"After scolding one's cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference."- Charlotte Gray
I can relate to the above quote by Charlotte Gray. I had a bench cat the other day. The kind of cat that waits until one's back is turned ,before she strikes, and raids the unwary packet of sausages we had intended to be our dinner.
I was clawed accordingly yesterday by her hooky claws in my leg. Offences against cat are indeed filed for future reference. In accordance the stupid idiot human will in future avoid leaving sausages on the bench to thaw if they want to avoid the wrath of cat in times yet to come. Ouchy.....!
She is greedy very greedy. Likes her bottle does little Miss Lily. A couple of days ago she was weaned. Not impressed at all. I took these photos a couple of weeks ago. It was her bottle time then so she was trying to look extra cute. Now there is no bottle so now it's I want my feed bucket now! Moo every afternoon. She's leaving us soon to go to a new home where she will be very much loved. I guess she will have a calf in a couple of years time. My girls have to be BVD tested before I put them calf. River has had one calf and he was healthy. The Terrorist has yet to be put in calf I've held off for a while because she wasn't big enough to have mated to the bull. She's grown quite a bit in the last few months so now I may consider bringing in the bull once I've had the girls tested. Hope everyone had a great Christmas. We sure did.!
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
“The Lion’s Bride” Film
Release Date: 1914
“This Selig production was inspired by a famous painting of the era, also titled ~The Lion's Bride. Although she loves another, the daughter of an evil baron has been promised in marriage to an ancient count. With the help of the count's jester, the girl and her lover are able to elope. Interrupting the wedding, the count grabs the heroine and tosses her into a den of lions, where she presumably ends up as the "blue plate special." Her vengeful lover then kills the count, as the extras react in horror, and the canvas scenery flaps in the wind. The original The Lion's Bride was also the source for a key scene in Cecil B. DeMille's Male and Female (1919).”
~ Hal Erickson, Rovi 
At any rate, Hagenbeck's lions, lent for the purposes of a film recording Madame Destinn's acting, declined to-day to be soothed by the world-famous voice. A great crowd gathered to see Madame Destinn in the lions' den, but the beautiful aria which the film supposes her to sing, Beethovens "Kennst du das Land," was performed at a very respectful distance by the gramophone, and Madam, Destinn was promptly reminded of many inaccurate quotations of Congreve's verse when, as soon as she began to sing, the lions began to growl I noticed," said Madame Destinn, "that as soon as I began to emphasise the notes my lion started to growl. You can guess that I cut it out quickly."
A lady tamer sat down on the piano stool, obviously for the first time in her life, to act the role of accompanist, and incidently to keep an eye on the sleeping monarch, while a wiry little man from Hagenbeck's, who treated the lions just as if they had been so many rabbits or guinea-pigs, was very much on the alert, just out of the line of fire of the battery of cameras that were turned on the centre of the cage. These preparations completed, Madame Destinn stepped into the cage quite unconcernedly, and, hardly casting a glance at the animals, took up her station within two or three feet of the lion on the top of the piano. Then the signal was given, the films began to rattle, and the great singer opened her lips.
“..The song at an end, the prima donna bowed her acknowledgments to the imaginary audience for its imaginary plaudits, and now came the one feature in the performance, (says The Daily Telegraph) which appeared to arouse in her a certain amount of misgiving, for she was asked to lay her arm around Hercules's neck. Whether it was difference at the idea of taking such liberties with the king of beasts, or the thought that the maxim about sleeping dogs might apply with at least equal force to other and larger animals, at any rate, she executed the prescribed embrace with obvious signs of reluctance, and her land rested only with the gentlest possible pressure on the tawny mane. It was probably concern for the good fame of his pets which made the man from Hagenbeck's step forward and take hold of the singer's arm and, at the same time assuring her that she had no ground for uneasiness, lay it firmly right round the lion's neck…”
Disclaimer: Readers should check their sources, and not rely solely upon the information provided as being completely accurate. There may be errors or omissions in this article. To the best of my knowledge the information provided is accurate, however any further information may be revealed in the near future.
