Currin Family

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bathroom over a lift shaft and I don't like heights

Glass-Floored Bathroom

29APR 2012No: Glass-Floored Bathroom Over 15-Story Elevator Shaft | GeekologieTECH

This has to be one of the most architecturally well thought out moves I’ve ever seen. You’re converting a top floor apartment, and discover the top of the 15 floor elevator shaft. Instead of boxing it off, maybe (at a pinch) using it as a closet, some clever bod decided it would be a perfect spot for a bathroom. Standing over 15 floors of empty space to brush your teeth? Not my cup of tea….




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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A bit of spring

My old school is getting a paint job and looking good too, new owners are spending a bundle on it, want me to return but I will ponder for a while.

Went to Pizza Hut the other day and had Lasagna followed by a bread pudding, took me back to my childhood and it was very good too.

Mei went to Shenyang the other day to get a few bits and pieces and I asked for a bottle of whiskey and got 4 instead, very kind wife.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Scary one if you don't like heights - Daredevil rope walker crosses China canyon (+video)

Daredevil rope walker crosses China canyon (+video)

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A US daredevil has crossed the Enshi Grand Canyon canyon in China's Hubei Province on a rope just 2cm thick.


Slackline walker Dean Potter, who grew up in New Hampshire, traversed the 40m canyon at a height of 1800m above sea level, Chinese state media are reporting.

The feat was filmed and has been posted on YouTube.

Slackline walking is considered more challenging than tightrope walking, as the line is not held completely taut and is susceptible to stretching and bouncing.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

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How To Make Natural Garden Pesticides



Garden pests are one of the few things I find frustrating about gardening. Whether it's the snails taking over your lettuce or the aphids sucking on your roses — it's definitely annoying — but not a reason to fret and reach for harmful, toxic sprays. They might eliminate the pesky culprits, but they are harmful to you and the environment. Instead, try whipping up one of these simple recipes with ingredients you most likely have on hand.


What You Need


Spray bottles
Biodegradable liquid dish soap
Lemon or orange essential oil
Cooking oil
Baking soda
Chili powder




Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray

This is by far the spray I reach for most often. It's easy to make and keep on hand, and should take care of most of those annoying common pests such as aphids, mites, white flies, thrips, and mealy bugs. It kills them by attacking them at the skin, suffocating and therefore eliminating them. I like to add a few drops of orange or lemon essential oil, which is in itself a natural insecticide, especially effective against ants and scale, and it also helps the the spray stick to your plants.

1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid soap
1 quart of water
A couple drops of orange or lemon essential oil

Use a biodegradable, liquid soap (such as Murphy's oil soap, castile soap or Ivory), to make the mixture. Add water and essential oil to the spray bottle and shake. Spray your plant thoroughly, making sure you cover the underside of the leaves as well.

All-Purpose Garlic Chili Spray

Pepper and garlic are both natural insect repellents and will help to repel Japanese Beetles, borers, leafhoppers and slugs. Garlic also deters larger pest like deer and rabbit.

Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray (from recipe above)
1 tablespoon of chili powder (you could also use fresh or dried hot peppers)
5 cloves of garlic, crushed and cut roughly

Allow garlic and chili powder to steep overnight. Strain and pour into a spray bottle. Add Natural Insecticidal Soap Spray. Should keep for a couple weeks.

Baking Soda Spray

This spray is great for treating plants with fungal diseases. There is nothing quite as frustrating as discovering your plant has an unsightly case of mildew, a type of fungal disease. Suddenly your beautiful green cucumber and squash leaves are replaced by patches of grayish-white blotches.

1 tablespoon of baking soda
1/2 tablespoon of oil
2 quarts of warm water

Add baking soda and oil to a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Mix in the rest of the water. Before attempting to spray and treat your plant, remove the most severely damaged leaves first. Then spray your solution, repeating every few days until it disappears. This mixture is best made and used immediately.

Additional Notes: It's best to spray your plants in the morning, before the sun is too hot or you run the risk of burning the leaves of your plant. And while these spray are non-toxic and less harmful than commercial pesticides, they will kill beneficial bugs along with the harmful ones. I recommend using these sprays sparingly, only treating the infected plants.


