I should probably start with all the enjoyable things that O.J and I have done this year. If I didn’t have this blog I probably wouldn’t remember half of them!
In February I returned to the guide dog centre for the first time since I got O.J, and was lucky enough to meet O.J’s
On the way, Which was really enjoyable for all of us. I would definitely advise anybody with a guide dog to bring it back to visit its puppywalker if possible.
In May I finally finished a guide dogs
that i’d been working on in my spare time for six months. I’m not sure if it was worth all the effort, but it was something I thought might be worth making, and when I start working on something, I really want to get it done.
O.J and I went on our first flight alone together to
We had great fun and met so many lovely children. Hopefully we can do that again next year.
In June we were both lucky enough to meet
After his gig in the Plaza in Buncrana. My cousin spotted a photo of me shaking hands with him up in the Plaza the other night. Well it was at 3 in the morning and she’d had a few drinks and I thought she was making it up! I don’t even have a photo. You can’t see my face, but its there anyway. The shame!
I also did some fun things without O.J, like going on a family holiday, having parties and nights out with the girls, going to lots of gigs, including Bruce Springsteen again, and interviewing
Christy from Aslan.
O.J felt left out at the time but has forgiven me since.
As for the noughties…
It doesn’t seem like ten years ago since the millennium, when everybody was celebrating the beginning of the 21st century. So much has happened in the last ten years, and there have been many highlights. I think I had two favourite years, 2003 and 2007.
I had my school formal/debs at the beginning of 2003. Its the school party that every final year student looks forward to, when you get a night out with all your teachers and friends. The weeks beforehand are spent preparing, and the week after looking at photos and talking about the night. The teachers eventually get annoyed because no work gets done.
In June I did my leaving cert, which seems like the most important exam in the world at the time. I went to see Bon Jovi the day after my exams finished. The special Olympics was held in Ireland, and began the week of my final exam. There was a great positive atmosphere in the country, and even though I’m not very sporty, I enjoyed watching it.
In August I got my leaving cert results, and did better than I had hoped. I got accepted to queens to do the course I wanted to do, and found out while I was on holiday in Majorca.
The end of September was the start of university life and living in Belfast was great fun. I met lots of new people and made new friends. I learned a lot in the first few weeks. I also lost my godfather during this time, which was a big shock and a tough time for everybody. I visited him twice that summer and still remember those visits like it was yesterday.
2003 was a busy year for discovering new music and going to gigs. I think I saw the frames or Glen Hansard 4 times, and Christy Moore for the first time, at the Lisdoonvarna festival in the R.D.S, which was the perfect gig for Irish music fans, because everybody good at the time performed that day. I went to my first match in Croke Park the next day, Donegal V Armagh. We lost and I haven’t been to a match there since.
2007 was another amazing year. I started work placements, where I was introduced to the radio station where I am still a volunteer. I got a personal assistant which enabled me to become more independent. I turned 21 in February and had a house party with most of my family and friends there to celebrate.
In April my second nephew Danny was born. He’s one of the most lovable, amazing little boys I have ever met.
In May I started work at the VAC in Derry, where I still have a job. I loved what I was doing and the work was completely accessible. The people were so helpful and I quickly felt welcomed there.
In June I got the phone call I’d been waiting for for years, that I might possibly be getting a guide dog. The timing couldn’t have been better. I went to Cork on June 22nd, and I went for a walk with this big black dog who completely changed my life. I didn’t think you could possibly pick the happiest day of your life, but I think that was it.
I spent August training with O.J and had so much fun. This was better than anything i’d ever learned in school or college. I also started this blog around this time, and its been great to look back at how much O.J’s work has improved since then.
I didn’t think i’d be bothered keeping this blog for so long, and I didn’t think people would be so interested to leave comments. I have met lots of interesting people online, and met up with some bloggers too. It has been great fun and hopefully it will be even better in 2010. Thanks everyone for keeping me entertained, and making me feel that writing here isn’t a complete waste of time.
Happy new year. I hope the next one is a good one.
Jen and OJ