Golly. 
I've resigned. And signed a new short term contract with the Australians. And my old boss has gone solo and wants me to work with him instead. I've had a lot of thinking and praying to do. I've only ever had two full time jobs in my life, so this is a big step.

Last week was a saga. Indeed, I ought to chronicle it all down and sell it to Hodder & Stoughton. Covert meetings, suprise phone calls, conversations between random parties, I think we've had the lot. But I'm now on a two month contract, and I've got a few weeks to think about it and see how things pan out.

Bronwyn's finished her census work (again) and it looks like she's the star of the show. She'll probably be on the short list for District Supervisor next time.

Had a wonderful afternoon celebrating our friend Chelle's birthday yesterday. We had a tour of a tea plantation and a tea ceremony. I've never heard much about Oolong tea; apparently it's half way between green tea and black. I used to think they just dried the leaves and powdered them. Maybe that works for PG Tips, but not Oolong. There's a complicated 36 hour process of drying, oxidation, steaming and rolling. The moisture content ends up between 2.9 and 3.1%, so it's a really precise process.

And I was actually suprised. Being next to a vineyard, I'm used to descriptions such as "hint of walnut", "subtle pallette of strawberry" and "lingering aroma of creosote". And not being able to detect anything of it. But these teas were definitely what they wrote on the box. Hint of charcoal? Yup. Definite smoky barbecue there...

Claire's son Cooper has a birthday party today, so Sarah's over there now for the children's party, followed by us later for the barbie. Quite a full weekend.

Anna (or is it Cait) arrives this week for a four day New Zealand experience before heading back to the States. Then we're planning a week up north to tour up to Cape Reinga and back. Next month, Celia and Nana are back for a fortnight before leaving after their year in NZ. And Erica, after a long journey of the heart, has resigned from her job in business and plans to return to NZ to study English and then childcare.

It's certainly not going to be boring in the next few months....



[ add comment ] ( 4473 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1966 )
Garlic 
I've been daily raiding the garden for fruit and vegetables to turn into juice. My ultimate this week was kale, spinach, silverbeet, carrots, figs, plum, and for an extra bit of spice, a spoonful of crushed garlic (it's healthy, apparently). It reminded me of the spicy cacao brew that Monteczuma used to drink before going in to see to his women. On Friday, having finished the antibiotics, I bought some pro-bio yoghourt. I mixed half of it in with the fruit and vegetables. It did the trick, but I certainly don't recommend mixing yoghourt and garlic.

Bronwyn's been out doing the census collecting again. Earlier in the week, she visited a woman and saw that she didn't look right, so she asked if she was OK. She wasn't; she'd just been called into surgery for cancer after two years in remission, and she was in a right state. So Bronwyn abandons the census forms and offers meals, organises flowers and hay for the horses, and rings around for help. I'm proud of her.

She's also taken on another couple of delivery areas that weren't doe well the first time. She was out for 4 hours yesterday and about 5 hours today. Seems like a lot of the houses have already done the forms, but it hasn't filtered down to her yet. Which is annoying, but at least they're all off the list now.

It's going to be interesting at my work in the next couple of months. Our side of the business has beed sold to an Australian company, and they've got great plans for the Australian market. They wanted to start things early, so I've been doing extra work for them directly. We're hoping to cut down on office costs, so my boss has been planning to rent a house somewhere so we've got office space as well as a few beds for the Aussie guys to sleep on when they pop over. I'll have to learn the lingo too...

[ add comment ] ( 5283 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 2023 )
Chocolate 
Sarah had her friends round for an easter egg hunt earlier this afternoon. Meanwhile, Rachael's just come back from camp and wants her share of the chocolate. Always the way...

Looks like Rachael had a great time at camp. She's brought back a video of the highlights, the main one being The Blob, involving a large inflatable. One person jumps onto it, and another sits on the end, and gets catapulted into the water. Plus the water slides, flying fox and dozens of other activities. Fortunately she doesn't have school tomorrow!

Bronwyn's thinking of starting a playgroup at the church. An official, funded playgroup, rather than a church one. There used to be one a few years ago, and all the equipment is apparently still there, locked in a cupboard. There's already the church playgroup of course, so negotiations could be delicate...

HelpX seems to have woken up. I recall it was really quiet in February and March last year. Now that the air fares are lower, everyone wants to come to New Zealand. And stay on the farm of course.

[ add comment ] ( 3617 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1998 )
Nope. 
Haven't been too well for the last couple of weeks. Not sure which is worse, the illness or the antibiotics. I've stopped the antibiotics a few days ago. Now let's see what the illness was like...

We had a hacking incident last week. One of the Australian schools had their pages defaced. The message was "Welcome to NOPE". The last one read something like "We are legion. Unlike Denise's password, which is Legacy". At least they had a sense of humour. The school tracked him down using the IP addresses to an ex-student. And I believe they've also had a good lesson in choosing passwords.

Rachael's off to e-Camp next week (the junior version of the Baptist Easter Camp). I've got to drop her at church at 7am. Should be fun...

Bronwyn's had her handover, and offered to help with the mopping up of all the people who haven't done their census form yet. Meanwhile, I've been working on a job for the Australian schools. And there will likely be An Announcement Soon. But fortunately I won't have to move to Australia. Interesting Times are ahead...

[ 1 comment ] ( 1670 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 2.9 / 1993 )
The luck of the Irish 
It's St Patrick's day. And it's raining. At last. The whole North Island and large chunks of the South Island has been declared a drought zone. Bronwyn says she's come across paddocks with large areas completely bare, and dams run right dry. Fortunately, our dam is huge, and is only a few inches below the overflow pipe. And we're only down to 60% on the water tank. We haven't had a lot of rain, but it should be enough to get the grass growing.

Bronwyn has finished. Yes, there's still a few houses who weren't in, or haven't got round to doing the forms, or refused to do the forms, but she can hand them over to the district coordinator to sort out. This is a little tricky, because her district coordinator resigned last week after working far too many hours. So Bronwyn has been talking to the area coordinator instead. There's the handover next week, and she's got a lot of paperwork to sort out. You wouldn't think that it would be quite such a complex operation, but there's all sorts of things that might go wrong. Including the one house where Bronwyn got no answer, and saw some, um, paraphernalia on the table, and had a quiet qord with the police...

I've been really busy at work. And we've now got a big Australian contract which I've been doing in my spare time. Didn't feel well last week. I had to take some time off sick, and they just had to do without me!

Allan's sweetcorn is mostly harvested. We're onto the last third. He put an advert on Facebook and sold seversl hundred cobs. He stuffed a suitcase full of them and shipped them out around the lower South Island. I've got some stashed in the fridge and freezer. Meanwhile, I'm working on the carrot patch. Still plenty to go there, and at least it lasts longer than the sweetcorn does!

Rachael has found a new friend. Well, she knew her before, but now they ring each other up every night. Rachael got a story published a month or two ago about autism, and how she'd worked to overcome it. Charlie spotted it. Charlie has aspbergers, and had a really rough time at school last year. Meanwhile, Charlie's mum has left and gone to Tauranga, leaving her with her grandparents. So we've all been helping out. I upgraded their PC from a 2002 version of XP to something that generally works, and got her grandmother set up with an email address, which wasn't easy since they're only on a wet piece of string for internet, and rain has been hard to come by lately...

[ add comment ] ( 1594 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 2078 )

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