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From the Museum

May 15, 2019 Uncategorized No Comments

The Martinborough Cook Book (undated) was published as a fundraiser for the Martinborough and District Women’s Rest Room, a now vanished but once important amenity in the town.   Each of the 100 recipes recognises the person who provided it, creating a wonderful record of the women of the district at that time.

The book includes the usual range of baking but with self-sufficiency often a necessity it also contains some very interesting household recipes.

There’s a cough mixture that’s guaranteed to make you happier if not healthier with its “threepennyworth each of laudanum and paregoric” (both opium derivatives).    

The hair tonic is innocuous enough until you reach the line that asks for “two ounces of spermacetti”.   That’s a substance obtained from the head of sperm whales (best not to ask how it was harvested).   The embrocation recipe, intended to ease aches and pains, seems guaranteed to increase them. It requires the cook to “beat the mixture for one hour”!

You can see this and other historic cookbooks at the museum Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 1.30-3.30pm

TWO SIDES of the COIN:

October 3, 2018 Uncategorized Comments Off on TWO SIDES of the COIN:

Looking back over my musings I discovered a column about money – written eighteen months ago! Even with our current minimal inflation rate, that has to be worth something. And money has been much in many of our minds recently with the rather sudden and disturbing news that we are to lose our bank, so right now is a suitable time to revisit the subject.

We tried our darnedest to put our town’s views forward, plenty of loyal and long-time locals created a Big Stink and our town’s disgust went viral. But in the end, to no avail. The Bank’s collective mind was made up – it seemed, for some considerable time beforehand.

But there are two sides to every question – in money terms, two sides of the coin, perhaps. Any important decision affecting people needs lots of thought and not just a coin toss. I’m hopeful it wasn’t decided that way; but the old adage ‘money talks’ no doubt had plenty to do with it, and we wonder if our side of the coin was even considered. Too late now; but here’s a message and a reply … both entirely fictional, of course. … Continue Reading

NZTrio in Greytown

October 3, 2018 October 2018, Uncategorized Comments Off on NZTrio in Greytown

The NZTrio will conclude its 2018 touring year with the programme Twine, which they will perform in Greytown on Thursday 8 November, and also in Auckland, New Plymouth and Whitianga.

Each concert this year has presented a fresh dynamic, with an impressive line-up of talented Kiwi guest musicians joining founding member, cellist Ashley Brown. For the Twine concerts, violinist Amalia Hall and pianist Somi Kim will combine with Ashley. He says “It is exciting working with different guest musicians, creating new and exhilarating NZTrio combinations every time”.

NZTrio describes the concert programme as follows: “Audiences will be welcomed in with the brief but intoxicating Mishima by Philip Glass. The Trio will then dive headlong into Schumann’s Piano Trio No 2 in F Major, a work described by the composer as a “friendly work, making an immediate impression on the listeners.”

Rush, a recent work by Aussie composer Matthew Hindson, rolls rhythmically into a smile-laden world of tumbles and twirls, gathering momentum and excitement!

After the interval, the Trio and audience will venture together into uncharted territory with Kiwi Celeste Oram’s brand new commissioned work. As we go to print, it’s not yet complete, but a genuine and fascinating work is anticipated from this supremely talented and innovative artist. … Continue Reading

Book review

October 3, 2018 Uncategorized Comments Off on Book review

Utopia for realists – Bullshit jobs

 ‘And now for something completely different’ (to borrow a Monty Python phrase) , in this case a double review. Each of these books is based on the John Maynard Keyes’ 1930 prediction than by this century everybody would be working a fifteen hour week. The predicted rise in production has happened , but everybody remains working as in the 1930s so why has Keyes’  prediction not come about? they ask.

Utopia for realists  ‘ This book is brilliant. Everyone should read it’ is Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level’s , assessment of  Utopia for realist – and I agree with him.  Author Rutger Bregman is a leading Dutch philosopher and economist who spells out a new way forward from the long held and debated Left/Right stances with fresh thinking and evidence based arguments. … Continue Reading