Cat in exile 
Got a lot done this week. I think I need another weekend. At least the cat hasn't done anything this week. Hasn't been able to. He's been sleeping outside all week! Tidied the office yesterday (and vacuumed up all the cat food). Bronwyn made a good effort on the lounge. If we can bring the kitchen under control, we'll have successfully restricted the chaos to the bedrooms.

Bronwyn has her big birthday on the 2nd October, but it might get rearranged because she's due for the rescheduled operation around then. We haven't organised anything definite yet. Meanwhile, Bronwyn's brother Neil is getting married next January. The ceremony is going to be on the farm here. Should be good.

I've been working on three different jobs this week. The normal one, plus a couple of projects for old customers. It's worked OK so far, so long as they're happy to wait until Saturday to get a response! Meanwhile, Bronwyn only managed one day at work this week. She did her normal Monday, but she couldn't make Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday they wanted to work in Takapuna, which is quite a long way and in peak traffic. She was reluctant. Fortunately she wasn't well that day...

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Too much for one week 
Nice weather this week. I've had to water the garden, and it's still winter!

Bronwyn cancelled work on Monday since Rachael had kept her up all night. She got asked to work on Tuesday by the agency (the one she's been enrolled in since February but the haven't given her a single job). However, it was miles away at 7:30am, so she declined that one. She then got asked to work on Wednesday, but she couldn't get there in time. But they then gave her another one nearer instead. On Thursday she worked at her old centre as planned. On Friday she got phoned up again, but her parents were due to come home, so she wanted to be free for them. So somehow she's had five different requests to work this week, after nothing for the entire year!

I'm now treasurer of the brass band. I've been given two bags full of old paperwork, and The Briefcase. Plus the Cheque Book. I feel empowered...

Bronwyn's knitting. It's been a theme this year. Sigrid attempted to knit some socks, but got to the heel and decided it wasn't worth the effort. I believe she's working on a blanket now. Bronwyn bought a variety of yarns and has been knitting squares for a blanket too. They're all different shapes and sizes. We'll fit them together somehow. She's doing scarves now. She's got this bizarre yarn with huge bobbles every ten centimetres. Which means one stitch per ten centimetres, and ten per row. Never seen anything like it...

The cat is in disgrace. I've put a bowl of food outside high up where the dog can't reach it. He won't be allowed inside for a while. I'm getting tired of having to clean up after him!

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Normality returning - take 2 
We've had an old clock sitting on the mantelpiece for a few years. However, late last year it stopped, and wouldn't go again. So a couple of months ago we finally took it in for repair. It's now back, and ticking quietly. It also has three different chimes, but we don't use them. They last quite a while, they go every 15 minutes, and they're so loud it's impossible to hear the television. So we've left them switched off for now.

Bronwyn was supposed to go in for an operation last Monday, but it got postponed. So she's back with us again. She's also been asked to work Monday and Thursday for the next three weeks. Meanwhile, Rachael's going to a social skills course at the hospital, which is on Thursday mornings. Last Thursday I took her in, and spent 20 minutes in a traffic jam. Will try a little earlier next week...

Bronwyn's parents are returning this week. They've done thousands of miles all over England, Scotland and Wales. They're spending a few days in Singapore before returning home. Meanwhile we've managed to lose the bull, a couple of sheep and two lambs, and one of the older calves went missing under mysterious circumstances. We've also had the padlock on the gate go missing too. But Allan's rearranged several paddocks with a large digger, and done some major work on the farm. We've also got quite a horde of lambs in the paddock who spend a lot of time running around randomly in a pack. Fun to watch.

One last thing to sort out. Sigrid, if you're reading this, we've got a present for you. And no, I'm not going to wait until Christmas.

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Normality returning 
Bronwyn's got an interview next week for relieving work at a kindy. She's been on the list for an agency, but they haven't given her a single job yet so she's making more enquiries. Agency teachers cost more than independent teachers, so the centers tend to prefer to keep their own lists!

Allan decided he was going to do our driveway last week. So he brought a large digger in and scraped off all the mud (plus some of the flower bed). He then piled on several loads of mixed gravel. So now we have a nice wide driveway, but it'll take some time for all the gravel to bed in.

Lambs in the paddock. Quite a few this year already - Allen reckons they're all twins. We were planning for them to arrive once Janet and Ross return home in a couple of weeks, but I think the bad weather made them come early. Sheep seem to like lambing in bas weather. Not sure what advantage that gives them!

Four loads of washing this weekend, and two hours tidying the lounge. Sarah is doing her best to untidy it again, but hopefully I can keep ahead somehow. They're back to school next week, so they'll have less energy to use back at home.

Two funding applications (for the school youth worker) sent off last week. If they both come through I can probably go back to sleep for six months. Gavin, our youth pastor, keeps sending me more things to look at!

Nice weather today. I've got more trees to plant. And hundreds of seedlings in the back room. I think I'll sleep well tonight!

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Not quite to plan 
Allan came round with a digger to do our driveway. He's scraped all the topsoil off that has built up over the years. I didn't realise we had such a wide driveway - we've had a paddock on top of it for all the time I've been here. He's also been digging out all the drains. So now we have 100 metres of building site between the house and the road. Hopefully I can get off to work tomorrow!

Got my car stuck trying to negotiate the mud. Bronwyn had to tow it out. Then I managed to lock my keys in the car yesterday. Ah yes, and our mail server died on Thursday, and locked me out of thousands of emails. Hopefully the guys can restore that one!

And Sigrid has decided to leave us to stay with another family. It was all rather sudden, and I won't say too much here. We all miss her.

This weekend was also the national brass band contest. I got to see most of the street march (while waiting for Bronwyn to deliver my car keys). There was one Australian band who got to the final corner and began doing what looked like a square dance. They went round and round for a minute or two with the next band getting closer and closer. Not sure what they were doing! We had the contest in the afternoon, and there were some very good bands, and it was only the D grade. We came a rather close fourth.

I just hope next week goes more smoothly!

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