Pastry 
A nice warm Easter Monday, so we'll get the slide going again this afternoon for another last time. This morning Sarah went out the back door and made a bee-line for the sand pile. By the time I picked her up she was covered in it!

Fun at work. One of our main servers has been crashing overnight. It seems to be to do with the backup, which happens at the same time each night. So I spent a day or so changing it to do the backup from a different server. But the problems only start there. We're in dispute about it since it broke last year (and it took several hundred hours just to rebuild it). Last week, the hosting company threatened to turn it off if we didn't pay the bill. So they got me to make jolly sure we had an off-site backup...

The other news is that we'll be moving to a new office in a week. Our current office is getting rather cramped, with people moving around in order to find a spare desk. We've also filled the room we rent across the car park. There was an offer to rent the flat above it, but it was actually cheaper to rent proper office space, rather than a couple of converted shops. Currently we're in a small area behind the main shops, next to an art gallery and cafe. Parking is horrendous; I've given up trying to find a parking spot that doesn't risk parking tickets or irate notes from shop owners. I now park on the other side of State Highway 1, in Silverdale East. It's a lot quieter there, and nobody cares where you park.

Our new office is on the east side too, in the front section of a new warehouse. It used to be a kitchen manufacturer's, but has now been bought by "Dad's Pies", who have the factory next door. So now we have room for several offices, no need for customers to walk past the programmers, and room for half of Auckland to park next door. Calorie consumption will be a problem though; even if we avoid the Dad's Pies cafe next door, we still have to face the smell of several thousand tons of pastry in the warehouse at the back!

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My tank runneth over 
Still recovering from the bruises.

Had plenty of rain this week, so at last everything is green again. Not sure how much of summer is left, so I've left the water slide set up for the time being, but shifted some sand under cover for next year. Bronwyn's dad fenced off around the slide (at least an acre) so the cows won't be able to trample it. We'll let the sheep in though.

Bronwyn's off in respite for the weekend. She's doing quite well, but they decided to book her in every month or so just to keep on top of things. It's a nice atmosphere there, and Bronwyn always seems to come back stronger afterwards.

Much going on at the band. The last committee meeting went on until 10:30pm. We've got 4 or 5 contests of various sorts this year, the youth camp this weekend and a couple of concerts, half a dozen grant applications and numerous other things. We also had a disciplinary problem with one of our younger members, which took up quite some time. And I've been on the lookout for second hand chairs to replace our ancient wooden ones. It's going to be a busy year...

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Bruised 
Got the slide going again yesterday. Think I should have smoothed out the sand a bit because there were quite a few bumps in it. But it went down well.

Also got bruised at Rachael's school this week. We had a parent-teacher-pupil interview. Just beforehand, Rachael took me on a quick tour of the playground. She showed me the slide. It's one of these wavy slides that goes along, down, along, down and along. Unfortunately I picked up too much speed in the first down section and went airborne during the second. I didn't participate much in the interview; I was trying to find the least painful way of sitting down!

Rachael's doing well at school, but gets distracted easily. They're currently doing building work right outside the classroom!

Bronwyn has started painting the stonework outside the front of the house. It's now brilliant white, and Bronwyn is suffering from snow-blindness...

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Rain at last 
No idea why that branch broke last week. It had been calm and sunny for weeks. That evening, we had nearly an inch of rain, and over the next two days some very strong winds. It blew the plastic sheet off the water slide, but fortunately it didn't blow a lot of sand off, and I fixed it up reasonably quickly this morning. The paddocks are still looking a bit bare, but the green is beginning to show through.

Just dug up a row of potatoes. Got 6kg from a seven foot row. We always seem to do well for potatoes. Now we've got more than we can eat!

Bronwyn's painted the old picnic table that belonged to her parents, and currently sits in our back yard. Looks a lot better now! I've been trying to tidy up a bit; we invited her parents for dinner tomorrow night.

Got some new music at the band this week. One was an arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon that someone in the band had done. Nice piece, but it goes way too high for a number of people (he's a bass player) so he's rewriting parts of it for next week.

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Quite a week 
Still no rain! We're down to half a tank, but it's taken us weeks to get that low, so I'm not too concerned. Everyone else seems to run out of water completely every three weeks. We seem to use hardly any, yet it's not as if we're being careful...

Bronwyn went into respite again on Wednesday, and had a better time than last. She's been out fishing several times (caught a sizeable snapper) and has played the flute. Meanwhile I've been at home looking after the children, with some help from family and friends.

I've been out all day playing in the band for the Kumeu agricultural show, and I'm tired and thirsty. We had a barbecue afterwards, and I nipped back to pick up Bronwyn and the girls, since we had plenty of food left over. We came back to find a large tree branch collapsed across the driveway. Fortunately it's just possible to drive underneath it, but it's taken out the fence on the other side, so Bronwyn had to move the sheep there into the next paddock. (She's quite good at herding sheep in a Toyota Caldina. Only gets out of the car to shut the gate.)

Picture: Bronwyn's brother Neil (in orange) and his mate Robert (in the tractor) try to make the drive safe and passable. Bronwyn and Sarah pretend to hold up the tree. Princess is next to Bronwyn, and Rachael can just be seen hiding behind the fence, next to the damage caused when a previous branch was taken down.



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