So where's the snow?

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

Tales from the Burg

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Berg not Burg!

Last Saturday, I was on my own for a shift, feeling refreshed after three days off and with a devil many care attitude as I arrived – quite a change for me!  The film crew had left the major rooms in the Burg in chaos, so there was relatively little to do.  I got chatting to one of the cooks who I know is a gossip monger and when she asked If I found Michaela ok, I said she is great to work with, but Erna not. The reply to which was she was glad not to have a lot to  do with her – quite uplifting to find it isn’t just me.  We then discussed finding work here, and I said I may leave this autumn – I wonder how long till that gets around!   Then I bumped into our boss lady from Vienna, and it was so nice to have a chat – and I was lazy and spoke in English.  I told her that I have ideas about changing how we clean the castle, but every time I mention it I’m completely ignored or unpopular, but she said she was interested to hear, and we made a date to meet next week when she meets collects her son. We also got into a talking about the lack of team spirit here, organisation and communication, and I told her a little about my job in the UK, and how here  a simple thing like a maintenance book as we had there would make a difference. Some repairs are never being done here and we need things like new bins and baby changing mats but no one will take responsibility to organise it.  Helmuth has enough on his plate. Then she said that next year there will be a part-time bloke doing just these things and stuff like team building on a regular basis.  Cor my subconscious went nuts- wouldn’t mind that job, but I’d have to spend the winter seriously improving my German! I expect it’s already decided but it gave me a little hope to dream.  When I spoke to Michaela the next day about changing the cleaning, as expected she said she has absolutely no interest whatsoever – except for rebuilding the shower rooms! We had a brilliant day that day, catching up on news and giggling in the Erna free zone.  We see less of each other now as the groups come and stay for longer, only needing one cleaner.

We were chatting to Katrin who was doing some ironing, and she hadn’t worked all weekend, although they were short staffed.  All the kitchen staff were in that day – doing what we wondered, most of the kids were out all day.  Katrin then said she was told she had to stay until 3 and has to do 53 hours this week to make her time up – it could be that someone was winding her up but Michaela and I heard them saying they must work as many hours as possible.  Michaela reckons they’re doing this so they don’t have to sign on so soon – extra hours mean are given at the end of the year as free/ time in lieu, if you see what I mean.  If they’re doing this, working unneeded hours, isn’t that a form of stealing?

The film crew ran seriously over time, and were still clearing up on Monday, they’d left a hoover in the Rittersal to clear up the remains of the fake smoke they’d made, fleck of white everywhere.  For the first time in xxxx years I cleaned between some of the floorboards and lumps of ancient dust and muck lifted out. This is why when we scrub the floor, the copious amounts of water wash some of it out, but it goes back in again, and sweeping just shoves more down, let alone the damage all this water does to the joists below.  All it would need would be once a year maybe a thorough deep cleaning and occasional hoovering.  Trouble is the boards are so worn, everything stains and that really can only be removed by scrubbing – or maybe something, like a carpet cleaner that pushes water in then sucks it out…….

Just as we were finishing, a group a ladies came on a tour, one was so sweet, dressed in a dirndl, great big boots and her hair in a plait around her head.  They went up into the minstrel’s gallery and sang a folk song, Wow, the hairs on my arms stood on end, it was beautiful.

When I was telling Helmuth about this, he told us he’d had a call from the village hotel (run by Russian mafia according to Paggy)  wanting a tour at 9.00 oclock in the evening, he’d of course refused as the Bug is full of kids and they are supposed to be settling for the night. He said blow him down if he didn’t find the ‘Verein’ or club that does the tours when he can’t, doing a tour later that night, so he chucked them out of the Burg and in a huff they went and had a drink in the Naschkammer.  Only for a couple to wander off to take photos, given away by the flashlights – he chucked them all out once mre!  I suppose now we’ll have guys in big suits threatening to burn the Burg down (again)!

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