So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


An Unusual Visitor……..and some really bad photos!

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He came by on November 30th, before the snow and hurtled around the garden. Dave saw him first and came rushing into me as I’d left the camera on the eye thingey not the screen. I can now understand why when people see strange cats the shots go to pieces. I just couldn’t keep up!  Dressed for the snow, maybe all his prey could see him coming and ran away!  I hope we see this little ermine again!


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So where IS the snow????????


There is the sound of panic not music in the mountains!  This time last year, the lifts had opened early and the season was underway. This year the opening at Obertauern took place with Andrea Gabalier but without the snow. The weather has been too warm for the snow canons to make snow. There is snow forecast at the weekend but the forecasters keep on putting it back and lighter and lighter. On the more southern areas towards Katschberg there is snow as we’ve got the air from the south. But not enough to ski. The local tv showed the early visitors in Obertauern going WALKING! from the open lifts! NiederÖsterreich has had problems with ice storms bringing down trees and cutting electricity. When we look at the weather cameras on the tv in the morning, the Tirol and Voralberg have even less snow than here!

So my snow prediction is not far off, although I didn’t see the lack of made snow! This time last year we had frosts and cold. I don’t really mind. I’m driving to England for Christmas and I’ll definitely have a GREEN Christmas!!

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Back to work


As you read this, I will have actually been back to work for about a month, but to keep my blog regular, I’m cheating and using the timer!  So, this Friday, I’ve had my hair cut, tidied the house, bottled what wine I can, edited blogs, paid bills, checked my preparation over, even changed the sheets on the bed!  Weekend charging the batteries. Ready

I’m back to English teaching with the same firm, but under a new, efficient boss, new building and using a pre-written course. Such a relief in a way to just follow something through and just add on my extras. Each day is sorted, its just how long it all takes and the dynamics of the group that will be interesting, especially as there will be some men on the course. But most of all, I’m working with a fellow Brit!  She’s a far more experienced teacher than me, but not in English, it will be great to have some real companionship and support this time. I’m really looking forward to it.

The AMS decided to run two courses – it really didn’t work with mixed abilities in one big group, but the swines decided to run both courses at the same time, putting me out of a job in the spring.  Never mind. After Christmas, I’m going to look at advertising for Home tutoring.


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A strange day…….


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………


Snow Prediction!


As I write on October 10th, we’re having a real heatwave, and Indian summer, wonderful after it rained here from the middle of August until the end of September. Spring here was mild, after another late snow, which came intensively for about six weeks then went. The whole summer has been cool and damp – my geraniums were so poor. Every time they bloomed it rained and the petals rotted. Now just look at them in the greenhouse, basking in the warmth and flowering like it’s June! The sycamores here are just doing their yellow thing and the larches aren’t far behind.

So my winter prediction?  An early arrival of snow that stays, but leaves early next spring. November will be crisp and bright, not dull and brown.  Lots of snow that equals the precipitation of this summer. And cold, lots of lovely dry deep cold and sunshine. A great skiing season, and for us snowshoeing, as I’ve really given up with the Cross country due to my nerves!

Ok, I lie, that’s what I would like! What I think will happen is snow will be late due to the warm temperatures. The ski resorts will panic like before and create snow. The snow is going to arrive but will be soggy. The temperatures will stay in warm region and we’ll have a late, sluggish spring!



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We had a new Mayor elected in Ramingstein this spring, which necessitated a big party and procession in the autumn. This tradition is unique to Ramingstein and dates back to the Slovenian times. A cupboard is kept in the mayors house filled with good wishes and certificates but this must be given to the new Mayor. Also the mayor has three horseshoes nailed to his feet, representing I don’t know what, and then the procession goes to the new Mayor’s house where speeches or songs are given. It all has a strict order with the coaches and  there has to be a wedding party. Not always possible so this year the Catholic Woman dressed up to represent it!  I was with the Tracthenfrauen as a bee-I can now reveal!  This is because the new Mayor is a bee keeper. We leant a song and a play and early on the Saturday morning we put on makeup and costumes and got on the float. Off to Ramingstein where all the float lined up, then to Kendlbruck where we had a long wait to do our play – the stupid song still haunts me! After our play we were given a crate of beer which we drank as we went again to Ramingstein for the final speeches and then back to Kendlebruck for a meal and a singsong and by 9.30 I was finished!

And in-between? Meeting new people, chatting, laughter  as we recognised friends in other daft costumes. An amazing day, but I just hope he gets re-elected again in five years!!!