(Images: 1, flickr member Mullers, licensed for use under Creative Commons; 2-10, Kimberly Watson)


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Friday, April 20, 2012

A drop of whiskey

Mei went to Shenyang yesterday and asked if she could get me anythin so I asked for a bottle of scotch and got four. A good wife, don't you think


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How to Prepare a Salad to Last All Week for Just a Few Dollars

How to Prepare a Salad to Last All Week for Just a Few Dollars

A Fresh Salad Every Day of the Week With Little Effort

Nothing says fresh and healthy like a salad. But if your life is a little hectic and you find it difficult to find the time to prepare a salad among other items for dinner, you’re not alone. Even if you do have time, how do you keep the salad fresh? You don’t want to deal with soggy lettuce or stop at the store a few times a week just to keep fresh produce on hand, so it’s helpful to know how to prepare a salad in advance so that it won’t lose freshness and keep you from making multiple shopping trips.

So, I’m going to share with you how I prepare salad here at our house. This requires just 5 to 10 minutes of initial prep time, will feed my wife and I all work week, if not longer, and it keeps fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week. Even better, all of this ends up costing less than $5 a week.

The Benefits

One of the main benefits of preparing a salad in advance is that you’re much more likely to eat it. We’re all trying to eat healthy these days, and while we have good intentions, if there is a lack of time or if it requires more work, we’re far more likely to skip the salad and opt for something else, which will probably cost more, and be even worse for you. Being able to just go into the fridge and have a salad in your bowl in 30 seconds is great.

It’s also cheap. For just a few dollars, you can create a first course for each dinner during the week that will allow you to buy fewer more expensive ingredients. Even better, this whole process can be applied when entertaining a crowd. Not only will you be preparing a salad to feed your family for a week, but it can make one big salad that can entertain a crowd.

The Process

Let’s start with what you need. The ingredient list is pretty simple. You can put whatever toppings or dressing on your salad you want, but we’re mainly focused on the greens and how to prepare and store them so they last. This is the cost of the items I picked up earlier this week. Your prices may vary depending on location and the season.

Organic Red Leaf Lettuce: 0.83 lb @ $2.49/lb = $2.07
Organic Romaine Lettuce: 0.81 lb @ $1.99/lb = $1.61

Total = $3.68

Salad Greens

As you can see from the picture above, it’s as simple as buying two average size heads of red leaf and romaine lettuce. Now, you can certainly get cheaper varieties of lettuce such as iceberg, but there’s virtually no nutritional value. You really get the most bang for your buck with dark green leafy varieties.  So, if you’re going to eat a salad, you might as well get as many nutrients as you can out of it. Feel free to substitute, but I’fe found that both romaine and red leaf store pretty well and you should have no problem getting it to last a week.


Starting with the romaine lettuce, I chop off the bottom. This is another topic of controversy, as some people insist that lettuce will go brown faster if you use a metal knife. Honestly, I’ve been cutting lettuce with a knife for years, and I haven’t noticed any rapid browning. But, if you really want, feel free to tear the lettuce by hand, it’s up to you. But I find the knife is very quick and doesn’t produce any adverse effects.


After you’ve separated a few of the leaves, give them a good rinse. With the romaine lettuce, I will stack 6 or so leaves on top of each other with the center stalk pointing down. Then, I just cut the leaves in half lenghtwise. It doesn’t matter if you cut directly through the thick stalk or go just to the side since we’re really just looking for smaller pieces to work with.


Then, I stack all of the pieces on top of each other. From there, it’s just some quick slices across the stack. I usually keep them no more than about one inch wide so they are easy to eat. Once you’re through chopping, throw them into a collandar, or my personal preference, a salad spinner.


Moving on to the red leaf lettuce, again, just chop the end off. 


As with any lettuce, you’ll then want to give them a good rinse. Just like the romaine, I start by stacking the leaves on top of each other. 


Since the red leaf lettuce is a lot wider, I usually make two cuts to separate the leaves into three strips. Depending on the size of your leaves and how small you want your pieces, you may find that you need to cut them into four strips. There’s no right or wrong answer. And again, once you have your strips, go ahead and stack them all on top of each other and cut crosswise into bit sized pieces.


