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'if...then...else...'
New Zealand - SEP 2002
'Yes, they are lovely shoes'
Sunday 1st September 2002 Katikati

Sarena is working again today, and I am determined to do something slightly exciting so I headed for a drive to Hamilton for a look around and watch a rowing race between Waikato university (NZ) and Cambridge University(UK). I had expected Cambridge to thrash Waikato but it was the other way round. Cambridge didn't even look like they would make it past the finish line. Bad show!

Working on an early which completely tired me out so when I got back home I just crashed on the sofa.

Monday 2nd September 2002 Katikati

Work again

Oh found the most wonderful walk today...... went out for a drive in Bertie to have a look around and decided to take a turn up this side road ending up near the water front. I then found a little wooden pier that stretched far out into the water so had a walk along that and took some photo's, it was very tranquil. The shore line was a mass of greenery and had little tiny sandy coves set amongst the trees. The water was transparent and the sky was blue so I stayed around there for a bit before heading back again only to come across a walk which led into the trees so I decided to have a quick look. It was so lovely I could have stayed all day as I kept finding more and more things to look at, but in the end I had to turn round and save it for another day.

Tuesday 3rd September 2002 Katikati

Work again, had to but our car in the garage as we are getting an oil leak fixed on the warranty we got from the auctioneers. A bit of a bonus as the bill looks like it is going to come to over 1,000 bucks. The car wasn't ready by the end of the day so they gave me a courtesy car out of...ehmm.. courtesy!

Went to yoga, on my own. And learnt the cat and mountain pose and also that am completely inflexible.

Working on a late so pottered around the house as the weather was a bit crappy, I tried to do some Yoga but couldn't bloody remember it all? so ended up doing some house work and trying to make some more curtains only to realise I couldn't bluff my way through this one and had to buy some pins. Watered my lovely potted plants outside and had a quick chat with them, they are looking good.

Wednesday 4th September 2002 Katikati

Dropped the courtesy car back off at the garage and walked to work. Which kinda made me feel all healthy.

Did a good days work and then found out that the car would still not be ready as they now have to replace the sump gasket as well which involves removing the front diff and raising the engine. Never mind the brisk walk back to the garage to pick the courtesy car up again will do me some good.

Sarena bought a painting during the day which she has been going on about for ages. Hope its good. It is of an Arab desert scene or something not done by the local Maori artist I don't expect.

Guess what! I spent the evening in front of the TV. Surprise!

Had a yoga lesson at 9am which I really enjoyed today especially trying to get my foot above my head, always gets your juices flowing - not!

I thought this Yoga malarkey was supposed to be a lot easier than other keep fit stuff, I have to say I was grossly mislead but I can't quite grasp how Gerri Halliwell ended up looking so fit just through Yoga? And how Sting seems to look so fit? I don't look any different after 3 sessions, I should be looking like a svelte maddonis by now!

I came back and got changed then went for a stroll down into Katiikati and thought I would pop into the Art Gallery to have a look at a lovely painting, which I first lay my eyes on weeks ago. To my surprise it was now in the sale for half price and I just new I had to have it. I don't mind spending 50p or a quid on second hand clothes but when it come to art I would spend a fortune. This painting was down to only $120 (£40) so I phoned Toby and asked if it would be OK to get it and then send it home with mum next year as she is coming over for a few weeks. He said yes, so I paid and put it by for collection on Sat.

I remember once going to Cornwall and seeing a painting which took my breath away. It was about £300 which to me isn't expensive for something beautiful. I didn't buy it though and I could still kick myself now for it,that 's why I had to get this one.

Evening shift went well and came back to a big bag of fish and chip.

Thursday 5th September 2002 Katikati

Sarena was working early this morning and she managed to get up and away without disturbing me too much. I had another walk into work as I had to drop the courtesy car off again.

Found out later that Bertie would still not be ready until tomorrow as the Oil Cooler seal also needs replacing and they can't get one today, So I got a lift home from work with Kathy.

Sarena had cooked a great curry for tea. Perfect I was starving.

