So where's the snow?

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

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Die Dicktlerhütte- a victim of its own success?

As I’ve posted over the years, this is my favourite hut in the Lungau, and was the first I visited. I love its oldness, that you can sit in the main kitchen and watch them make your Kasierschmarnn. Loads of old paintings and tablecloths and a really friendly atmosphere, but most of all, genuine, freshly cooked local fare. You could do a gentle Sunday stroll there for lunch or as a starting point for  more adventurous walks. It has always been popular, but now may be a victim of the success of the valley winning a third place in the Treasures of Austria competition.  There is now a new carpark  before the valley, which is good that all traffic isn’t allowed up there in the summer months, just a shuttle bus. By the picnic field is a barefoot walk for the kids, and the higher carpark has also been re-ordered.

All to cope with the increased visitors. I wish it hadn’t won.It should have been kept as a secret for those who know it. It’s becoming a tourist trap.

And the hut? This is what we found when we walked there on Sunday. I guess they need to cater properly for the increased numbers, health and hygiene has probably stepped in and it was old. It did look very hot in the kitchen sometimes.  Even the oven has already been chucked out, and typically Austrian, no notice board saying what they are doing and when it will reopen.

But what a shame. I see it’s no longer on the main Lungau hut websites this year, so I guess it’ll be ages before its done.  I know I can’t complain, as we would only visit there occasionally. But I will miss it, oh I just hope they don’t turn it into a Gastro hut with large plates and small portions of odd food…………

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Ten years and Seven Years on

We’ve been here for ten years now and the spectre of Brexit looms. It would be, wouldn’t it that just as I find a work solution that fits, have a dog and am writing a new book, we may have to go! But anyway, here is my first post from  March 2010. Boy how life has changed in this time, I can’t go through it all now, you’ll have to read the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been living in Austria for the past three years, having moved here from the UK with my husband.  We are committed Christians and felt that this was a move God wanted for us.  However, this adventure has not been what was expected!  I worked for six years in England in Riding Therapy, with teenagers with learning disabilities. Since being here I’ve been teaching riding in very bad German to kids, mostly in a stable that specialises in Icelandic horses. I’m planning to begin working in the area of Equine assisted therapy this year.  I am literally ‘between’ jobs as I will be starting work as a cleaner in a nearby castle which is used a Youth Hostel!  I plan to write about this, God and the spiritual life, horses, snow, and my kids who I miss a lot! Maybe it will interest someone!

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Swingle, scoobie snacks,stinks, sleep and squirrels

One medium sized black dog was nearly put up for re-homing last week! It began with the knowledge that she did need worming because she was so hungry all the time. I went out one afternoon leaving my new Primark jacket in the hall forgetting I had left her favourite scoobie snacks in the pocket. Result above, one ruined coat. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t just bought it on our last trip home to replace another much worn jacket that Swingle had chewed a lot in her first year, Dave said I looked scruffy in it, but I’d loved it. The only way I could get rid of it was leaving it in our son’s cupboard when we left the UK.

The next day I took her for a walk by the pong house, one of our favourite ones in Tamsweg, and so so she found a dead fish and rolled in it. Result one furious dog having to have a bath, served her right.

Then I got the worm tablets and as I had suspected and forgotten, she reacts badly to the chemical = two broken nights and another trip to the vets.

Then one bleary eyed morning, I let her out then looked still bleary out of the kitchen window. On the bird table was one of the cute tufty black squirrels that have been pigging all the sunflower seeds. Swingle swaggered around the corner and scared it. But instead of leaping safely into the tree behind, it leapt into the greenhouse where I hope it actually knocked itself out it was so quick. So next thing, one pleased dog was finishing off the squirrel.  She didn’t try to eat it and let me take it away. Poor Tufty. I’ve seen another one since, it was also a youngun, and this had the sense to jump into the Elderberry tree.

This week, Swingle has been playing at being a prefect dog…… far

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Such a windy dry spring!

Spring here is always at a breakneck speed as the Lungau catches up with the rest of Austria! This year, before Easter we had strong winds laden with snow that didn’t lay, and it’s still windy now. We had the late snow which didn’t hang about, thank heavens and I think only the cherries might have got frosted. Certainly the apple blossom is stunning, today the petals were being blown about by the aforesaid wind.

The weather direction has been from the North and indeed, north of the Tauern mountains and Obertauern, there’s been plenty of rain, but like the snow its got stuck there and we’ve had token rain, but everything is so dry, I get shocks off everything! The grass is well behind what it should be, but nothing stops the Dandelions!

I’ve seen a few mutant dandelions again this year. Dave reckons its snow damage. This beauty will have four heads when it flowers!

Now its flowered!

And then,and I’m not sure what these trees are, lots of them are carrying normal leaves on one side and the others are laden with seeds like in this picture. I’ll find one if full leaf soon and know!

All signs of unusual weather, or a reaction to the cold, windy winter? What do you think?

