The Arrival 
My mum arrives next weekend. It's her first time outside Europe. And we've been attempting to tidy the house. We've filled three sacks full of assorted junk. Bronwyn spent ages tidying Sarah's room and sorting out her clothes and toys. I've vacuumed places that haven't seen daylight for years.

We've planned a trip up north camping, a weekend down in Queenstown, and another trip to Rotorua. Between those three, that covers a large chunk of New Zealand. But most of the time she'll be here on the farm.

It's been warm and humid. Allan's grown sweetcorn again, and he's had the sprinklers going most evenings. I've got carrots, beans and lettuce coming on nicely, but I didn't bother with all the rest this year.

Erica's off in Chins for a few weeks to see her family and her boyfriend. She left her car on the farm for safekeeping, so we'll have to drive back down again to pick her up. Meanwhile, I'm still attempting to learn Chinese. It's a completely different mode of language - you can't tell how to pronounce the characters, and the grammar is quite different. But it's not quite as scary as it used to be...

Spent most of the last few days working. People find that odd here. Everybody else goes on holiday at Christmas, and usually end up with flash flooding and overcrowded campsites. We wait for a few weeks...

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