Full Circle


Drnovšek at the March for Food 2007
Janez Drnovšek at the March for Food 2007 (photo by dr. Fil)

An era of Slovenian politics reached an end tonight as quietly and inconspicuously as the main actor in this particular stage production probably would have wanted.

Whether you agreed with him or not or rather no matter at what time of his life you would have seen eye to eye on an issue, the man had a certain style. I cannot pretend to have known him, even though such presumptions come to us easily and naturally when prominent public figures are concerned, but who he was and what he did had a major influence on my life as well as any other citizen of Slovenia.

I sit in the park in front of the Karlskirche in Vienna, bathing in warm sunshine and I find myself pondering once more over what is truly important. And I think of all the people who have enriched my life in just the past two days.

I think about the medical doctor who made it a point to make me smile early in the morning. I think about the HRM officer struggling with corporate helplines as her respiration machine failed. I think about the Bulgarian lady who is leaving her home and family and coming to work to Germany for a European institution in search of a better life. And about a Romanian girl about to quit her well-paid Luxembourgish job in order to have at least a semi-normal life with her husband who lives in another country. About the Swiss taxi driver in Luxembourg who is saving up to finish his architecture studies in Portugal. About my ex jogging partner who named me dr. Filomena and is now endulging in the sensations of partnership and love after many a failed attempt at forced happinness. I think about the two lovely children I played with last evening and who made me remember what true joy really is while they tickled me half to death. I think about the man I love.

And I realize. Again. It is all about people.

The man whose focus shifted so dramatically from material to spiritual, from things to living creatures, knew. A man of power became a man of inner strength.

Rest in Peace

People Rule
or at least the should

Edit: Go to Pengovsky’s blog for a comprehensive post on the -very full- life of JD.

Birthday Season


Binula and Dr. Filomena
Binula and Dr. Fil

Some of my very favourite people seem to have their birthdays very close to one another, so it’s been a sort of a birthday season lately. You guys, I love you just the way you are.

Happy birthday!



Žale cemetary in Ljubljana
Žale cemetary, Ljubljana

Here’s some more of that Slavic schmaltz especially for alcessa 😉
I’m not one to go light candles on my relatives’ graves very often, much less at times when this is expected to be done en masse by generally accepted standards and conventions, but I still cannot dismiss this time of the year. If it hadn’t been for this darned cold, I’d have gone to Urh. In Slovenia the All Saints Day is called, rather eerily, “Dan mrtvih” or the “Day of the Dead”. I prefer to think of it as the remembrance day.

A time when we pause from the hectic daily lives most of us lead and ponder over issues of a slightly more spiritual nature than job/money problems, the latest politician-induced blood pressure surge, the everimportant colour of the couch to match the wall if not feng shui rules.

When it comes to those who’ve been here before us, I somehow cannot believe that once they are gone, they are gone completely. Call it spirit, energy, whatever you like, but I feel my loved ones are with me. They were such a big part of my life that they left a print in my heart that cannot be erased by simple breakdown of their ‘shells’.

Remembrance to me had little to do with actually going to graves, preferably dressing up according to the latest fashion trends and decorating the grave once a year. It is about keeping my loved ones in my thoughts year-round and remembering the times we spent together and what I’ve learned from them. Undoubtedly, one of the lessons that stuck is to enjoy the company of those who are very much alive. Here and now.

In the words of the old bard…

Receive what joy you may
The Night is long
That never finds the day

Grandma – The Steel Lady who Cast a Vote


Grandma Amalia

My grandmother Amalia, a.k.a. Malka, has been through a lot in her life. As a young girl, she risked her life on numerous occasions in the nation’s struggle to fight off first the Italian and then the German occupying forces during WWII. As so many other young Slovenians, she helped rebuild the country after the war, even taking part in the youth work brigades all around the freed Yugoslav territories. All of that to the point of total exhaustion.

So perhaps it should not come as a surprise that yesterday, when power was cut off in her building, she would not let this stop her from voting in the Presidential elections. Aged 85 and not in the best of health, she walked down 9 flights of stairs in pitch black dark she had to illuminate with her tiny battery light, cast her vote and walked back up. Not too many ladies came from that same mould, huh?

Rather interesting that the electric company should choose a Sunday and an election Sunday at that, to replace a transformer in a neighbourhood predominantly populated by old pensioners, mainly of the same basic political persuasion. Without prior notice except on the Internet and one local radio station. For an added bonus, reportedly, one of the buildings affected by the blackout is home to one of the presidential candidates’ parents. Perhaps even more interesting in the light of the tighter results than anticipated.

You can read a more detailed account of the elections and a commentary on the issue of the mysteriously hard-working electricians on an election Sunday by Človek Lubenica in Slovenian.

I Spy With my Little Eye


Just a pic I took while waiting for Mattie and Dilys at Prešernov trg, fiddling with the menues of my camera.

Peter Božič

edit 18 JUL 2007:
The photo is of Peter Božič. Some information may be found here.

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