With calving finished and a slight breather before the mayhem of mating, silage and cropping begins, it's been a quiet few weeks.
The weather has improved too - it doesn't rain every day now and no doubt we'll soon be complaining that it's too dry and we need rain to fill up the tanks and make the grass grow.
Summers on tank water with teenagers is terrifying, especially if they have long hair which takes forever to wash, or city friends who take 20-minute showers. Actually, one of our daughters is no longer a teenager - I'm not quite sure how it happened but she reached the milestone of 21 last month.
It's funny how they grow older when you're not looking.
There has been no news on the four-lane highway developments, and I feel that this truly is a case of "no news is good news" because if we don't get a letter in the mail telling us they need our property, that's a good thing. It's also unlikely, because three of the four suggested options affect us - and if they do choose the one option that doesn't involve us, it won't be great for our neighbours.
However, we can always rely on Bruce to disrupt any period of peace. We had a family dinner for our daughter's 21st on Friday night, then she returned to Auckland to celebrate somewhat more wildly with her friends on the Saturday night. We had a quiet dinner with family, who were staying in a beach house. As we relaxed before dinner, Bruce jumped to his feet and shouted: "MY PHONE!"
Um, what about your phone, we inquired gently - he often mislays it, but the announcement isn't usually so dramatic, more a lengthy period of grumbling until someone offers to call it for him or track it online.
"The phone worked and we celebrated - prematurely as it turned out, because after his text saying he'd arrived at the airport, I had a message from someone else in the group saying Bruce's phone was dead."
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In the afternoon while he cleaned the pool, he explained, he'd heard a plopping noise. It puzzled him at the time but it was only now, several hours later, that he realised what it the plop signified: his phone sliding out of his overall pocket into the water.
We couldn't rush home straight away to see if his phone was indeed lying at the bottom of the pool, but we decided a plan of attack - our son Jack was nominated as the most suitable person to dive into the pool in the dark and search for the phone. Jack wasn't entirely thrilled about this, but didn't protest as much as I expected. I think even then he had a scheme in mind, which later events confirmed.
Luckily for Jack, he avoided total immersion because as soon as he put his foot on the first step he stepped on the phone where it sat in a foot of water. It was in a life proof case but the case had a hole in it and the phone was saturated. We turned it off and put it in rice in the hot water cupboard overnight and hoped.
Bruce was off to Nelson for a week of hockey coaching and communication was important. The next morning, the phone worked and we celebrated - prematurely as it turned out, because after his text saying he'd arrived at the airport, I had a message from someone else in the group saying Bruce's phone was dead.
So I bought him a new phone, and he complained at the price, giving me the opportunity to suggest he perhaps not drop his phone in water in future, thus avoiding the need for expensive replacements.
The scheming resident teenager (Jack) eyed the old phone speculatively. There's a new phone-fixing place in town, which he dragged me into, and we discovered that with a new backlight the old phone was as good as new. Teenager now has a phone superior to mine, and I'm slightly bewildered about how this happened.