I'm fine 
I'm fine. Sarah's fine. Rachael's got a cold and Bronwyn's got a migraine. Bronwyn's sister is recovering from an operation which left her in a fair bit of pain, and Bronwyn's dad is about to go radioactive.

They removed his thyroid, but also had to remove some of his vocal cords, so he's now speaking with a very deep husky whisper. He then had radiotherapy on the tumour in his back, which went well. To finish it off, they need to mop up any remaining thyroid cells, which they'll do with an injection of radioactive iodine. He'll have to stay more than two metres away from anyone for four days. I'll ask Rachael if her physics teacher has a geiger counter.

It's been cold, and wet, but fortunately it never does both at once here. The farm is covered in mud, and there's a small lake next to the driveway where the drainage pipe has blocked up. We've almost run out of firewood. The hurricane (OK, it was technically just a storm but some gusts were well over the hurricane limit) has provided a lot of future firewood, but it's all still green at the moment. We'll have to find some older dead wood.

But at least we're warm. Bronwyn's parents have bought us a heat pump (a heater/cooler/dryer) which warms up the room a lot faster than the wood fire. We have both going at once to save electricity; the heat pump circulates the air a bit to get it around the room. Meanwhile, Bronwyn's parents have almost finished their new house, and are hoping to move in soon. The inside is mostly finished, but the deck outside still needs building. Sarah wants them to put in a pool by the side door so she can step out and fall into it. I suggested a water slide down to the dam. Or a flying fox perhaps.

Rachael has her learner's license! You have to pass the theory test first before you get the learner's, then there's a road rest for the restricted license, then another test for the full license. I just had to pay for the license and then take one test! She's been driving down to the village a couple of times.

She's a lot more confident than last year. I think the new school has looked after her well. Still not sure what she wants to do when she finishes school next year.

Bronwyn is studying for her pastoral care diploma, and is thinking of starting a full pastoral degree after that. She's been asking me questions about her assignments. I'm not sure I'm qualified!

Last, but not least, I've started brewing ginger beer. It started when I brought home a bottle of Stoney from Kenya, and my mate tells me I can brew my own. So he buys me a starter pack. I get this fizzing package of sludge in a jam jar, wrapped in two layers of newspaper, three layers of plastic and a tin can. With a label saying "This way up". It was the wrong way up of course. But the packaging worked. The first batch is rather weak and flat. I think it was too cold. So I've put a few bottles on the window ledge to try and make them stew in the sun for a bit...

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