God it is sooooo hard to wake up at this naf awful time in the morning but once I'm up I'm fine. I still have to start so early as I can't seem to get things done in time. I forgot to make a cuppa for one of the residents and he came up at lunchtime demanding to know who the perpetrator was, I owned up of course and said sorry. I finished work and was desperate for a shower only to find out that once again we had no hot water so I went back to work and had one in the staff showers which was really powerful. I am soooooo due on!!!!

I then went home again and did some tidying up then prepared wonderful curry for dinner, I didn't sit down till 6pm that evening Toby just came home then proceeded to sit for the whole evening..............Oh dear he is turning into couch man again

Friday 6th September 2002 Katikati

Waheey the weekend tomorrow and Sarena is off work so we can go and do something exciting. If the weather holds out that is. Friday is also cool cause I get to play Ghost Recon with everyone at work. Its a great game, very realistic, and very easy for me to die, although in my last game I managed to kill 14 Ethiopian soldiers with just 17 shots. Not bad for an untrained couch potato. Andy though is a bit of an expert at these games, apparently some people play these games professionally nowadays - what is the world coming too.

Decided to give the Katikati nightlife a miss tonight. I am determined to get the web site updated so that we can have the weekend free to go adventuring. We have now got Bertie back so can explore the neighbourhood fully tomorrow.

On an early again today and feeling very stressed - must be time of the month, or should I say a couple of weeks before 'time of the month' that's how it effects me anyway.

Did everything wrong again like the day before and felt extremely irate at the lady who was on the Thurs evening shift because she hadn't refilled my coffee pots - that's how ridiculous I get! I set up everything as if I was on an evening shift so all the nurses were asking me what I was doing and then I managed to make a 'Yog-it' (make your own yoghurt) and put in the fridge but instead I just emptied it down the sink? I am a bloody freak.... Good thing was that Lee, the stand in chef, had made some fab scones to go on the morning tea round with me. These were for the residents so I scoffed my face with them for the whole round.......

But I am looking forward to watching Auf Weidersien Pet (new series) which is on every Friday night and settling down with a glass of vino knowing I have the whole weekend with my loved one.

Saturday 7th September 2002 Katikati

Wow we both have the weekend together. It seems ages since we have done that. First task of the day was to pick up the picture that Sarena had bought and has been raving on about for the last week or so. As we went to the car Sarena noticed a huge pool of oil on the floor. Bugger Bugger Bugger after being in the Garage for 4 days Bertie has come back with an even worse oil leak than he went in for. That's put me in a bad mood for the whole day that has.

We picked up the picture and then drove halfway up the mountain range behind Katikati as Sarena had discovered a lookout here. It was a great view of the bay. There where some massive dear there too! Next stop on Sarena's mystery tour was Kauri Point, 5km out of Katikati. There is a rustic old pier their that stretches into the crystal clear water of the sheltered bay and inhabited by the odd fisherman. Its so peaceful and scenic here. We went for a walk around the coastline but the footpath seemed to pieta out and we found ourselves stuck in a field of cows. After jumping a few fences we managed to get back on the road and made our way back to the car.

I then took Sarena to Bowentown just up the road for a cup of coffee and a quick visit to Bowentown Domain park and then we headed back home.

Spent the evening swapping between watching the TV, doing the web site and talking about how unfit I have become.

I woke up excited as I was to go down and collect the picture I had bought a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure if Toby was going to like it, but I thought it depicted the travelling thing which is what caught my eye. I showed Toby when we got back and he seemed to like it, though not something he would have picked I'm sure but it looked good on the wall. I noticed a big oil puddle on the floor under Bertie which really pissed Toby off but it should be the responsibility of the garage - we hope!

We then went down to Kauri Point, the area I found a few days previous so that I could show Toby. After strolling down the pier and watching the kingfishers for a while we then went for a walk which took us along the coastline and back into the small village as well as into a large field of the cutest young cows ever. Toby attempted to climb over a small fence to get out of the field but ended up climbing into the wrong field then made a hash of getting into the correct one, so much for the country boy!The weather was actually quite hot and we could feel the sun burning which was making me think what it was going to be like in the summer?

Toby then took us to Bowentown which was just lovely, we had some lunch then walked up onto a hill, we had the most beautiful views of the islands and beach below. I took a few photo's then headed back to the car waiting for Toby to finish his photography then drove home.

