An emu in the paddock 
Bronwyn phones me up. There's an ostrich in 15C! I've got a photo! She's near the house, so I take a look at the photo. Looks more like an emu. In a paddock. Our paddock.

We drive up (Bronwyn knows how to cross a rutted hillside in a little shopping car) and take a look. Yup, there's an emu. Frolicking in the long grass and abundant carrot weed of our hay paddock. I got close enough to touch it (decided not to, just in case), and took some more photos. It seems rather tame.

So Bronwyn puts a post on Facebook. "Anybody lost an emu?". Quite rapidly, one of our neighbours replies, and then turns up with a bucket of emu food, and manages to lead it back down the hill, along the road and up their place.

However, not all was well. A few days later, we hear that the emu got attacked by a dog, and had to get stitched up at the vets. Probably that's why it was in the wrong paddock - there appear to be two German Shepherds on the loose, and this isn't the first time they've attacked something. The council has been out trying to track them down.

Fortunately the emu is recovering. I suggest she needs to get a cassowary. They know how to attack a dog.

Rach got an A, an A- and a B. So that means she's managed to pass the maths, and she'll return to Physics next year. And more maths. She's also picked Earth Sciences (geology and geography). She's given herself a list of projects to do over Christmas while she wears a hole in our sofa.

Sarah has had pains in her abdomen, and spent a night in hospital. They did various blood tests and an ultrasound. They couldn't find anything abnormal, so they've decided it's probably her appendix, and she needs to be careful with what she eats for a bit. It's been going for a while now, so she's getting a bit fed up. But she survived a week on the Year 9 camp, and we have videos of her doing all the activities. They decided not to take her on the Tongariro walk, so she stayed behind with a couple of others who weren't well. Everyone else got sunburnt!

Bronwyn did really well in her college papers, and is graduating in April. She was planning to continue to train as a pastor, but won't be doing so much next year since the church has a lot on it's plate with the new building. Latest news is that we're well underway with the digging, and we've decided to proceed with phase 1 - a large circular hall with side rooms, which will be large enough to meet in and do most of the activities. Things are about to get exciting. Hopefully the bank balance won't get too depressing.

I've been occupied at work. We've had three major incidents last month - first we had a corrupted Ubuntu server. Took us all day to set up another and copy across what we could. Then another server had a database upgrade fail overnight. Several hundred websites down. Our customer managed to reverse the upgrade, and got it all going again. Then we had a serious hack on another site. Fixed that one, but the fallout is likely to continue. Just hoping that things will stay quiet for the rest of the year!

This week, we've had the Kumeu Parade, a kids "Messy Church" event, and the ladies put on a Christmas dinner tour. The brass band also had a session outside the supermarket, and next week we're playing at another carol event. Only three events for the band this Christmas, but the heat makes it feel like more!

It's been warm and humid. I've gone through quite a few hay fever tablets. Had a bit of rain a week ago, but not enough to make much difference. There's a massive storm to the south, but so far it's just brought even more hot air down from the tropics. Next week, it'll swing round, so hopefully it'll be a little cooler. Hay season is already well under way - we've had a wet spring and lots of grass. And blackberry. I'm now using a garden fork and wearing lady sized rose gloves with ancient blokes work gloves on top. The work gloves are shredded - think I'll need another pair!

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