So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow

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Glad, Bad, Sad


My course seems to be going ok, I’m really enjoying the teaching, but maybe not so much being in a stuffy classroom, maybe its my age, but I’m often too warm, the students have found the thermostat and keep on turning it up!!!

Friday was a busy day, and after the first snow and tackling Present Perfect we were all feeling a bit knackered. Then came a call from the Boss, confirming just the number of books I’d ordered- and being tired I started obsessing over it, not being able to get the numbers right. Then the Boss rang again, offering me a job in April one day a week for ten weeks -Yay!!! That afternoon I had to go to St Margarethen to meet one of the owners of one of the flats I’m key holding for , and they had done all the shopping that was needed for the flat. Glad!

After work was over, I went to meet Dave at the carpark and there was a terrific bang as two cars collided on the junction, someone had ignored a stop sign, there was a lot of shouting, it shook me up, maybe after my own accident.  Bad!

Then in the evening, I had a message from my friend Elke, whose dog, Lea  I might just have mentioned, as  Swingle’s great play and run buddy. But Lea is no more. A typical teenager dog (a year) she  was wont to sneak out (especially if no one was looking) and take herself for a walk, despite their best efforts with fences and tying her up. And yesterday she met a car on the road. I’m so sorry for the family and kids, have sent my love and will pop round soon. I do hope they find a replacement quickly. And I will have to take Swingle one day to see her friend is no longer there. Sad

A touch of autumn in the water

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Swingle and Mr B


Swingle has trained Mr B to carry biccies for her. If we’re along the lane, she can scent he is there and rushes off barking as loud as she can. She stops and sits by him, and he drops the titbits in her mouth. Presently I catch up and we chat, and sometimes he gives me a sweet!!!!!!  I took this photo secretly so I can make it into a Christmas card for him!!!

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I did it!


The first week back at work is always exhausting, but at least this time I was prepared for it. I knew about the chaos and the excitement. What I hadn’t reckoned on was Swingle’s stomach. She’s been going out more regularly in the night for a few months, I reckon her last wormer was too strong. But she went into overdrive my first week. I can do most things, but sleep deprivation is my achilles heel, and as I get older I need my sleep more undisturbed  than before. It didn’t help that on the nights she was ok, I woke enough to be semi conscious and not be able to go off again for a couple of hours.

I also had library duties on Monday after my long day until 1p.m, and an extra evening course that I hadn’t reckoned on, on Thursdays. Luckily, a couple of days Swingle was at Bella’s so she was so knackered I didn’t need to walk her. But I still needed to get out in the fresh air and move on the other days, nothing more tiring than being indoors in a classroom!

The evening course has turned into a joy as the daughter of the people I used to work for in Rennweg is on the course, they had bought the Haflingers I worked with in 2008, and we’d lost contact, so that’s great.

My Business English in some ways is a disaster, last year I had 90% of my group at intermediate level and they really could have done with business English. This year, no assessment day, and it was obvious from the start, two were beginners. I blame the Job Centre for not giving them the right information. So two moved to the other course, then  one didn’t turn up and was replaced, then one woman, the day after I had worked with her, not allowing her to hide in the corner, ran away, claiming its all too difficult.

The guy I’m working with is very laid back, and really easy to work with. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, with a consolidated group, the book we’re using is a bit thin for this course but there’s so many things to work on, I’m really happy!

And Swingle’s stomach?  The vet gave me new food, didn’t work, changed to digestive dry food, didn’t work, so we’ve now put her onto evening feeds, hopefully that will sort the bugger’s body clock out.

But most of all, I’ve realised, despite the lack of sleep, the extra work, the adjustment, I’ve got the energy, I can do it all and do it well, I DID IT!

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Cow Piccies!

September 26th

The cows are down in the valley, endorsed by the amount of dung on the roads! At last some cow piccies, enjoy!!!!!

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The Library

p1320417I’ve now started my apprenticeship at the library and am learning my new trade. Annie is patiently showing me the filing system, how its been organised, how she orders books. She orders through the suppliers and says the books are often a bit old, so I suggested the Amazon Bestsellers list, she’d never heard even of Katie Fforde. There’s sections where a writer has got popular and she’s got lots of titles, and then people go off them. Apparently someone came in a while ago and they had a chuck of all the unused books, there is a way to sort this on the system.


I went in on a Wednesday with Linda, to have no customers!  But we used the time with a lesson in new book covering! The playschool comes in once a month, but all along, there are very few customers.  The library is open three days a week, Monday and Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings. Something I think I will change, so long as the total time is six hours a week!  There is an uncomfortable table and chairs and my first move will be to put a small sofa there!

Oh, I’ve so many ideas, kids clubs, reading club,  taking the library to the old, housebound folks in the village,even coffee mornings!!!! I went to a regional meeting last week and for such a small area, the Lungau there is a library in all the major villages and with support form the county, reading schemes, special weeks, it couldn’t be more intensive. Some libraries even open on a Saturday!


The library moved to its current home in the early 90s, seemingly  with a charismatic leader. There were book readings and a lot of older folks talking to kids, sleepovers for the kids, all of which must be time consuming. A lot of these folks have now passed on!I get the impression that Annie and Linda are burnt out, and it is time for a new brush. I will however, only commit to 5 years. I will need to raise the profile and find a bigger team of helpers!  Annie has warned me that it can take over your life, an for little pay.

I may be able to take my first training in January, which should be a challenge. When we go over to the UK  at Christmas I’m hoping that I can go around and shamelessy  steal ideas. But I’m loving it, even if the books are in German!

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Back to work!


As you read this, I am back at work teaching Business English in Tamsweg, my annual job!  Its a new area for me, so I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve got another American to work with which should be fun and we’re in a new building so hopefully we might even have a beamer to use!!!!! I had my dream group last year, lets hope this lot are just better!!!!!

I may have an evening’s Conversation course in St MIchael, but I’m so hoping there wont be enough people!

After this we’re off to the UK , then we come back to the full blast of the ski season, with flat cleaning and the new role as a key holder for three flats in St Margarethen. Dave thinks I’m nuts but I’m not cleaning and I’m not doing meet and greet. I said all this at the interview and he still wanted me! I have to be there for emergencies and to collect the Gemeinede tax, which the company for some reason don’t collect themselves!   We’ll still have our cleaning flats too.

Then I will have the library on a Monday afternoon, and I’m signed up for my first week’s training in January, where its all paid for by the state!  A holiday at last!

All this I hope will stop the homesickness, but at the back of my mind is the thought that I really musn’t take anything else on, I might just be over doing it, but we got so bored in Winter!!!!!!!