This could be it 
Martin and Bina arrived last week. Bina has found a short term job, and meanwhile Martin has done a lot of work tidying the house. Indeed, I actually got as far as cleaning the windows yesterday. It's amazing how much dirt came off the front window. I do apologise to the family of spiders that have called that window home for countless generations. Still quite a few windows to go, but at least we can see out of the ones I've done.

M&B are off to the Coromandel this weekend. They've spent a few weeks touring the south island, and are now doing the north island. I believe they'll find a pub somewhere to watch the rugby final. I'm guessing the Coromandel will be quiet tonight, since most Aucklanders will be glued to a TV somewhere!

I did like that final try by the Welsh. I bet they're pleased with that, even if they didn't win. It's going to be mayhem if the All Blacks win tonight.

It's quite warm now. Took the girls out to the beach (well, a tidal stream) and it was suprisingly warm. We had a lot of rain last week, so the farm is looking very green. Bronwyn's been out on the mower. To be honest, I'd be happy with a jungle or a carefully tethered goat. But we're slowly filling the garden with trees, so we'll get there eventually!

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Owl, zebra and a Smurf 
Bronwyn took the girls to a photo shoot this morning. A costume company wanted some children to model the costumes, and the photographer knows us well, so he called us. Rachael dressed up as a hippy, a couple of medaevil women, an owl and a smurf. Sarah did a zebra and Tinkerbell. Plus both did fairies. Sounds like a fun morning.

We'll probably have a couple to stay with us for a few weeks to help out after Bronwyn has the operation. We put up an advert on a website, and got a phone call last week. They'll help us out in return for accommodation on their grand tour of Earth.

Brilliant sunshine here. We've had a lot of rain, and everything looks really green. Rachael wants to go to the beach!

More rugby, but only one week to go. This evening's game is going to be interesting...

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I've come down with another bacterial infection. Currently pumped up on steroids and antibiotics. Managed to get back to work on Thursday, but didn't do a lot. I'm now on the Watchdog contract, and they pay monthly in arrears, which means I had three weeks with no pay. Fortunately I had about 7 weeks hoilday owing, so I've cashed up three weeks to keep us going this month!

Bronwyn's birthday went well. We had quite a few friends, neighbours and relatives around, and plenty of presents! I bought her some little bookshelves - six of them. They're lined up by Bronwyn's bed. Plus some book tokens of course. Many thanks to every one who turned up!

Still eating the cakes...

Rachael's got her uniform for school next year. It's second hand and a bit faded, but it'll do for now. She's also got her certificates for the exams she went into earlier in the year - she did Writing and Spelling, and came out very well again. Sarah is managing to read slowly. She'll get there eventually.

It's now warmer, and the grass is growing. We managed to get the lawnmower going again after jump starting it a few times!

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Don't feel well... 
Don't know where all that fudge went. We've got about six lumps left out of 250.

Sarah's room is tidy. Took a while. I'm tired, and I don't feel well. Not sure if they're related. Bronwyn's been really quite ill with a cough, asthma and now a headache and fever. One of my fingers has swollen up. Sarah and Rachael have both had a virus and a skin rash. But they're both bouncing around the house now, so they'll be back to school tomorrow.

Bronwyn phoned me at work last Friday, and decided I sounded a bit stressed, so she came in and brought some drinks and nibbles. Lots. So the entire company had a bit of a party. They usually crack open the beers on Friday afternoon too, so it was well timed. (The police are usually around somewhere on Fridays at 5pm too...)

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Rugby mad. 
At work on Monday, we had a draw to work out which team we would each support. They'd already put me down for England, but I protested that I wanted to support Romania, since my Romanian colleague Daniel wasn't interested in rugby. So they put me in the draw anyway, and I got New Zealand. I currently have an All Blacks scarf, an old English flag from 8 years ago, and Bronwyn managed to find a Romanian flag in the $2 shop. Watched Ireland beat Australia last night. Bronwyn was over the moon. You see, she supports the All Blacks, and any team that can beat the Wallabies...

Spent a while sorting out the accounts for the band. I'm now allowed to sign cheques, but of course I need to get two signatures, so I still have to go and find someone else to sign them too. It also means that internet and telephone banking is not possible. So it currently feels very much like the 1980s. I'm juggling cheque books, envelopes, stamps, and a ring binder of receipts. We've just had a grant in to build a store room. This is just as well, because I had a queue of people wanting money last week!

Bronwyn only did one day at work last week. But it was a very long day, and they wanted her to work all week at the same place. They seem to have a lot of staff relievers at this particular center!

Preparations are under way for Bronwyn's birthday. Still no clue about the operation, so we're planning an afternoon at her parent's house. I've bought some presents...

Rachael is still raising money for her trip to the Jamboree next year. I made a huge batch of fudge last night (it took 1.6kg of sugar!) and they've been selling it this afternoon, plus some cupcakes. Sold lots - I hear Rachael's hit the $200 mark! Not sure if it was wise making that much fudge in one go though - I had to be very careful otherwise it would have boiled over, and I used a very big pot. Still tastes good though.

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