I haven’t deserted you. I’ve just been very quiet. Some of it was not by choice – as I already mentioned, I brought a worm home and accidentally let it loose on my computer. Luckily, we managed to get rid of it without losing any of my files – like all my pictures. We did, however, have to reinstall Windows. Everything is back up and running now, but I’ve yet to install all the programs that I had two weeks ago.

So, today is the first episode of South African Idols. I’m not as interested in it as I was the American Idols. They have yet to produce as big a star as the American version. Speaking of, Chris Daughtry has got to be doing exceptionally well. Why do I say that? Never before has an American Idol’s latest album been advertised on South African television. Not to my knowledge, anyway. And he wasn’t even in the top two and he’s doing so well!

I have finally run out of space on my Shutterchance blog. I’ve lined up a picture that I took while on holiday in Port Elizabeth, at the beach front. After this one, I’ve either got to delete less popular pictures or allow the oldest pictures move into “offline” status. Which basically means they won’t be able to be viewed by the general public until I upgrade my account. If I do go the second route, I’ll post the oldest (and nicest) pictures over here and the comments that they received.

I have been taking pictures like crazy again. Oliver (the name I gave to that stray cat, thanks to Emile, who suggested it) was sociable this morning and allowed me to take more pictures. I also took other pictures of some roses and daisies and some other flowers, which I think are gazanias, similar to daisies.

Something I’ve noticed is that the more light I have to play with, the sharper the picture I get. Emile suggested that I go out at different times of day and see what kind of pictures I end up with. Supposedly, the “golden hours” for getting good pictures is in the early morning and late afternoon. I went out between 10:00 and 11:00 today and found myself shooting some fabulous shots (as already mentioned) in near midday sun. The only problem was lifting the camera above eye level meant that I could not see the LCD and was basically taking the picture “blind”.

Speaking of “blind”, I got the opportunity on Friday to help a couple blind friends and their dog navigate over the bridge between two buildings where we work. They wanted sandwiches from Hampers, which makes them to order. It was Ronelle and Evan, her dog, and a friend of hers. Evvy always goes a bit nuts when he sees me and Ronelle remarked, “I was wondering why he was walking so fast!”

After I got back to my desk, I felt so happy because I had been able to help someone for once. And then, I got to thinking about Evvy and wanted to hug a dog, any dog. For a while, I actually was considering applying for another Service Dog. But then I realized that it was Fayth I wanted back and felt like crying. It took me a while to get over the sad feelings again.

This weekend, I realized how lucky I was. I have photographs of Fayth to look at. What does someone that is blind have when their dog passes on? They cannot see pictures like I can. I don’t know which would be worse – not to be able to see, or hear.

This must be one of my favourite pictures of Fayth, taken when we first got her kennel. She never used it, though. It is also the first picture I posted on Shutterchance. Below are the comments I received for it:

A truly gorgeous photograph, that captures not only the passion, but the true appreciation of both participants, you as the photographer and Fayth as your loving pet. Truly an inspiring picture.”
“Great picture, in all Fayth’s pictures, she (assuming) looks like she had such a personality and is such a beautiful dog.”
“Very well captured image that will always remind you of the good times… that’s what we’re all here for after all – to capture the moment.”