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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Back to work 
Had a reasonable week at work, but didn't get a lot of planned work done. Spent most of the time sorting out the new hardware that Dave, our product manager / ageing surf dude had bought, plus fixing a number of issues from all the teachers that have recently emerged from hibernation (or is that aestivation?) Might not get much done next week either; it'll be the last week of the holidays for most schools, and the teachers will be panicking.

Plus I'll have Friday off to go down to Parachute. We've got a meeting tonight to go over all the details for the coffee bar. I've also got the offer to stay at a friend's place for the day. The weather is looking rather iffy, so I might take them up on that.

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Camp 
I'm on my fourth load of washing, and there's still more in the bag. I just decided to wash the lot! We had a great time up near Whangarei last week. It was a small campsite but just the right mix of people, and everyone got on really well, especially the children. Bronwyn kept them all entertained with play dough, cornflour, balloons, and glowsticks. Our tennis pole got used so much we went through three tennis balls. They all fell to bits.

On the Friday two of the others came back with a bucket full of snapper. A big bucket. There must have been about 15, and the largest would have been about 4kg. They cooked them up in egg, flour and butter. Best fish I've ever tasted. So we all had a shared dinner, and because it was my birthday the day after, Bronwyn brought out the cake as well. It really was a great evening. No idea when we all got to bed!

Another guy was a talented juggler, and could do 7 balls at once. He gave quite a few displays. It was really impressive. I understand he ranks third in the country.

Back to work tomorrow. No petrol, and not a lot of money. But apparently the kindergarten owes us quite a bit. I think they haven't checked for a while, and it's been accumulating. At least I hope it has. Otherwise we've got quite a bill to pay!

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And a happy new year to you too 
Quiet. Too quiet. I guess I did so much last weekend that I'm running low on things to do this weekend. I'm sure I'll find something. The spare room is now tidy, the loft is now full, the lounge is in a mess again (but that's normal) and I'm beginning to work on the garden for once. We'll be going camping in a week, so Bronwyn's been making a big list of things to take. We always seem to forget something. Last year we took two solar heated showers but forgot the washing up brush. Not easy cleaning saucepans with your fingers.

Bronwyn wanted to go to visit the same waterfall that I took Rachael to last year, but I pointed out that Sarah was going to find a 90 minute hike rather hard going. So we walked up the bush on the farm. Except that there was a hay paddock in the way, with grass three feet tall. Again, not easy for Sarah. So Bronwyn drove the car up through the paddock, and then we walked up the rest of the way. Must be the first time in years that we've all gone on a walk together on the farm. The girls are still more interested in dressing up and drawing pictures.



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