Mercury rising 
I saw Mercury! I've been trying to find it all year, and finally we had some clear (and rather cold) days, and it was clearly visible. I've never identified it before, and you have to be in the right conditions to see it. So I got up early and had a look. I believe I also spotted Matariki (the pleiades) as well. Then I went inside again before I froze.

For the first time this year, we had a public holiday to celebrate the appearing of Matariki, which is the Maori new year and associated with quite a range of customs. I'm not sure if they were reflected in the Karangahape Road Matariki party which Bronwyn took us too, but it was certainly worth the evening out. We spent a while in the cafe where Bronwyn hangs out at work, and met some of the clients. Then we wandered back up the road. The pedestrian crossings were being manned by drag queens. Well, some people in shiny clothes, anyway. Two looked distinctly female! They had big STOP signs, and were dancing about in the road when the lights went red.

Spent three days at the youth work conference in Christchurch (I'm the treasurer for the local trust) and had a great time meeting people and discussing about the issues they had in each school. Probably hugged too many people, because I then came down with a case of Not Covid (tested negative yesterday). Feeling a bit better today, which is just as well because the brass band is in full swing for the national contest in Wellington next week. It'll be fun, but I'm looking forward to the peace afterwards!

We've now got a light grey driveway. Bronwyn ordered some crushed concrete and a digger. Allan did the work. It's difficult keeping him away from a digger, so I'm unlikely to learn it while we're within range of each other! Need to persuade the chickens not to eat the concrete dust. In the process, Allan scraped off a lot of dirt from the driveway and piled it up outside the gate. He's also dug out the drain that runs under the driveway and out to the paddock. So now we have a lovely driveway and several large piles of mud.

Still no lambs, but two of the ewes look a bit on the large side...

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