So where's the snow?

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

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Dead things


Dead, squashed mole!

This wet and humid summer is playing havoc with the wildlife. While I’ve been out with the dog, there’s been dead moles all over the place and many dead fledglings. The moles I guess have been washed out, unable to find the worms maybe. The fledglings wet and not many bugs to be fed upon with this rain, bees and butterflies don’t fly!!


The result is, in middle August, I’ve started feeding the birds who’ve come down to avoid the storms. I’ve got about six Bullfinches,  some sparrows, I’ve seen chaffinches, most of the tit family and greenfinches. They certainly are hungry! The Robins are back, I love their chattering, clicking song, reminds me of when my son was born!  The Fieldfares are forming into groups now the Vogelberries are ripening. And I’m seeing more and more field pigeons which have arrived since us, nine years ago.

Its now late August and it feels more autumnal than late summer. The farmers have been cutting hay when they can, I can see it going on until September, but I wonder of the quality of the hay when its all so full of water! The thunderstorms have been incredible too! Inbetween the wet has been beautiful weather, just wish there was more of it!

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Anna, Valli and I have met a few times and its the start of something new.  When we met the other day I found myself actually opening up about my problems with the father figure, and how despite all he says to me and shows me, I cant trust him. Fathers run away, they leave you and cant be trusted. This then leads into when someone does turn to you, you reject them and reject them knowing that evenutally, they will turn and give up on you. This leads into a further monumental sulk and a feeling of exclusion. So when you see people having fun, being on holiday you are jealous and feel left out-(see recent events)  although I think I was excluded from things as a child and then I get into the why didn’t I say mode, such as when my piano was smashed by my brothers for a lark, aided by my mother, who was then angry that I hadnt reminded her about my lessons, no, we’ll get another, I had to go to neighbours and so gave up.  This then leads you into a feeling of being alone (and I think I was often alone as a child), learning to enjoy your own company , and rather than telling people stuff, you write it down………….

After I finally revealed all this, and I rarely speak about myself, we all left, but in that evening, I was so chuffed when Valli rang and said lets meet without Anna, she was finding it all a but difficult when faced with Mrs Super Spiritual while she is dealing with her problems in the house. She also wanted to pray with me. When I arrived, she was in a state and I could just feel her pain as I remember all the years that my mother and my gran fought and bickered. She lives in a shared house with her Mother-in-law………..I suggested that they get a third party into mediate as there are no ways with the building to change it to separate entrances and gardens at the moment. But inside I was relieved, because that nasty little voice had said to me, if you are healed of all these issues, what will be left of Anna, all I could see was a negative effect when all should be a great happy change. And I didn’t want to cry in public! So we prayed a little but more for Valli, maybe next time for me………



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Einach Revisted

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Still one of my favourite walks, I took some more pictures on the old farmhouse, just before the rain came. The light was great, and the shadows evocative of late summer. Will do another later in the year!

FB click on the link for piccies!

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Astilbes and Wild Geraniums

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This July has had so much rain, that the geraniums and the astilbes have grown like mad and as I walk the dog around the valley, their scent and colour are all around me.

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As summer begins to turn to autumn


It really feels like this as the cooler weather brings that nip into the mornings! I’ve done all but a couple of little bits on the decorating, two bedrooms, the kitchen, the hall and repaired the outside wall.

I’ve got to go to the Gemiende, as me taking over the library is now official, Annie will stay until December 2017, so I can so my training- writing stuff in German -arggh! But at least I can get my project of taking the books to the people can start soon. I’m teaching again for ibis, for two months, then we’re off to England, my focus for the entire year! After the last meeting I took the Burgermeister to task about how the dog lead rule came in and he never talked to any óf the dog owners, what a twat! But he’ll be my paymaster, so I have to be careful!

The Holiday lets have driven me mad, where we never have a weekend off, but I’ adjusting at times to not having weekends off, and Dave may get some time off next month.

I’m seeing about being a keyholder for some flats in St Margarethen, no cleaning, just collecting Orts tax and stuff-phew! Dave doesn’t want anything to do with it – my business, MY money!

The garden is coming to harvest, although we’ve eaten the peas and most of the beans, We may get some sweetcorn  and the kale and sprouts look great! The melon project didn’t work- too damp, all have rotted. But the hokkaido squashes are the biggest yet, the compost was too rich too, and because the bees didn’t fly, we should have pollinated sooner, but I have three huge squashes!

I’m glorying in my friendships here. I cant wait for Christmas -did I say that?


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Summer highs and lows


Much like last summer, I’m enjoying my walks with the dog, days potteringalternating with extremely busy times, especially when we have meals on wheels duty. I’ve also added the extra joy of redecorating the house. The preparation is worse than the actual painting but I’ve been having a big clear out too.

