1838. Sarah relished books and an education. When her youngest sister was born, Sarah begged her parents to allow her to become Angelina's godmother. She became part mother and part sister to her much younger sibling, and the two sisters had a close relationship all their lives. Angelina often called Sarah "Mother". Sarah was not considered very pretty and so it was concerned that she would never marry. Her parents were very keen for her to take up the offer of proposal to the first eligible man who offered. Sarah had other ideas it appeared as though forbidden by her father to re-enter his library after an episode over the ‘stealing’ of a book, longed to be more than just a “lady”.

Through all this her slave Handful worked as a seamstress a gifted talent handed on from her mother. Handfuls character although originally recorded as being given as a servant to Sarah is primarily made up by Sue even though the idea of “the invention of wings” comes from a story told to Handful by her mother.

The story written alternative chapter by chapter of the two women and their lives tells of the plight of slaves in southern America and the true story of Sarah and ‘Nina’ as they rebel against society, joining the Quakers and eventually becoming famous abolitionists.

Sue writes in an informative way that draws you in to the sotry and characters making her novels a joy to read. In this instance the fact that the story's characters are from history is also a drawcard for me as I enjoy the learning of history through a writers own depiction of the people and events.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Other Recipes

As its been a cold snap the last few days and we have even had the fire going, I thought I would sit in the sun a little and read with a good book. Of course I always like to have a warm cuppa with a bite to eat.

I made this nutty chocolate slice for Easter and the recipe can be found here on my other blog My Julie/Julia Attempt. It is also on the Countdown website.

The other blog has not been as successful as I had hoped but I keep adding to it. It started after I had read the book Julie Julia and then seen the film. I want to do something the same so thought I would attack my large plastic bag of 'saved' recipes I have collected over the years - and yes I mean years.

This recipe was very recent and I thought I would just try it straight away before it got thrust into the bag along with all the others. This way it can just be discarded now I have tried it.

And as for the cold - well its been snowing in the South Island and very cold here, just a gentle nudge ( or maybe a kick up the backside!) to get the firewood in for the winter before it is all to late.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ear Flap Hat

The Ear flap hat or...


Aviator hat or bomber hat,


or what ever you want to call them, they have certainly come back in vogue.

Do you have a pinterest account?
Its an on-line scrapbook that you can use for all those inks and pictures you want to just save for another day.
One of my "boards" was created by Jennifer and its titled "Things I want my Mun to Make" and all my daughters (well you can too if you like Daniel) can post on it.
So they do!

One of the requests from Theresa was a little hat with flaps for Kate.

Now its good to be able to see what they want and it gives me some tasks to complete but sometimes the pictures link to a website with a free pattern and other times they don't.

But having been a bit of a "collectamaniac" (my word) of patterns over the years I can often find one that I can use or adapt.
Darling Kate

However in this instance there was a pattern so I was able to just print it off.

Interestingly enough though on reading the pattern and following the instructions I see "Ali" calls what I know as a treble crochet, a double crochet, and what I call a double crochet she calls a single crochet.

Once I had worked this out and a few other things I found a little different I was able to follow and create an 'earflap' beanie in pink! - shudder shudder - Theresa doesn't like pink, but then the hat wasn't for her.

And whats more it needed so little wool I was able to use the end of balls of wool I have kept from left over garments I have made over the years. The pattern called for worsted weight yarn which I later discovered was 10ply or triple knit but I used double knit (8ply) so it meant it was a little smaller and slightly bigger gaps between the stitches. With crochet though it makes a thick "fabric" so it will still be a warm hat.

So all in all it was a very easy, free to make item that only took two evenings in front of the TV to complete.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

What's so Good About Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day in the Christian calendar when the commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ the Son of God is observed.

Luke 23:26-27, 32-46  
The Crucifixion of Jesus 
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. ...
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. 
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 
The Death of Jesus 
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

So for a Christian what is 'good' about it. I mean its such a dark sad time remembering that Jesus was crucified and died an agonising death in obedience even though He had asked for this burden to be taken away - He still did it.

Matthew 26:36-42
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 

Maybe we should call it Black Friday or Dark Friday or Bad Friday or ...


Jesus did do this....

and why....?

Because He loves us and so was prepared to pay the price of death and eternal sin for each of us...

And that is so good. That is very Good!

We don't deserve it and can never pay that price ourselves, but we don't have to because Jesus has. That is good.

So today was Good Friday. Its not really a day of celebration but we in Tirau honoured the day by taking a walk as Jesus did carrying a cross through the streets.

With Rev John Rush leading us out we crossed SH1 and waked for awhile carrying the cross, a mallet and some symbolic spikes.

We also carried banners proclaiming the:

 "Lamb of God"

"Man of Sorrows"

"If you see me, you see the Father"

"Price of Peace"

"By HIs wounds we are healed"

"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"

When we reached the top of the hill after a few changes in who was carrying the cross we rested and then made our way back down through town.

It was interesting to have people honk and wave as we walked. Some people stopped and watched and I pray that it was a focus for them at this time.

We unfortunately got some who chose to abuse us with 'signs' and voices but that just added to the appeal of what we were doing.

For Christ too was ridiculed and beaten.

Luke 22:63-65
The Guards Mock Jesus 

63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him. 

Once back down the hill and outside the church, we set the cross up and it was draped in a black cloth - the symbol of death.

While John prayed we took it in turns to hammer in some nails in recognition of the nailing of our own sins to the cross when Jesus was nailed and crucified.

When He did this for us He took all our sin upon Himself and they were nailed there with Him.

1 Peter 2:24  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Those who wanted, lingered for a time and I heated up some hot cross buns and made the supper ready for those who were ready to relax. The cross will be left where it is for all those who travel through Tirau over the next two days during this Easter Season and the prayer is that our act of drama, art and display will help all to remember what Easter is all about.

All scripture is taken from The New International Version