Well, it’s been about a year, again, since I last wrote any kind of journal entry and I’ve been wanting to save and combine all my online journal entries that I’ve written. So my first couple entries are not going to be much. These first few entries are from my website, while I was still living with Marc and his family in Port Elizabeth. I had just gotten my first real job and moved in with Marc, to make seeing him and transport arrangements easier.

1 August 2004

This last week has been interesting. After finding out last week that I had been hired for a new job as a receptionist at a graphics company, I realised I was going to have to make a number of changes if I was going to keep up with my life online while I was working and stuff.

As a result, I’ve cut back drastically on the number of groups that I am in, on Yahoo! Groups, from 38 to 23, most of those which are left are low volume, and update groups rather than tag or stat groups. Thankfully, I have some wonderful moderators that are helping me with my tag group, or I don’t think it would continue to be the great group that it is.

As you can see, I have given my web site a totally different look as well. Originally, I was intending to keep the same design as I had before, but do away with the blue background, but after discussing it with someone on IRC, I decided to try something even more different. I have tried to keep everything as simple as it was before, so it should still be easy to navigate. Plus, it should be easier for me to update as well, since I used Dreamweaver to design it.

What I’ve also been doing is clearing out my style box. After backing up my IMF files, I emptied my style box completely and started from scratch, sorting my stats according to size and type and then also my favourites as well. I started with over 10,100. This got chopped by over 500 when I deleted everything over 150kb and then a few more were deleted as well as I found stats that I didn’t like. So far, I’ve sorted about 1,000 stats and have a heck of a lot to go. Don’t think they’ll be done any time soon.

In case you’re wondering, I have found some time to relax. Marc and I went with his brother, Sven to a movie on Friday. We watched Spiderman 2 … Quite a nice movie. Though my Golden Retriever, Fayth, really did not like the idea of going out and stopped dead, sat down and refused to move outside a restaurant. She’s 9 years old now and we’re thinking that she does not enjoy shopping like she used to.

8th August 2004

Last week was really hectic. I had to get used to getting up 7am, to leave at 7:30, so that I could get to work for 8:30. It took a while for it to sink in, that I was actually a working girl now. On Friday, I received a name tag with my name on and the company’s name and it actually sank in. That kind of made things official for me.

I’m supposed to finish work each day at about 14:30, but usually stayed a bit later, except for the days where I needed to get things done, like get my information in order to have my disability grant paid into the bank, or get my hair cut, among other things.

The people at work are a great bunch and I’m finding it lots of fun to go in each day. I’ve only been doing basic filing to start with, but I’m expecting that to change in the future.

Marc’s mother is happy about the arrangement, in a way, because now her cat, Rogue can visit her while we’re out. She misses Rogue, who won’t come into the house if we’re home because Fayth has a habit of chasing him. Fayth picked up the habit from Lady, who would play with the cat, but Fayth doesn’t understand the difference and would rather attack the cat instead.

Fayth and Lady get on famously. It’s quite amusing watching her. After Marc drops us off (at work), she sits at the door for about half an hour, hoping for him to return, before finally making herself comfortable or looking for attention elsewhere. Once he picks us up, she’s happy and hops into the car, expecting to be taken home, where she can look forward to having a nightly tussle with Lady. It’s so funny watching them play. Fayth has really gotten sociable in her old age (she’s 9 already), where before she behaved very aloof and pretended not ot notice other dogs.

We took Fayth the the vet on Wednesday afternoon because I was concerned that a lump on her side was getting bigger and we were told to monitor it on a previous visit. The vet was very happy with her health on the whole, though the fat lump had grown by about half a centimetre in depth. Very little for 8 months, which is when it was last checked. The vet was also very happy with the fact that Fayth had not had a cortisone injection in 6 months. A sign which I am taking that her eczema problem is improving. Fayth has also put on a few kilos again, because she’s been getting spoilt lately, licking plates after dinner and getting a few extra biscuits. She’s going to have to go on a diet again.

On Friday night, I didn’t even go online because we went that night to a social evening at a Scout’s Club and had curry and rice. Fayth got spoilt and was allowed to have 2 plates full of left-over rice and mince. She didn’t get any of her normal supper that night.

On Saturday, I think I got a lot done, but not as much as I expected, since I stumbled upon an album which had over 660 tag blanks. I got e-mail sorted and some tags done and whatever else in between, but today’s Sunday and I’ve only managed to look through about 400 of them.

All I can say is thank heavens tomorrow is a public holiday.

