Chaos as usual 
Missed the brass band rehearsal to got to the youth trust committee meeting. Next Tuesday I'm missing the church meeting to go to the brass band committee. Sounds fair. This Tuesday I'll be off at a training session for the trust. Wednesday is our church home group, Monday is the brass band.

Today I trained another person to run the projector. Next week I'll be on trombone, followed by more trombone at the central auckland Santa parade. The week after, I've got a third person to train, and then the week after it's the childrens' production.

Rachael had a bit of a meltdown this morning. She had been given the chance to read her own poem in the production. This was fine until another girl practiced her song, at which point Rachael wanted to sing instead, and got all upset when nobody let her. She seems OK about it now, but I'd better encourage her to write that poem.

Saturday morning was our first Santa parade, but fortunately we were just providing background music, sitting nearby. Just as well, because the parade got stuck by doubling back on itself, and took a while to move.

Bronwyn's had a quiet and relaxing weekend, and seems to be a lot better for it. Unfortunately I picked this weekend to have a nasty bout of stomach bug that left me rather tired. Managed it somehow. I had to take the girls with me both days, which meant quite an early start. I think they're a little tired, but as usual not admitting it!

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Unplanned off-roading 
Right hand bend. Bit of gravel. Steer into it. Easy. Oops. Bit too much. Steer right. Good. No, left. Left. LEFT!

The car ignored me, and I ended up parked neatly on a grassy bank. Fortunately the wheels were pointing left, otherwise I would have ended up on the downhill cross country. The car still worked, but one wheel was off the ground, so I had to flag down a couple of people who pushed it back onto the road, and then advised me to buy a Lotto ticket. I didn't buy a ticket, but I did continue rather carefully. Once at work, I confidently slammed my phone in the car door.

Well, the car is fine, but squeaks a little at low speed, so I might have knocked something slightly. The mobile works, but the display is broken. I've dug out our old phone, and transferred the number onto that one. Plus I've sorted out a tax number for Sarah so that her savings are on the right tax rate. This required two passports, a driving licence and a birth certificate. I also attempted to sort out Bronwyn's savings, and attempted to find someone qualified to sign it, but none of them work on Saturdays. Not even the local police!

Bronwyn has got her CV ready, and has a list of places to send it to. She's been struggling with depression lately, which is understandable considering all that's happened. She's booked in next weekend for a short break at a respite home.

Meanwhile, the brass band is getting into the silly season. We've had a number of extra requests for playouts. With three different bands (junior, senior and vintage) it's easier to accommodate them, but it's still going to be busy.

Meanwhile, I've accepted the post of funding officer for the youth worker project at the local secondary school. So I'll be going to the trustee meeting tomorrow (instead of band), and there'll be a training day in a week or so.

Meanwhile, at work we're installing an open source version of our software in three different schools around the country. The government has paid us to create a free version, and also to install it as a trial. So I thought I'd test things out on Friday to make sure it worked. Good idea. There were lots of bugs due to last minute changes, and there are probably plenty more lurking in there. I might end up accompanying our support person nest week as he tries to get things working.

Three new volunteers (plus Rachael) to do the computer at church. I trained up one today, who did really well. Another next week. Plus one for the sound desk. It was busy this morning!

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A nine year old girl 
We're a bit short for people to run the projector at church, so this week Rachael did it. I gave her a quick lesson on Thursday night, and got her set up this morning. She did really well. I made the announcement that with up to 100 adults there, the show was being run from the back by a nine year old girl. We've now got a couple of volunteers wanting to learn, which is going to make things a lot easier. Apparently two guitarists have come out of hibernation too, now that summer is on the way.

Thanks Dave, and others who were shocked by Bronwyn losing her job. She's been writing things down, in case we bother to take the matter further, but for now it's probably best to get some sense of normality and get her on the list for part time relief work. I'll keep you posted.

Warm and sunny here. I've decided to stop planting trees and instead look after the ones we've got, and collect seeds for next year. So far the pukekos (purple swamp hens) have only uprooted a couple. I'm working on the basis that I can plant more than they can uproot.

We lost two lambs this week and gained a sheep. It looks as if two lambs were abandoned; they were quite well grown but dehydrated, and they didn't last long. However, a muddy brown sheep appeared in the drive one day. I thought it had been rolling in something, but apparently it's meant to look like that. It had escaped from over the road. We'll keep it in out paddock until it's time to take the sheep to the yards. If it doesn't escape back first.

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Endings and beginnings 
Bronwyn got dismissed for walking out. They were quite adamant about it, and ignored the reasons for it. We had a neighbour support us, for which we're very grateful. I probably best not say too much at this stage. Bronwyn's work has now lost 5 people in 2 months, and perhaps it's all for the best.

Our old plum tree collapsed this week. It's been there for years, and had begun to sprout again and grow plums, but the trunk was completely rotten; it just took a strong breeze from the wrong direction.

I took a few cuttings, and some have showed signs of rooting. Bronwyn spent a lot of Saturday weeding the front of the house, and planting flowers. She also bought a tennis pole, and she and Rachael have had great fun attempting to hit each other with the ball as it swings round. Somehow I think Bronwyn seems freer than she has for a long time. She enjoyed it immensely.

We had Bronwyn's old friend Tyrone and his partner and baby visit this afternoon. I usually meet Tyrone once a year, at 3am, in the Parachute festival. The conversation doesn't last long, because there's usually a queue behind him. So it was great to catch up. Sarah obviously loved holding the baby.

I've been out tree planting as usual. 20 yesterday. But it's now quite warm and dry, so probably time to take it easy until it's time to collect seeds.

I'm on the roster twice at church next week. Either:
- I get someone else to man the computer
- I move the computer on stage next to the trombone
- I squeeze each song onto a single screen, and train Rachael to switch them
- I write the lot out on a flip chart and do it like the old daya

I think I might go for option 3. We've only got 2 people willing to run the computer, and people need to be aware that there's 120 adults sitting doing nothing, and a nine year old girl running the show at the back...

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MOTAT, bamboo, bananas and curry paste 
Rachael's friend Stephanie had a sleepover in the tent last night, and today we all went to the museum of transport and technology (MOTAT). It's quite a big place, and we didn't get to see all of it. Steam engines, the tram, the aeroplanes, the science play areas, the model railway, and numerous other exhibits. I think a lot of it was lost on the girls, but they had great fun on the assault course! Glad we missed most of the rain. The tent will have to wait outside for another day or two.

When I close my eyes, I see bamboo. There's a stand of it on the roadside, and I've been cutting stakes to mark the trees I planted last year. Put seventy in so far, and I keep finding more little trees struggling under the grass. There's a hosepipe out there somewhere too, but I'll have to resort to archaeological techniques in order to find it.

Bronwyn got shouted at for borrowing two eggs on Friday. They had some old bananas, and she wanted to make banana cake. Apparently she should have planned out the activity as part of the two weekly planning cycle. Except that nobody had planned for old bananas. She walked out in tears.

I had some sandwiches yesterday. I used some cheese, and some leftover bratwurst sausages. I looked about for something else and found the curry paste. So I had cheese, bratwurst and curry paste. Not too bad, except that the curry obviously has some sort of anaesthetic in it, and parts of my mouth have gone numb!

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