The earth opened up and swallowed me 
Bronwyn had a trial day working at a child care centre, and it seems to have gone really well; she says it was quite relaxed and easy going. She starts properly this Friday, and will be just a couple of days per week to start with. This is probably just as well, because we'll need to work out how to cater for Rachael and Sarah, and who's going to pick them up!

Had another contest with the brass band on Sunday. It was very hot in the building, and I didn't manage to play my solo properly. Those four bars have been playing over in my head since then, tormenting me... But I think we did quite well otherwise, and I enjoyed it. The judge appears to have noticed that, and made a comment about it! Don't know what points we got. I understand the junior band did quite well though, and won their section.

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Spring at last? 
It's getting warmer at last. Quite sunny yesterday. Rachael had more friends over to jump on the trampoline and watch The Digger.

They're digging out a foundation for a new house for Bronwyn's sister Claire and husband Nigel. Well, actually it's just for the garage. But it's huge. It's big enough for a boat and a couple of tractors. They're certainly not planning on a simple little country cottage. I guess they won't have a lot of spare cash for a while. They're moving into the garage first, and then building the rest of the house, which is even bigger.

I put the pram on the internet for auction. No bids so far. It's all intact except for one broken clip and a couple of marks. My boss won a ticket to the rugby semi finals in Paris. He couldn't go, so he's put it on auction as well. It's currently going for $6200. I guess that will cheer him up a bit.

The brass band has the entertainment contest next week, and it's my first ever stand-up solo. Fortunately it's only eight bars long, and quite playable, and I've got it well memorised. So hopefully I'll be OK...

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Potatoes and computers 
Got a second hand computer last week. Our old computer really isn't up to the sort of software that's out these days. When someone sends us a nudge on MSN, the window is supposed to wobble. On our old computer it jumps randomly every few seconds.

Unfortunately the new computer has a fault on it, and I couldn't get it on the internet. Eventually I swapped a network card from the old computer and installed Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes with a sticker entitled "Linux for human beings" - it's supposed to be accessible to ordinary people. So hopefully Bronwyn can work out where everything is.

Bronwyn was away for a weekend break again, and I deciided to cook some potatoes. I pulled out the sack, and found another behind it. I decided to dispose of them, and found another sack behind it, only with a smelly liquid leaking from it. I now have a clean empty cupboard and some extra compost.

Rachael's friend Stephanie came for the day yesterday, and had a wonderful time playing out in the farm and the garden. Rachael's a bit tired today!

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Still tired 
I'm not sure how long it took to get over the jet lag. I almost immediately caught a cold, and was weak and feverish for about a week. I'm still not quite right. Last Sunday I suddenly realised I was supposed to be manning the computer at church. I rushed in just as it was starting, but someone else had taken my place. Doubt if I was in a fit state to do it anyway! I managed to get through the brass band practice OK, although one ear is full of wax again, and it was a little tricky hearing properly. My left ear has a kink in the outer section which traps wax on a regular basis. It was only a couple of months since it was last done!

Work is progressing in random lurches. Our priorities shift week by week, and it's hard to plan anything. But we're getting there slowly. Two new people have joined, one programmer and another doing telemarketing. Through all this we've managed to highlight the advantage of a small business; we may not have the resources to respond to everything immediately, but at least we can still provide the personal service that people really appreciate. NZ Telecom fell over on that one last week. They switched over everybody's email. They failed to tell everyone, they disconnected a large chunk of their customers, and they routed all the support calls to somewhere in south east asia. Not a good move.

Had a barn dance last night. My first since I was a teenager. It was great fun and I quickly got back into it. Think I overdid it though! It was the 21st birthday of a good friend of ours, so we also got the speeches, the embarrassing photos and videos, and the carefully preserved set of baby teeth...

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Paint and Packaging 
Did a bit more painting this week, and it's beginning to look like it was meant to be there, rather than rather thin and patchy. Mum has left a section of pebbledash for her brother to paint.

My brother and his family were up in Warwick for the Baptist convention, and bought me a day pass, so I went up for the day and had a really good time with them and his friends. Was so impressed by one of the morning talks that I hung around until gone 10pm waiting for them to copy a CD of it for me. It was about unity, and I'm going to have to listen to it several times in order to get everything out of it.

Spent the last day or two packing up the musical keyboard, and hunting through Dad's clothes. Hope I haven't exceeded the weight limit too much. I had to leave our big suitcase behind, and swap it for a smaller lightweight one of Mum's.

If you're reading this, and you're a man with medium to large chest, DON'T EVER BUY ANOTHER SHIRT. Or indeed socks and handkerchieves. Just drop me a line, and I'll ask Mum to pack one up for you. I'm a small chest, but found a few nice ones that weren't too big.

Scavenged behind the local TV shop looking for bits of packaging material. I now have the keyboard wrapped in polysyrene and a sheet of platic, with yards of tape. I had to leave the stand behind because it was large and awkward. But it might follow on with the next person to come this way.

Still haven't got Mum behind the steering wheel!

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