An eventful week 
I passed a policeman's hat. It was shortly after I passed a police car. I stopped. So did another car. We both walked towards it cautiously and stared at it. Then the other man announced himself as a retired police officer, so I let him pick it up. He was about to chase after the police car when it returned. I flagged it down, and the policeman set the lights flashing and pulled over. "Have you lost your hat?" I said. "Ah, thank you sir", he said, collected it and drove off.

Not sure how he managed to lose it. His driver's window was shut, and the hat had been on the far side of the road.

Managed to run into the clothes line this week. We have a length of fencing wire strung up on posts, and propped higher with some long sticks. Kiwi ingenuity; much better than the normal plastic variety. But I had taken down the props to let me mow underneath, and forgotten to put them back. Hence I ran into the wire. It hit the bridge of my nose, and I spun around and landed flat on my back. Pity nobody was there to watch; it must have looked quite spectacular. Now I have a slight red mark on my nose, but fortunately nothing else.

No planks or trees at all this weekend, although I did a bit more mowing and weeding. I'm trying to weed out the grass from the front steps, but it's too well rooted. So I've been pouring boiling water on it. Seems to work well - after a couple of days it shrivels up and comes out quite easily. Will take a few more kettle fulls to do it properly.

Bronwyn's birthday was this week, so I set up The Chocolate Fountain. You pour melted chocolate in the base, mixed with oil to thin it, and then turn it on so it gets pumped up the middle and runs down the outside. Very wasteful of chocolate, but a great hit with Rachael.

Bronwyn's also got her ears pierced, so she's recieved quite a few earrings. It's been a big step for her - for a very long time she was terrified (and that's not an excessive word) of needles and had to wear clip-on earrings at the wedding. But she went for it on her own accord, and now has some studs to wear until the holes settle down.

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The Salvation Army 
Spent about 7 hours at a joint concert in the central Salvation Army headquarters in Auckland. It was a joint concert between the brass band and the Salvation Army band. We had a rehearsal in the afternoon and a concert in the evening.

It was a really good concert. They had a very loud bass trombone, and I was directly in his line of fire. Quite impressive, but I think it took a while for my hearing to return afterwards. We played a few items each, and then three pieces to finish. And they were begging us for more afterwards!

One of the pieces was titled 'El Es El Senior'. I sat there trying to piece together my limited Spanish. They started playing a typical Spanish melody complete with castanets (well, woodblocks). Then they put the words up on the screen. I couldn't believe it. It was "He is the Lord (Send your power)". Really done well. I understand that band has been competing in the A grade, and they certainly deserved it.

Put more floorboards on the tree house this week. I think I've done enough for now - it's a lot more stable (and dry) in there now. Rachael and her friend have christened it the Cat Clubhouse, because her friend likes cats. Sarah isn't allowed.

Sarah got up really early, and I had to put her back in bed. Then the clocks went back an hour this weekend, so I'm rather tired at the moment!

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Planks 
With a pile of old floorboards from the old front deck, I made a new floor for the treehouse. Plus another one for the top level, and a few well placed planks to strengthen the old timber. It might not meet New Zealand building standards, but it's certainly going to last a few years yet. Might make use of a few nearby branches and have a balcony, but not this weekend...

We've had five baptisms this week, all from the youth group. Three on Wednesday and two on Sunday. They make quite a thing of it at out church, and it can take about half an hour per person. So it got split over two days. On the Sunday the church was packed, even after the children had left for the sunday school. Quite an occasion. I want to get a bit more involved with the youth group, so I might turn up this Wednesday too. I mentioned it to the youth leader, and he's invited me to help out at the summer camp. Not sure I can cope with all the activities, but I'm tempted. I'm also offering to rebuild the water slide if they can promise they'll pay is a visit.

No trees this week. Too busy with floorboards.

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Indescribable 
The youth group held an open meeting this week - the church was packed with about 150 teenagers (plus a row of token fossils). This was a follow on from a similar meeting last year, where we saw a video of a talk given in America. It was all about the greatness of God, and looking at the earth on comparison with some of the stars just inside our own galaxy. If the earth was a golf ball, the largest known star would be the height of Everest. They handed out some (toy) golf balls for us to ponder.

Planted more tree. Didn't buy these - they were ones that I had weeded from the in-laws garden nearly a year ago. Don't know if they've grown a lot, but they're quite slow growing anyway. So I've pretty much filled up the space allotted to me. Bronwyn's dad offered me another plot, except that this one's about half an acre, and will take quite a few more trees. So it could take me a while.

Looks like I'll be doing a lot of watering in summer!

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More trees 
I'm slowly becoming myself again, and learning how to cope when things get me down. Planted another ten trees yesterday. Dug 11 holes, and was somewhat confused after I had carefully filled it with compost and went looking for the tree. So I had to carefully dig the compost back out again. It's a lot of work, and physically tiring but it's mentally relaxing, which is what I need after sitting in front of a computer all week.

Fathers' day today. Got two lots of chocolates, one from Bronwyn and one from Rachael. Someone had bought a pile of chocolates, perfume and cheap gifts, and they were handing them out to fathers. Now my aim is to eat more chocolates than Rachael does.

It's been dry for a couple of weeks now, and the ground is solid again. The river has been in flood several times this winter. The old house copes well with it all, but some of the newer ones (i.e. the ones in trendy places like the top of sandy cliffs) have been having problems. But this old house has been here for 80 years. Just so long as he repairs the roof some time...

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