The longest lockdown 
Level 3 step 2. Now we can have 25 in a gathering outside. Next week we might move to level 3 step 3. Then either Red or Orange. It's all a bit confusing!

The cases have grown in Auckland, and are spilling over into other parts of the North Island. But still very low by world standards. We move to the traffic light system once 90% of people 12 and over are fully vaccinated. At Orange, a business or organisation can require all attendees to be vaccinated, and if so, they can have unlimited events. It's caused quite a bit of upset. Schools and hospitals are required now to have all staff vaccinated (at least one dose), and quite a few staff have been stood down as a result. Maori are well behind in the vaccination figures. Some people are complaining that Maori have not been given enough opportunity. Others are complaining that Maori are being given too much. To be honest, it's impossible to please everybody. I'm also reminded of Captain Mainwaring "Don't you know there's a [deadly disease floating around]?"

But here, it's all been quiet. I'm still on the same tank of petrol from August. Nobody has had a haircut and we're all beginning to look like we're back in the seventies. Most things have been on Zoom until the last couple of weeks, and the brass band still hasn't resumed despite having lots of playouts next month. Crumbs. Next month is December. We've been living a kind of Bohemian semi-retired idyll for two months and haven't quite got the hang of what time of year it is.

Although Sarah did remind us by insisting on putting up the Christmas tree in October. We put her off until November 1st.

All the lambs are out of the garden. The neighbour came round with his ride-on and mowed most of our garden which had turned into a small paddock. We supplied them with eggs and potatoes, they gave us some freshly caught fish. It won't be long before guava and feijoa season comes round again.

As a project, Bronwyn had built up the path at the back with some concrete. She got fed up having to weed all the grass from it every six months. It's been signed by all of us, including the chickens. Meanwhile, the steps at the front have collapsed into a hole. This would have been where the dog had carved out a hiding place years ago where she could sleep out of the sun and keep watch for when the car came home. Ross came round and we pulled out the loose concrete and filled it in with stones. Now we just need a lot more bags of concrete to do that bit as well!

It's getting warm and sunny. Hay fever season is in full swing. We've had plenty of rain, so everything is still growing. Including the blackberry, but now that I've been digging it up for several years there's a lot less. I'm over half way around the farm, but I keep finding new patches to clear. It's therapeutic. Slowly, it feels like I'm achieving something!

Two geese started nesting on the dam. Plus a couple of mallards and two paradise ducks, and there's been a pukeko loitering as well. I think the geese got fed up with me being around and cleared off. I think I also scared off the pukeko. But the mallards and paradise ducks have stayed. Bronwyn'a parents have a tiny dam, and they have several large families of ducklings up to the house. I'm trying to encourage them on our dam by quietly going out at dusk and sprinkling some chicken pellets on the jetty. Something appears to be eating it; I'm not certain what!

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