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2 January 1999
I've just spent the past couple of hours adjusting the look of this Journal. I like it... I hope you do too. If you have your monitor set at a resolution of 640 x 480 then you're going to have problems viewing this. I hope that you can change it to at least 800 x 600... *smile* Email me if you can but don't know how to, and I'll send you some instructions. Why? Because I'm a nice guy!  *smile*. 
Email: [email protected]

Today was a mildly momentous day for me. I have those every now and again... In a few weeks I'm going to be moving house, and today I was going through a lot of the stuff that I have in my cupboards and my drawers, throwing out all the rubbish. Amongst it all I found a letter to a penpal that was dated June 1997, and hadn't been sent yet. Now, this penpal is someone who I started writing to back in 1985 or so. Our penpal relationship was amazing, as we shared so many things in common - sense of humour, general interests and hobbies, etc. It got to the point where we were sending each other audio cassettes as well. Unfortunately we sort of drifted apart around 1990, which was my fault. My life took me away from that. In 1993 I tried to get back in touch with her and succeeded, but the letter I sent to her wasn't replied to. In 1997 I tried again, but by this time I'd lost all her contact details. I used the internet to try and find her, and amazingly enough, I found her! It was via a mention of her in a published online university paper that led to the state she was living in, and then via America's online phone directories I found her sister's phone number (I remembered the name) and phoned her, getting her phone number that way. I felt that I should become a private investigator...

So I phoned her, and discovered that her life had been pretty hectic as well, which meant she'd forgotten to reply to my letter, but she stressed that she still wanted to maintain our friendship and continue writing letters. That's what penpal relationships are about. This time it was my fault!! The letter I wrote to her was never sent... Sheesh!

When I found it today, I immediately phoned her (I still had her phone number) and apologised, and got her address again. I wrote her another letter today, which I'll send on Monday. Today has been momentous entirely because of that. The penpal relationship I had with her was extraordinary, and I never wanted to lose her friendship. 

Friends are very important to me, and good ones are hard to find. I'll fight to keep my good friends, even if it means chasing them when they never think of chasing me. I've done that with my friend Dan, who I've been great friends with for the past 21 years. He's been in the army for the past 13.5 years, and once I tracked him down to Perth, whereupon he exclaimed that even the army didn't know where he was, so how the hell could I have found him??!! If anyone wants to hire me as a private investigator, please contact me and we'll discuss it.


I just added another story to the Stories section. It's called 10 Secrets To Being A Better Person, and I think you should read it. *smile*

However many holy words you read,
however many you speak,
What good will they do you if you do not act upon them?




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2001 Alan Howard