Above, I mentioned you should place your cut pieces into a collander or a salad spinner, and this is actually one of the most important steps if you want your lettuce to keep in the fridge. Moisture is the enemy in your fight to keep lettuce crisp for more than just a few days. When moisture is trapped against the lettuce while it’s being stored, it will make it wilt and that isn’t something you want to eat. If you don’t have a salad spinner, use the collander to shake any excess water, and then use paper towels to soak up any lingering moisture.


If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the true benefit of a salad spinner. Even after rinsing the leaves in the sink, I shook off what seemed like all of the excess water before chopping, but as you can see above, after a few quick spins, there is a lot of excess liquid on the leaves still. You might not see it on the leaves, but it’s there, and all of this water spells disaster for long-term freshness. So for me, a salad spinner is the best $20 you’ll spend in your kitchen. 


Once all of your greens are dry, it’s time to put it all into a big bowl. As you can see, those two heads of lettuce that came in under $4.00 makes a huge bowl of salad. As I mentioned in the beginning, this is enough for my wife and I to eat every day on Monday through Friday, and occasionally into the weekend.  One thing I do before putting the salad in the fridge is grind some fresh black pepper into the mix. A quick 10 to 12 turns from the pepper mill will do just fine, and it makes all the difference in taste.


Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is storage. So, how do you keep this all fresh? Remember, the key is to keep moisture from resting against the leaves. So, what I do is take a single paper towel and place it on the top of the lettuce, and then cover everything with thin clear plastic cling stuff, but if you have a bowl with a tight fitting lid, that’s just as good. What you’ll notice is the paper towel will slowly absorb some of the moisture, and you’ll probably want to replace it with a fresh one every couple of days.

In addition, each time you take some lettuce out of the bowl, give everything a good shake or stir before putting it back in the fridge. The moisture can also start to collect on the sides of the bowl, and you don’t want everything touching the bowl to go soggy. If you dry your greens thoroughly from the start, place a paper towel in the bowl, and regularly mix things up in the bowl, you should have no trouble keeping this fresh for a week.

Finishing the Salad

The possibilities are endless. For example, my wife likes to top the salad with some dried cranberries and walnuts, while I usually sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and top with tomatoes and croutons. You can top it with leftover grilled chicken and make it a meal, or do whatever you want.  The good news is that this is a very basic mix of greens that can be topped with almost anything so you can mix it up at home. So, experiment with it and find out what you like best.


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Go the Highlanders and Crusaders

Highlanders down gutsy Blues in Dunedin

Last updated 21:31 20/04/2012
Sky Sports

Highlights from Highlanders vs Blues

Blues v Sharks
Michael Hobbs juggles the ball during the Blues loss to the Sharks.
Hosea Gear gallery
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The Highlanders Hosea Gear makes a break with the Blues Gareth Anscombe (left) in pursuit.

Related Links

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Super Rugby

 Flanker Sam Cane back in the fold for Chiefs Blues, Highlanders moving on different paths Odds stacked against Brumbies in Pretoria Mike Delany raring to go for the Highlanders Crusaders ready to run at the Hurricanes Bateman shines as injuries deplete Hurricanes Strategic kicking just the way the Canes play Rob Penney linked with Force coaching job Perenara out; Jane in doubt for Hurricanes Sonny Bill Williams in sights of the Sharks

The Highlanders never doubted they would be up against it at Dunedin Stadium.

The Blues have been performing well below expectations this season, but they remain a team with a surplus of latent talent.

For the Highlanders, they had limped into the bye round eager for the break after an emotional but successful start to their 2012 season and the danger was always going to be  how quickly they were able to find the juice which they played with in the early rounds.

In a stop-start affair under the roof, a try to replacement fullback Kurt Baker with 10 minutes to go would prove the difference in a game which lacked any momentum.

The Highlanders scraped through for a 30-27 win which has revived their season and returned the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy back to Dunedin.

Baker swooped on a loose ball in the Blues in-goal after a neat kick through from Hosea Gear which gave the Highlanders a winning lead after a see-sawing second half.

A string of penalties either side of halftime robbed the game of much of its entertainment value as both sides sinned at the breakdown.

The lead swapped four times in the space of 10 minutes after halftime as Gareth Anscombe and Mike Delany called for the tee with monotonous regularity.