It's been a while since I visited an old haunt from my childhood. As kids my sisters, brother and I used to love visiting this sheltered sandy bay. We would spend hours exploring the rock pools and swimming in the bay. 7 year ago, when I was living at Tramcar Bay near Leigh I went up to the point and sat down with a sketch pad and drew the rock you can see in the photos. It took me a couple of hours but it was the best two hours I have ever spent just relaxing and doing something I love to do. It's a great spot to visit in summer. Soon it will be full of people who will enjoy it over the summer break. Well worth the visit.
These days with the advent of growing opposition against the use of animals performing in circuses an image like this would be frowned upon. Below is a brief summary I wrote up about the animals in this act.
We were looking forward to our share of fresh butter beans that next night. They just needed one more day before they were just right to pick. The menu would be changed that next night when the midnight bean thief came calling at our doorstep.
Strange noises in the dead of the night. A kind of a crunching sound, as the newly initiated one into the Order of the Sneaky Midnight Raider, began operation deny human idiot from harvesting legume source. It started with one...then two...then a third had gone flying to hit an old bottle of home brewed beer left outside and forgotten.
It had been a bad brew made who knew how many years ago. For some reason that old bottle of bad home brew had ended up amongst the fencing gear, and was never used for anything but taking up space. Finally it was left one day out in the weeds and out of sight.
It had stayed upright all of that time until the bean thief had hit the bullseye and it had hit a rock. Now that bad old brew bottle had cracked open the contents tipping out. The possum population were waiting to take advantage of the free meal and a drink to go. There was a free for all going on out there. The snails and the slugs were quick to join in the free tasting session on that bad old brew..and the Bean Thief continued with the purloining of our longed for butter beans which we would never get to enjoy.
The Bean Thief was into the next row of beans when it gave its nocturnal activity away. The dog woke up and started yelping Hey Bean Thief! Leave them beans alone!. He was on the vigil guarding those longed for beans, but for all his effort and all his noise the Bean Thief wasn't budging.
With big deer like ears and big eyes, the bean thief looked far too innocent to commit such a crime. Those rotten old possums, scheming snails and sneaky slugs were the pest mafia that usually did all the raiding. But not this time it seemed as a window was opened and the dog told to put a sock in it.
It was then, that the Bean Thief revealed herself. With long eye lashes, and a little moo she came running to the sound of that grumpy voice, that had two blinking sleep filled eyes and a flea ridden cat sleeping by her head. The game was up the bean thief caught out.
The human idiot rose out of bed to blink sleepily at the bean thief who still had part of the evidence slowly vanishing into her small jersey calf mouth. "Miss Lily!" The human idiot said, staring in hopelessly in vain, at the thought that if one bean plant was vanishing down that little bovine throat, then maybe she had done over more.
With much grumping and huffing the human idiot muttered dire things to pull on old gumboots, and find the one thing that matter most in the Miss Lily's mind.
Out came the bottle and Miss Lily came mooing her loudest and chasing the bottle carried by the muttering human idiot back to her broken tether rope. While she guzzled with glee ,the human idiot tied back up the rope. Took note of the funny walk of the possum near that bad old home brew, and wondered if the world was really crazy or it was just my imagination.
In the morning though, the evidence of the demise of the scheming snails, sneaky slugs lay in many piles. The possum poo by that old home brew bottle now well and truly emptied. It came to only one conclusion. Don't feed homebrew to the wildlife...pour it down the sink.
And those beans well they were all gone. So we ate the tinned ones instead.
Complete with muddy cat paw prints and a mobile duster as a built in option. Any attempt to remove said Evil Cat will result in painful wounds being inflicted by sharp instruments known by the technical terminology as 'claws'. Apply with caution.
|Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19350925-52-1|
Tales of a strange donkey like creature with zebra stripes had long been told in the Congo. Explorers tried to seek out the strange creature the local people called 'Okapi'. By 1901 samples of the animal's skin and bones had been bought back to England by Sir Harry Johnston who presented his findings to the Zoological Society of London
The skull was obviously not that of an equine animal, which the okapi was first supposed to be, but a ruminant.- There were no incisor teeth in the upper jaw, but they were replaced. as in all ruminants, by a fleshy pad, the remains of which still existed on the bones. Mr Oldfield Thomas, of the
His efforts to purchase a skin only resulted in procuring the striped pieces from the hind quarters, the natives neglecting all the self coloured parts, which constitute the covering of the greater part of the animal. His ultimate success in obtaining an entire skin was due to the exertions of Mr Karl Ericsson, of the
The preservation of this remarkable form from extermination was dependent on the total absence of large carnivora, and on the forest being exceedingly unhealthy, owing to which it is little visited by man. The dwarfs have no firearms, and secure the specimens that they obtain by digging large pitfalls, and killing the captured animal with spears. The forest region was apparently uninhabited until the more powerful negroes, by their persecution, necessitated its occupation, by the dwarfs.