Toby then got all depressed about getting fat again so as I have said a squillion times before 'do something about it' and stop sitting in front of the computer 24-7 and get some exercise. MEN!!

 

Sunday 8th September 2002 Katikati

Hung around the house most of the day , cleaning the gutters out and doing a few chores. No hang on I am trying to make myself look good. All I did was clean out one gutter all day. Did go for a small drive around the area. Not too far though as Bertie is leaking oil pretty badly.

Sarena experimented with her hair, urggh scary, and I finally managed to get up to date with the web site so will get it online for everyone to see by tomorrow. Hurray!

Didn't do much today as the weather started off a bit crappy so just did housey shite. In the afternoon we went for drive and ended up at the local 'Hot Springs' for a look around. The pool was lovely which meant I could now start coming out here for a swim on a regular basis, I didn't even realise that it was all here......... We then found a track nearby which we drove up and ended up in the hills and the beginning of a couple of walking tracks which we could do on another weekend.

Oh and i forgot that i had put my hair in lots of small knots for the day so when it came to taking them all out before bed i had the fright of my life when i saw that i now had an afro!! I was in histerics and even woke Toby up to show him then took a photo of myself - i look just like my mum in the 70's

Monday 9th September 2002 Katikati

Got quite a shock when I woke up. Sarena's hair experiment had caused a nasty side effect!!!

Back to work. I finally get to visit the pilot company again for the project I am working on which is great as it gives me some focus and hopefully ensures my contract will be extended to a more permanent role.

Spoke to the garage about Berties bigger oil leak they sounded very embarrassed and will look at him tomorrow, thank god all this is covered on the warranty.

Working late today so had the morning to go back up to the hot springs and for a lovely swim. I managed to do 20 laps of a 50 metre pool which wasn't bad for an unfit slob........

Work was pretty tiring for some reason so went to bed early.

 

Tuesday 10th September 2002 Katikati

1 year today. It would be great to celebrate. But as we have no money left and the pubs in katikati are crappycrappy we ended up doing the usual. Sarena had written us a celebratory card and then I opened the post...

...bad move. Mum had forwarded me all the letters from the inland revenue and the have been requesting a large sum of money off me since July which I was not expecting. The F&*#ing B@st£rds. That has really pissed me off. I expect that in the end I will get it back as I have been out of the country but it really messes up the old cash flow for now.

Spent the evening phoning the Inland Revenue and sorting out my tax return for 2001/2002. What a way to celebrate.

On an early today and worked with a lovely lady called Lilian who usually does the same job as me but today she was the chef, the regular chef was on hols and the stand in one couldn't make it today. She wasn't very happy but did a fantastic job and made the best rice pudding ever!

I went to Yoga in the evening with Toby and really enjoyed the session, I seem to be getting a lot more flexible but still have a way to go before putting my leg over my head.

Wednesday 11th September 2002 Katikati

Mumbled to Kathy about the Inland Revenue all the way to work and then mumbled some more on the way home.

On an early so went down to the pool for a good swimming session - it's great cause I have the place to my self so people can't see my efforts at front crawl......

Thursday 12th September 2002 Katikati

Work. What more can I say. Just working every week day now . so you will find random photos of places around Katikati in our diary.

Day off today so did some Yoga in the morning and some housework (yuk) then went down for a swim again and then went out and about in Bertie Went in to see Meri in the estate agents just for a hello and she invited both Toby and I over for dinner next Wednesday she wants to introduce us to her friends who are our age which sounds really cool, we could do with making some friends and going out to socialise a bit more.

Friday 13th September 2002 Katikati

The usual day at work.

Managed to get a few games in of Ghost Recon though before Kathy was ready to give me a lift home.

Day off again so once again I headed off for the pool only to encounter another person in my pool!!! it turned out to be a man called Andrew who used to be a teacher but now worked with the environment and he seemed to know just about everything on plants, animals and birds so was just up my street, I hinted about looking for a job in that area, so I hope he keeps his ears open. I didn't end up doing as many laps as usual due to me chatting so much but at least I made the effort. I then settled down for the evening to watch the fantastic series - 'Auf Wiedersen Pet' which both Toby and I really enjoy.

