Hot and smokey 
Didn't do any sewing this week, but used the material to cover a couple of chairs. Bronwyn bought some material to cover the sofa cushions, so that's the next job.

We now have a black cat called Smokey. This is getting confusing, because we've also had Scruffy and Stormy. Hopefully we'll get used to it. His owners were moving into a flat where cats weren't allowed, and had to let him go. Hopefully Smokey will be more at home on the farm than Stormy.

It was the Kumeu Show this weekend. Bronwyn took Rachael yesterday, and today I went in to play in the brass band. The band hall is inside the grounds, and in lieu of rent we have to do four half hour concerts at the show. We've been doing it for about 60 years. This weekend has been very hot and sunny, and I had a seat on the end of the back row, right out in the sun. I had also got sunblock in one eye, and it was watering quite a bit. After two sessions, I was beginning to loose touch on reality. Went around to the curch at lunchtime (which is also next to the grounds) and drank as much water as I could. Kept me going for the rest of the day, but I think I'll sleep well tonight!

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Sewn up 
I am now the proud owner of a sewing machine. It's brand new, but was used as a demonstration model, and I got it quite cheaply. I sewed the cushions for the bay window seat. I wouldn't call it a perfect job, but provided you don't turn the cushions over, nobody would know.

I also spent two hours tidying, and was very tired by Saturday night. On Sunday I took part in a cycle day, where the brass band had been asked to play. I cycled and played. Then a quick half hour at a working bee (a joint getting-things-done session) for the brass band, a couple of hours at a friend's house who's about to go into chemotherapy, and a birthday party for Bronwyn's brother Allan. Each stop involved food, and I had dinner afterwards, so I was not only completely exhausted, but also rather well fed. Still don't feel right.

We've had a lot of rain here, and it's been cooler this week. Still quite pleasant. Back to English weather...

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It rained for about 36 hours solid this week. We had at least two inches. I know that because the dog bowl filled up with water. Any more and it would have overflowed. So now the ground is well and truly damp.

The calves are now out in a nearby paddock. This was largely because they were getting a bit large to handle close up, and were terrorising the children. Well, making them nervous, anyway. But they were also beginning to mow the grass for us, so it was only a matter of time before they mowed the flower bed too. Our new lemon tree has finally decided to produce leaves and a tiny lemon at last, after months of watering and fertiliser...

Haven't finished the cushions yet. Need a sewing machine!

It was the Loud Shirt day today at church. I wore a lurid green shirt with a blue and red tie. Rachael had a shirt with flourescent strips attached to it, and some rainbow fabric for a skirt. We were put in different categories (off-the-rack and home made) and both of us won first prize! It was a fund raiser - we got the right to choose where the money went.

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Rain at last 
We've had a bit more rain this week, but it's still rather brown out there. A lot cooler though. More like an English summer!

The three calves are growing fast, although Michael has an infection in the knee, and is on antibiotics. They're beginning to nibble at the grass, so their days in the garden are numbered. Bronwyn took Angel into work on Friday, and the children loved it! Angel obviously loved the attention too, and performed really well.

Spent much of Saturday chopping up bits of foam and cutting fabric, in a desperate effort to finish the cushions on our "new" window seat. All I need now is a sewing machine.

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Stormy and Gabriel 
Took the cat back again. His cat flu was really getting quite bad, and he was also terrified of going outside. We had asked for an outdoors cat to catch mice. The vet told Bronwyn to "make a bit of a scene" and claim back all the vet bills, which she did, but we're yet to hear back from them (the SPCA). The manager will be in work tomorrow.

We've got three calves now, and yes, the third one was named Gabriel. Hopefully there won't be another. There are two dead cows out in the top paddock, and two dead calves, and we're not wanting any more. Angel is doing really well, and has developed quite a cheeky temper. Michael and Gabriel both need a bit of help feeding, and they are also on antibiotics. We have to stop Angel shoving the other two out of the way; she has a clever tactic of shifting sideways at the feeding trough and stopping the other two getting in.

It rained this morning, but I don't think it sank in far. The ground is still dry and dusty, but not quite as much as yesterday. There is a cold front due tomorrow; it could be our last chance of rain for another week!

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