Wet wet wet 
Dropped in on the Prime Minister today. Well, not quite. Dropped in on his office. One of them. And spoke to his office manager who happens to live just down the road. The brass band wanted me to ask for advice and support about the new building. As it happens, we've already found a building. So the Prime Minister's Office Manager promised to put in a good word for us at the council.

Had another Afternoon Tea today. "Who's birthday is it this time?!" I said. "Mine" said Bronwyn. Oops. She'll actually have a birthday on her first full day away, but the Afternoon Tea is a compulsory event in the Kerr-Taylor clan so we had it a week early. More scones and jam. The children played outside and discovered the sandpit, which was full of water. So we had some rather wet children and several changes of clothes.

It's rained a lot this week. Three times I emptied the wheelbarrow - we must have had up about three inches of rain. The drain from the dam was full of water, and our wetland area really was. I was about to plant a tree in one spot, and stuck the spade in, and the ground heaved and billowed like a water bed. It's still like it today. There must have been enough water to lift the topsoil off the clay and suspend it by several inches. Quite fun bouncing around on it. Glad it didn't burst while I was on it.

I planted the tree a few feet away. I've done about 20 this weekend. Quite tiring, but they all seem to be growing well for now.

Bronwyn leaves on Thursday afternoon. Four suitcases are packed. She's been out buying a few things to take with them, both as gifts and for sanity purposes (i.e. for the children). Returning home on a Monday at midnight. She's due to work the next day. Not sure that'll happen...

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The conference went well; we only had the usual glitches, apart from when someone copied a huge amount of stuff up as her conference notes, did it three times, and then six people tried to download it. I'll have to sort that one out tomorrow. I now have a bag full of sausage rolls and various crackers and dips, because they ordered far too much food on Friday. Pity they didn't order too much wine as well.

Just got our lawnmower back, and hacked a large chunk out of the back garden. It looks even worse now! I'll probably need to go over it again once the heaps of grassy mush have dried out.

I'm having a bit of a crisis. I'm now on the brass band committee, assistant librarian, and probably webmaster too. I've been asked to 'drop in' on our patron (the prime minister) to ask for money for the new building. At church, I'm on the roster for running the projector as well as plating trombone. I'm also getting involved with the youth project in the local school, and I've been approached about the church website too. Something has to give. At least I'll have a week or two free next month to think about it.

Bronwyn has been planning things for their big trip, and the girls both have suitcases packed (and unpacked, and packed, and unpacked, and scattered all over the floor, and dumped in a heap in the corner). I hope Bronwyn can cope with them for ten days; I've struggled to survive an hour without yelling at one or both! Maybe they'll calm down once they get there. It's not easy being hyper in Singapore. You end up exhausted very quickly.

Claire and Nigel are feeding a lamb. They called it Larry. He follows Nigel everywhere. Our dog is terrified of him.

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The trampoline has risen again. Bronwyn's brother Neil finally got round to welding and unbending a couple of joints, and it's now up in the back garden with a guy rope strategically attached to protect it from the wind. It's been raining quite a bit this weekend, but that hasn't stopped Rachael and Sarah using it. And getting wet.

I've taken Rachael out cycling on the road today. It's her second time ever. Just down to the end of the road and back. She's nervous about crossing over the road in order to come back again. Her bike is designed for a six year old, so it's probably time we found her a bigger one.

Tree planting has begun in earnest. I've been digging up the old clumps of flax, and planting them out in the paddock. It's quite exhausting work, so I've done a bit each day. There's also some seedling trees which are now big enough to plant (or I'm fed up enough with watering them). So far, it seems like a few tiny trees in a very large space. Hopefully they'll grow eventually...

Work has been busy. We have the conference coming up next weekend where we'll be demonstrating everything. Except that there's no way we're going to finish it all. So it's probably going to be a case of making it look nice, and not letting them play with it themselves. Subtle, that.

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The good, the bad and the ugly 
Pulled up a large quantity of onion weed from the garden. Apparently it's edible, but it smells very strongly and grows everywhere. Also began digging up some flax plants to transplant into the paddock. This is New Zealand flax, which has six foot leaves and ten foot flowers. It was quite a jungle in there.

Just had our regional contest with the brass band. No idea how we did, but had plenty of fun, and it went quite smoothly. We did The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, which involved various people wandering around the stage dressed in ponchos and silly hats, and firing cap guns at the conductor. The front half of the stage is on hydraulics, and was wobbling quite a lot - it made it hard to concentrate. But it all went well, including the bit where the trombones and cornets have to pretend to fire at each other across the stage.

I'm told they've found a new building for the brass band. Not sure of the details. In one month, I've been volunteered for the committee, made assistant librarian. and asked to drop in on the prime minister to ask him for money. I know this is a small country, but I haven't quite had the courage for the third one yet.

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The secret tunnel has been filled in. Still no sign of the lawnmower. I started pulling up weeds by hand yesterday. Going to take a while.

The tickets are purchased, and a large hole has appeared in the credit card. Bronwyn and the girls will go to see her friends in Singapore in October. Sarah has managed to lose her swimming togs after packing and emptying her suitcase a dozen times. She wanted to put the suitcase in the car, but they're not going for another month! They're exitedly planning what they're going to do there. Guess I'm going to need to do more overtime. I'll be at home, tidying up. My turn next year.

It's warm at last. Soon, we'll be able to take off the second duvet...

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