Saturday 14th September 2002 Katikati

Sarena is working early's this weekend so I went for a walk in the morning which ended up taking most of the day. I got pretty thirsty by lunch time so went for a lonely beer in one of Katikati's locals. I ended up getting home just 10 minutes before Sarena, luckily I had the fore thought of getting her some Fish n Chips on the walk home.

After lunch Sarena took me to the Swimming pool that she has been going too. As the sun was shining it was a bit busy with everyone having BBQ's around the pool and jumping in so we only got a few laps done before we gave up and headed home to watch Austin Powers that was on the TV.

Well on an early today which I don't enjoy so much only cause I want to spend the weekend with Toby. After work we went down for a swim only to encounter loads of other people frolicking about in the water which caused us great difficulty in doing some serious swimming so we gave up half way and went home again in ready to watch ' Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery' which was very funny.

Sunday 15th September 2002 Katikati

Sarena is working early again. Which should really give me the opportunity for a lie in. But I just can't seem to stay in bed much after 7 in the mornings. Its really annoying but I just have to get up. When Sarena got home we drove over to Waihi Beach as a friend of hers at work as invited us around to look at their farm. They own 400 Hectares of land on the mountains overlooking Waihi Beach and I managed to get Bertie Off Road and we drove across the fields and up and down some pretty steep slopes. Unfortunately I didn't get him into 4wd properly which didn't cause a problem driving but I will not hear the end of it from Sarena who already picks on my lack of mechanical knowledge.

Up again early for another hectic day at work then went down to the Mystic Fair in Waihi for a looksy only to find it had finished for the day so we went up and visited Rita who lives opposite. Rita is the weekend chef who is very kind and mumsy bless her, she loves doing all home baking etc bit like Ma Larkin. She had invited us up for a few hours if we didn't have anything else to do so we took her up on the offer and landed on her door step at about 4pm. We met her husband, Stu who was also very nice and they asked if we wanted to have a look around their farm and see the little baby ba sheep and baby moo cows. We took Bertie as we could all fit in her and then headed off up the road to the track which lead us all around the farm or should I say vast amounts of hilly green fields over looking the sea, beautiful. At one point Toby needed to go into 4wheel drive only to be told from Stu that the wheels weren't locked. So all this time he had been going down little dirt tracks and on beaches whizzing around thinking he was off roading and saying how different it felt bla bla, so he was in the corect gear but the 4 wheels weren't going round............. have I said before about the fact Toby knows zip about cars???? I think this proves my point.

After I had taken enough of the proverbial about this we then headed back not before they showed us the dirt race track they have. Seems on Sat afternoons they have a few races and people can come and watch which of course we will do!! wonder if I could have a go?

We said our goodbyes and apologised for the oil puddle on their driveway - OOPS. Had a quiet evening in, as usual.

Monday 16th September 2002 Katikati

Back to work. I am still finding it very hard to get into this work mode. My brain seemed to of died off a bit and sometimes I find it very hard to even have a coherent conversation and concentrate on something for more than a few minutes. So whats changed I hear you say!

First of all though I had to drop Bertie in to get the oil leak fixed, hopefully once and for all.

That day at work I managed to get an audience with Phil, the boss, regarding the Knowledge Management project I have been working on. It has been in development for 3 years already and in its current state I can not possibly see how it will ever work effectively enough to be a marketable product. Its a great concept but not necessarily achievable. I have been getting pretty wound up about it lately, and specifically now as they have offered me a job offer that doesn't met my request but wish to top it up using a bonus scheme based on this project.

News from Berties personal mechanic by the end of the day didn't sound good. He couldn't see anything wrong with the seal that they replaced last week but will obviously put another one in and the car will be ready tomorrow.

On a late today but didn't have Bertie so couldn't go for a swim so ended up going for a walk down to the sea, did a little drawing then spent the rest of the day dossing and getting very depressed at how much weight I have gained since settling down, both have got into a bad eating habit i.e. eat everything at all times and have turned into the blobs.

Tuesday 17th September 2002 Katikati

Kathy picked me up in the morning and we discussed the job offer they are making to me. The are not offering as much as I requested but to be fair I am only temporary and they are using technologies (ms .net) that I have very little experience in so the benefit for me to learn this is fantastic. We struck a deal on the way in which ensures that I also get a PC for home so that I can learn all these new skills. Sarena will be pleased...not!

