More chairs 
Up to 10 chairs so far. I went to the shop to get some extra fabric just in case. I've now got enough to do another 16, which should hopefully by sufficient for the band. One of the checkout girls said she loved the fabric, and stroked it surreptitiously. Think she enjoys working there.

I'm tired after two parades this morning (plus a trip to fetch another 4 chairs). We only had just enough time to get from one parade to the next, because the first started late. But it otherwise went suprisingly smoothly. We'd been practising. Last Sunday we had a marching practice, and a visit by a professional trombonist who came to encourage the band and give a bit of a masterclass. He made me realise how far I still have to go; he could make a trombone trill like a flute, just using his lips.

We're off on camp with the church in two or three weeks time. Bronwyn signed us all up. It was the first time for a while that she's made it to church (she's really unsettled around large numbers of people) and even more amazing that she signed up for the camp on the spot. The only problem is that it's the same weekend as the band's solo contest, but the girl organising it is understanding. She's also a Baptist.

They've chopped a bit more off the tree by out gate. There are now a few logs out in the paddock, arranged as a motorcycle jump...

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Here, there and everywhere 
We had a barbecue for all the houses in this section of the valley last night. It had originally been a "mystery" barbecue, because Bronwyn had forgotton to put the time and phone number on the invites. But after a second trip round delivering invites, we had quite a few turn up. Bronwyn had been really worried that she'd taken on too much, but it all went really smoothly, and we met a few people we haven't seen before, with up to three conversations going on at once!

Also yesterday was the office move, and a playout with the brass band. I went to the office first, and spent an hour packing up the kitchen. Much of the time, however, involved going through the crockery and returning stuff back to the cafe! After four trips, they offered me a coffee, but I had to go to the brass band. Meanwhile, Rachael had a lovely time trying to hide in one off the cardboard boxes.Arrived at the band 20 minutes late - I had got totally confused with the times! But the session continued for a couple more hours (including break) until it started raining and we decided to call it a day. Meanwhile, Rachael had a lovely time having her face painted, and making things out of clothes pegs and pipe cleaners...

I now have three chairs upholstered, one with extra padding for the tuba section (did I ever mention my theory about how musicians tend to match their instruments?). Another one is waiting, and I've put in a $10 bid for another couple on the internet. Learning how to do upholstry. It's not difficult, but you have to know exactly how much material to cut, and make sure it's fixed on evenly.

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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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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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