In 1935 an Okapi was presented by the King of Belgian to the Prince of Wales. The animal was given by the Prince to the London Zoo. A living Okapi seen for the first time outside of its natural habitat in England caused a world wide sensation. News soon reached the New Zealand print media. The Evening Post reported:-
An okapi, a rare animal from
Belgian Congo, described as a cross between a giraffe, a deer, and a zebra, has arrived at the London Zoological Gardens. It is said to be the only living example of the species that has reached . England
It has been given to the gardens by the Prince of Wales, who received it as a gift from the King of the Belgians.
Officials of the gardens went to
to supervise transport. Antwerp
The okapi which was given in July to the London Zoo by the Prince of Wales, who received it as a gift from the King of the Belgians, died suddenly today.
The cause is at present unknown, but the loss is much regretted as there are only two other specimens in captivity in
I must be on some kind of a nostalgia trip writing these crazy stories of mine. So here's another one to have a laugh about. And it was funny. So here we go another one of those mad stories from my insane youth.
When I was 17 years old and rather thick as two planks, like all young teenage girls who loved horses I ended up working with them at a trail riding place north of Auckland. They had a big rambling old house built sometime in the 1880's, with all kinds of old things lying around the 12 acre small holding that surrounded the grounds. I had my horse a crazed thoroughbred nutcase named Jago, and a small 14.1hh pony by the name of Andy.
Long years, have passed since those two have long since died. But the memories I had of them are still good and strong. Having that old farmer's instinct in me somehow, I wasn't scared to roll up my sleeves and help around the place with fencing and the chores that had to be done. We'd take people our for rides to Muriwai Beach on the west coast and gallop for miles. Crazy times sometimes brought in crazy happenings.
The owners of the place, one day, decided to get in these half wild steers from a sale. The things were big, ugly, and didn't know what a 7 wire fence was. They were unloaded in the rickety cattle yards before the entire herd was sent out into the 10 acre block at the back of the property - and we watched as they climbed the fence like a flight of stairs, and off into the next block over. And there, they stayed for a couple of months.
One day going down there, the boss discovered one of the crazy steers had gone off to the great herd in the sky. There it was ,with all four legs stuck skywards as stiff as cardboard. So, the vet was called in to do an autopsy, and find out what the steer had died from. Carking it on a Monday maybe was a good thing. It meant the vet was clear of weekend stuff, and now rolled up her arms to cut up a dead cow, and find out just what had caused it to curl its hooves up.
While everyone else ran for the hills, screaming things about not wanting to see a cows guts, the ghoul here (who had no qualms about looking at dead things in the paddock) happily assisted the vet in cutting up said deceased steer to find out what had bumped it off. Cause discovered in the liver, with some great long scientific name, that, for a 17 year old ,went in one ear and out the other. Not good to have in cattle, so the vet said so it was all cattle in the herd to be vaccinated as soon as possible..which is where we get to the fun part of this story.
Monday night it poured with rain. The next morning showed a hint of sunshine and the task ahead of rounding up fence climbing cattle with no sense of morality about the feelings of the idiot humans that were there to round them up. Lucky we had horses that were about as crazy as those steers were. Two teenagers bareback, on sweated up nutty thoroughbreds must have quite a sight. Either way those fence climbing steers soon found themselves being foiled. Before they knew it they were yarded... sort of.
Given the yards were so rickety from decades of neglect, the chances the hulking bovines would soon break out were high. And sure enough one smashed its way straight through and into the concrete cattle yard beyond. We were soon off the horses and thinking about ways wee could hold the beasts in the crush, while the boss gave them the jabs. Ropes, posts and whatever else could be mustered together were soon in use. Bad idea to rope a steer by one leg, in a muddy yard full of cow crap. It kind of leads to more interesting events, such as Heather holding on for dear life, said steer bellowing like a demented banshee and heading for the hills - literally. At full speed, headlong through the yard fence, the steer took Heather for a joy ride session face first into the great pile of fresh cow dung. It makes an interesting look having green sloppy cow crap dripping from your face, and having the hair colouring to match. Not to mention even the clothing ends up matching with a touch here and there of mud to compliment the ensemble. The score card then read Human 0 Steer 10.