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Sometimes I get so fed up with myself!!!

As you know, I have a horror of growing older and all it entails and will not have it in my life as I saw it happen with my mother and Grandmother. I will keep my marbles until the end and I will make the 100. Not that I’m worried about dying and meeting Jesus, but it’s the process.

So, I’m now 57. I AM NOT OLD! I’m training to be a part time librarian, writing a new book, teaching part time, and running the gardens and holiday homes. Maybe I do live in Lalaland more than ever, when I’m out dog walking, the mind is like a butterfly and without regular work the mental discipline isn’t there!

But a couple of years ago, I found myself muddling my words, saying a similar word to the one I meant, or completely the wrong one and sometimes being aware and sometimes not when Dave pointed it out (though sometimes he hasn’t heard me properly but we won’t get into that!). Some of this was the Hashimotos antibodies chewing at the brain, so I make sure I take the Selenium, ginko and zinc. Some was the Gluten intolerance and some of it is that since the menopause. I now have so much energy, I’m not clocking when I’m tired -fantastic! I feel like I did when I was in my 30s! Since Swingle has had her sleeping problems sorted and my sleep rhythms are restored the word thing happens only occasionally, whooppee!

Mistakes- I haven’t been able to get the church service sheet right for about two years, I have to get Dave to check it, because if I send it to be corrected, its odds on I’ll print the wrong one out. I know I’m a perfectionist and I find this all hard to take and I might have been a bit like this in the past, but its getting worse!

My short term memory is crap. I forget things much more, like when I had to be reminded that the birds weren’t feeding in the garden because of the neighbours trees being felled, I only remembered Paggy’s being chopped down a couple of years ago not these. Then Dave talking about the little bridge being gone had me completely puzzled, if he had said our bridge, or the big bridge I would have got it, I was thinking of a little one further along the river and he really confused me – whose fault this time? I’ve forgotten important keys, but that’s nothing that new……

Now the greatest stupidity.  I had one of the flat owners ask me to go over and read the electricity meter. I had a damaged key for this flat and was waiting for the cleaner to lend me hers. I decided to do this yesterday as then Dave could have the car on Monday.  So I went over and the key didn’t fit. I had offered to read the other two flats too. I went into all to check the electricity was off in them but I couldn’t find any electricity meters. So they must be in the cellars. It would have been logical to then go down and look. Not me, I rang the cleaner, went to her house and got the key so I could go in the original flat and then collect the post. Then I went to the cellars and the meters weren’t there.  They must be in one of the locked rooms I cannot access. So I went home, only being successful in collecting the post. Just how stupid could you get? If I had looked in the cellars in the first place as had been a dim thought, I could just have gone straight home and got the key and post during the week, Taking an hour and a half rather than the half an hour it could have taken. Talk about muddled stupid thinking, illogical and dumb. I spent the rest of they day feeling a complete prat and just wondering  what is happening to my thought processes and actions.

Is this just getting older or do I have a problem? Anyone else do things like this?




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Village Tales #2

Mr B and I were enjoying the sunshine after a week of bad weather and we heard some deer barking (they do) on the hills and a stag running away. Oh, more bad weather coming he said, rats thought I!

After I told him about the Ice pond, he sort of remembered that and then said about 50 years ago he was asked to go and help clear the water source at Burg Finstergrün.  You can just see the door in the rock in the picture. He said  he went in about 100 metres and then did a a left and he was in a mine. He and his mate went along and he saw many ‘Stollens’ or tunnels running off. They cleared it and he said it was the best pure water. How I would love to go and look if I didn’t get claustrophobic!!!

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Village tales #1

I keep on having these random chats with Mr B and the man with the black labrador, all of which I find fascinating.

Labrador man dog sits for his son, but the dog doesn’t really know how to play and has very weak hindquarters, and is very narrow bodied, not a good specimen, but that’s not my business! He lives opposite us across the Thomaterbach, and I’ve often seen him exercising the dog in the filed, see picture! Last week, I met them and I suggested we take the dogs into a field for a run! Result, I’ve wanted to look around the field for ten years! The dogs played, well Swingle ran around like a greyhound and kept on knocking the Lab over. He didn’t know what to do! We let the dogs into the Bach and at last I got a view of the old wier from the other side.  I could see how the river had been diverted along the bottom of our land and it had run into the Mur for the turbine that powered the paper factory, now  brick factory. Its all concreted up now. But then he wold me that the Hardts who restored this building during the war dammed the river and made a swimming pond there. Times long gone.

Then on our was he pointed out to me the clump of trees in the field (across the river in picture) and we went to look. It used to be an Ice pond, and the local pub would harvest it and store it in the cellar.  I think he meant that it was for the beer making process, but maybe it was just to cool things, more interesting things! We then had two tired dogs and walked home our separate ways. Now I may not get another chance to go in the field as its hay growing season, but maybe in autumn I could ask him if I could go in with my camera…….