Christmas chaos 
I've had another busy weekend, hence the lack of entries last week. I took the Friday off and managed to plant most of the trees. On Saturday I went up to visit the youth camp, and stayed until midnight.

The morning was easy enough; everyone was messing about on the sea or up the hillside doing target shooting. It's a very shallow beach; it's more or less possible to walk right across the harbour at low tide. In the afternoon we went up into the hills for the main activity. This was a five mile course, involving blindfolds, tyres, sliding down hillsides and trudging through swamps. One girl had an asthma attack, so I ended up walking her back. "Just go along that track, and round the beach" they said. The track was fine, but when we tried to cross the beach, we ended up in deep mud. It took a little cooperation to get unstuck. We continued to trudge on as the teams passed us one by one.

After a big meal, and an evening sermon, we gathered for the evening activity. This was located in a long narrow valley above the campsite. The game followed the usual pattern of catching your opponent's flag, but had numerous additional rules that left us rather confused. As predicted, it descended into chaos for an hour or so until someone announced that we'd won. Not sure how - we couldn't see a thing!

Finally, we managed to light the camp fire (which by now was in danger of getting flooded by the tide) and sat down exhausted. Except for a short interlude when someone produced a sackful of sawdust and started throwing it into the fire. It made quite an impressive flash when thrown right!

On Sunday, I set off early because I was running the computer at church. I had to leave early, since I was due to play in the central parade in Auckland. Got home at 3pm, and slept the rest of the afternoon!

We've now got a lamb, which was abandoned by his mother. I'm not surprised - he appears to be rather slow, and we nearly lost him from dehydration a couple of times because he didn't know how to feed. But he's managed to learn, and was feeding quite well today. Bronwyn has named him Ralph, and has taken him into work twice. She's been doing a lot of 'nature' programmes recently. Today, she went to work with several tree branches in the back.

Managed to plant the last of the trees. Something has been pulling up the trees - probably one of the larger birds near the lake. I've been going round checking them and watering. So far we've lost two, but they look as if they were dead to start with. It's been very hot and humid today, and we're all finding it hard to get anything done. I'm hoping for some rain next week; it'll make my job a lot easier!

Late news: the lamb died yesterday, probably of pneumonia. We buried it at the back of the garden under some wild flowers. (Parts of our garden are looking like a hay paddock due to not having the time to mow the lawn.) Rachael was quite OK about it; I think she had accepted that it might not live long.

Still in a battle to stop the trees getting uprooted. I suspect it's a rabbit...

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