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I It has been remarked that tho ordinary EngUuhmnn has one topic of conversation which forms tho univeisal piece de resist ance, and that bnt for " the weather " nis c Englishmen cut of ten would find nothing to talk ab-jnt. This is cf cooree the language of exaggeration, nevershtlcss there is a modicum of truth m i', so we need moke co apology for following m the oommon ruck, and devoting a word or two to this inexhaustible subject, And b <oth to cay the weather we have, so far, been having m New Zealand thia season — we won't say oomraerjfor wo have had at most but a glimpse of summer as yet — has been most extraordinary. For- once New Zealand has dopartod frcm the practice of indulging In the matter cf olimate iv what ! a Yaokte visitor once deSued as '* an all-fired assortment of sampler," and has gone In for a consignment m bulk, direct from the Antarctic regions, of right down winter woatber, Unfortunately this arrived at the wrong end of the year, and the meteorological authorities have for months been playtog on these southern boards a ourloua transformation scene illustrative of " Life m Topseyturveydom." For result — except m the o»bb of one or two exceptionally sheltered gardens—we have no strawberries, and currants and gooseberries are threatening nevtr to ripen — while as far tomatoes and other obolofl products of the garden, their ooming to maturity this year seems almost hopeless. Worse, we know of orchards which promised to yield tons of apples, but whose fruit hea been almost totally destroyed by hail, and it begins to be pretty oertaln chat fruit of nearly all kinds to Is be both scarce and dear. However, as an offset to all this our cereal crops are generally looking well, and an Bummer weather has at last put m a tardy appearance, there ie room to hope for a bounteous harvest. If present promises are fulfilled m this direction, we oan afford for once to go short of our dessert and our jama — nay with t-ood prices for our grain we can afford to buy these luxuries of Tasmania or some other fruit producing country. Anyhow, though we shiver now and then when we ought to be rejoicing m suußhine, we are infinitely better off than our neighbore m Australia, who are parching with drought and being scorched up by blazing suns m skies of brasa.

Just as the buffaloes have dieappeared from the great prairies of the West, the Buffaloes — with a big B, havo established themselves m AsbburtOD. The local Buffs are, howtvor, not to be oUssed with what Josh Billings would have deficribod as " the ornery critters " of hoof and horn and shaggy crest that w% have all read About m the pages of Mayne Reid, bat are an Asioclation of the Friendly Society order, who have jaat held their first big banquet where everything appears to have been prime, oh — anyhow there were several primes — acoordlng to oar reporter's description.! Bat who was this Sir Thomas Green whose presence graoed the banquet m question ? —Is what everybody, exoept the Buffs, has been enquiring. Well, be is neither a baronet nor a barrow Knight, but just a genial Boniface from tho Cathedral City, the title " Sir " belcg merely an honorary prefix whloh denoted the particular rank to whloh he has climbed m the R.A.0.8. which stands for the Royal Ancient Order of Buffaloes. Neither do tho letters X.0.M. ; K.S.G. which follow the surname of Sir James, stand for " knowing old man," nor have they any reference to Stars and Garters. In point of faot the letters ought to be X.0.M. , G. 5.8., and they signify Knight Order of Merit, Grand Surrey Banner— just that and nothing more. This explanation will It is hoped be satisfactory to the numerous enquirers who '* wanted to know, you know " who the strange Knight might be, and all about him.

Kapai the Maori 1 The Native Football Team are well upholding the honors of New Zealand m the Old Country, and if Home correspondents are to be believed are exciting the admiration of the fair sex for their splendid physique as well as that of ptkeha footballers for their profiolenoy m the garnet "Punch" has, we see, given them a welcome In genial terms m the following kindly but doggerel verses :•—

You've coma then, brother Maoris, At us to have a shy, And if we'd guard our glories, We'll have to mind our eye. Our camp you seem to flurry, And stir its calm content ; You've flabbergasted Surrey, And Borumplicated Kent. Tour kicking, brother Maoris, Has given vs the kiok ; You're well matohed all, well M on the ball ' And strong and straight and quick. By jove, this ia a rum age, When a New Zealand team Lioks Bull at goal and sorummage ! It beata Maoaulay's dream. You're welcome, brother Maoris, Here's wishing you good luck 1 With you there pace and power is, And skill, and lots of pluck. A trifle " rough." Why just bo I But that you'll mend, no doubt, And win, all sportsmen trust so, In many a friendly bout.

The sentiments expressed are doubtless those generally felt by the British piibllo, and the Maoris seem likely to earn great respect for the capabilities of their raoe, for we observe that so far they have achieved the following really splendid record, viz. : — Number of matches played to date, 28. Maoris— Won, 18 : lost, 8 ; drawn, 2. Scores — Maoris, 30 goals, 47 tiles ; against, 13 goals, 22 tries.

As could not fail to be the oaae the " Soft goods expert " appointment has elicited a chorus of disapproval from one end of the colony to the other. The drapers and warehousemen of Wellington, of Auckland, of Ohrlatohurob, and of Danedin are unanimous m their protests against It, and not » single newspaper, even among the rankest Ministerial organs, ban attempted to defend It, while n ambers have freely expressed their disapprobation. One of the most on 1 spoken of our contemporaries on this subject is the "Evening Press \ (Mr Wftkenald'a paper) which condemns the thing utterly m tha following very plain terms: — "It la one of the most palpable, among all the many jobs, the Government have perpetrated, and it is partloalarly indefensible now. They have jast, on the score of eoonomy, turned adiift numbers of faithful Civil Servants of Irreproachable oharaoter ; and we could lay oar hands now on four men frith families, quite recently dismissed on tha plea of retrenchment, who would have thought themselves rich If they oould have reoelved between them the £800 a year lavished on Mr Shannon; And where is this to end 1 If Mr Shannon is an expert, It is only m soft goods ; and if an expert is needed m soft goods, surely be Is needed m other trades. Ate we to have a selection made of all the gentlemen m the different tradeß who have retired from ] busineßß or whose baslnes* has retired from them to form a committee of experts and detectives? Why not? Has Mr Fergus no friendly druggist ? Mr Mltohelson no staunch hardware friend ? Mr Riohardaon no seedy supporter knowing m boots ? Why not make up the committee at once, give each £800 a year, with a one hundred galnea fee to start with so as to pat the appointment on a gentlemanly footing ? Parliament Is not sitting ; let us turn off the poor clerks, nhnt up the offices, and put the Customs Department m the bands of these gentlemen at ease, who live In the calm retirement of country life ! Was there ever a more absurd and indefensible job than the last job of Sir Harry Atklnaon'i 3" To which ninety niuo people out of every v hundred «U) emphatically i»y " ditto,"

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NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2010, 11 December 1888

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NOTES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2010, 11 December 1888

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