Singapore 
Here I sit, dining on noodles and tuna sandwiches, trying to work out what time of day it is, which way the airport is and how on earth I'm going to get there. Many thanks to Priscilla and Eng Guan for accomodating me and taking me out for dinner and a long conversation last night. I'm now in their old apartment in Singapore, which is almost empty but Priscilla has stocked it up with a few supplies to keep me going until I reach the airport!

Welcome to Singapore. The apartment has windows on three directions. Two look out at other apartments, and the kitchen looks out on a building site. If I stand in a certain corner, I can almost see down the street. In the distance I see more tower blocks just peeping over the apartments across the street. I don't feel that our house on the farm has as nice a view as Bronwyn's parents', but at least you can see the horizon on all sides!

I did manage to get some sleep, but I think I'll need extra coffee before I feel properly alive!

Rachael survived her first week back at school, and both girls have been eagerly planning their birthdays. I'll be back just in time for Rachael's sleepover, so I'm not sure how much sleep *I'll* get! I've arranged for someone to help out with cleaning while I'm away at least, and she's also been roped into baking the birthday cakes. Thanks in advance, Kirsty.

Bronwyn's been given exercises to do by the physio, which all involve stretching tendons and muscles, and getting the nerves working again. This means that Bronwyn is now hobbling even more than before after pushing her foot to the limit, but at least she's making good progress.

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Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible 
Iceland is getting their own back for being diddled out of the IceSave loan. Now they're spreading noxious fumes and powdered glass all over Europe. Not sure whether I'll make it to Heathrow next week or not. At least I have the offer of a couch in Singapore. I've upgraded from a hedge.

Our spam server at work fell over. The antivirus program was out of date, and it stopped working when it got a new style virus signature file. I spent several hours yesterday trying to update it, and eventually managed to open the floodgates and send out all the accumulated spam. My own inbox got 240, from just 36 hours worth. Unfortunately I also stopped it receiving any new emails. So today I've worked out how to disable the antivirus, but leave the spam filter running. Normality has returned, but don't blame me if you get a virus.

I tidied the lounge. This involved getting a couple of cardboard boxes, filling them with all the junk that Rachael and Sarah had brought in, and putting them in the spare room. The lounge looks so empty...

Bronwyn's foot is going to take a while to heal because of all the nerve damage. She's going in for physio next week. Still in crutches, but trying to walk unaided as much as she can manage.

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Two weeks 
Only two weeks until I flee the country! Please get in touch if you want me to visit at some point; currently the only fixed date is 30th April to 3rd May with my brother in Maldon. I'll stop in Singapore on the 25th April overnight (I'm still looking for a nice warm hedge to sleep under, anyone?) and 23rd April during the day. I'm also planning a trip down to the Isle of Wight, and if I don't visit Coventry I'm in trouble...

We had 12mm of rain. Half an inch! The ground is so dry you wouldn't notice, but at least the grass is growing a little. I finally mowed the lawn last week after putting the new battery in the mower. I've also sowed a load of tree seeds ready for the next planting.

Had my ears unblocked and my hair cut. I feel ten years younger.

Bronwyn is still hobbling, but hopes to be rid of the crutches in the next week or so. She says her foot has 'forgotten how to walk'.

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Easter 
We got through 86 hot cross buns on Friday. This is amazing, because Bronwyn's mum only made 84. I think someone was exaggerating!

I found a few blackberries. None of them were worth eating, except one rather shrivelled one. I think I found more wasp nests than blackberries. But the brambles are cleared, the rubbish hole is overflowing, and my arms are full of scratches. Time to do something else instead.

Still no rain. Storm clouds are circling all around us, but carefully avoid crossing the North Island!

Bronwyn's foot is slowly getting better. The nurse dug out a little patch of dead tissue, and told her to come back on Tuesday. Meanwhile, she's still on crutches. I'll probably need the nurse as well, because my ear is full of wax again. Fortunately it only affects one and not the other!

The children have been busy eating chocolate, making fizzy bath bombs, painting, rearranging the house, and tearing each other to pieces. Nothing new there. But Sarah will be starting school in about 8 weeks time, which I'm sure Rachael is looking forward to...

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Brambles, pain and suffering 
Spent a lot of time pulling out brambles to make room for trees later in the year. I now have a huge heap ready to burn once the fire ban is lifted. Except my father-in-law doesn't want them there and wants me to bury them instead. So I'll shift them into the rubbish hole, once I've shifted all the other rubbish that his ancestors have dumped there over the years. Not sure if the hole's going to be big enough!

Bronwyn's still on crutches, but slowly improving. Her old boss wanted her to work all day on Thursday. She didn't seem to understand what had happened. Bronwyn went in for a half day on Friday, and her boss saw the huge boot and crutches. I think she gets it now!

Bronwyn had a great time in Dunedin, and came back with loads of photos. I managed to entertain the children for the weekend, although my cooking largely involved sausages, eggs, chips and beans. Jolly good sausages though. We recently bought a lamb from the farm, and an old cow with cancer was put down, so our freezer is full up.

We had half an inch of rain. It's still very dry out there, but at least the plants are largely hanging on. We've had the driest three months for fifty years. Possible rain next weekend, but no guarantees

Had a great service at church this morning. Nobody turned up to do the sound, so several of us were running round turning knobs and trying plugs. Our projector person was attempting to transfer photos from someone's laptop, and Powerpoint was falling over. But it all went well in the end. I played trombone, and we had a good set of tunes for once. And a very good sermon about suffering, from a man who had recently recovered from a brain haemorrhage and lost the ability to talk for 19 months. Very moving.

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