14 August 2004

I am sitting here feeling so tired. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m sleeping the whole night through, yet I’m waking up the next morning still tired. Right now, I have so much to do, but I don’t want to do anything except sleep, yet I don’t want to go back to bed because I’m going to mess up my sleeping pattern.

I can’t say that this week was very eventful either. It wasn’t, except for Marc wanting to stop at an MVA (motor vehichle accident) where the guy was very obviously dead, to offer his assistance. He’s a paramedic. That was, I think, Thursday morning, on the way to work. On Friday, we rode through fog as thick as soup which was kind of scary, especially when you’re riding on the inside lane of a road and you suddenly have a stationary vehicle appearing in front of you, indicating to turn across on-coming traffic.

At work, all was quite routine. I finished updating the customer list in their Excel sheet and then started on their filing cabinet, stripping the files of old information and putting the unused files into an archive section. Basically, a box under the desk. My one boss (there’s two, they’re co-owners of the business I work for) and I sat down for about two hours discussing what he’d like to do in the future and stuff like that. He’s quite a serious guy, and it was funny the one morning when he cracked a joke about women drivers (I’m in a wheelchair). I can’t remember the exact conversation, but it ended off by me saying, “I bet I could parallel park better than you.”

This whole week was boring and in a way, frustrating. The electric in this house has been giving trouble and after having mine and my boyfriend’s computers restarting on almost daily basis, we called an electrician in. Also, he (my bf) bought a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system, which charged up over night and now both our computers are stable. It’s only irrititing now when there’s no electric, the thing starts beeping to warn you to save your work and shut down the PC’s.

Something I forgot to mention in my last entry. I got hold of the South African Guide Dog Association, because of Fayth misbehaving at the shops and stuff, wanting some advice and to ask whether it was time to retire her from a working life (not that she ever works very hard, if at all). Her trainer phoned me back and we discussed the e-mail I sent him. What it boiled down to was that she was being very willful and I had to get her back in line. Either by offering her treats to bribe her into behaving (which concerns me, because if I offer her a treat every time she pulls towards the door, she may do it more as she thinks she’s being rewarded.) or else I have to start using the haltee again. You could call it a horse’s bridle or halter made smaller for dogs. It’s used for training purposes.

22 August 2004

Well, this update should have come yesterday, but as mentioned in a recent e-mail, I wasn’t feeling good and had a bad migraine for the last three days. Thankfully, said migraine, has gone, but the mood “mindless” mood continues. All I have wanted to do lately is play computer games. Even something as stupid as Lemonade Tycoon (which I sucessfully completed within hours, having read about the perfect recipe online).

30 August 2004

So it’s a couple extra days since I should have updated this page. And last week’s entry was very short. But things are getting good again. I’ve been playing around in PSP again. Only catching up on requested tags, but it’s a start.

Work has been settling down, I think. I have been finding a lot of time to read lately. So much so that I’m even considering keeping a book at work for when things get very quiet. I was hoping to load PSP on to the work computer to do tags when I’m bored, but I quickly realised it wasn’t going to work out, since they don’t have a CD-writer installed, nor do they have a proper USB port to plug in a memory stick. Also, there is very little hard drive space left on the computer as well. Not sure where it’s all gone, but don’t think there’s much space left for something as trivial as tags.

But good news is that we’ll be moving to new premises in a more visible location from the beginning of October, pretty much a week before my birthday. And tomorrow, I don’t go into work at all because I’ve got a workshop to attend for a few hours in the afternoon.

So I’m going with Marc to University in the morning and then he’s going to drop me off at the workshop and my mother is going to pick me up afterwards, since he has a test to write. And I just realised I’m hopefully going to have lunch at home, for the first time in over 2 months. Can’t wait. *grins*

But yeah, I’m looking forward to this week. Hope it continues to be as good as I expect it to be.

4 September 2004

So what’s news this week? Things have been very busy. And I was informed at work yesterday that I will be taking over all, or as much admin as possible from next week. We’ll be having a meeting with the sales reps on Tuesday to organise a good method of communication so that we can keep track of quotes, jobs in progress and monies, etc. Things are getting very interesting to say the least and I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep last night with all the ideas going through my mind when I left work yesterday.

Thankfully, I had forgotten about everything before the end of Scouts that night and slept like a baby until about 9am this morning. I only woke up once during the night. I got up for a few minutes to let Fayth out and stuff and then went back to bed for yet another 2 hours … so all in all about 10 hours sleep last night.

