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Under the Martinborough Stars

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

This month’s image is ‘Jupiter Marble’ courtesy of NASA.

“Small pieces of glass”

By Becky Bateman

Around 1610, a middle-aged man gazed up at the heavens with a new-fangled piece of equipment up to his eye. What he saw, no one had ever seen before and led to a whole new way of thinking about our Solar System. 

That man was Galileo Galilei, and the new-fangled equipment was a simple telescope. He was gazing at the planet Jupiter, the largest of the Solar System planets. He noticed Jupiter had seemingly small bright points of light on either side that moved around the planet regularly over time. 

Galileo had found the first objects to orbit another planet and began the revolution that showed the Universe wasn’t quite what we had thought. Galileo turned the scientific and religious beliefs of the age upside down.

Poor Galileo was rather controversial in his time and spent most of the rest of his life under house arrest, questioned by the Spanish Inquisition and called a heretic. 

The “points of light” on either side of Jupiter are now, in his honour, known as the Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede.

These Galilean Moons are the four largest moons of Jupiter, and you can see them easily with binoculars or a small telescope. Ganymede is the largest moon in the whole Solar System, and even larger than the planet Mercury.  … Continue Reading

The Tudor Consort

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

L – R: Megan Hurnard, Mathew Painter, John Beaglehole, Melanie Newfield, David Houston, Nicola Holt,  Jeffrey Chang, Erin King, Brian Hesketh, Michelle Harrison.

Martinborough Town Hall, Waihinga Centre, 31 March, 2019

The title of the Tudor Consort programme was Chansons d’Armour – Songs of Love. When I first read this, the 1976 recording, Chanson d’Armour, by Manhatten Transfer came to mind. That is where any comparison ends. Chanson D’Amour, one song of love, was composed in the late fifties and reached the Top Ten never to be heard again. The Tudor Consort, a Wellington Choir, specialise in songs of the Renaissance. These compositions have endured and are still sung today. 

The Tudor Consort did not use the stage; the group performed in the auditorium. Much of their repertoire was written in the style of music composed for the high vaulted ceilings of renaissance cathedrals. With its high ceiling and bright acoustic the auditorium was particularly suited to The Tudor Consort programme. Their voices soared majestically upward and filled the auditorium with a sound that would not have been too dissimilar to that when this music was first performed centuries ago. They sounded glorious.

A choir for mixed voices, the group were beautifully balanced. They sang unaccompanied. I wondered which pitch perfect singer would give the starting note. No-one did. Instead, out came a smart phone and the internet did the rest. … Continue Reading

Toni Pyl

 – Part 11 War Memories (Final)

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

Now we started talking about our old village and my mother managed to obtain a permit as a former resident. We went on one of the few trams that were operating  and then walked the rest of the way. The village was a sorry sight with barbed wire and empty ammunition shells everywhere. A wooden bridge replaced where the pasture nearby had been dug up to make a deep tank trap. Houses were badly damaged as all the wood had been taken out, leaving only the brickwork and they all had to be pulled down, including our old house.

Sometime later it was announced that the  Council had repaired some of the houses and we could return. We could choose which one to live in so we ended up living in the lovely village again but not in the same house.

Because of food shortages caused by allied action, lots of children were weak and underfed so England (feeling responsible) offered to organise health camps. Only one in every family could go there and I was the lucky one (my sister went to a camp in Holland). We only took a few clothes with us as we we were going to get new ones in England. It was all very exciting but first we had to be de-loused at the local medical centre.  Army trucks collected us and we were driven to Rotterdam. The boat journey in itself was exciting as we went on a big passenger ship, which formerly went to Indonesia and was converted for the army. It took three days to get to Southampton because we went so slowly through a channel in the sea with lines of mine sweepers on both sides. … Continue Reading

South Wairarapa Rebus Club

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

Onoke Spit Restoration

Guest speakers at the South Wairarapa Rebus club meeting on 22 March 2019 were Denise and Dougal MacKenzie of Te Rakau Birding talking about the restoration and ongoing care of indigenous flora and fauna on Onoke Spit. Pest eradication and planting are permanent concerns.

On the following Friday the Club organised a bus trip for 21 members and friends to visit the MacKenzies on site at Te Rakau, followed by lunch at Lake Ferry Hotel and a visit to Burnside Church. 

Unfortunately, Te Rakau’s normal access to the spit was under water so walking on the spit was not possible. Instead the bus was guided along raised access ways allowing us to see the developing Pounui lagoons, wetland area and associated pest-trapping with dry feet. We then went to Ocean Beach and enjoyed some time on that wild shore. We were disappointed to miss out on seeing Caspian terns and Royal spoonbills but dotterel were in evidence on the driftwood-littered beach.  … Continue Reading