Napier 
It took us seven hours to get to Napier, but because I've never been that way (and neither has Bronwyn) it was really quite interesting. East of Taupo is very empty, with a huge pine forest and lots of hills. It's only once you cross the last mountain ridge that you get to the populated area.

We did really well in the contest, and we came home with a trophy. There are three different pieces we had to play. We came first in the march (it's in a theatre, so no actual marching), third in the hymn and second in the Own Choice piece. We were third overall out of five. Afterwards, we met the adjudicator as he left, and he gave us plenty of encouragement.

Plenty of other fun was had. The beach is impressive, with huge waves crashing in from the pacific, and a mist hung in one street just from the sea spray. We had a couple of meals out, and shared rooms and food at a motel. It was a great weekend.

The next national contest is in Dunedin, at the far end of the south island. It will be next July, and cold! It will also cost a lot more, because we will need to go by plane. But the committee is already making plans.

Meanwhile, Bronwyn's aunt has been with us for several months, and goes home next Saturday. Bronwyn's parents are going with her, and will be away for three months. Bronwyn will be doing a lot of the work on the farm looking after the animals. Usually it's easy, so long as it's not raining when the cows need feeding.

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