I haven’t been doing much today. Just chatting on IRC mostly. Been a very hot day, so you know what you feel like when it’s hot like that. I actually haven’t gotten much done all week.

Monday, I did a few tags. Tuesday was my workshop for brushing up on customer skills and stuff. Most of it was second nature to me because I’m by nature friendly and helpful. I got home late that night because Marc was writing a test, so my mother picked me up and I waited at home for him to finish. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, just watching TV and chatting. It was also my grandfather’s 70th Birthday that day.

Things have been busy all week, so yeah. Today, Marc went out to visit a couple clients and came home with a pink and yellow rose, which he gave me with a kiss. How sweet is that?

1 October 2004

I can’t believe how much time has flown. I started doing two entries for this site and they never got completed, never mind added to the site. The first one is sitting on Marc’s laptop somewhere. The second must have gotten lost when my PC restarted for no apparent reason.

What’s been happening? Around 2-3 weeks ago, Marc and I went away for the weekend to a small place along the coast, so that he could help a friend in an ambulance and do some paramedic work. The day before, I backed up all my PSP stuff to a CD, sorted some e-books on to my USB memory stick, packed some clothes and what not and we left straight from work. What I didn’t realise that I had forgotten to write to CD was one vital little text file that had all the information about the tags that I needed to make that weekend. Not that any tags got done because I read a hard-cover book finished – David Eddings & Leigh Eddings – Regina’s Song.

It was very quiet and we had a great time just relaxing, though Marc kept weird hours, going out with his “boss” until the early hours of the morning and then moaning that he was trying to sleep when I woke up with a bit of the sniffles the one morning *LOL*

I don’t remember much of what happened during the week that week, besides helping a friend from work look for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy. We found some, but they were way out of his price range.

We had a public holiday on Friday, so we were planning to go for a “holiday” again with Marc’s friends while he helped out on the ambulance. The only problem was that Fayth was not allowed to go with. Well, where she can’t go, I don’t go. Thursday, on the whole, was not a good day at all and Marc ended up staying home an extra night and he left on Friday afternoon after we’d been to a movie.

Marc also told me before he left that it would be the last time that he would be going to help his friend on the ambulance, since where I wasn’t welcome (because of Fayth) he wasn’t welcome either and he’d rather spend the time with me anyway. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about that, since he often told me that he’d given up so much that he used to do before he met me and that bothers me sometimes.

Now, this week has been extremely eventful. I don’t remember much about Monday. Probably because there wasn’t anything to remember. Tuesday, though … oh yes.

My boss has a motorbike that looks like one of those out of WWII. It even has a side-car. And I got to go for a ride in that side car after work that day, all the way to the location of the new premises so that we could look around and see if my wheelchair would fit into the toilet cubicle, etc.

Just sitting in that side-car was exciting. The helmet felt very heavy when it was first put on, but I got used to it. Marc took Fayth in his car and followed behind us the whole way (something I was sort of glad for). My boss came out, put his helmet on, started the bike and reversed it like you would do a car and off we went. It was so much fun to start with. You feel the wind rushing under the helmet and there’s nothing obstructing your view (I’m very short and sitting in the car, the dash is a bit high sometimes).

Anyway, it was very exciting and felt like a roller-coaster ride. On the short roads, and turning corners, it was fine. I was really enjoying myself. But then, we came to a main road and we really started to speed up. Very exciting stuff, until we came to the first bump in the road. My rear end and seat parted company and I nearly flipped (South African slang for freaking out, so to speak). I grabbed hold of the sides of that car like my life depended on it (which it probably did). I suddenly became very aware of how fast we were going, how close we were to the ground … and most importantly, there was no seatbelt!!! I was ever so grateful when we caught up with the car ahead of us and we slowed down a bit. I managed to relax after that and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

We got to look around the new premises. There was nothing in the building, except for one huge plant in the corner. They’re still trying to decide whether to keep it or throw it out. That was the admin area. In a separate section would be the workshop, next to a line of garages. The workshop had been used as storage previously and when we looked, there was still a lot of stuff that the previous owners had to remove.

After that, we went to a nursery around the corner, and I bought myself an early birthday present – a miniature ivy to go on my desk at work. It has now been replanted into a new pot that Marc’s mom bought me as a birthday present. I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to get her anything, since her birthday is tomorrow, but I don’t think she’ll mind if it’s a little late.

On Wednesday, I came to work to discover that my boss’ wife had her baby at 23:40 the previous evening. It was a little boy. Their elder son is about 5 and had a haircut when I saw him. Not much got done that day and I was glad to go home, because I had the next two days off since they were moving premises and I would have had nothing to do.

