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Welcome, Isten hozott, Dobrodosli

This page is written bit late (May 06), but better late than never...

We waited for new year in New Zealand, visiting some old friends and family and took the girls to all the places we roamed for 9 years. We stayed with J. parents and Bea's brother T. who were fantastic hosts. Look here for a pictorial / travelogue on this!

By the time the trip was up, Bea's brother and his partner J. (and to some extent her parents as well) were quite interested in Australia. It is amazing what 2 weeks of constant gushing about a foreign country can do to someone's imagination! :)

Before the attemted exodus of our friend from NZ, oon after our return to Melbourne we were able to escape to Beechworth to meet up with the Starks (who live up there) together other friends left behind in Melbourne by the Starks (Annette, the Goodalls and Camerons).

Waterfall at Beechworth

On the way back, we drove along the Murray river towards Yarrawonga. We saw lots of flooded forests where the trees stick out of the water...a strange sight, but good photo opportunity..

Soon after returning we were able to play hosts, first to J. parents, then to J. and T. On this pic we also have Maria and Jozo who were visiting my parents, also from NZ.

Cika Jozo, our Dalmatian/NZ friend has taught Beata the art of fileting the fish. She was a really good student!

The house was full, the guests easy...what more could we want?

J.'s parents decision to stay in Melbourne was on a knife's edge for a few months, in the end they've decided to go back to NZ, but the young guns have stayed in Australia and are loving it!

Both Zoe and Timi have decided to give gymnastics a break for a year (Zoe kept injuring parts of her body (wrists, ankles) and Timi wasn't too enthusiastic about it anyway). Both of them started jazz balet with the BAD people (Boyd Academy of Dance).

After the busy start to the year these colourful and pleasant events have settled down, and nothing much happened in a way of exciting things I could write about here. We've mainly worked, and in fact for a few months we were under huge pressure, so much so I was still recovering from this (read: hated my work) at the end of the year! February to May were my darkest few months I can remember. The one thing which kept us inspired through this was planning for the second Whitsunday trip due in late October, about which we've put together a pictorial here.

During the long winter months we've made some photos of us and our surroundings the way we don't usually.

I am the walrus
I am the the eggman
Cuckoo Cuckoo choo

Just kidding!!! :)

This next picture is that of the Beauty and the Beast. Which is which, I'll let each of you to decide.

Bea was very proud of her creation (see below). The flowers, from her garden, tended by her delicate hands were a major source of this pride.

Bea was also looking for ideas about how to bring her ample amount of hair under control so she went to a top hairdresser (sorry, is it style consultant? Oh, the mistake is all mine!). This is how she came back...ready for a Berlin cabaret performance!

On a more abstract and philosophical plane, I started to feel strongly about reducing our expectations and all year we were strongly fighting the materialistic urges. It is a hard process, but I really feel that if we succeed, this will allow us to do so many more important things in our life later (by not being slaves to work and the bank). We've set up a budget and trying to stick to it for the first time in our lifes. It is hard and getting used to it seems to be a long term project, but we're trying to keep our feet firmly on the ground.

During the year we started to use the library more, especially the services available over the internet. I have discovered Noam Chomsky and a writer called Alain De Botton and already had a couple of good reads from them, Status Anxiety is the standout so far...Consolations of Philosophy also sounds good...others also go to bed with a pile of books on the bedside cabinets as well. Really good habits are forming.

While in reflective moods, how about a closeup series?

I made the move to faster internet and VOIP calls towards the end of the year and skype is taking over among our friends. I can really see everything going through IP traffic in just a few years, including tv and radio!

Towards the end of the year we had Jofi, our relative from Subotica staying with us (well, mainly with my parents) and he helped to paint the house. The new colours look stunning ("warm neutral" all round with a sprinkle of rusty red and nutty black). Both Beata and I had visions about colours and what should go where, we're really pleased with the results...

This was the year that Zoe has graduated from Heany Park Primary. They've been crying for months by the time it arrived... when will they see the friends...they'll stay best friends forever...etc. On this pic below, she is in front of one of the beforementioned red walls painted by Jofi...already dressed and happy to pose.

And a few hours later, at the Stamford with the lifelong best friends