From my website, I moved my blog to Yahoo’s blogging service. I can’t remember how I found it, but it was pretty easy to use and was able to post from work, if I had time, which often happened during 2005, since Marc was working many strange hours and I relied on him (still do) for transport. When we moved from Port Elizabeth, we rented a place in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. Getting to and from work took an hour, often longer.

01 October 2005

Well, it’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog or anything similar. I used to have a blog on my web site, but it kind of fell by the wayside, when I broke my leg at the end of last year. Since then, so much has happened, it’s almost unreal. Well, not quite, but anyway.

In a nutshell, I broke my leg, which took 3 months to heal, moved from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg – away from all my family, lost a cousin in a freak car accident, and started a new job, which I’m enjoying immensely.

Things have been really looking up for me lately and I think that the only thing that is getting me down is the fact that my dog is getting old. Fayth is 10 years old now and has followed me everywhere – literally. She’s trained by the South African Guide-Dog Association to help me because I’m in a wheelchair, though mostly she’s there for companionship now. She’s also a great way to meet new friends.

At the end of the year, she has to go into retirement. It was one of my conditions of employment. Thing is, I’m really worried about how she’ll handle life by herself at home. I want to get her a companion, but I’m not going to have the time to house-train a new puppy.

Our landlady has moved out and the family who now live in the main house on our property have a beautiful little mutt named TJ. He’s only a baby but totally adorable. I thought that he could be a great companion for Fayth, but somehow, I get the feeling that they’re jealous of the fact that (when allowed), TJ spends all his time at our place instead of with them. I leave the gate open so that he can come and visit as he pleases only to find it closed next time I look.

03 October 2005

What a beautiful weekend we had this weekend. The weather was lovely and even though I worked on Saturday, the rest of it was really enjoyable.

I worked until about 1pm on Saturday and then waited another hour or so until Marc, finished work. On the way home, we went shopping at a small centre near our house. First we went to a shop called Vet Deli where we bought Fayth a better brand of dog food and an ostrich rawhide bone to chew while we went food shopping. Since she’s getting old, she prefers to lie by the door while we go shopping than go in with us.

While we were in there, we compared the price of the food she’s currently on (a supermarket brand) to the more expensive brand from the vet. Surprisingly, it worked out to 50c cheaper per day.

That night, we lay our futon flat so we could lie on it while watching Pet Sematary. But instead, I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was kind of glad of the because I don’t like horror movies.

Yesterday, I was up early because I couldn’t sleep, but I couldn’t do any work because Marc was still fast asleep and only woke up late. Once we were both awake, I put a load of laundry on and then we both went out to the Lipizzaner centre where there was a fun day for dogs on the go. There were not many stalls, but it was a fun day out all the same.

It was all in celebration of St Francis, who is the patron saint of animals.

Near the end of the day was a fun little competition to choose best dog of the day, so I pushed Marc into taking Fayth into the competition. She ended up being one of 5 runner-ups and won a small bag of goodies which included a stainless steel dog bowl and a cooler bag.

There were no good movies on last night, so we watched music videos on VH1 while playing on our computers. They were doing a count-down of classic rock videos. I was very surprised to see Bohemian Rhapsody come in 5th only, even surpassed by Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” (4th). Top song was AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”.

As I said, a fun-filled weekend, which we all enjoyed.

Today, I spent a bit of time e-mailing a local rescue centre, looking up information with the intention of getting a companion for Fayth for when she retires. The correspondence was all good and now Marc and I have to just get to the centre to see what dogs they have available.

10 October 2005

Well, it’s been a little over a week since my last entry. Can’t say much has happened, but the stuff that has happened has been rather eventful.

Last week Monday, we arrived home, to find that the drain was blocked and our house smelt like a sewer because we’d left the windows open. That was fun. Not. To top it off, the way we go round the house usually was covered in poop so we had to go the other way, with the help of the family that live in the main house. It went uneventfully (taking the wheelchair down steps and whatever), but Marc told me later that he thought that the family thought that I was his mother. He said that the gentleman (father of the house) kept referring to me as “your Ma”. Very amusing. Of course, after that, we were trying to think of ways to freak them out about our relationship, but haven’t done anything yet.

On Thursday, it was my birthday. I had brought cake for my work colleagues the day before, since I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to get to the shop before it closed. (Was working late for a few nights). Thankfully, I’d gotten out of working on the Saturday after my birthday because someone had fallen sick the week before and I filled in for him instead.