It was no surprise that referee Bryce Lawrence had to call for a replacement whistle midway through the second half.

Delany, taking over the Highlanders No 10 jersey which has already seen Colin Slade and Lima Sopoaga succumb to season-ending injuries, made a great fist of his return to Dunedin via Hamilton and Japan.

After giving up an early try to Blues fullback Hadleigh Parkes after a poor scrum pass from Aaron Smith to Shaun Treeby, the Highlanders began to dominate the first half.

A superb no-look pass from Delany put Gear through and he timed the final pass to Treeby perfectly to give the midfielder a run into the tryline.

Delany's sideline conversion warmed a chilly 18,417-strong Dunedin Stadium crowd and two more penalties to the new recruit saw the home team take a 13-5 lead.

The Blues were dropping off tackles and starting to lean against rucks but then the tide began to turn.

Suddenly the Blues were able to hang onto the ball and work their way into Highlanders territory and the Highlanders were guilty of a lack of patience, giving up three routine penalties to Anscombe.

With Anscombe making the most of the opportunities the Blues had nine points in the space of eight minutes to take a 14-13 lead.

Highlanders skipper Jamie Mackintosh was finding it hard to get a bind on Charlie Faumuina and was getting frustrated at the big Blues prop boring in, but Lawrence had little sympathy, blowing a tune at the set piece.

A Delany penalty just before the break gave the Highlanders a two-point lead they perhaps didn't deserve.

Gear was a force for the Highlanders, running with brutal power throughout the game.

His impact was matched by team mate Nasi Manu, who was a wrecking ball for the Highlanders.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Obituary notice for John Currin – born Circa 1822 in Crick, Northamptonshire, England

Obituary notice for John Currin – born Circa 1822 in Crick, Northamptonshire, England

OBITUARY. See the link here to original newspaper notice - click here

Passenger List of the Prince of Wales – Currin family

This the ship that our ancestors arrived in from England.
Prince of Wales
Ship: 582 tons
Captain: Alexander Alexander
Surgeon Superintendent: Matthew Doyle Kearns
Sailed London 2nd September 1842

Currin John 51 Labourer
Ann 42
John Jnr 18 Labourer & Gardener
Sarah 15 Servant
Thomas 11
George T. 2


MR, JOHN CURRIN. (This is John Jnr – listed as a labourer and gardener, aged 18 on arrival in New Zealand and my great, great grandfather -

You (Neil John Currin), 

Neil Royston Royston Currin your father, 

Royston Burdett Currin, his father,                                

Francis Currin, his father,                                                              


John Currin, his father.        (No known photo)


Mr John Currin died early on Wednesday morning at his residence, Wakefield (writes our Wakefield correspondent), at the advanced age of 85 years. Mr Currin was one of the early settlers, arriving in Blind Bay in the ship Prince of Wales, Captain Alexander, on (Friday) 24th of December, 1842. The next day, Christmas Day, being stormy, the captain remained at anchor, not daring to attempt the channel as the Fifeshire was then upon the “Fifeshire Rock.” Sunday was spent on -board but on the Monday Captain Cross safely piloted the ship in.

Mr Currin came out with his father and mother, his two brothers and two sisters from Northampton, England. One sister had been married to Mr John Noden, who accompanied them and who was afterwards in the Wairau Massacre, but escaped. He has been dead some years but Mrs Noden, who is’ 86 years of age, still lives in Motueka. The family resided for some eighteen months” in Nelson, but Mr Currin spent, —.the early part of his time in the Wairau, where he built the first house at “Bank house” station (See below), the walls of which are still in good condition.

“While out with a survey party at Motueka the Maoris attempted to stop the work and seized upon several of the men, Mr Currin being one. As they were dragging  him through the forest a Maori jumped upon a stump, brandished his tomahawk and was about to bring it down on Mr Currin head when the chief interposed and spared his life.

Mr Currin underwent all the vicissitudes of the life- of an early settler, often being hard put to find food.

He leaves a brother,. Mr Thomas Gurrin, of Wakefield and another, Mr George T. Currin,of Fitzherbert, Palmerston North, and a sister, Mrs Noden, of Motueka.

