I'm not as young as I used to be 
I survived an action packed three days in Christchurch for the youth worker conference (I'm not a youth worker, but I've done a lot of work on the committee with fundraising). They had told me to bring walking shoes, formal suit for dinner and swimming togs. Plus a sleeping bag, towel and pillow. It's not easy squeezing that lot into a JetStar baggage allowance, so I was determined to make use of all of it if I could. I had to set off at 4am to get to the plane. Was rather tired by the end of day one. Apparently I snored all night.

On the second day I decided to try all the walking tracks in the nearby bush. The bush was a bit larger than I anticipated, and I was a bit late to the first meeting, but glad I did it. In the afternoon I set up the mountain to the top of the ridge. The site is on the slope of an old volcano crater, so it's a huge sweeping curve with the bottom flooded by the sea. It's about 430 metres high at the top according to Google. Not a huge climb, but I only had 90 minutes to get up and down again. Got back with about 10 minutes to change into the dinner jacket. Lovely dinner, then they started the dancing. Decided to give that a miss, but after a bit I joined in anyway. Kept going for a good hour. Came back, had a quick dip in the spa pool, and off to bed. Alone, this time. They'd rearranged the snorers into their own rooms!

Had an easier day on Wednesday, up until the point where I tried to start my car. Didn't work. Neither did pushing it round the car park, wiring it to a battery booster from the car park office, or even getting some people to push it while using the booster! Ultimately one of the bus drivers phoned her husband, who came round with a boot full of tools and eventually got me started by towing me. Tried to offer him some cash but he refused!

It'a taken another four or five days to recover, but I'm pretty much back to mormal now. I think I need to take it easy in future! But it was a great conference - lots of information to chew over and read up again when I get a chance, and managed to catch up with a number of people I'd met on previous conferences. Might not make it next year - we're hoping to take on another youth worker so I might not get a free ticket. Pity. It'll be at Waitangi and sounds like an even bigger even than ever. But I've done four already...

Bronwyn coped amazingly with getting everyone on the right buses. I'm really proud of her. Alas, we both forgot our wedding anniversary, so we're thinking of organising a meal out some time. But really proud of her for keeping everything in order. And shouting at my boss for not doing the wages. That's been paid now. I just need the payment for the other half of last month's work, which should be with us soon.

Currently, Rachael is finishing her homework on Aborigines. She's had two weeks to do it, but spent much of them playing Minecraft. After some serious hassling by Mum, she's now under way. Might just finish in time...

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