Endless summer 
Still no real rain. It has been a long hot summer, and most of the grass is now dead. The hills are straw yellow, and the European trees are dropping their leaves. The New Zealand species are all doing fine, thank you. Got the water slide going again this afternoon after another 14 barrow loads of sand on the lower section. It works well, but due to the interesting curves and camber, you end up going down a different route depending on your speed and weight. Which makes the ride a little more interesting, and a little painful if you reach the areas that aren't padded with sand.

Missed the lunar eclipse; it was on the wrong side of the planet. But I've had the telescope out and managed to see Saturn's rings for the first time. There's a bit of an art to using the telescope. Too much magnification and all you get are rainbow coloured blurs. And it's got four different knobs for adjusting the position. Which makes it tricky especially as the movement of the earth means you have to readjust the thing every 20 seconds or so. You can actually see the stars move if you don't get cramp squinting down the thing first. The best view so far has been the half moon, since the sunlight across the crater brings it out in quite spectacular 3D. No point looking at stars; they just come out as dots. But the Pleiadies and milky way aren't too bad. Saturn definitely has a round body, and a separate ring, but I can't see any more than that.

Rachael was sick on Wednesday night and missed a day at school. Two of our phone points went dead. And my car broke down, all on the same day. Fortunately they're all fixed now. Rachael bounced back within hours as usual. We had our electrician repair some rodent damage in the roof (and I disposed of a dead one) (a rodent, not an electrician). And the car has a new battery. It died at a petrol station, and the guy behind me gave me a jump start.

Two birthday parties on Saturday (plus the 14 barrowloads of sand), so I was pretty tired that night. We all made it to church (for once) for Sarah's dedication. And an afternoon tea for Bronswyn's brother Allan, who's also had a birthday. So I'm hoping for a quiet week at work.
Next weekend is the Kumeu agricultural show, and the brass band will be playing. I was volunteered to organise a tent from the winery next door, so I'll squeeze it into the car on Friday, take it to the grounds that night, and then arrive at 7am on Sunday to help put it up. I've also acquired the old fridge from the band hall, because the one at work is falling to bits. But I'm not sure if this one's any better - it's a prehistoric model with a butter conditioner and only one shelf (it's main purpose was storing beer). So I might end up taking it back again. Takes two people to move it, let alone fit it in the car.

Keep praying for Bronwyn, and if you're country is wet, please send us some rain.

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