Thursday was mostly spent making tags (I had finally gotten back into the tag-making mood) and getting them ready to be e-mailed to their new owners. Today, I’ve updated my web site, sorted through my in-box which seems to pile up faster than I can sort it and now I’m feeling tired. Maybe I’ll go lie down and take a nap, since Marc is out.

10 October 2004

Well, it’s been another busy week. Monday went uneventful. On Tuesday, we heard that Marc had been accepted through to Round 4 of interviews for a job with a major South African bank. If we get the job, we’ll have to move to Johannesburg for a while. It’s made me nervous because it’s so far from my family and I don’t know many people there. It will be a total change from what I’m used to and I’ll have to quit my job. Something that I really don’t want to do just yet.

On Wednesday, it was a heavenly day. It was my birthday. Beside the fact that I didn’t sleep properly the night before, I had an awesome day and nothing went wrong. I got to work to find a small bunch of pink roses and carnations as well as a cake and birthday card waiting on my desk. Work was quiet as usual. And once Marc got back from classes, we shared the cake with everyone and then we left.

We went shopping to pass a bit of time and I bought myself a new Nokia 3310 because my previous phone had a cracked LCD. I got scaled R50 because I didn’t query the price, but what the heck … We did a little more shopping and then went to my mother’s place for dinner. I got some gift vouchers, clothes (3 beautiful skirts made by my mother and 2 shirts she bought) and some chocolates. I also got some cash from my grandparents and a card from my Aunt.

We had one of my favourite meals for supper. Chicken curry, made with a tin of curry from Woolworths. So delicious it was, that I nearly pigged out, but had to make space for ice cream and chocolate cake after. Marc and I stayed to watch the second episode of The Apprentice and then we went home. I think I was online for about 5 minutes before we went to bed.

I can’t say much else of note has happened this week. Most of yesterday was spent sorting through my in-box, sending stats and then snagging backgrounds that I can use for tags. I’ve still got another link that I want to visit for frames and stuff. But right now, there is so much I want to do it’s not funny. I don’t know where to begin.

13 October 2004

What better way to pass my time when I’m not in the mood for filing than to write an entry for my online diary. Not that many people are actually interested in reading this, but it keeps me out of mischief and gives me more to do.

Anyhow, what a “hectic” day it was yesterday. Marc found out that his flight to Johannesburg is around 12pm tomorrow, which meant I’d have a problem getting to work for two days, not just one. I spoke with my boss, Des, who was giving me a lift to Doron’s place last night, because Marc was writing a test and I had to stay a bit later. He was saying that I don’t even realise how I’m needed to help just by answering the phones, because it allows Doron to concentrate on his work and not get side-tracked. We also discussed other things like stuff I could take over at the office, like typing of quotes, centralised processing of jobs and the problem of me being able to get into work on Thursday and Friday, since it was such a busy time.

We came up with a plan, though. Between Des, Marc and myself. I’m going to sleep over at my mother’s place on Thursday night, then a friend of Marc’s will take me back to Uitenhage on Friday afternoon after work. My mother will drop me off at work that morning. Such fun, I’ve got to sleep on the couch that night *LOL*

What else happened last night? Marc told me about a call he got to his phone, asking for me. We swapped sim cards a while ago because he wanted to get a contract and his own was already on a different contract and couldn’t change it.

I didn’t recognise the number and phoned it back to find out who it was. It was an old customer of mine that I used to do typing for. We had a great chat on the phone and I told him that I had a new job and that I was unable to do the typing for him, unfortunately. He was very happy that I phoned him back, though.

The other thing that happened was that when I phoned my mother, she said that a lady from the Guide Dog Association had phoned and wanted to see me. She had given the lady my number and I got a call a short while later. The lady said that she wanted to see how Fayth and I were doing and we agreed to meet at work later today. My mother was rather upset that Fayth looked dirty and hadn’t had a bath recently, but what can you do when you don’t have time? I had planned to take her this week, but all of a sudden, we couldn’t.

We were talking about Fayth last night and things that she had done over the years and how she had dropped number two’s in various shopping centres and I suddenly had a laughing fit. I don’t know what I found so amusing, but I just couldn’t stop laughing for a long time

So yeah, things got very hectic last night and as a result, I didn’t watch last night’s episode of Survivor. Thank heavens it is repeated on Saturday. Let’s hope I don’t forget to watch it..

