Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Bulletin

Wednesday 8 April, 2020


Weekly meetings are via Zoom due to the situation with Covid-19

David Shackleton
I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter. It was great to see so many of you on Wednesday and I will look forward to more Zoom calls, until we can meet again in person. A special thanks to those who “Bought the Box” this week, Bev has been in touch with the House of Grace and they are most thankfully and appreciative of the funds we are collecting.
 I was reminded this week by Darryl how lucky we are to have our Rotary friendships and how special our Rotary community is. In many respects it is like a family. There are many people throughout New Zealand that do not share these special relationships and just don’t have a community or friends to call. While we have a phone tree in place, I urge you all to pick up the phone and touch base with another member. It means a lot during these periods of isolation.
I would like to recognise those Rotarians amongst us who work for essential service organisations, I know many of you are extremely busy. Thank you for the great work you are doing and for the important tasks you are undertaking.
We are planning to have our first formal speaker at our Zoom call on Wednesday 22nd of April. Darryl is organising the speaker and Warwick has kindly offered the Club to use his company Zoom account so we can go longer than the 40 minutes our system presently allows.  
If you have not read this month’s District 9940 bulletin, I urge you to do so. It features, no less than 5 articles about our Club or about one of our members. Anne Hare (with her name spelled incorrectly) Bill Day, the ambulance to Samoa, the Ian Paterson Award and our donation to House of Grace are all there. Thanks to all those who submitted articles, you make the Club shine
That’s it for this week and will look forward to seeing you on Wednesday


Our weekly report....Episode 3

From "Miss Piggy"

Hello again. It has been another rewarding week with literary acclaim reaching dizzy heights. Modesty prevents me from saying more.
Every silver lining has a cloud and mine is grapes, or lack of them. As you may remember I have been getting regular grapes, usually three or four times a day and I admit to an addiction, although not to Julian. However, he has let me know that his grape harvest is almost at an end and after today there will be none. I know I am quite weak-willed and am still in recovery from a previous worm addiction regularly taking part in WA meetings. This time I am not sure if I can get through the shivers and feather shaking, even with regular GA support.
Julian in the meantime seems to have no addictions to manage, other than chocolate, cheese,  home-made flapjack, toast and marmalade, garlic bread – perhaps I should not mention any more. However, over the past two weeks I have heard the much more frequent clink of empty bottles as he takes them to be stored before the next recycling trip. He and Sue say they are mainly sauce bottles but I think the sauce from these bottles flows a lot quicker than ketchup.
The Friday virtual Rotary party seemed to be a good idea and Julian tried to join via zoom. It was mainly, he said, because the only drink he is ever likely to get from Keith is a virtual one which was promised at his party. Unfortunately, there were not enough megabytes to allow zoom access, so the virtual remained none-existent.
After over two weeks of the official lockdown Julian and Sue say they feel incredibly lucky to be here. They are able to do what they enjoy at Kiriwhakapapa, out and about on the land day-after-day when they know so many people are stuck at home and hardly able to leave the house. They know the world is in a mess and hope it will eventually get better and are thankful that almost everyone is sticking to the plan in much more trying circumstances.
I admit that I enjoy the lockdown. I get so many more regular visits every day and lots of treats. Even Sue drops in for a chat, although she does not tell Julian in case he gets jealous. I know how that feels. He cares more about his Land Rover than me. I am aware he has had the Land Rover for over 40 years, but does it need such regular attention? The latest was an engine oil change.
It seems that Sue is experimenting a lot more with her cooking which is not always as successful as she would like. But a different meal every day is what she aims for, even though Julian is happy with the boring stuff, or so he says. The surplus of cooking apples Julian has produced is stretching her talents. The latest idea was scones with an apple filling. Julian told me he was surprised to actually quite like them which is why I did not get the chance to eat the leftovers.
Julian is also busy with the magazine he has to produce by the end of April, the Tree Grower. Although that keeps him busy inside the house, he takes every chance to go and do something not on his list of things which must be done. This week he has been cutting down even more trees for firewood for the winter after next. I know, all a bit into the future, but it keeps him fit and happy.
I will  be back next week with more tales, and the odd bit of truth.


Julian Bateson
Bill Day's Column for this week...
Links that make interesting watching on YouTube...

The importance of focus
As we all work in what can be the more stressful and distracting work environments of our homes, focus can become an issue. This video helps to explain the importance of focus on how we can better achieve our goals.
10 Ways to have a better Conversation
As we stay at home and talk to friends and colleagues, and as we approach people post-lockdown to discuss about the Impact of Rotary it is important we know how to have those conversations. This video gives some helpful tips.
5 Ways to Listen better
The most important skill in communicating is not talking, but is to listen. This tip provides some hints. This is especially useful if you are communicating with people over the phone over the next few weeks.
Become an Armchair Traveller with a Virtual Tour.... Click here for link