Meantime the boss and I were hard at work getting the rest of the steers vaccinated when one took exception to being jabbed in the butt. I got it both barrels in the guts and went for an interesting flight without the need for a ticket. With Heather already looking very fashionable in her new environmentally friendly 'green look' laughing her head off. By now my free flight was over...straight into yet another big juicy fresh pile of cow crap and churned up my. Naturally it was the facial treatment, joined by hair follicle enrichment eau de processed grass, and the matching ensemble outfit to match that of my friend's. The boss well....let's just say the raucous laughter disturbed the birds in the trees.
It took three showers to get out the stench and the colour green.
In the second week my parents were away, I spent a week staying at an uncle's (he was actually a close friend of my Mum and Dad) farm out in Taupaki. Uncle Lex and Aunty Colleen had a commercial chicken farm, with a few sheds full of cackling hens, that put a raucous if anyone stuck their heads in the shed. I loved being on the farm. Plenty to do there, and lots to look at. They had a few dogs, and one of them a fox terrier named Spot was the bane of kids. She loved nipping my heels at every opportunity, so I learned rather quickly to avoid the old dog, and her favourite sleeping spot.
Way down in the bush, at the back of the farm, two old pigs were doing their best to wreck the fences, and whatever else they could root up. They were nasty old sows, both bush pigs, that had appeared a few weeks before, from out of the fern. The old pigs had already rooted up Aunty Colleen's garden, and had set their sites on the turnip crop being grown for the winter cattle feed. With Christmas coming up, Uncle Lex decided it was time for those old sows to end up as Christmas Pork.
With dogs and .303 rifle in hand, a couple of kids perched on the Massey Ferguson Tractor, off we all bounced down to where those two old pigs hangout was known to be. Shane the big huntaway led the charge into the paddock of braken fern, with only his tail visible for us to know where he was. Jet the pig dog followed behind hot in pursuit of his canine mate. And then, the squealing started. The tractor moved on through the ferns, the big wheels flattening the fronds, with us all watching out for signs of pig. Only the dogs tails could be seen, and the frantic fury of fern fronds being bashed to pulp by a couple of hundred kilos of mature porcine bulk. There she was, being bailed by the dogs, one big old spotted sow with one dog on her nose, and the other dog on her rear. Uncle Lex got down off the tractor, called off the dogs and shot the sow in the head. That was the end of her. Not a problem to lift her carcass up with the tractor hoist, and into the trailor behind. The dogs looked rather pleased with themselves, and so did Uncle Lex, until, there was an indignant squealing right from behind.
Romance mixed in with rural shenanigans and history
Local writer Rae Roadley brings a down to earth account of her experiences of going from city girl to old farm hand when she meets her future husband to be Rex at a Table for Six dinner date.
Rae has lived in many of the major cities of the world, but perhaps the country life appealed. Finding employment with the Northern Advocate as a journalist, little did she realise she would meet a farmer who lived in a big old house down the end of a long gravel road.
On the shores of the Kaipara Harbour Rae finds out how to deal with bulls in the garden, getting to know the local characters around the Maungaturoto district, and realising she is becoming a rural woman at heart.
Together with her husband Rex, Rae has transformed the old rambling Batley House into a stunning home. Tales of the dogs Jess and Floss, mixed in the mishaps and triumphs makes this a fun book. Photographs of the Roadley family are scattered through out the book.
Rae spent some time researching the history of Batley, as a result she has included family trees for the Colebeck, Roadley and Masefield families, as well as an excellent time line of events. The index is comprehensive and the bibilography of source references has been included.
David Hill of the New Zealand Herald gave this book an excellent review. He noted some of the characters had what he termed 'flawless grammar, but in my view that's being a little picky. You can read the NZ Herald review here
Published by Penguin books in paperback, Love at the end of the Road - Finding my heart in the country by Rae Roadley is a charming down to earth good read. R.R.P NZ$40 256 pages.