Sorry, it's been nearly a month since the last update. Hadn't realised it had been so long. There's been quite a bit happening!

My brother Nick read out my comments at the funeral, and I understand it all went well. He met my uncle for the first time (I met him last time I went to England, and only because I deliberately tracked him down). There were quite a few from Dad's Big Band there, plus a few others. I had thought that Nick was playing trombone at the funeral, and felt that I should have been there, but I understand it was Tommy Dawcey on CD!

Yesterday was the last day for the two people who were made redundant. Both have accepted it quite well. One is looking forward to being a mum again, and the other is looking for other programming and contract jobs. He may end up being brought back on contract to us, since we've managed to gain quite a lot of work since the problems earlier in the year. We've done a lot of billable work, so although it's been busy, it's been very productive, and we've had no major issues for once. But our technical manager will also be leaving later in the year, and some other staff are considering leaving, so it could be rather quiet there in a few months. I had considered leaving too, but apart from the workload it's been a good place to work, and I don't have to fight any traffic. Which is unusual when you're so close to Auckland.

Bronwyn's friend from Singapore will be arriving tomorrow. We thought she was arriving today, but we still had her old itinerary. So it'll be another trip to the airport tomorrow. But we're planning a trip to Rotorua next weekend, and Bronwyn is taking her on several trips locally. So it'll be a nice break. I've reserved a few days holiday for it.

I'm reserving quite a few more for the trip to England. I'll be going for 5 full weeks, from 18th July to 20th August. We managed to find a reasonable price on the internet, lower than anything the travel agents could offer. I'm going to be spending most of the time in Oxfordshire to help out Mum, but I'm planning at least one weekend up in Coventry, and another in the isle of Wight if I can. Mum has planned a few jobs for me. I'll be helping her paint the house, and give her some driving lessons. She's got a licence, but hasn't driven for so long that she completely lacks confidence. So we'll probably do some laps of an empty car park first, just to get the hang of it...

The Auckland Brass contest went quite smoothly, with one or two mistakes, but we were competing against three bands in the grade above us, and obviously they were playing better this time! We had numerous soloists playing, and swamped the solo contest. The national contest is on Friday and Saturday this week. Friday will be the formal indoor contest, and Saturday will be the street march. We had a rehearsal today, and it's jolly hard work marching, playing, and following orders at the same time. The march doesn't last long, but you have to concentrate totally for five to ten minutes, and it has been known for people to collapse, especially in hot weather. Fortunately we won't have that problem. It's mid winter. Let's hope it's dry...


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