MR Currin came to Spring Grove in 1844 and took up the section on which he has lived all these years, and on which he died. His family consisted of six sons and eight daughters, seventy-five grandchildren and fortyone great grandchildren.. Mrs Currin predeceased her husband by 26 years.

Latterly his sight failed him. He was ailing only about 3 months being outside daily until a few days before his death. He is laid alongside his wife, in St John’s churchyard, Wakefield, the Rev.E. Hewlett, vicar, performing the ceremony in the presence of a number of his friends and relatives.

Currin Homestead at Spring Grove –  has now been removed to Marlborough

About Bankhouse

In March 1848 Dr David Monro, with the aid of five men and with two horses to carry baggage, drove his flock of 1,000 sheep from the Nelson area via Tophouse and down the Wairau to the above run.

Dr. (later Sir) David Monro (1813–1877) was born in Edinburgh, son of Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh where David obtained his degree of M.D. He bought land scrip in England in the New Zealand Company’s settlement in 1841 and sailed for Australia to visit his brother Harry who had a sheep station in Victoria. In early January 1842 he left by the schooner Ariel a coastal trader calling at several places between Auckland and Nelson, where he arrived in March 1842. He built a timber cottage on his town acre section facing Trafalgar Square. In 1843 he was allocated his 50 acres at Waimea West. This was increased to nearly 200 acres over the next few years and named “Bearcroft”. In 1845 he married Dinah Secker (1818–1882) at the little church of St. Michael, Waimea West.

Section 1 of XII was crown granted to him in 1852 and other sections were purchased over the next twenty years without much trouble from outsiders trying to freefold sections out of the run.

Towards the end of 1868 or early 1869 Alexander Binning Monro of Valleyfield took over the management of Bankhouse for a time. It is reported that an illicit still was discovered in the manuka scrub and finally the ex-manager was charged and convicted. Such stills were not uncommon at the time.

About 1870 Monro’s eldest son, Alexander (1846–1905) took over the management of Bankhouse which he inherited on the death of his father in 1877. Alexander died in 1905 and the run was carried on by trustees and executors namely his widow, Frances Caroline nee Severn and Richard Corbett of Leefield, station manager. The widow as executrix was to manage the realty and to receive £400 a year; the residue to go towards education and maintenance of the children. The Bankhouse property was then to go to the two eldest sons as tenants in common and the rest of the estate to the other children with a clause to equalise the amounts. Despite this, in 1915, Bankhouse was cut into three parcels of land; the homestead block went to Herbert Yelverton Monro, the Marchburn block to Philip Charles Monro and owing to the early death of Henry Alexander Monro in 1916, the Craiglochart block was transfered to his widow, Edith Sylvia Monro.

The Bankhouse run which included the Homestead was of nearly 11,000 acres, but with various sales and exchanges is now of about 10,000 acres and is one of the highest valued single properties in the district, H. J. Monro married Maude Clouston and had one son and two daughters. During his time the merino flock of sheep was upgraded with the establishment of a Merino Stud No. 62 and was well thought of during the 1920′s and 30′s, but was discontinued in recent times. In 1947 his son, Alexander started taking over the management of Bankhouse.

The Marchburn area of 8081 acres was taken over by Philip Charles Monro in 1915 and in 1930 was transfered to Lewis Henry Clouston for a few PAGE 26months before being transfered to Alexander Monro, son of H. Y. Monro. For the next 30 years it was run in conjunction with Bankhouse before being transferred to John Henry Barrington Shield whose wife was a daughter of H. Y. Monro. A few years later it was turned into a farming company.

The Craiglochart area of Bankhouse, 7605 acres, was transferred by trustrees to Edith Sylvia Monro, widow of Henry Alexander Monro, at the beginning of 1917. The following year she married Thorston Frederick Kelling of Blenheim, Solicitor. In April, 1923 Craiglockhart was transferred from Mrs E. S. Kelling to Cuthbert Oliver Tate Rutherford of Hawarden, Canterbury. In 1947 the Crown took over Craiglockhart for the re-settlement of three returned servicemen who took up their respective farms in 1950. They were Henry Lumsden Tancred, Louis Arthur Laugesen on the Homestead area and Arnold Arthur Marfell.






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