The Melbourne Cup is almost unknown outside the region, but is the biggest horse race in Australia. Here in New Zealand, it's also well known. Work stops at five o'clock prompt to watch the last lead up to the race, supported by fermented grapes, cheese and so forth. After the race, the party lasts a few minutes and them everyone goes home, just as I have done. Hopefully, I will write soon about the intervening week, possibly mentioning forthcoming trips for some or all of us to Auckland, England, Vanuatu or beyond. Paul Holmes has quit! Party follows. In other news, listened to the Radio Four tribute to John Peel. Still can't believe he's dead. Who will champion the independent bands now? Even I can name bands I would never have known without him. Nick Lowe, Native Hipsters, Undertones, SLF, Damned to name just a few.