Rotary Beyond our Club....
Click here for link
Worldometers…..update statistics daily....
Click here for link
District 9930 Newsletter April 2020
Click here for link
Upcoming Events
Zoom Weekly Rotary Meeting
Apr 22, 2020
7:30 AM – 8:15 AM
Anzac Day Breakfast
Apr 25, 2020 6:30 AM
Rotary Weekly Meeting 29 April 2020
No meeting at Wellington Club this week.
Apr 29, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Charity Auction & Quiz Evening
May 01, 2020
6:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Rotary Weekly Meeting 13 May 2020
No meeting at Wellington Club this week.
May 13, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
District 9940 Conference -
May 15, 2020 5:00 PM –
May 17, 2020 12:00 PM
View entire list
Rotary Oceania Covid-19 information
 Click here for link  
UK's Open University
A friend of mine has recommended the UK’s Open University. There are some 800 free courses available with subjects as diverse as:
  • Health, sports and psychology
  • Education and development
  • History and the arts
  • Languages
  • Money and business
  • Nature and the environment
  • Science, maths and technology
  • Society, politics and law.
The courses are short and accessible and great value. Perfect for spending a few hours
Sonnet Competition
What a great opportunity to get creative! Write a sonnet and enter.
Click here for details
Fresh Organic Vegetable Delivery
Who is interested in fresh, organic and chemical free produce delivered to their homes during lock down. It is also an avenue to help our local businesses in these unpredictable times
Mike and his wife Sue buy fresh organic and chemical free produce from a trader at the Thorndon market - all produced by local growers in Wellington, Kapiti and Wairarapa. Covid-19 has put a stop to that outlet but the growers continue to produce and have just started home deliveries. Apparently if preordered they can also be picked up from Thorndon on Saturdays - they will bring it down and provide space for people to pick up keeping distance from each other. Specific details can be obtained from the following site:
Pic of what we ordered. I can tell you they are fantastic - not like what you buy at the supermarket

Vegetable Gardening
Craig and I are enthusiastic but not greatly experienced vegetable gardeners. Although I must confess, I won second prize in a home vegetable garden that I made and looked after myself when I was 9 years old. So, I can’t say I am a new to this!
Try as we might, we had not a lot of success with our attempts at vegetable garden in Karori, possibly because of poor soil, windy position and lack of time due to busy careers and young children!
We have had much more success with our efforts of the last 4 years at our house in the Wairarapa even though we have had several challenges to contend with. There is a thriving population of rabbits in the area as well as many hungry birds. The soil is hard and clayey. We are exposed to extremes in weather, hot dry summers, cold frosty winters, and often strong winds. We have used various strategies with varying degrees of success to overcome these challenges.
Most of our vegetables are grown in raised beds – protecting the young tender shoots from the rabbits (and our backs from having to bend over too much). We use netting when necessary to protect our ripening tomatoes and strawberries and young radish and carrot sprouts from the birds. Our frost tender passionfruit is tucked up in frost cloth after a mid-winter prune and only uncovered when the weather gets warmer. We have installed an automated watering system so that our garden is watered even when we are not there. We make continuous improvements to the soil by digging in compost and the ready supply of piggy straw or sawdust from the local friendly pig farmer who also happens to be my father.
We mostly buy seedlings from the local garden shop. We would love to be able to raise all our plants from seeds, but this process requires us to be here more often to give them the nurturing they require. Something to look forward to in or retirement. In the meantime, we gratefully receive seedlings that Craig’s father has grown for us, cabbage and tomatoes for example. Dad’s wife Jenny is generous in her sharing of self-seeded seedlings of lettuces and leeks from her garden and dug up a head of rhubarb for us when we first established our veggie patch and we have eaten hearty from it.
There are some things that we can easily grow from seed; onions, carrots, radishes sown directly into the garden. Pumpkins are the easiest thing in the world to grow. Just save seeds from a particularly good pumpkin – I dry them on a saucer – then plant them in the spring. They need lots of space, but they generally look after themselves. We usually have far more pumpkin than we can eat ourselves and give them away to friends, family and the soup kitchen. We have had good success with garlic too. We bought planting garlic from the garden shop one year and saved some each year to plant again. We dry them out, plait the and hang them on nails in the woodshed.
Some things we have not been so successful with. We planted 2 blueberry bushes a few years ago. We have never had a blueberry off them and 1 has died. We love brussels sprouts but so do the bugs and we have manged to harvest only a handful of brussels sprouts but mostly the bugs get to them first.
We put all our vegetable scraps in a compost bin. We have been filling up the compost bin for the last 4 years. What we need now is another compost bin so that we can let the first one sit and ripen without new additions constantly. This is on our plan for when we get out of Level 4 lockdown. Before we had a compost bin I would dig a hole in the ground, in a lump of topsoil or in the veggie patch itself, and bury the scraps. This is a trick I learnt from rotarian and former Port Nicholson member, Margaret West when I visited her in Wanaka.
Another “gardening” technique that I love to do is forage. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of wild or semi wild food to forage from in our area. In the summer we pick blackberries when the farmer or council haven’t sprayed them. There are several plum, apple, quince and walnut trees around here either on the side of the road or the farm that were planted or self-seeded many years ago and continue to provide for us. This time of year is good for mushrooms. The conditions have to be just right and this year has been moderately good so far.
All in all I feel very lucky and my favourite thing to do is go down to the veggie patch with my willow trug and harvest fresh vegetables for dinner. It makes me feel like Annabel Langbein! We really are living the Good Life.
Linda Wellington