The only problem is that their offer will make it that much harder for us to save up, which is the whole point of working anyway. Looks like Sarena will have to help out a bit and get a job that pays more than she spends!

'Sarena may work less hours than you but seems to work twice as hard as you, you tosser, sitting in your poxy office all day whilst some of us run around like mad fly's getting paid shit money. Don't seem to mind that I still have dinner for you most nights. And I don't spend hardly any money I'll have you know the only thing I have got in a long time is the picture I don't buy clothes from normal shops or spend loads on fags or going out with people - oh no it's still not good enough so I will stop my very irregular Wednesday coffee day with Patricia to save money and just sit in my bedroom all day shall I?

I spent some money on hair products and a bit of makeup last month which will keep me going for a long time so no need to worry about that being a regular thing and sometimes when I'm out exploring I will stop and buy a lemonade, shock horror! but don't worry I will stop doing that as well so i don't waste money on diesel, or anything else, in fact I'll just turn into a hermit being bored out of my mind as it seems that's what you think I should do!'

Picked Bertie up that evening. He looked dry underneath but Peter the mechanic couldn't really guarantee that he wouldn't leak as he did not know why it was leaking in the first place. I did some shopping then drove home just in time to get to Yoga then got back home by 8 to find the ground beneath Bertie still oil free. Looking good.

..ohh yeah I seemed to of pissed Sarena off today!

Cleaned the front asphalt as best I could of the vast amount of oil but the fairy liquid and water didn't touch it (surprise) so will have to get some lethal chemical of some sorts to clean it up, I could call the local environmental department to come and spray the oil with that special foam stuff they have? I could say some local oil tanker had washed up outside our house causing the disaster and to send in specialists to rescue and wash all the local sparrows which have been affected by the oil spill??? mmmm maybe not.

Toby came home saying the leak had been fixed but I won't hold my breath...

Patricia and her husband and kids popped round and had a cuppa then i had to go to work.

Wednesday 18th September 2002 Katikati

Another day on the job! Popped a copy of my Job contract over to the agency that got me this placement for them to check it over for me.

Sarena picked me up that evening as we are actually going out for a social event in Katikati. Meri form the estate agents has very kindly invited us round for Dinner. It was a great laugh both Sarena and I got pretty pissed and met some new people, Meri's husband, Barry and their friends Ross and Susie. It was so much fun that we have invited everyone over to our place for a meal next Thursday. Thanks Meri and Barry.

Really excited today because Meri ( from the estate agents) and her husband Barry invited us over for dinner along with two friends, Ross and Susie both of whom are about our age. We had such a fantastic evening and we all seemed to drink too much! Meri was hysterically funny especially after a few tipples. I asked everyone over to our house for dinner the next Thursday to thank everyone then we had to get home as I was on an early in the morning.

Thursday 19th September 2002 Katikati

Signed my job contract today, which keeps me employed until 2nd of May with some unpaid time off to go exploring NZ in the summer. I feel a bit happier about it now that I have made my feelings known about the Knowledge Management project I am working on.

Kathy was staying in Tauranga that evening so I drove her car home and arranged to pick her up in the Morning

Oh dear didn't feel so hot today and couldn't get into the swing of work at all! I kept losing the plot and was a complete waste of space I don't even know how I made it through the day.............

Friday 20th September 2002 Katikati

Picked Kathy up from her fantastic house in the morning. It has great views as it is set up in the Kaimai mountains overlooking Katikati and the Bay of Plenty. She Invited Sarena and myself up to visit on Sunday which I know Sarena will love.

Good day at work. A small web project that I have been working on to allow all the fruit exporters of New Zealand produce data files for all the packhouses went online. Sounds exciting doesn't it. It seems to be working very well. So hopefully we will get some feedback about it next week.

Managed to get a couple of network games in of Medal of Honour before getting a lift home with Kathy. I am starting to get a bit better at it.

On another early but now feeling a lot better after a good nights rest thank goodness. The only bad thing about the day was that I had to work with Lee the stand in 21yr old chef again. God he is such a plonker, he thinks he knows it all and if you have done something then he has done it better than you or he knows someone who has. This boy hasn't been anywhere and he thinks he has, basically I could just stab him with the bread knife if he talks to down to me one more time.

