Quite a week 
Rachael enjoyed the school camp. They did a lot of activities including climbing, abseiling and an assault course. She got an award for the abseiling, but panicked up the climbing wall and had to come down. I don't blame her. I had difficulty climbing at that age too!

Bronwyn had Tuesday off to supervise at the camp, and Wednesday to take Sarah to the optometrist (apparently her eyes are normal for a four year old). Then she couldn't wake up on Thursday morning, nearly crashed twice, and when she finally got in, they'd found another reliever. Hope she's better next week.

Meanwhile, friends of ours had their barn burnt down, and one of the young women at Bronwyn's last job died suddenly. It was quite a week. But we had a good mini-reunion with one of the families from camp yesterday, took them out to see the cows and had a decent barbecue. It was worth tidying the house for it, and the house is still more or less tidy!

The lawnmower is dead. I think it's the battery. You can jump start it, but as soon as you put it in gear or start the blades, it dies. Still, the grass hasn't grown for a while. Had a brief shower this week but nothing else!

Got all set up this morning to get the girls off to church early so I could get to the music practice. Bronwyn was out at a first aid course, so I had to take the girls with me. We were all set, in the car, then I couldn't find the keys! Eventually found them. Got in, and the projector was dead. Eventually someone managed to find the plug at the back, and it was all working. It all came together, and we had quite a decent service.

By chance, we had a visit from the pastor of a church in the Philipines where our youth group had gone out to 7 years ago. By chance we also went out after to visit our new plot of land that we've been intending to build on for years. So this woman, having had us go to build the foundations for her church, then was able to pray with us on the (currently) dry and barren land where we want to build our church. It was rather cool.

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Dry as 
It's dry as, Bro, as they say round here. Haven't had any rain for ages. Don't know if the lawnmower will ever move again; it's probably seized up out of boredom.

The band played out in the park in West Auckland, and I should have brought another 2 litres of water, because I was somewhat dehydrated by the end. We played Orpheus in the Underworld (or the second half, where it turns into the CanCan). The compere tried to get the audience dancing, but didn't get very far!

Rachael left a wine glass on the sofa. It was probably one of her scientific experiments, but she hasn't worked out how to use a table yet. Bronwyn sat on it. She had to call Mum round to inspect her bottom while Rachael attempted to clear up!

Rachael's off to camp for three days. She's been doing all sorts of activities like abseiling and climbing, and seems to be coping quite well. Back tomorrow. We're enjoying the peace and quiet. I managed to find a missing DVD, so I took it back to the hire shop before we lost it again!

Sarah's got a toy guitar. More chinese plastic. I managed to tune it to something reasonable, and she's been sitting on the floor strumming and singing away. It was quite a sight.

Last, but not least, I'll be in England from 27th April to 21st May, and stopping in Singapore for a few hours either way. Bronwyn's also bought some tickets, but to Dunedin (far south of New Zealand) so she can see her friends down there.

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We have normality. I repeat, we have normality... 
I declared war on the lounge this morning, and threw everything into a big heap on the floor. I spent all morning sorting it out and putting it away, and now I'm left with a boxful of miscellaneous junk which I'll attack when I get some energy. This morning Sarah spilt orangeade on the carpet (trust her to pick the one with the most revolting colour) and Rachael broke another glass. So the girls got a bit of a talking to, and Bronwyn took them out for a slow shopping trip while I attacked the lounge. Weíve broken three glasses and two mirrors this year. I think Iíll look out for some plastic tumblers with super-wide bases that canít be knocked over, stood on or dropped. Maybe I could bolt them to the table too, but I'd need to buy more drinking straws.

Need to sort out the rest of the house too, but maybe not today.

It's still hot and sunny. I've been checking the forecast, and it looks like it's going to stay dry for a while longer. We've been moving the sheep and cows around to get the grass, but there's not a lot left. Just need a decent thunderstorm or two.

Bronwyn managed four days this week. She nearly managed five, but had to turn round and go home before her bowels exploded. Fortunately it was only temporary, but it did give her a useful day off. She's trying to get Wednesdays off in future, but they're wanting her to work longer hours on the other days.

Apparently the person she thought was the manager is only the head teacher. The person she thought was the owner is only the manager. The real owners are in China! There doesn't seem to be a lot of regard to the regulations here, so I suspect Bronwyn won't be accepting another placement there. Otherwise, it's quite a nice place to work.

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A early start 
Bronwyn starts work at 7:30, which means she has to leave at 7am, which means she has to wake up at 6:30am. Waking up has never been easy for Bronwyn, so I wake her up. I like to have breakfast in advance, so I get up at 5:50am. It's been tough. But we got through it somehow. Except for Tuesday, when Bronwyn had toothache and went to the dentist, and Friday, when Bronwyn was sick in the night, struggled to work and deposited more evidence before returning home again.

Next week is her first full week. It's going to be a mission, as they say round here.

It's hot and sunny. The sheep are in our driveway because there's very little grass anywhere else. Apparently they had rain at Parachute. Lots of it. Sounds like it was even higher than last time - parts of the cafe were under 20 cm of water, and the cafe is on generally higher ground. Maybe it was good that I didn't try camping!



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Not as planned. 
It's raining, sort of. Must have had about 0.2 mm so far. We'll need several months of this to catch up. It's also hot and humid.

Some things just don't work out as planned. I didn't make it to Parachute (in Hamilton). Bronwyn has been really unwell and wound up in hospital three times. She's been OK for the last few days. I took her down to Hamilton to visit a friend there. I'd been planning to spend the daytime at her house anyway, so at least part of it worked out. They had a great time chatting, and I drove them around.

We went to visit the Hamilton gardens. It must be one of the best free attractions in the country. They have a large number of themed gardens, including a chinese garden where the bamboo towers overhead, and several buildings to mimic different housing styles. They also had a Maori themed garden, with several rather obscene carvings, and a fruit and vegetable patch with just about every kind imaginable.

Bronwyn starts work next week. It's going to be for seven weeks, five days a week. After last week, I hope she can cope. I'll certainly be doing a lot more work in the house! We've organised a roster for Sarah, and Rachael will be back at school.

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