So where's the snow?

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

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Special Offer!

The first book of my Memoirs is reduced! Click on the link for the special price of 99c, and a bit less on the UK site. This is because the new book, ‘Finding’, will be out on May 1st!

Brought up by a warring Mother and Grandmother, Anna Rashbrook had to make choices that no child should have to.

In this first memoir, she begins the quest to understand the threads of faith, horses, and love, which weave and intertwine throughout her life.

Years of diarying help Anna in this frank and honest chronicle of her childhood and teenage, as she explores the scars and the dysfunction that was all around her. Not to forget pony mania, the Tremeloes, David Bowie, and some terrible teenage behaviour!

Anna travels to Switzerland to work on a farm in Switzerland for a year before college and finds her first true love, but will it all work out?

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This time of year is the main time for book buying, then afterwards people are using vouchers. So here is a subtle hint from me about my books and then I’ll not bug you again until the new year!

All are available as ebooks and free on Kindle unlimited. Christmas and Collection are not available as paperbacks.

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Five Day Giveaway:Pigs!

Here is the next free story, available from Thursday 15th to Monday 19th only, again that’s Pacific time.

We used to keep pigs and they are wonderful animals, friendly and funny. Grossly underrated!  There are some practices which I think are wrong in their care these days and this comes up in the story.

The excerpt from the Baize Door is where the Barknadoes arrive in Joanna’s life and chaos ensues.

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Tag des denkmals, or Memorial day in the Lungau


This annual event always brings up something exciting to look at in Lungau and this year was no exception.


The origins of this building have been lost in time, except that it was built as a medieval tower.


Arch uncovered by the excavations when the walls were repaired.

Over the past two winters much had fallen down so this year some much need restoration has taken place – the owner said that the stairs were hanging in mid air before they were given a new wall.


It was used as a farm house in living memory and there were many reminders lying about the place as we went about.


It was also burnt at one stage, the charred ceilings till remaining.


There was some idea that it dated back to the Roman times,the village was apparently once called Grave village but no evidence has been found by the archaeologists who did a recent survey and some test digs.


Much of it was robbed out to build the local farms, and on the side by the river, apparently the ground is filled with the left over rubble.


There may be a cellar or another room at a lower level here.


Now Dave and I had our Time Team hats on and had a quick trot around the village and think we know what the origins of this wonderful building are, but we need to go and take photos to plead our case.  What do you think it’s origins are?


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Murtalbahn holidays


What more could you want, lovely house,railway, river, castle in distance?

I get quite a lot of interest about our local railway, s0 I thought I must do a plug for our friends who have a beautiful holiday house right by the railway!  It’s just across the Mur from us and enjoys the most wonderfully sunny situation.  The railway runs beside it, no fences nothing, and as its only a local railway, you can plan your times to sit and wave at the train! They run steam excursions all through the summer too, this is on the Club 760 website in English!

View from the Veranda – that’s the local quiet pub/guesthouse ideal for a beer or a great meal!

It can sleep up to six, and has all the facilities you need.  It even has English satellite tv for those who want to catch up with home!  It’s ideally situated for anyone wanting a base to  look at the railways.  Its only 10km from Mauterndorf where the local steam railway, run by the ‘Club 760’ is based.  Or you can go south the where they have a small museum at Fojach.  To drive to Lokwelt near Salzburg is only an hour and a half away, as is the Salzburgerland Freilicht Museum (Open air, mainly farm buildings) which has its own small railway.  You could easily spend  a week here doing train stuff and sun bathing in front of the cottage.

Do have a look at the website;

There’s also;

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Wedding Anniversary

Typical Lungau farm kitchen/living room

Dave and I decided to take a beak away for our wedding anniversary -29 years on the 29th of May.  We actually havent had an ‘us’ weekend for ages, when we’ve been away its been to weddings or Christmas and so on. Everytime we drive to Salzburg Airport we see the signs for the Open Air Musem and I say I’d love to go, so we did at last!  We drove to a small town called Grossmain on the German border, having picked at random a Hotel from a guide book.

The first farmhouse!

It was lovely, we feasted in the restaurant – I had what later turned out to be cat fish, but which was nevertheless really tasty.  Then we slept so well and went down for an early breakfast.  It was the best I’ve ever had in a Hotel, all the usual cereal plus freshly made fruit salad, a huge selection of bread and to my joy, smoked salmon.  I feasted and Dave had sausage and bacon which was nearly as good as English!

In a lovely, sunny morning, we drove to the Museum and even before we went in, the camera was in overdrive.  We went in every building and it took us five hours and it was exhausting.  The farmhouses were from all the ‘Gaus’ in Salzburg,Lungau, Flachgau (the largest where Salzburg is situated), Pinzgau, Pongau and Tennengau.  They were all of a similarity but localised differences. Of course we were most interested in Lungau, but almost felt we could see better examples by just driving around.  We were surprised to see in the main farmhouse garden rows and rows of broad beans which we thought wouldn’t grow here.  There was a special Lungau exhibition and it really brought home o me about the poverty and individuality of the Lungau.  Only 15% was farmable and in the 1900s, the climate was so cold that often spring was so late that often crops didnt have time to mature before the snow came. There were large extended families, often with couples and children all living in one bedroom, a huge network of uncles, aunts and couples.  There were a lot of indentured servants, who had a high rate of illegitimate children who were farmed out, and farmers often didn’t marry until their 30s as they couldn’t afford it.  Oh and so much more!   A bit sickening was about the ‘Sauschnieder’ who travelled around castrating sows  without anaesthetic (and boars too presumably) because castrated animals are easier to look after – I would have thought the sows were for breeding.  Different culture, different times.

I felt an over all sense of sadness on the place.  The busy working lives of the buildings is over, they are shells of hardworking busy lives.  No fires, no animals making noise and smell (!)  no working of machinery. It was just too quiet.  The farmhouses were furnished – kitchens and bedrooms, people seemed to have few possessions.  What it needs is a working farm or enactment group to bring it to life.  I imagine the buildings were those left empty after a death or a new farm was built. One mill was there because it was in the way of the motorway. 

A wonderful experience, if I went again, I’d be more selective of what I see, and take less photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!