 

Just dossed in the afternoon looking forward to having the weekend off.

Saturday 21st September 2002 Katikati

Hoping to go to Rotorua today and do some 'Zorbing' but the weather was still a bit unpredictable, very windy. So we just went to Mount Manganui to take a walk. It was beautiful. The weather held out although it still stayed windy. After we walked around the mount Sarena took a walk into Mount Manganui town whilst I attempted the climb to the top of the mount. It was pretty hard work for someone as unfit as me so was gasping for breath by the time I reached the top. It was worth it though.

Sarena and I aren't getting on too well at the moment. I think its the settling down thing. We are back in the same routine and as we are trying to save money can't do many things to keep us amused. We got back home had some tea and turned on the telly. I got so pissed off with it that I turned the TV off and got quite nasty with Sarena. Sorry Sarena.

Weather was very very windy so we decided to give the zorbing a miss as I think we would have been blown out to sea. We decided to go into Tauranga and to Mount Manganui for a looksy then thought we should have a walk around the mount. It was a wonderful walk and the weather was cold but sunny, the views all the way round were lovely and the beaches!! Toby wanted to have a walk to the top but I wanted to have a walk into town to have a look at some of the shops, I was amused at the amount of young kids (mostly boys) who have these 'flash' or should I say 'twat' cars and drive around all day with the music blaring and just trying to look cool. Whilst I was sat down outside at a table I think I saw about 9 twats all just going around and around trying to show off to all the people who were sat outside having lunch. I also went past a carpark in the town and it was full of them - where do the young kids get the money to get the cars? did you know they can apply for a licence at the age of 15 over here, can you believe that!! the amount of accidents are really high and they wonder why............. I actually laughed at a group of lads all sitting in their knob machine whilst shaking my head, they saw me and said something so I just kept on laughing and calling them idiots - boys!! god they rile me. Lee the chef is just like these idiots

By the time we got home Toby was in a foul mood again ( recurring problem) and was really horrible so I left him to it

Sunday 22nd September 2002 Katikati

Sunday. Shall we get up early and go and do something adventurous. Nah dont' be silly lets have a lie in and then go for a quick 9 hole game of golf. Play it very badly and then go a nd visit Kathy (my work colleague) at her beautiful home on the hill... yeah lets do that...

...We had a bit of a lie in the went for a quick 9 hole game of golf, which we played very badly. After that we went and visited Katy from work at her beautiful home on the hill.

Am I a man in control of my own destiny or what!

Had a bit a lay in - well got up at 7.30am and went out for a round of golf (9 holes) at the public golf course. I like watching the game on TV and always think it looks like a piece of piss but I was very badly mistaken and nearly ended up walking away on the first hole. I could not hit the damn ball, I did however make a ditch all the way around the ball which Toby panicked about and I got a little frustrated to say the least. I did manage to get a little better as we went round and in the end was hitting better shots than Toby! I seemed to hit them quite high where as Tobes sort of shot across the ground. He won of course but it was a great few hours out and in the afternoon we went to visit Kathy (Toby's work colleague) and her husband who live on top of a hill in a beautiful house. The views are breathtaking and to come out of your kitchen and see that everyday would be wonderful.

Monday 23rd September 2002 Katikati

We have had a major complaint about our website. Apparently there are not enough pictures of sheep in our New Zealand diaries. As we are now in spring there is an abundance of cute ichle lambsies bouncing around so we have filled the next few days with photos of em. That should keep you weirdos happy.

On a late so did a couple of hours of Yoga at home then farted around tidying up the house and reading.

Toby came and met me at work to walk me home! how sweet is that

Tuesday 24th September 2002 Katikati

I am sure you are all very bored of me going to work every day, so I have decided to train myself to become a stand up comic. Therefore I will use my diary to practice my jokes. Hope you don't mind!...

A guy sees an ad in the paper about someone selling a talking dog for $20. He's in a strange mood so he shows up at the advertised address and knocks on the door.

The owner of the dog opens the door and the guy answering the ad says, "So, I hear you have a talking dog you're selling for $20?"

The owner says, "Yep."

The other guy says, "Can I see him?"

The owner says, "Sure, follow me."