Having a mean streak caught me out yet again!  I could have taken some little cards and matched out yellow bedroom, but I saw the ready mixed paint was 20 euros cheaper, so I snatched that off the shelf- result a bedroom that owes more to a Policeman’warning vest than a bedroom, but at least it feels warm!!!!

On my latest Meals on Wheels stint I was aware of how great I was feeling despite being so busy, I wasn’t lagging although sometimes I was just so tired I was falling asleep as my head hit the pillow, but I had no sensation of this tiredness where in the past I would have to take a nap in the afternoon!

I began to suspect that I was still having symptoms of gluten intolerance, so I double checked all that I was eating. And found that it was highly likely that my beloved porridge oats that I have for breakfast could well be contaminated – yes, they were the chepest brand….. So I looked for alternatives and found that you can buy Rice flakes, which cooked in the microwave made a very nice alternative – if a bit like rice pudding  for breakfast!  But I just felt a huge freedom from the sense of burning and discomfort in my stomach. The palpitations are gone- I one day indvertantly ate some Gluten, and could feel it straight away and in three days had a couple of mild pappitations, but no more! I’ve now bought guaranteed gluten free oats from the interweb, but the delivery is so expensive, I have to eek them out, NO health food shops in Lungua, the one time I miss a big city shop!

So whizzing around on MOW I was suddenly was aware that I was rushing around but was at peace. I was resting in God because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to be constantly absorbed by myself. I must learn to rest in this. I felt strongly  that despite all my misgivings, I am here at the right time, in the right place, despite my missing my kids. This bliss went on the whole week, but of course, sooner or later I blew it, but its informing my thoughts. For example, I’d put myself under pressure, oh, I must read the Bible daily, feeling that I should be more upset about all this end time stuff around me and friends saying that I should be driven by a sense of urgency we have to prepare the Bride for Christ!

NO! God created us to have firstly a relationship with him and walk in the cool evening garden. I’ve been letting other people heap guilt on me. And I’m staying in this quiet place and seeing the changes around me. It will change, its not a stasis, I’m sure but the more I hang on to the pressures other people put on me, the drier and the further away from his peace I will be.

Then the guilt started tripping me up. Everyone else has family around or is having a holiday (such as the PC shop that still hadn’t fixed my laptop), I felt excluded especially when a friend who has family staying was too busy when I wanted to pop in. Wallow, wallow wallow, I’ve always had a sense of being left out from my childhood and this cracked in with a vengeance! Self pity rolling in.

Then the other Anna lent me a CD about the end times, and I thought, oh n, not again, signs and omens, panic panic, run around like headless chickens in your faith. But I listened to it (might have fallen asleep the first time though).

It was citing the marriage at Cana and had some background knowledge. It was Mary, who had organised the wedding. She had been duped over the wine. She asked Jesus in expectation that he would do something before his time and he did. There was a lot more but this is the hub. We should be living in a sense of expectation, which he classed as a sure knowledge that something will happen, even if we know not what. Is this a counter to unbelief? It suddenly makes sense to me of the times we’re in, he’s showing signs of being on his way, we should be excited not obsessing about how many earthquakes there’s been. And to be sure he is going to to do something before the time arrives. It’s a gestalt shift, from doom and gloom to a looking forward excpectantly.


So I prayed that I didn’t know what he was planning but he knew how I’m feeling. And so I waited for something. Takes time, that night, Edith rang me up, just asking me to visit, and we had such a nice time just catching up.  Prayer answered, here is a friend who isn’t on hols, hasn’t got reams of family and just wants a chat! Lovely!

Then this weekend Dave really was tired so on a beautiful Sunday I was off for a walk with Swingle in the most beautiful scenery on my own and I was again so aware of my alone-ness, not loneliness. Being an island. I got like this last summer. Is it any good for me? Being fed up. Got back after a glorious walk to a sleepy husband, but by the end of the evening I explained how I’m feeling and how good it would be for us to take a break, so I got, oh, I don’t like the crowds, we’ve got the changeovers, we’re going to the UK at Christmas, blahblahblah.

What I felt was that although we had been together on the weekend, we hadn’t been together or done anything, it was just like being on my own most of the weekend and loathe as I am to admit it, I miss his company , even on walks when he’s moaning about a perfectly well behaved dog. We’re spending a beautiful summer in separate camps. I can see his weariness, but he could make some effort. If it is so bad maybe he should see a doctor. But then again he’s over 60 and a six day week is to much! The following week, we found a compromise, we just sat in the garden, no TV, had a meal together and just chatted. Now I’m looking forward to him having some time off in September………..




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My nice little job measuring the Thomatalerbach has one disadvantge. This year, where we’ve had so much rain, the river brings down with it loads of sand, which flows into the reading area. Muggins here has to shovel it out as it goes over the numbers. Quite hard work, but I’ve a shovel with a long handle for traction. Its not unpleasant on a hot afternoon with my feet in the water and at least I’m paid for the time, but I just wish it would stop raining so much!


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