Holiday greetings and best wishes for the new year! I’m writing this
from Maroochydore QLD, where we’ve been for more than a week now;
since arriving I’ve been very unmotivated to do much else than swim,
eat, drink, and sleep, hence missing the chance to wish you all a
Merry Christmas. Hope you all had a good one anyway – we certainly
did. We spent the day at a unit we rented at a local resort, with
Jasmina’s brother Goran and his wife Lidija and the rest of the
Galloways; unfortunately Stu’s fiance Belinda had to stay in Melbourne
to work and was very sorely missed.
2005 has been pretty eventful, the most significant milestone for us
was moving back to Australia in July. Following a visit to Melbourne
in late 2004 I applied for a Centenary Fellowship at U. Melbourne, and
was offered the position around the same time that Jasmina’s
“temporary” permanent Australian residency came through. The timing
seemed fortuitous, and after much soul-searching and discussions we
decided I would accept and we’d go home.
The next six months were pretty full on. Some highlights:
- our friends Glen & Anna’s engagement party in Jan; we are now
looking forward to joining them in Copenhagen in the new year to
celebrate their wedding
- our combined skiing trip to Norway followed by a visit to Serbia in
March. The skiing was great, as usual, and our Norwegian friend Olaf’s
hospitality was first class. We continued on to the Netherlands where
we stayed with Jasmina’s friend Dana & her family.
- we visited NYC in May with Rohan Storey (another Aussie, living at
the time in Seattle) and his friend Sam. We are sufficiently slack
that that was the first time Jasmina had been there, despite living 4
hours away for the previous 3 years.
- Jasmina’s cousins Bora and Tamara came down to Boston from Toronto
for the weekend and ended up driving home in a car chock-full of
household goods we weren’t going to take home with us.
- Yuri, Jon, Glen & I (the midweek drinking club) took off for a road
trip to Maine, Vermont & Montreal, which was a lot of fun.
- Our friends Mike & Cara got married in a beautiful ceremony on the
beach in Rhode Island in June.
We had a huge going-away party on July 16th which was probably the
biggest night ever in the house – our poor old rickety deck was
probably never closer to catastrophic failure. Our Watertown buddies
Yuri and Eliza arranged for us to catch a last Red Sox game the week
before we left, and Jasmina finally got to see her idol Ortiz in
action. The day we left was a frenzy of running around from the cable
company to the post office; Jasmina enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with
our other Watertown friends Jeno, Paul and Jordan at our local cafe
instead. We had a very sad goodbye to Yuri, Eliza and my ex-flatmate
Matt – our friends in the US are what we’ll miss the most. Finally we
were on the plane and on our way.
We stayed with my brother Stu for the first week in St. Kilda, and
for the next two weeks in a flat owned by the Uni. We found a flat in
Carlton not far from Uni and moved in mid-August, with many many trips
to Ikea and back before we were anywhere near comfortable. The new job
has worked out pretty well for me, and Jasmina continued working with
the MIT folks as well as teaching first-year astronomy for 6 weeks at
Goran & Lidija were our first visitors in August and we had a lot of
fun exploring our new home with them. We have spent the time since
catching up with family and old friends, including a visit to mum &
dad in Maroochydore in September. I had several work trips, to WA,
Korea, Orange NSW, and Brazil; Jasmina went to Sydney instead and hung
out with Goran & Lidija. For our final trip of the year we drove up
here to Maroochydore, picking up Goran and Lidija in Sydney on the
way. Since then it’s just been sun, sand, lots of food and drink, and
fun with the family.
Having reviewed the year and written this I suddenly feel very tired
— I hope you have read this far! Best wishes for the holidays and a
great new year — hope to see or hear from you soon
Duncan & Jasmina
[ You can see more photos from 2005 at