Tidying 
Obviously my tidy up of the art cupboard was not without its drawbacks. Sarah found a new uncharted domain, and started painting the carpet in her room. Unfortunately she chose glass paint, which is like coloured glue. I tried varnish remover, which got most of the sticky stuff off, but merged the colour into a darkened splodge. Later in the week, she found some embossing powder, and sprinkled that on the carpet too. Plus some cornflour which I recently found stashed behind the sofa. I understand the forthcoming referendum on smacking is hotly contested. Fortunately it was only a scrap of leftover carpet from Bronwyn's brother. However, I'm leaving it in her room for now as a reminder of what she did...

At work, we're planning to release an open source version of our software. The idea is that schools can download it for free, and set it up themselves. It will be a much cut down version, aimed at allowing parents to view their child's data online. The Ministry of Education are sponsoring us to do it. Before we can split off the version, we need to do a major tidy up of the existing software. It's riddled with old stuff from the very beginnings, as well as being somewhat disorganised since it's had bits added by different people over the years. So I spent most of Friday and a large chunk of Saturday setting up a new version, copying in files into a better structure, and linking it all together. So far I've made the login screen work, and I think I've logged in, although it's hard to tell since I just get an error when it tries to show the home page. But I'll get there eventually. The rearrangement needs to be done as quickly as possible, so that the others aren't held up on the various parts they're working on.

In two weeks, the home group is going to have a "pot luck" dinner at our house. It's the same as a "bring a plate" dinner in England, although it's aimed at a proper meal, not party food. However, the house is in dire need of tidying up, so I've spent several hours today doing battle with toys, hair clips, paper, books, blankets, dirty cups and dirty underwear. A pile of washing needs sorting. Bronwyn has bought a throw for the sofa, and some cushions. It's a futile exercise I know, but it has to be done.

Looks like I'm on the committee for the band again. However, the meetings are on a Tuesday, which is Bronwyn's home group. So I've told them I might have to bring the children. Haven't heard back yet...

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Back home 
Bronwyn's parents have returned from their grand tour of England, and managed to meet up with quite a few people on the way. Claire is organising an afternoon tea, in the longstanding Kerr-Taylor tradition, to welcome everyone back.

The church youth group has also returned from a missions trip to Vanuatu, and a number appeared in church this morning carrying sleeping bags. Not sure how that was related.

I had a busy week at work trying to finish the latest build of the software. We provide an Online Learning Environment for schools, i.e. a website, where students and teachers can log in, search for information, and do homework. After a packed week trying to finish everything, we managed to get it up and working on Friday. My boss is planning to buy us lunch at some point.

Spent all of yesterday afternoon tidying the art cupboard. I found a number of ice cream tubs, and spent hours picking through the stuff, sorting paints, glue, fabric, paper, glitter, small furry things and all sorts of stuff. Bronwyn is a magnet for art materials. Now we have space for more...

It's been raining again. Bronwyn was going to help with the sheep this morning, but the ground is like mush. At least it's not freezing this week.

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Wet and windy 
Quite a storm last night. There are still large puddles on the drive, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to start the car tomorrow.

The car still moves, but the engine is wearing out, and the outer CV joints rattle whenever you turn a corner. I've been watching the fuel consumption carefully, and the water level doesn't seem to be moving much. But it's probably time to change the CV joints. And the tyres won't survive the next warrant test. Other than that, there's not a lot wrong with it.

Spent an hour or two clearing out Bronwyn's car. I think her model comes with a black hole as standard, because it rapidly fills with rubbish of every description. Filled half a rubbish sack with lollypop sticks, receipts, bits of paper, bottle tops, crisp packets and all sorts of other things. Put quite a few bottles in the recycling bin. Then we went inside with buckets of soapy water and cleaned a lot of sedimentary dust, sticky lollipops and un-nameable debris. Bronwyn's parents are coming home on Tuesday after three months away, and Bronwyn is going to pick them up.

Bronwyn's still suffering from the after effects of the flu. Her legs are aching quite a bit, and she finds it difficult walking. The nurse said it was because she'd gone straight back to work after getting the flu. Hopefully she'll be better by next week.

The children are fine. Doesn't seem to have affected them!

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Back to normal 
There seem to be three different reactions when I mention swine flu. All are quite distinct, quite polarised and largely wrong.

Some people panic. They've heard stories of someone on the other side of the planet who had similar situations, and run a mile every time you cough. Others are in denial. It won't affect them because, it won't, will it? The third set seem quite blase. "Ooo - can you give it to me? I want a few days off!". "So what? It's just the flu!"

The truth is that this particular flu isn't much worse than the normal variety, although it certainly seems a lot more sudden and takes a while to shake off. It does endanger certain people, but only if they're endangered already. I'm just glad we're all back at work / school / kindy and normality has returned. Bronwyn is still aching in one leg, but largely back to normal. She went back on Friday afternoon for a leaving party. This afternoon, we're going to her work to decorate it for the boss's birthday. Now that's dedication.

I'm told it's hot in England. It's cold here, but not as cold as a few weeks ago. And it's wet. The grass is growing again. Planted a few more trees yesterday. Yes, life is back to normal...

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Influenza 
We've all had it this week. Sarah had swollen tonsils on Monday, Rachael's had a nasty cough, I was off sick for three days, and Bronwyn's had a temperature up to 40. She's still very tired and full of aches. So we've spent the weekend in. Well, technically I shouldn't have been off to the solo competition yesterday, but it largely involved four hours sitting down waiting, and ten minutes playing. I did my best, but it's not easy when you're low on blood sugar and feeling in need of a chimney sweep down your lungs.

We're not on the official statistics, but the symptoms are so close to swine flu that I'd be suprised if it wasn't. Basically, they're only bothering to test you if you've been in direct contact with a known case, or have serious symptoms. So it could easily be all over the country by now.

It's warmer now, but damp. Very damp, and more rain to come. I'm glad I cleared the driveway of mud, otherwise I'd have difficulty crossing it in a wheelbarrow, let alone a car.

Hopefully we'll get well soon. Pity the children don't get the "loss of energy" symptoms, just the adults. They're currently chasing each other round the lounge on an old tricycle...

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