They go through the living room, up the stairs, and into a bedroom where a dog, in a bath robe, is lying on the bed, reading a paper, and watching CNN. The dog looks up and says, "Hi."

The guy says, "Holy sh#t! You're a talking dog!"

The dog says, "Yeah, I guess."

The guy says, "Well . . . why are you just lying there in bed?"

The dog says, "Well, I started out life teaching other dogs how to be seeing-eye dogs for the blind which was rewarding but I needed different challenges so I trained to be a bomb sniffer and worked for the NYPD for quite a while. Wasn't much of a lateral career shift to work in vice so I helped the police sniff out drugs as well. Found out I was a pretty good at tracking things in general so I got into hunting with some guy I worked with and he eventually entered me into some competitions and I just kept winning so I spent 3 years on tour. That, of course, lead to my 2 years on the breading farm - which was pretty cool but then there was that whole 9-11 thing and I was recalled to active duty and spent a lot of time retrieving bodies. At that point I figured as long as I was back in NY, I might as well help out so I continued to work in vice sniffing out drugs up until about a month ago. I don't know what happened but I just needed some time off. You know? Just kind of reflect on things, figure out what I want to do next, that kind of stuff, you know what I'm saying?"

The guy says, "Uh, sure. I mean, Wow! That's amazing."

The owner and the guy leave the room and the guy says, "Why in the world are you selling that dog?"

The owner says, "'Cause he's a big liar!"

Went swimming first thing for an hour then went down the Library and joined, had an hour in there as I just love library's but ended up taking out a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle which I can't wait to start - sad I know

Prepared Toby's dinner for him for when he gets home then went to work

Wednesday 25th September 2002 Katikati

Two guys out for a walk see a dog laying on the grass licking his own balls.

One guy says, "Man! Wish I could do that!"

Other guy says, "Maybe you should pet him first..."

Went down stairs and sat with Freda and Patricia for an hour having a natta and putting the worlds to rights - specially men

I borrowed a huge piece of hardboard from her for my puzzle building and then did some Yoga before heading off to work.

Phoned up a few insurance companies regarding Bertie but it seems it could be quite expensive due to not having any proof of 'no claims bonus' from the UK, we cxl ours before we left so didn't have a replacement form sent out to us. We have one that is 2 years old but I don't think they will except that.... We also need to sort out Personal Insurance as ours ran out on the 10th Sept and I bet my arse one of us will trip over a leaf and break a leg or something now.

Went to work in the afternoon and found out Lee the stand in chef was off sick so I would probably have to come in tomorrow morning and do Lilians shift whilst she did Lee's shift, I really didn't want to do it as we had Meri and and the gang coming over for dinner and I had to prepare everything.

Thursday 26th September 2002 Katikati

Work. Got an email from Keith Godfrey today though. Keith was our old flat mate in Surrey. Good on yer Keith my highlight of the day. About bloody time you sent us an email though... slack ass.

Oh well I did the morning shift and both Lilian and I complained about the job amongst ourselves all day. She hated doing the cooking but was left with no choice as she was told she was doing it. She said we should write a letter about the amount of extra time we both put in just to get all our work done and don't get paid for it. All the staff seem to be a bit fed up as they are all stretched to there limits being under staffed over worked and under paid. I'm sure things will change for the better very soon though.

Anyway I I finished early (12.30) so that I could get back home and start all over again. I had to clean the house and then move the new computer that Toby had bought back from work over to the other side of the room which turned out to be more trouble than first thought. He had so many bits and pieces attached to the damn thing all plugged into different sockets it was worse than my jigsaw. I did get everything tidy, so I started cooking a huge chilli which was the only thing I could cook due to the fact I have only a very limited amount of cooking utensils so I had to borrow a huge cooking pot from Lilian and plates, glasses, cutlery, from work. Meri had to bring over a chair bless her and the table mats were cut up bits of material samples I had stashed away. The evening was great fun and they all enjoyed the dinner which was just as well....... they had shop cheesecake for dessert as I hadn't made any puddy. Meri and Susie thought the house was great and were surprised at the size of it.

Friday 27th September 2002 Katikati

Two men are walking through a park in Manchester, when a huge rottweiler leaps out at one of them. The other guy, thinking quickly, knocks his friend out of the way and kicks the dog, which collapses in a heap.

