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That Year that was 2008


This was a more "run-of-the-mill" type year for us: working, resting and replenishing the depleted budget. Call it the accumulation phase.
The travel bug was well and truly squashed during last year in Europe, and will take a little longer to rear it beautiful head.

The travel bug

However, just because big things didn't happen, it was not a boring year. Not every day was the "everyday" type. Besides, we're still digesting all those nice memories from Europe. We can slowly start planning the next trips. In the meantime,the world can come to us for a change.

Ernie visiting


Talking about the world coming to us. While we were in our hometown last year, we've stayed with Z's cousin Ernie and his family. They were all very interested in the stories about Oz, so we've offered hospitality if they do come to visit us (that was the least we could do after seeing the lengths they've gone to make us feel comfy and happy in their home). Since Ernie has a dead season with his work around Jan-Feb, he decided to come and visit. On Jan 7th? of 2008 he indeed arrived, and we've spent a cool 3 months together.

Flooring done


Ernie also "helped" with some home improvement...so up went the old carpet, and in it's place western australian gum hardwod flooring.
Can you tell how T. wanted to do this work?Some of the tools...
Dust is still flying in the air. Stairs (esp. their corners) were the hardest to do!Ta-taaa!

February: Timi starting high school. In her own words:


Goodbye Heany Park (primary). Hello Wheelers Hill (high school). I had my best friend there with me, but nobody else. At first it's weird because people try to find friendship groups, but can't find their place. By now we have all settled. The weirdest thing is going from little people to seeing 18 year olds walk around you. Teachers, people and everybody is heaps meaner then in PS. I Miss Primary school a lot.. Especially my friends from there because I get along with them even better then the people here at WHSC! A lot of people are leaving the school at the end of the year, moving on to semi private schools and private schools. Work is surprisingly easier then primary :) It has a been a pretty good year, different to last year, but good, I hope year 8 is better:.

July: T.S. staying-new recordings


In between moving out from one place and moving into another T.S. stayed with us for a few weeks. We had a few jamming/recording sessions...one song got pushed to a good standard is The long walk (in a dream).mp3. Really slow, mellow and relaxing song about my favourite topic: The metaphorical long road we all have to travel, with spiritual connotations (lyrics here).

August: Dad's New job


One of the reasons we travelled extensively was to re-set our brain and the stale thinking that accumulates with the sedate lifestyle.

In Europe we've often curled up in this pose for hours on end. Once we've accidentally left our travel case in front of us, and someone threw a coin in (joke alert!)

Upon our return, I've felt easier about changing a job where I've spent the last 10 years. It was as if the institutionalised, habitual thought pattern was broken, our fear of risk lowered. So, being close to look for other work, when a few unsavoury things happened at work, I was ready to send my CV to a few agents. In August I've got a new job..to my great surprise, even though this is a IT sort of work, I'm driving not towards the city, but into the countryside. It is a long drive (75km drive one way), but not stressful, so it is going well.
I can now see that it is healthy for both the individual and the companies if people do move around a little. People learn more as they move around, and companies benefit from the experience collected elsewhere. I'm not advocating the job-hopping every couple of years so prevalent among Gen Ys, but a change after say a nice 7 year period could be for the greater good...maybe.

September: Beata the ebay-wizard


Beata realised that she can get good quality designer clothes and shoes on ebay at very low prices, and a new hobby was born. When that got a bit boring, she has moved onto rugs, lights, pictures and other decorative furnishings. Luckily for the budget, she has also taken to selling with at least a modicum of enthusiasm, so all that gear just gathering dust is slowly turning into a more liquid form of capital, and the house into a more spacious dwelling.
Two Heslingers bought at auction for under $10,000 (actually, on e-bay, for $100, and we don't know who Heslinger is :) )

September: GranPa's heart attack and lucky timing


During September Granma decided, after a much agony, to give up her job and start a new one closer to home. So she finishes up one job on Friday, and as the new job is only starting on Tuesday, she is home on this fateful Monday.
Since MumPa (collective noun for Granpa and Granma, inpired by the "Black Books" comedy series) have been trying to give up smoking, they book a hypnotherapist for this Monday to get some help in their quest.
However, soon after Pa has finished work and got home, he has a severe heart attack. If Mum wasn't there, it could well have ended up a fatal one. As it happened, ambulance came within minutes, operation was carried out within half an hour and Pa is a bit shaken, but made it through without any damage to the heart. Oh, and he hasn't looked at the cigarette since. Not recommended, but looks like having a heart attack is a very effective way to stop smoking (even if not fatal!). Also, we reckognise and are very thankful for God's good providence on this day.

Matthew 10: (NIV version)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

October: Ashdown Saturday


Z has been playing bass for many years now, and always had a nice guitar, but never a nice amplifier. This got rectified in a big way in October. The day we purchased the Ashdown Mag 600 is now popularly called "Ashdown Saturday", the Sundays I play in church on it are called "Sunday, Ashdown Sunday", sang with the melody from U2's "Sunday, bloody Sunday".

November: Zoe gets boy germs


Throughout 2008, A. was a boy, who was a friend, but not a boy-friend, Zoe kept telling us. Then one day, A. joined his roles in one word.
About 6 weeks later we took Zoe to the doctor with very sore throat. Doctor's first words: "I'm sorry about the personal question, but do you have a recent boyfriend?"
Turned out Zoe contracted glandular fever, otherwise known as kissing disease. Zoe!!!
At least we know she does tell us when something important is "going down" in her life.
Nasty disease this, glandular fever. Two weeks out from school, and many weeks more of very light physical activity. We pray that she won't have lingering complications.

November: Raingirls


One hot November day ended with a huge downpour. Coming home from work, we find T. and 3 neighbours running around in the pouring (but warm) rain. Splashing, rolling, dancing, giggling. Blocking the gutter to make a pond.

End of Year: Memorable books


Z: Robert Winston: The Human Mind. Best sci-fi currently in print, and as a bonus: it is all real! Studies of people given tasks and their brains "watched" under MRI, or studies of people with their brains impaired in certain areas make us understand the amazing way in which we process information. After reading I understand myself better...the frustrations caused by some personality traits (mine and other's) or reactions melt away once I understand the underlying picture. Now I think I believed in mystic explanations too easily- now the spiritual dimension is smaller (but not diminished in its importance).

B: Helena Frith-Powell: More More France Please. Stories of English who moved over to France to live. Such a francophile, B. is

And finally, welcome to the inaugural "Moments of the Year" awards: (trumpets)
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The Award

The Winner

The "Wooden Spoon"

Beata and Zoltan for pushing the Corolla around to jump start it, only to find the car didn't have a flat battery but wasn't starting because the immobiliser was turned on.

The "Scariest and Luckiest moment"

Grandma being home just on the one day Dad had a heart attack.

The "It'll be alright" picture of the year


An Iraqi journalist throws a shoe to Bush's face

The "Best buys in alcoholic beverages"

It is a draw: getwinesdirect.com.au special Coonawarra Cabernet at $6.50 a bottle and Beata having found "Gorki List" (old trade name "Pelinkovac", a bitter drink made of herbs and produced in our hometown-actually a couple of family members work for the brewer!) in the local bottleshop!

Best study of "The extent of the Power of Love"

That's all for this year...we wish all our friends the very best 2009, and know that we're thinking of all of you.

Take good care,
Z., B., Z. and T.