6 November 2004

I can’t believe how much time has gone since my last diary entry. I just looked at the calendar to see what I can remember happening recently. To be honest, not much beside the airshow that we attended last weekend. The weekend before that, I couldn’t write anything because I had a headache and just felt too tired to do anything? Why? Because I drank 3 Bacardi Breezers within an hour and it felt like I was drunk *LOL*

Another thing that has amazed me about time flying is that it is already so close to Christmas. Where has time gone to? We’re already hearing our first Christmas ads on the radio and seeing them on TV. Granted that Christmas has become over-commercialised and all that stuff … it’s still, only 7 weeks away. Not that far when you think about it.

So, what has been the greatest highlight of the past few weeks? It has got to be the air show that I attended last week Saturday. I’m still remembering it now and peeling off my sunburnt skin.

We sat on the grass while watching the various planes doing their stunts. Can’t even remember what the names of half of them were. Fayth got covered with thorns, we call them burs … they’re round and flat and the rounded sides are are full of pointy spikes, ideal for getting caught in the coat of a Golden Retriever. I was also glad that the tyres of my wheelchair are solid because I had a blackjack going right through my one tyre. They look almost like squashed pyramids. One long point at the top and 3 shorter points at the bottom. Don’t know if you get these weeds overseas, or what you’d call them if you do.

As I was saying, the air show was awesome. There was one plane flown by a guy all the way from Russia by the name of Sobolev Valeriy (Looked up the name on a web site, link further down). The plane looked exactly like the one out of the 007 movie. The one where 007 rescues a nuke or whatever from being bombed at a terrorist “black market” … Think the movie was “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

The best part though was the Cheetah plane that flew all the way from Cape Town for the event. It flies so fast that it can break the sound barrier. So cool, watching it woosh past and then a couple heartbeats later, you hear the extra loud roar. The plane was only a few hundred meters away, so you can imagine how loud it was. The commentator warned people to cover their babies’ ears.

The pilot flew past like this twice. And then flew past a third time, almost vertical. I can’t describe it… He flew horizontally, like a normal plane, but the nose of the plane was pointed skyward. Awesome. He then did a touch and go before heading back to his base in Cape Town, which for him was a 40 minute flight.

Another awesome part of the display was the huge helicopter, like the one in the movies that does rescues … it hovered right in front of us, simulating a rescue, dropping someone in a harness with a stretcher basket. And then they let off a smoke canister, which stank like crazy (know from the 2nd canister that was let off earlier for the parachute jumpers and we were down wind from it). The helicopter then returned and landed. One of the people in the back then got out and made a show of pushing the chopper back a bit before letting the guy who had jumped out earlier back in. The down draft from it as it rose back into the air was amazing. The people in front of us fell over backwards.

The same helicopter went and got water from a nearby lake. The commentator told us about how someone had phoned the the Flying Squad (of the police) to say that “a big green helicopter had stolen water from the North End lake”. As he flew past the point where he intended to drop the water, the pilot had a change of heart, flew round again and dropped his 2,000 litres of water further away from the crowd.

All through the day, nothing phased Fayth out at all, except maybe the heat. She spent most of it hiding in the shade under my wheelchair, or next to us, as the sun moved over. The only thing that did bother her was when the 3 Tigers took off on the runway that was closer to the crowd than the other. The noise was extremely loud, though not as loud as when the Cheetah came past, so I’m not sure what her problem was. Maybe it was because these planes were so much larger, and there were 3 of them, rolling slowly past. Also, these planes used the closer runway than the rest of the planes did. I kept talking to her though and stroking her, so she didn’t try and run away, though she did back up a few paces.

You probably don’t know what kind of planes I’m talking about. I’m wishing we actually took the camera out the car now and took photos. There are lots of pictures at this address – http://www.algoafm.com … though there are not always titles at the bottom.

Last night was Guy Fawkes. We were at Scouts most of the evening, where Marc is an Assistant Troop Leader for the one area’s Scouts. Anyway, when we got home, we found that Lady, his staffie, was a shaking wreck. She was very upset. The crackers going off had upset her and any thought of going online were thrown out the window. I took Lady in the bedroom and let her curl up under the blanket while I read a book and comforted her. Marc went out again to check on the neighbourhoods (being the conscientious paramdic that he is *S*)And that brings us back to today, which has been extremely hot. Marc has been out working all day at some off road racing event and he’ll be going out again later. Meanwhile, I’ve been wandering around, as hot as can be, trying to decide whether to lie in the bedroom in front of the fan, or work on my PC …