Paint 
The spare room is 90% finished. Bronwyn wants to do the corridor too. We've been spending every spare moment doing bits this week. Bronwyn still doesn't trust her foot, so I've had to do the bits up the top.

She pointed out that there's only one power socket in the room; an ancient one that might be over 50 years old, and in a most awkward place. So we could end up getting our electrician in, plus the plasterer, and more paint...

Had a peculiar week at work. We've move into our new office in Orewa, which is just up the coast from where we were, and closer to the beach. On Wednesday the programmers had a day discussing how things are going in the future, which started in a cafe, then another cafe, then a picnic table by the beach, then a Japanese restaurant, and finally beck to the new office with chocolates, crisps, beer and coke. Must do that more often. Yesterday we did the final move, and spent ages trying to wire up the phones and computers.

It's a smaller office, and we're going to struggle to fit everything into the tiny kitchen. But it should cost less than the previous one. We're also trying to stop using a couple of huge computers that someone leased several years ago, and have been costing us thousands ever since. We can buy a pretty decent server for their monthly leasing fee now, so it's stupid not to.

It's been warm and sunny. Summer appears to have come early. But it's still pretty cold further south.

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Lawnmower broken, bank account empty... 
...but at least it's sunny.

I think I stretched the belt on the lawnmower, when it hit some sticks in the long grass. It falls off again after a couple of seconds. Perhaps I'll have a nature garden this year. Or a hay paddock.

We've made a start on painting the spare room. It's pink. But it's a *man's* pink. Well, one wall is, anyway. The rest is going to be a more girly shade once we get more paint.

We're not planning on a holiday this week, although I took a day off anyway and made a dent in the layers of debris around the house. It's getting into the silly season. Christmas parades, carolling and summer camps. Hopefully I'll survive until boxing day. It gets easier then.

We've had the lambing season, now it's the calving season. A few years ago we had a calf called Spotty. She's now had a calf herself, also with the trademark spot in the forehead. I thought of the name "Son of Spotty", but Bronwyn's dad decided to call him Dick, as in Spotted Dick. (It's an English currant pudding, which is largely unknown over here. Just don't shout the name too loudly!)

We've also identified this year's Houdini lambs, named after the great escape artist. It must be some genetic trait; we get them every year. They've found holes in just about every fence, and they use them freely. I'm not sure if there's a market for a Houdini gene...

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Back to normal 
Cleared the spare room, bagged up loads of old clothes, put quite a bit in the loft. Now we can look at decorating, but it's nice to have one room in the house that looks tidy. Meanwhile Rachael's friend Lissa stayed overnight on Friday. They decided to set up camp in the old water tank. When I was young, I would have cut up some plastic sacks to stop the leaks, and camouflaged it with branches. Rachael? No. She cleaned and dried it out with numerous towels, and then used a nice duvet as bedding and an umbrella for the hole in the roof. So we had quite a lot of washing to do on Saturday.

We're hoping to get away for a few days in the school holidays. Might get as far as the ski fields, although none of us can ski. It was raining last time. I'd forgotten what rain is like when it's a fraction of a degree above zero!

It's been very windy and wet. I attempted to mow the lawn, but ended up ploughing it instead. There were several roofs collapsed with the snow in the far south. Here, we just get cold and wet. But today is sunny at last. Rachael wants me to try the mower again, but I think I'll give it another day...

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Peace at last 
It went from panic mode to bleary eyed insanity last week. But the conference was a success. Our stuff worked almost perfectly. But the wireless network was overloaded with nearly two hundred teachers on laptops, plus quite a few students who spotted the free internet access around the school. They had to set up a second wireless range to give access to everyone. I suspect you could have microwaved your dinner in the server room if you left it next to the wireless access point.

Hopefully this marks the end of our own wireless saga. I bought a wireless ADSL router off an auction site, and got it all set up and working. But it peacefully passed away in the night, and not even the LEDs on the front work now. So I bought another. It arrived, brand new, and entirely in Chinese. After asking around, and making use of Google's translator, I've got it set up. If you're reading this, it's still working...

It was International Sunday at church, and loads of people had things to share about their country, plus plenty of food afterwards. I was running the computer. Fortunately the youth pastor helped me out as we swapped countless USB drives and got everybody's presentations and music ready. Plus quite a few flags.

I've got a couple of days off to recover. It's going to be great, providing the weather holds out. It's been pretty windy, and a number of places have lost power or phone. But it's getting warm again, and Rachael wants to go bike riding. Hope neither of us fall off in the wind!

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Det er kaos som vanlig 
Rachael tidied her room yesterday. I ought to take a picture to record the historic event. All I did was ask her to put her clothes back in the drawer. Now, if only we can get Sarah to put things away...

Both girls had the flu last week. Sarah missed her special performance at school, but Rachael made it for hers on Wednesday. She came back even more bouncing than usual, and didn't get to sleep until really late. Paid for it the next morning!

We've had some of the AFS (American Field Service) coordinators to visit us yesterday, and sort out the paperwork. We've picked a Norwegian student who lives about 50km north east of Trondheim. There's nothing else there. Just Trondheim. She wanted a place that wasn't "too rural". I think we qualify on that. I can see the Auckland Sky Tower from the top of the hill.

We're in the final preparations for the conference at work. It'll be in a local grammar school again, with over 250 teachers from all over the country. We've been struggling to get the final bugs sorted so we can have something to show off. However, I think we probably need to hold off on that next week, because there's always that temptation to slip in another bit and create another bug...

The new band room is due to be moved in October. I've always marvelled about the way Kiwis move house... literally. It's finally going to be installed on the existing foundations, and the old building moved round the corner for the Pony Club to use. We've also got two fireworks concerts, at least 4 Santa parades, and two Bavarian nights. Plus carolling and the rest. So it'll be busy. Apparently our conductor threw a wobbly this week, when people wouldn't stop talking and weren't listening. Pity I missed it. I arrived late after completely forgetting it was Friday, when Bronwyn said the immortal words "Aren't you going to band?"

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