Long weekend 
Had what might be described as a few short patches of drizzle, which when put together might add up to a bit of a drip. The forecast keeps changing, but at least it's been cool and damp enough to stop everything wilting completely.

Rachael's ear is a lot better, although they want to see her next week. She's got three different bacteria in there - staph aureus (which is present everywhere), streptococcus, and pseudomonas (?). The latter one is making it green and smelly. They flushed the ear out, and changed her antibiotics. Her grommet is still there, but stuck to the side of the ear, and the hole hasn't closed up yet.

Had a fun day at the Kumeu Show. All three bands played, and I joined in for about 4 sessions so I'm pretty shattered. The prime minister came to see us, and conducted the band for one hilarious piece http://kumeubrass.org.nz/images/P1010189.MOV. Bronwyn and the girls also showed up for part of the day too.

Bronwyn finished her last week at work, and managed five days almost. Sounds like she's willing to work for them again, so it can't have been that bad! She'll be sending out more CVs to advertise her services for relieving work. Meanwhile, she's off down south next weekend to see her friends.

And I finished painting the front deck. So far the dog hasn't covered it in mud. Yet.

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Bit of a sprinkle 
Yet another low pressure wimped out when the big anti-cyclone muscled in from Oz. We had about 2mm of rain. Another cold front due on Thursday, but I doubt it'll do much either. However, at least it's getting cooler, so the ground isn't drying out as much. Not that there's much to dry out. I can hear the crunch as I walk across the dead grass.

Decided I'd do something about the outside of the house, having attacked the inside. We still have three pieces of roofing ridge waiting for my father-in-law to buy the right kind of nails. And he promised to get a new battery for the lawnmower (it's currently reading 0.007 volts). But, at last, we have progress on the front deck.

I borrowed the water blaster, and cleaned off the boards. Amazing how much dirt can accumulate. Quite fun using a water blaster (ooh - that rose looks a bit dry - BLAST - there, should be happy now) but very tiring. I feel a little old. I did one coat of paint today, and now the deck is clean and grey. Not sure why it has to be grey; apparently it's the correct colour for a 1920s villa.

Bronwyn did a full 4 days, and seems to be enjoying it at last. She's just come home with a new printer, which she's going to use to print off learning stories for work. She's also planning to invoice work for them, if they want the parents to see them, that is! Otherwise they'll go in her folder as part of her teacher registration.

Rachael's ear has been dripping smelly green stuff. She's on antibiotics, and she's got an appointment with the hospital tomorrow because they're worried it might be behind her ear drum. Otherwise she's fine. Sarah's had her Measles, Mumps and Rubella jabs this week, and was a bit off colour for a day or two, but is fine now.

I dismantled the old barbecue. It belongs to Bronwyn's parents, who brought it here to cook dinner one day, and left it. They've got a big shiny new one. I saved the hot plates, because they're the same size as ours, and I water blasted the shelf. It might look good in the shed as a rustic little potting shelf. Maybe the wheels might do for a go-cart, but the rest is a pile of rust. I'll shovel it down a hole one day.

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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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