Potatoes and computers 
Got a second hand computer last week. Our old computer really isn't up to the sort of software that's out these days. When someone sends us a nudge on MSN, the window is supposed to wobble. On our old computer it jumps randomly every few seconds.

Unfortunately the new computer has a fault on it, and I couldn't get it on the internet. Eventually I swapped a network card from the old computer and installed Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes with a sticker entitled "Linux for human beings" - it's supposed to be accessible to ordinary people. So hopefully Bronwyn can work out where everything is.

Bronwyn was away for a weekend break again, and I deciided to cook some potatoes. I pulled out the sack, and found another behind it. I decided to dispose of them, and found another sack behind it, only with a smelly liquid leaking from it. I now have a clean empty cupboard and some extra compost.

Rachael's friend Stephanie came for the day yesterday, and had a wonderful time playing out in the farm and the garden. Rachael's a bit tired today!

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Still tired 
I'm not sure how long it took to get over the jet lag. I almost immediately caught a cold, and was weak and feverish for about a week. I'm still not quite right. Last Sunday I suddenly realised I was supposed to be manning the computer at church. I rushed in just as it was starting, but someone else had taken my place. Doubt if I was in a fit state to do it anyway! I managed to get through the brass band practice OK, although one ear is full of wax again, and it was a little tricky hearing properly. My left ear has a kink in the outer section which traps wax on a regular basis. It was only a couple of months since it was last done!

Work is progressing in random lurches. Our priorities shift week by week, and it's hard to plan anything. But we're getting there slowly. Two new people have joined, one programmer and another doing telemarketing. Through all this we've managed to highlight the advantage of a small business; we may not have the resources to respond to everything immediately, but at least we can still provide the personal service that people really appreciate. NZ Telecom fell over on that one last week. They switched over everybody's email. They failed to tell everyone, they disconnected a large chunk of their customers, and they routed all the support calls to somewhere in south east asia. Not a good move.

Had a barn dance last night. My first since I was a teenager. It was great fun and I quickly got back into it. Think I overdid it though! It was the 21st birthday of a good friend of ours, so we also got the speeches, the embarrassing photos and videos, and the carefully preserved set of baby teeth...

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Paint and Packaging 
Did a bit more painting this week, and it's beginning to look like it was meant to be there, rather than rather thin and patchy. Mum has left a section of pebbledash for her brother to paint.

My brother and his family were up in Warwick for the Baptist convention, and bought me a day pass, so I went up for the day and had a really good time with them and his friends. Was so impressed by one of the morning talks that I hung around until gone 10pm waiting for them to copy a CD of it for me. It was about unity, and I'm going to have to listen to it several times in order to get everything out of it.

Spent the last day or two packing up the musical keyboard, and hunting through Dad's clothes. Hope I haven't exceeded the weight limit too much. I had to leave our big suitcase behind, and swap it for a smaller lightweight one of Mum's.

If you're reading this, and you're a man with medium to large chest, DON'T EVER BUY ANOTHER SHIRT. Or indeed socks and handkerchieves. Just drop me a line, and I'll ask Mum to pack one up for you. I'm a small chest, but found a few nice ones that weren't too big.

Scavenged behind the local TV shop looking for bits of packaging material. I now have the keyboard wrapped in polysyrene and a sheet of platic, with yards of tape. I had to leave the stand behind because it was large and awkward. But it might follow on with the next person to come this way.

Still haven't got Mum behind the steering wheel!

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The curse of the pebble dash 
Plenty of painting this week. The builders covered a small section with pebble dash, but it's taken us three full days to paint it, and there are still large sections that need doing. The rest of the house is a 'Tyrolean finish', which is less bumpy, and easier to paint. Still plenty to do though, and I've had a busy week.

Went back to Coventry yesterday to catch up with a few people, and had a long day in the sun with endless cups of tea and plenty of driving. Rather tired. But worth the trip. Now I'm going to focus on getting Mum sorted before I go. Still haven't got her behind that steering wheel...

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Here, there and everywhere 
Spent a quiet week catching up on work, and a Saturday helping renovate the house. Nearly sandpapered my thumb raw, and then spent another hour or two filling up holes with cement. My hands are nice and pink.

Went up to Coventry on Sunday morning, and spent a day and a bit driving all over Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton trying to catch up with everyone. The church was packed in the morning. I remember the evening used to be the main meeting, and the morning was (relatively) quiet and thoughtful. Not any more. There are now two meetings in the morning. A large number of Africans, Indians and orientals have joined, and all turn up for the second meeting, and they're planning to build a larger hall on the car park. In the afternoon, there are three meetings for the Ethiopians, the French Africans and the Indians. Non stop.

Did a bit of shopping this morning, drove home, and did a half day's work. Everybody wants me to go back up and visit again, but I won't manage all of them. Some of them need to come and visit me for once!

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