Rachael's friends have been here overnight. The lounge is full of mattresses and sleeping bags, and assorted pillows and toys. Bronwyn made a big butterfly cake with three different shades of purple icing. Currently they're all watching a Barbie movie. Not sure how much sleep they had last night. I've been clearing up chocolate and spilt drinks. Bronwyn ended up in Sarah's bed last night. I woke up to find Sarah instead. Three more hours, then they all go home. Except Rachael and Sarah of course.

Didn't go to the zoo, but I booked in for next week. It's been cold this weekend, and still a lot of rain. There's been heavy snow further south, but still no frost.

The girls have just gone off to play mini-golf. Except it's in the dark. They've all been told to wear something white because there will be ultra-violet lamps.

Stop-Press... Rachael loved it. So did Emily, the quiet little 7 year old. But big brash Moana didn't even want to go in...

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Sarah was 4 on Thursday. Bronwyn made a cake with a big rainbow, and sorted out some sugar drops into different colours to match. Today there's a party. Next week there will be another party for Rachael, who will be 9, and a sleepover. If Rachael can tidy her room, that is.

We've had quite a busy week. I've got band rehearsal on Monday nights, and my church home group on Wednesday nights. Bronwyn's group meets on Tuesday. She also had a staff meeting on Monday night, so both girls came to band with me for an hour or so. It all worked out in the end.

We've had a lot of rain, and there's mud everywhere. At least the tank's full.

Might go to the zoo next week. At Christmas, Bronwyn bought me a ticket to go behind the scenes with some of the animals. Bronwyn's mum also contributed to that. I still haven't used it yet. So with all the birthdays, we might all go, and make a day of it.

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Wet and windy 
We've got a large low pressure tight over New Zealand, and it's doing its best to stay put. Went over to Claire's for Neil's birthday party this afternoon. The girls went out to use the little heated pool. It all went well until they had to come back inside again and get dry. Haven't seen many trees down, although the winery has lost one next door.

Tidied the lounge yesterday. It took 4 hours, and I managed about two thirds of it. Then I went out on the farm for the afternoon to check that everything was OK. Later, I went under the house to fix back some of the polystyrene insulation. Today, I did very little. After all, it it's Sunday...

Bronwyn took her car into the mechanics because it made a noise when turning corners. Turned out her tyres were flat, and almost completely worn down. So two new tyres. At least they didn't go pop...

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Back to school 
Rachael went back to school this week. This has made it quieter in the house, at least until quarter past three. She was supposed to go to the After School Club on Thursday, but came home on the bus. Just as well that I'd decided to go home early!

Bronwyn is working four days a week from next week, which means I need to be back at home for when Rachael returns. Bronwyn's job is going well, and she seems to have no problem with the long hours. She also seems to be losing weight, or perhaps her trousers are gaining. It's all keeping her fit, which is just as well because the exercise bike is feeling lonely.

We're in the changeable season now. It's been alternately warm and cold. Today it's warm and sunny, but it'll probably be cold again tonight.

Played trombone in church this morning, and it went really well. I think the acoustic instruments are making a comeback for once - we also had saxaphone, piano and cello, plus three guitars. Rather too many microphones!

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A quiet week 
No brass band rehearsal this week or next. For once I find myself wondering what to do. But the lounge hasn't been tidied in a while, so the peace is probably an illusion.

ANZAC day went off smoothly despite the rather threatening clouds. However, we started early by accident. The navy sergeant behind us was barking orders and brought his troops to attention. At which point our drum major assumed they were ready to start, and led off the band. We arrived unannounced, and the maori welcoming team had to dash out of the building and hastily start singing. On the bright side, for the first time in years we arrived early at the second parade, and had time to park properly and assemble.

Bronwyn's parents have left, and the farm is now largely in our hands. Bronwyn is likely to be delivering hay in the coming months, and she's also planning to work 4 days a week instead of three. Hence I'm likely to be doing the hay too.

But for now it's quiet.

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