So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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PUBLISHED TODAY!

At last, Castles in the Air is out as EBook, Paperback with a video of the places featured on You Tube! Links below

A year working with horses in Austria. Dream or nightmare?

Needing to put her past behind her, Ann travels to Austria hoping this time away will bring healing and build new dreams. She throws herself into her job and is quickly immersed in the new experiences and culture. The Icelandic horses are, as ever great soul mates, but the people complicated.

Falling in love again was never in her plan. Has she made another wrong choice?

Follow Ann as she explores the deeply traditional culture which is tied into the seasons of the Lungau in Salzburgerland. This vibrant tale of love and life is a must not only for horse lovers but also for all who love travelling.

Much of the story is based on the real experiences of the author.

A spinnoff from the Horse and Souls series. A video of the horses, countryside, and events is available on Youtube;  https://youtu.be/ecTp_2ZRPGM

 

 


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A strange day…….

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Dave and I have been really praying about our future here in Austria and after the events of the past couple of days, I’m begining to wonder if things such as the meeting with the Priest and yesterday’s bizarre afternoon are some form of answer!

In the morning, I had a call from our Pastor, saying he’d had a mysterious phone call from a man in English a few weeks ago and he had arranged to meet him at the Burg at Three in the afternoon. He had no idea what it was for, there was something to do with a warzone and he couldn’t ring the bloke back.  He couldn’t attend anyway as he had to teach that afternoon. So Dave came along to ride shotgun in case it was a depressed asylum seeker from the local centre. We prayed before we went in, maybe God did have his hand on it…

I went to reception and met an familiar face from when I worked there who informed me the mystery man was getting married there that afternoon. We went up to the Chapel where we met his parents who sent someone off to find the groom. They were waiting for our Pastor to come and do a Wedding Blessing or Ceremony, – they had been married civilly earlier as you have to do in Austria. My blood ran cold. The poor bloke who looked shell shocked.

So I rang the Pastor who exploded down the phone. I can’t do weddings without the right paperwork, I’ll end up in Prison, this guy should have sent me all the forms. He wouldn’t/couldn’t even come to do a blessing. All I got was a tirade of how nothing was going to happen, he even said at one stage I could do a blessing myself.

More discussions. Dave and I went down the hill to the Priest’s house. He was a surprised as us. He had been rung by the bloke, but as he wasn’t Catholic there was nothing he could do, nor was he even ready to go and give a blessing. He and given the groom our Pastor’s number. Back to square One. Then I rang Heidi who is one of the lay preachers and is a human dynamo. She agreed at once to come and do a blessing but wouldn’t make it till six. The wedding party took it well, and were taking photos and chilling while they waited. We had to leave as we had another appointment but Heidi rang later and said she did a lovely little service in a candle lit chapel, using English and German. Phew.

And our Pastor? Another phone call spewing the same stuff, not a word of Oh B’*§$% I’ve screwed up big time, I didn’t understand. No, Just this cant be done, its not the law I can’t come. Maybe something has happened to him in the past where he cant own up to stuff, I don’t know. But at least Dave and I were there and by God’s Grace it was sorted. The only thing I regret is that the couple lived in the same part of the world as Andrew Wommack and I wanted to ask if they knew of him………


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Weekly Photo Challenge:Between

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Quite suddenly the other evening, I saw this light come down on Burg Finstergrün through our kitchen window. The sun is actually behind me in this photo, and is coming between  hills making it look as though this ray of evening light is coming from the opposite direction. I know the exposure isn’t good but it only lasted a short time.

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Often in my life I’ve been stuck between people and conflicts, stuck in depression, if only this place could be the sunny spot like here, not in the dark!

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/between-danielle-hark/


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Walking Season!

P1260852Last week the snow was at last melting away and them hills were calling!  We decided to do a local walk as there are some lovely alms in the neighbourhood we’ve never visited. Our goal was Gstoßhohe near Karneralm. We set off from Burg Finstegrün and it was a well used way with markings and crossings over the schale and slag from the old mine workings in the hills. We even found a ‘deathogram’ not a very exciting one as he just seems to have died at work!

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Our of the woods, we hit one of the interminable mountain roads which zig zag backwards and forwards. The occasional views were rewarding!

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Then we arrived at the Klementikapelle.

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How extraordinary!  You can’t go in it, but look upwards at pictures of the Holy Ghost, Jesus, Adam and Eve and odd symbols. It’s quite unique – or being less polite , moreAustrian nuttiness!  Why here or why not?

