Fun and games 
It's getting warmer. Still cold, but not quite frosty. But we had some thick fog last week. Yesterday, I tried to start my car. I tried the usual trick of rolling it down the hill. Unfortunately I'd left it facing the wrong way, and had to do a bump start, in reverse, in thick fog, with a very cold and wet engine. It didn't work.

I tried jump starting from Bronwyn's car. Didn't work either. So I took Bronwyn's car, Bronwyn took her mum's (Janet) car and her mum took Bronwyn's dad's (Ross) car. Bronwyn's dad took the ute (the pick up truck). Don't know why they need two cars AND the ute, but it comes in handy sometimes.

There was an accident on the motorway to the north, and all traffic was routed west to The Other Road, on the opposite coast. Unfortunately, this was the road I went home on after work. I got stuck in a huge tailback, and got home ten minutes after Rachael arrived.

Rachael had set off towards Bronwyn's parents, but there were horses in the paddock, so she took a route way up the top of the hill. Meanwhile, I checked the house, and phoned Janet. Apparently Ross had been over at the sheep shed, so I checked there, and Bronwyn's sister Claire's house. On returning, Janet rang, and decided to walk along the route towards me. I hunted round the house (and started the car, which worked first time without a jump start). Meanwhile, Rachael had reached Janet's house (from the back). Janet arrived at our house. After more searching of the nearby area, Ross arrived with Rachael, after spotting her on the road. Rach had started walking back along the road.

We're going to give her a spare key. Today, Bronwyn went off with the girls, and I had a quiet few hours. Went to see Ross building a new fence near the house. He wants to get it classified as wetland, which grants him another title. So more trees. And flax, etc. He's fenced off a good acre this time. I have quite a few little trees growing, but they're still very small.

Bronwyn returned with some petrol for the lawnmower. I went out to use it, but the lawnmower had vanished. I didn't call the police, because I found some tracks leading off towards Claire's house...

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A busy weekend 
It's been wet and windy today. I had a haircut in the morning. The hairdresser said she was planning to go fishing this afternoon. Not sure how she got on, but she was going to the east coast, and the thought that would be fine because it was a north wester. I'm just glad I stayed indoors.

Spent most of the day tidying up the house. Managed to clear the space between the sofa and the TV. Just need to keep it clear until the pot luck dinner on Wednesday. Sorted out two loads of washing, another two on the rack drying, one in the machine and at least another load in the basket. Hope it's sunny tomorrow

Bronwyn's still planning to go to Singapore in October, but hasn't been able to work out how many days she can take off work. So we haven't made any definite plans yet. I'd like to go back to England at some point, but not sure which point!

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Obviously my tidy up of the art cupboard was not without its drawbacks. Sarah found a new uncharted domain, and started painting the carpet in her room. Unfortunately she chose glass paint, which is like coloured glue. I tried varnish remover, which got most of the sticky stuff off, but merged the colour into a darkened splodge. Later in the week, she found some embossing powder, and sprinkled that on the carpet too. Plus some cornflour which I recently found stashed behind the sofa. I understand the forthcoming referendum on smacking is hotly contested. Fortunately it was only a scrap of leftover carpet from Bronwyn's brother. However, I'm leaving it in her room for now as a reminder of what she did...

At work, we're planning to release an open source version of our software. The idea is that schools can download it for free, and set it up themselves. It will be a much cut down version, aimed at allowing parents to view their child's data online. The Ministry of Education are sponsoring us to do it. Before we can split off the version, we need to do a major tidy up of the existing software. It's riddled with old stuff from the very beginnings, as well as being somewhat disorganised since it's had bits added by different people over the years. So I spent most of Friday and a large chunk of Saturday setting up a new version, copying in files into a better structure, and linking it all together. So far I've made the login screen work, and I think I've logged in, although it's hard to tell since I just get an error when it tries to show the home page. But I'll get there eventually. The rearrangement needs to be done as quickly as possible, so that the others aren't held up on the various parts they're working on.

In two weeks, the home group is going to have a "pot luck" dinner at our house. It's the same as a "bring a plate" dinner in England, although it's aimed at a proper meal, not party food. However, the house is in dire need of tidying up, so I've spent several hours today doing battle with toys, hair clips, paper, books, blankets, dirty cups and dirty underwear. A pile of washing needs sorting. Bronwyn has bought a throw for the sofa, and some cushions. It's a futile exercise I know, but it has to be done.

Looks like I'm on the committee for the band again. However, the meetings are on a Tuesday, which is Bronwyn's home group. So I've told them I might have to bring the children. Haven't heard back yet...

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Back home 
Bronwyn's parents have returned from their grand tour of England, and managed to meet up with quite a few people on the way. Claire is organising an afternoon tea, in the longstanding Kerr-Taylor tradition, to welcome everyone back.

The church youth group has also returned from a missions trip to Vanuatu, and a number appeared in church this morning carrying sleeping bags. Not sure how that was related.

I had a busy week at work trying to finish the latest build of the software. We provide an Online Learning Environment for schools, i.e. a website, where students and teachers can log in, search for information, and do homework. After a packed week trying to finish everything, we managed to get it up and working on Friday. My boss is planning to buy us lunch at some point.

Spent all of yesterday afternoon tidying the art cupboard. I found a number of ice cream tubs, and spent hours picking through the stuff, sorting paints, glue, fabric, paper, glitter, small furry things and all sorts of stuff. Bronwyn is a magnet for art materials. Now we have space for more...

It's been raining again. Bronwyn was going to help with the sheep this morning, but the ground is like mush. At least it's not freezing this week.

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Wet and windy 
Quite a storm last night. There are still large puddles on the drive, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to start the car tomorrow.

The car still moves, but the engine is wearing out, and the outer CV joints rattle whenever you turn a corner. I've been watching the fuel consumption carefully, and the water level doesn't seem to be moving much. But it's probably time to change the CV joints. And the tyres won't survive the next warrant test. Other than that, there's not a lot wrong with it.

Spent an hour or two clearing out Bronwyn's car. I think her model comes with a black hole as standard, because it rapidly fills with rubbish of every description. Filled half a rubbish sack with lollypop sticks, receipts, bits of paper, bottle tops, crisp packets and all sorts of other things. Put quite a few bottles in the recycling bin. Then we went inside with buckets of soapy water and cleaned a lot of sedimentary dust, sticky lollipops and un-nameable debris. Bronwyn's parents are coming home on Tuesday after three months away, and Bronwyn is going to pick them up.

Bronwyn's still suffering from the after effects of the flu. Her legs are aching quite a bit, and she finds it difficult walking. The nurse said it was because she'd gone straight back to work after getting the flu. Hopefully she'll be better by next week.

The children are fine. Doesn't seem to have affected them!

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