So where's the snow?

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


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House moving is never easy…

I think this corona situation is making what would already be fairly difficult , even worse, not to mention Brexit. Firstly the UK housing market has gone nuts. We’re looking at Wales and the places we can afford and like are being swept off the shelf in a couple of weeks at asking prices.

We decided that as we can’t get over to view due to the quarantine hassle there and back, and that we want to see the place ourselves, we would rent. All those we that are in our budget (as this will eat into our capital) are either snapped up, only for a years let, or not dog friendly.

And the car, do we sell it here? Or drive it back and flog it to a Left hand drive company in the UK? We will need to drive because of the dog. And then, as we wouldn’t do it in a day, can we stop anywhere in France overnight?

We have quotes for moving our stuff, and one really on the ball company told us the Transfer of residency form which stops us having to pay import tax when we enter the UK. We have to have a complete inventory of the household good, details of us, the car and the dog. I’m just pleased they told us.

Or do we leave the furniture here and collect it later ourselves in a truck? Except Austria has now banned entry from the UK due to the Indian variant, for all except business and residents, and we’ll have to give up our residency when we leave…

So it goes on. It’s a bank holiday weekend, so I’m going to forget the whole flipping thing. We can now go out for a coffee and maybe we’ll just take off for a trip somewhere!


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The contract

After a long. long winter, things are moving along on the sales front. We had agreed a price in the autumn and after sorting some things out, the buyers have got the contract organised! They will sign it in Vienna, then send it to us, then back to Vienna. Once it is entered in the ‘Ground Book’, we will be paid, Whoop, whoop!

It’s certainly less complicated than the UK, and there’s no Estate Agent as it’s a private sale. No capital gains as we have been here over ten years as our main residency. Then, Covid permitting, we will pack up, maybe truck all our belongings with us and rent somewhere in the UK till we find our forever home. Or we may hang on until the summer when maybe the vaccination passport gets going for Europe, we have an agreement with the buyers that we can stay until October. Or we may store the furniture and come back later for it. Or if we find we dont like England anymore, we can come back here as we wont give up our residency!

It’s been such a long time, I’m a bit numb. The desperate longing rises now and then, but we’ve sort of switched off over the winter. I can’t face another winter here, all that trucking through the snow with the dig, despite my shoe nails. I want grass and snow drops in February! I want a life with more people in it, family. We’re now starting to pack things up as I’m haunted by the last move when we had to clear out sixteen years of family life.

We’ve been watching the market and it’s sad, but there are suddenly a lot of nearly affordable retirement homes for sale, but we don’t feel ready for that yet. A little terrace house in a small town in Wales would be good, where there are lots of churches to find a new spiritual home, and all that coastline, hills and castles to explore. Our home town of New Milton, being on the south coast and near a National Park is now way beyond our budget, although I would love to return to New Life Church.

We’ve looked at park homes, but you have to pay Ground rent, fees etc plus Council tax and we worry that that they wouldn’t actually be that secure.


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Locked Down

Here’s some cow shots to cheer us up!

How are things in your part of the world? This time last year, we were struggling with the effects of the heavy snow,floods and landslides that took out roads and some houses!

Here in Austria we’re a few days into a stretch that ends on December 6th. All shops are shut except for supermarkets, banks and chemists. Hotels and restaurants are closed too, but with a takeaway service.  My library is closed, but I’ve been in doing my annual chuck out of books. People on the whole are taking things seriously, we’ve had cases in the village this time, but not lost anyone.

I’m quite happy, I’m just finishing a new book and the free time means I’ll get it out earlier than expected.

I’m tired of hearing the negative stuff about Corona, why would Governments want to destroy their economies? I see them as people trying to do their best in a no win situation.

Can’t say I’m looking forward to Christmas without family, but at least we have zoom and other things. Roll on when this is all over. I have faith that God will see us through this, we need to trust and pray.