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It’s the middle of the Alm and no special reasons for it, although there was a stream running through it into a basin so you can bless yourself. Dave blessed me with some really cold water which was refreshing as the day was getting hotter than expected.

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Then it all went downhill and not just literally!

We lunched there and took off into the woods along yet another shady path.  Then the stripey paint disappeared and we found more deer footprints than anything else. Then we ground to a halt as it was was totally blocked with freshly fallen trees. We turned back and found another path, and I was just on the point of OK, I’ll go back the way we came, Dave found the sign pointing downhill to Ramingstein.

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Note the inverted paint!

Wonderful! We traipsed through woods only to find tree felling going on and we had to scramble over heaps of logs, which isn’t my favourite past time as I’ve heard all these tales of the logs slipping en mass down the hill.

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That tackled we then had to wade through a swamp, then into more woods with many trees hanging over the paths. I was past photo-ing by then! But it was quite lovely with Bird Cherry blossom and most of all Larch perfume drifting on the paths. It’s like lemon but with a bit of vanilla, its nearly as good as beech woods in the spring. Then we found someone had built a house practically over the way and we  had to negotiate a farm with a woofing dog – I’ve never liked farm dogs since I ran into one in Switzerland and misjudged how long it’s chain was -ouch!    Finally we were on the path back to the castle and home- of which we caught an unexpected glimpse!  A five hour walk, but frustrating as we never got to Gstoder. In the Gemiende they said the paths will be cleared soon, I guess we were just the first of the year!

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Still, maybe  a walk to repeat maybe in autumn!


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Shame on you Burg Finstergruen!

I may be shooting myself in the foot here, as I’ve just been in contact with the Burg peeps about offering our therapy to the guests – as team building for kids and family strengthening.    But I’m writing this any way.

Last year,  one of the cooks didn’t return and we found out she just didn’t get a letter of recall, just nothing, she was left high and dry with no idea. This year,  I’d already sacked myself , but when I was talking  found out they now have two full-time cleaners, who must also work in the other areas – my ears will be burning no doubt when they begin spring cleaning as Erna slags us off!  I should have asked about Michaela but  didn’t.

Yesterday I had a call from Michaela, to quote herself, burning in Gas mark 500, she’d not heard from the Burg in writing, though admittedly she hadn’t attended the Christmas meal when the return forms were dealt with.  So she’d rung and found she has no work.  She could have hung on for weeks waiting, so now she has to deal with the Job centre and find a new job. 

There is no doubt ample legal reasons for this being ok to do. But the management were quick enough to sack someone in person when the Naschkammer wasn’t making enough money last year. All it would have taken was a letter to say not needed, especially as the job is now full-time.

So shame on you management of Burg Finstergruen, run by the Protestant church, what a good witness.  I hope one of you reads this!


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Another new job day

Dining hall in Burg

I’m due for my first shift on the new job tomorrow, going in on a late afternoon to do an office, I think this is just due to the leaving of the last cleaner and usually I’ll be able to do them on a Friday afternoon.

The job centre sent me the details of a place for a Riding Instructor at a stables nearby and for the summer, English needed – very good wages too.  Too late, but oh,what a temptation!  To be back with the horses – although they’re mostly Norrikers.  But the hours are 40 plus a week, six days a week, I would never have the time to do the therapy work or have the life I’ve so longed to lead in the summer.  God answered my prayer so specifically, now that little voice says why didn’t you ask for a part time job with horses?????  Ungrateful brat!

I’ve been seeing signs of activity at the Burg from the kitchen window  and its haunting me, I keep seeing the rooms and wishing I was there – I was even thinking, how will they find stuff we left in cupboards?  How easily I forget the stress of last year. Maybe its just because I’m at home and not much else to think of, once I have this work place filled in my head!

So yet another new start, I’m so tired of these.  This time, there will be no new staff to meet, just the Boss. Will she change from charm to a dragon, like Lois does once I’m her employee?  I imagine she will have high standards. How will I cope with so little hours?  I’m sure God has stuff in mund, and there’s never been a job yet that didn’t need more than asked.  And being me, I’ll be immediately thinking how to improve the job, and making myself more than a cleaner.  I’m always the same, when I went to the Burg and there was chance of  the guided tours, that really appealed to my sense of self-importance.  Still I feel God has given me these folks to love, and that I’ll do.