Just a way down the path, a reporter for one of the local papers sees the incident, and pulling out his notebook, dashes over to talk to the men and write up some quick notes on the story.

As he talks to the men, he starts jotting down ideas for a headline, starting with, "UNITED FAN SAVES FRIEND FROM DANGEROUS DOG". Seeing this, the bloke says, "sorry mate, i'm not a united fan", so the reporter edits the headline, "UNITED CITY FAN SAVES FRIEND FROM DANGEROUS DOG". The bloke sees him write this and says, "er, i'm not a city fan, either". So, the reporter (starting to wonder why he went with the football fan angle in the first place), asks, "well, what team do you support?", and the man answers, "Liverpool". "Ah." says the reporter, as he crosses out the entire headline, and rewrites it from scratch: "SCOUSE BASTARD MURDERS FAMILY PET".

Had a day off so just cleared up last nights mess which wasn't a lot cause Toby had done most of the washing up - bless 'im

I did some Jigsaw which looks like it's going to be a monster.... then went down to the doctors to make an appointment for the Monday. I have been suffering from a lot of pins and needles in my arm at night which is now keeping me awake and is quite painful. I have had it for quite a few weeks now and I'm getting quite fed up with it, I don't think it's a trapped nerve in my neck as I have had a bad neck and back all my life and haven't had this before and the pain is coming from near my armpit.

Finally went to visit the bird gardens, they had been closed for the winter months. It was a fantastic place and the gardens were beautiful, can't believe i forgot my camera though so i asked if i could come again to take some pictures (without paying) and he said i was more than welcome!!

Saturday 28th September 2002 Katikati

Spent the day doing the weekend chores and using the computer they have given me from work. It's pretty powerful so I can play with all sorts of things on it. Very very sad. Visited a local bird garden when Sarena returned from work. She had visited it yesterday but wanted to go back with the camera as the gardens where quit amazing.

On an early with Rita today and I always enjoy working with her so the day wasn't bad. Toby had some lunch for me when I got home

Went down to the bird place again so that Toby could talk to the ducks, like he does!! Lots of fluffy babies everywhere but my favourite were the Cockatoos who were just adorable and very funny.

 

Sunday 29th September 2002 Katikati

Had quite an enjoyable game of golf again today. Only nine wholes. We are both very crap at it but find our pathetic attempts pretty hilarious. Sarena is actually getting better at driving where as I still just swing and hope and usually just skim the ball along the ground. Well at least I don't loose any that way!

On another early with Rita and then went and played 9 holes of golf with Toby in the afternoon. Seems I'm getting better at this game, well I can hit the ball only after 6 attempts but when I do I can hit it bloody far!! on the second hole I hit the ball so hard it went down the fairway over the green and into a field of cows!! Toby seems to hit the ball so it skims along the top of the grass and always to the left? He tried so hard on one shot standing for ages looking like a pro but when he hit the ball it I shot off to the left again travelling quite fast straight into a tree quite far away, the ball bounced off and landed back at his feet again!! Well I nearly pissed my pants I laughed so much, all the other people of the course all stopped to see what we were doing as both Toby and I were crying.

I did another couple of good shots but I find it hard when the ball is not on a tee and off the ground, when the ball is on the grass and I have to use a normal club rather than the driver that is when I tend to cause great damage to the ground......... mind you I did hit the ball way into the air with a number 7 club so that is the one I use all the time, can't understand why there are so many different clubs when you can just use the one??

 

Monday 30th September 2002 Katikati

There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did... ...Very bad - sorry!

On a late today and had my doctors appointment which was all OK but he thought I should have some X-rays to make sure I didn't have a seventh rib or something.... hope not as it would cost money for surgery!! as it was the visit to the doctors cost $45 - no national health over here!!!

Went back down into Katikati at lunch time and walked into the X-ray place and had my chest and neck done and was then asked to pay $143 for the privilege. How the hell people afford to pay the money for all this if they had something wrong with them is beyond me, you can get all this done at the hospital for cheaper but the waiting list is years just to get anything done. I asked the Radiology lady how did everyone cope, she said the whole medical system was in turmoil and people had to get insurance but this only covered for accidents not anything else, I think the answer is just don't get sick.............

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