Marc and I went out that night to Monte Casino where we had a great time just walking around and chatting. We eventually decided to eat at a place called Tuscan BBQ & Buffet. Although the food that I chose for myself from the buffet table was stuff we could eat any time, it wasn’t something that we made for ourselves — namely salad for starter, roast lamb with roast potato and veg for main meal and ice-cream and peaches for dessert. I can’t remember what Marc had, but he likes to try new things.

On Saturday, we went to pick up my mother’s parcel from the post office. The shopping centre was packed, but I didn’t seem to notice. Marc, on the other hand, was tense and grumpy. While we were there, we did a little shopping and I managed to pick up another Lee Child book for a reasonable price, second hand. I’m looking forward to reading it, but not sure when I’m going to have time. I’m also trying to read a James Patterson novel.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing laundry and playing online games. I’ve gotten hooked on a game called Kings of Chaos. The new Age was supposed to start yesterday, so while I was chatting on IRC, it was like, when’s the new age coming? I checked this morning quickly before work and the site was down for maintenance, so hopefully it will start tonight.

The other question on everyone’s mind is when the IRC bot, War-General, is getting back online. I spoke to its creator this morning, Titan. Very interesting chat. He’s been too busy to get round to fixing it and even if he does, he’s not keen on putting it back online because of all t he hassles he’s had with it lately. He’d like to release the code online, but doesn’t want to let it go for free, considering all the effort he’s put into it.

Right now, I’m sitting at a desk next to Marc, while he’s working on his latest IT Solutions problem. Not sure when we’re going home, so thought I’d kill time by bringing this blog up to date.

20 October 2005

I am cursed. I have to be. For two hours today, I was gripped by this unshakable feeling that something had happened to someone close to me. I phoned my grandparents and various close friends. They were all fine.

It finally dawned on me that the last time I’d had this feeling, an online friend by the nick of WhiteRaven had been in a car accident. I had deleted his number from my phone because I wanted to forget about him, after having been let down before I left Port Elizabeth. He had promised me 3 times to visit before I left and didn’t make good on them.

After unsuccessfully trying to get a number from a couple friends, I looked up his work number over the internet and then sat agonising, should I phone or shouldn’t I?

Eventually, I did. He wasn’t in his office. I left a message.

After I put the phone down, the pieces fell into place and I felt a weight lift. We will get in touch again within a week. Most likely on IRC. I will ask him what he was doing. He will tell me he got the afternoon off and decided to go fishing. He had a few to drink and got into an accident. Isn’t the first time. Won’t be the last.

Why am I cursed? Because we are bound together on some unseen level and I have been disappointed by him on so many occasions that I wish we could cut all ties.

25 October 2005

What did I tell you? True as bob, I found him on the internet, as right as rain, no problems, no nothing. Where was he that Thursday? Safely tucked away at work, but not answering his phone.

We spoke for a while and he was doing ok. His councilling for alcohol abuse, earlier in the year, had apparently given him a whole new outlook on life, but we weren’t able to pursue the conversation further because I had things to do. I do however now have his cellphone number, direct line to work and his e-mail address.

What bugs me, though, is how fate has a way of drawing us back together each time we lose contact. It can be a few months, or a few years, but I always end up seeking him out, even though I don’t always want to.

Glad he’s ok, even if he is a pain in the rear.

But moving on to other things. I had to work on Saturday, so we left Fayth at home. Since she has to retire at the end of the year, she has got to learn to handle staying at home by herself.

We sort of threw her in the deep end, though, by leaving her at home for most of the day, but she seemed to cope. We had a webcam monitoring our place and saw her occasionally moving around. The family in the main house told us later that she cried for a bit but settled down eventually. We noticed a couple places where she had bitten herself, most probably out of anxiety, but it was nowhere near as bad as when I left her home alone a few years ago.

Fayth is on a new diet now, which she seems to enjoy. We took a long time to phase in the food, with what remained of the old food, but since about Thursday or so, she was on the new food alone. I’m almost certain that I can see an improvement in her and she seems to have a new … how would you call it … new-found energy.

Though she shows it more at home while playing with TJ than at work, where she still plods along as if she has all the time in the world. Don’t worry, it’s just my lunch hour, where I have to take her 3 buildings away to do a poop and it takes us 15 minutes to get there at her pace…

Just by the by … the new diet has done nothing to improve the smell of her farts.