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Welcome, Isten hozott, Dobrodosli

That Year that was 2009-long version


Peppa, the ferret


In January we welcomed Peppa, the ferret into our lives.

Ferrets are awesome (manic) fun, unfortunately Peppa has quickly used up all our goodwill. Firstly, it stayed smelly, no matter how much ferret-washing Timi did (allegedly). Secondly, it bit fairly hard, and even if it didn't, since it liked to climb up inside the legs of the pants, Beata was afraid of it :) The last straw came when it chewed on the pipes of the dishwasher and the washing machine, making them leak and ruin the brand new polished wood floor. By February, we had to let him go...fortunately the Ts (the friendly girls from the neighbourhood) were happy to take him.

Couch Surfers


Since 2008 December, we started to get requests for stay from a lerge number of Couchsurfers.

Some of our awesome guests in 2009

For those not yey in the know, Couchsurfing.org is a website where travellers who would like to meet and stay with locals can ask hosts (who enjoy meeting travellers) if a stay (usually of few nights) is possible. It is a great way to connect with a very special bunch of people!

Movie making


The filmmakers (our two girls and the aforementioned Ts) were in good form this year with two blockbusters released. In January: "No reception" premiere. "1909 The Movie" followed on 27th of September.

The DVD set, available online from Burkus Production

Zoe


29th Jan, 2009: Zoe's first paid employment (4 hour shift in a cafe). Since then, her hourly rate has gone up and her hours have increased and now she is the new burgeoisie of the family-if anyone needs money, we can always go to her! Thank God she hasn't started charging interest on her lending-I wonder if this will change once her math curriculum covers compound interest? In all seriousness, she is smart with her money, having some fun, but also buying gifts, even saving a portion!

She is not in training for gymnastics this year (might start again next year?), but still visits the gym as an assistant coach. When working with the youngest charges, an unexpected part of the curriculum is giving "extra strength toilet training", as the standard competence level is not adequate for the scary and strenuous circumstances of gym-training! In November, she has done a course that allows her to be in charge of classes-hopefully next year.

Timi


Timi has grown a huge amount this year. We estimate 8-10cm, our friends hardly reckognise her. Even one foot is a full size bigger than the other!

At the beginning of the year Timi wanted to earn some cash as well, but at her age got stuck with delivering flyers, doing which, with some quick thinking, only took a day to realise how little money it pays for how much walking.

Timi has danced in the School musical as well as in the dance school's production:

Timi as the MC

Medical Update


This year the family had to contend with some medical issues...
Bea had a fibroadenoma (or breast mouse) scare. Totally harmless, but feels like more sinister lumps in the breasts, and can scare loving husbands witless.

XXX ILLUSTRATION CENSORED XXX

Zoe's mononucleosis (originally contracted Nov 2008) keeps coming back, but the severity seems to be less with time.

Zoltan's back has gotten worse, probably his back condition (suspected bulging disc) affecting the legs as well. He is fond of saying that he has a Ferrari engine in a Fiat chassis. If fact, asking him how he is today starting to sound like that conversation between enthusiast-owners of old cars: "the tendons above the patella are pretty good, but the L4-L5 disc is shot and the left sciatic nerve needs attention".
When no longer able to to anything but walking, out of desperation Z tried something apart from the usual (chiroprator, exercise and massage): acupuncture. When on the table with a forest of needles sticking out of the back and looking like a balding albino hedgehog, it must not be a very good look, but initial results are encouraging and well worth the trauma of being "punctured".

Timi is generally the healthy one, she only complained about some knee and heel pain, generally when dancing or running too much.

The Aubartus website


Blog engine (word press) was added to the aubartus website (click for start page here) in May and the (click for) homepage re-designed in October. Hopefully these changes will make adding contents and navigating easier, enable feedback by friends and make the whole thing prettier! The site averages around 140 unique visitors per month.

Travel Done and Travel Plans


Zoe went on a 10 day bus-camping trip to central Australia


In August, the girls have spent a day in snow (Mt Buller)

This year Zoltan has also traveled tens of thousand of kilometres with work...mainly not to the international tourist meccas of Launceston, Geelong, Ballarat, Hamilton, Portland, Murray Bridge, Northam, Wongan Hills, Quairading, Carnarvon, Kingaroy, Laidley, Ingham, Tongala, Rushworth, Goondiwindi, Kingston, Huonville, Yea and Maryborough.

The scenic views and famous dunny of Milang, South Australia. That's Milang SA, not Milano, Italy.

In June we've started planning the 2010 European trip (for plans, click here). Couldn't believe when picked up return tickets to Europe on the new low cost airline AirAsia (airasia.com) for $750 per person (Australian dollars). Buoyed by the excitement, another trip to Europe in 2011 is already being dreamed about.

The Burgman


Since July, Zoltan is an owner of a Suzuki Burgman. It is big, it is white, and very, very comfortable to ride on, so he has named it the "white cloud" (yes, he does imagine it would be very comfortable to ride on a cloud).
Everything about riding a scooter is as good as it looks...however, one thing no-one realised is just how much the bike helmet makes Z look fatter...for example, here's a pic before Z putting the helmet on...and move mouse over the image to see me a few seconds later with helmet on...

A cool story


A few years ago a technician on the other side of Australia called Gary Bartus walked into a client's office and noticed Zoltan's Mum's business card (complete with the Bartus name) lying on a desk. The two families started to talk, but the real surprise was when we found out that Gary is Zoltan's second cousin, the grandson of a member of the family who never came back from WW1 and was assumed by all to have been killed in war. In 2009 on one of the work-trips to Cairns, Zoltan called to visit the only other Bartus family in Australia.

Gary's parents

The favourite movies/music/books/comedies

Everyone's favorite experiences were...

Timea

Zoe

Beata

Zoli

Watching Scrubs and the Flight of the Concordes, and reading "Mao's last dancer"

Watching and reading marathons of Harry Potter, watching "Stepbrothers" and Hanna Montana, listening to NeYo.

Reading four (!) books about people moving to and living in France. Watching "La vie en rose" (others were allowed to put the english subtitles on).

Browsing www.ted.com, reading "Accounting: an introduction" :(

Solar panels


Solar panels were installed on 6th of Oct.

Eight 175W Trina panels connected with a german-made inverter called "Sunny Boy", producing about 6-7 kWh on an average day

Zoltan and his "Sunny Boy" quickly made a very deep connection, pushing the girls into a secondary importance and fits of jealousy. Z often goes into the garage to check on his Boy, listen to his Boy's purring and watch with his Boy how the eletricity meter is sent spinning wildly backwards.

Stop the press


On the eve of the 40th birthday, Zoltan has entered a new stage of his life...resigned from full time work and gone back to studying and to the student life! The decision was made in July, and since then he's been looking forward to this. Question is, is he ready for the exertions of student life? Is he equipped to handle the demands? He is certainly well equipped...Motorbike: check, Tennis club membership: check, what else does the student need? Oh, there's one more thing...but we'll get that air hockey table later :)

Nov 28th was the day of the "Party like it is 69" party, a celebration of a special time in history as well as Z's 40th birthday. Thanks to the 40-odd friends who could attend, and wish you were all there!

Various other news...


In October we've sold the investment apartment (which also served as a home in 2007), 5 years after we've bought it. Turned out to be a good move...not "winning the lottery" stuff, but good.

T.S. (Bea's brother) has lived with us for about 6 months.

As good as e-bay has been to us, a new shopping-craze is taking over: op shops. For some adult female members of the family there is nothing like the excitement of finding unused designer pieces at prices that work out as 95% discount!

The family has become Australian on the 5th Nov.

By the end of the year the Home Theatre PC (purchased in July) is working well, and all TV, music, pictures, etc. are being recorded, stored and watched/listened to from this device.

Lastly, the Yearly Awards for the Category called "Outside all categorisations"...

>

The Award

The Winner

The "Wooden Spoon"

The many would-be suitors that thought Zoe was 18 or even 20, and quickly retreated when finding out she is 15.

A random thing I haven't seen on the internet before 2009: Sand Art!


Sand Art Circus

The "Most Memorable (and thus best fulfilling its task) Memorial" of the year


The inscription reads: "Muntazer: fasting until the sword breaks its fast with blood; silent until our mouths speak the truth".
The two metre, 1 1/2 tonne monument in Tikrit (Saddam Hussein's birthtown), in memoriam of journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi throwing his footwear at Bush in 2008 (itself an award winning moment)

An amazing Australian fact


Chook, the male Lyrebird at Adelaide Zoo had a lot of construction going on lately and liked many of the sounds...when he is giving a concert, how many can you identify?


Pic of the year


One sunny winter day two mysterious dancers came to our street, charming everyone not for any benefit, but simply because they were made for charming...when nature is allowed to work like this, it warms the heart of all, even the grumpy neighbourhood cat.

That's all for this year...we wish all our friends the very best 2010, and know that we're thinking of all of you.

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