So where's the snow?

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


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I really hate snow!

I know that sounds daft living in Austria, but each year, when the first real fall happens I get like this.

It all started when we came here, and found our neighbour was an obsessive snow shoveller. Sometimes she would be up before light on the yard, heaping it into piles. We would wake up and she would be whizzing past our kitchen window. We do have a big yard and when all the flats were lived in, all the garages were used and it had to be cleared. Trouble was that the only place to put it is around the back of the block, so more heaving and tipping it.

We went with it over the years, but now she’s older and now only clears in front of her door. It’s not just her though. Many people are out manically clearing. The older generation, where they grew up with more snow and cold (so they say) possibly had a case to clear it, but now? The rest of us have to clear all the flipping stuff. Every year I say, WHY do we have to clear it all when three out of the six garages aren’t used? No one  listens to me. Sometimes I go on strike, but they just miss ours out or heap it by our hedge.

For three years, we had a new neighbour who had a snow plough, that was pure joy. But he’s moved, so I guess this year it’s back to the grind. As I write, it’s with a dread that I know Martin will soon be out beavering and I’ll feel impelled to go and help. Then there will be the added fun of having to go and clear the holiday homes we look after. The only good thing about it, is that it makes for a good work out.

But it’s not only that. We’ve had a beautiful November walking in the valley, and now that’s mostly ruined. Lots of the places will be impassable or put down as Cross country runs.

It’s the walking the dog in it twice a day, whether I like it or not that wears me down. Bundling on all the layers.  It does get you fitter when its deep, but when the Council clears the roads, unless its gritted, its like walking on a skating rink. I fell over three times last year, being caught out like this or by sneaky bits of ice hiding under it. When I wear the spikes on my boots in this, they don’t last long.

And don’t talk to me about skiing! My winter sport if anything is going snow shoe walking, if I have the energy after clearing the yard. I will get over this and get carried away photographing when the skies are blue and the light’s wonderful.

But, this morning, I’m longing for a damp, dull, grey English morning, where the ground is green or muddy. I can do mud…


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Pills, palpitations and panic attacks

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Male readers may wish to turn away……….

I thought that after my partial hysterectomy, I would gently slip into menopause and in a few months it would all be over, body recovered, new lease of life. In fact, yes, I do have more energy and feel physically better, running warm all the time is good in winter,  but everything apart from these, right at the moment feels like hell.

I’ve had palpitations on and off since Christmas, which vary from a slightly heavier heartbeat to feeling as if the old thing is trying to turn me upside down. They can be cyclical, they can be random, they may be triggered by tiredness. Panic attacks that I’m going to have a heart attack and die. Slightest ache in my arm or indigestion, I panic. Broken nights sleep – so I have had to resort to having a crash out nap in the afternoon, sometimes twice a week which is ridiculous. But that is getting better as I’ve been working on my fitness (a bit).  When I went to the Docs, and had an ECG and blood test for all this stuff,  no one said oh yes they’re menopause related, didn’t check my notes or remember I had had the hysterectomy, I had to find this out on the internet.

This month, I had breast tenderness and a week of headaches, so began to think, ah the dying signs of it all sorting itself out. Then I went for the yearly check up with the Gynae Doctor and he talked me into taking Oestrogen – manufacturered not natural. In 5 days I felt so ill, I wanted to die and chucked them. Daughter says I shouldn’t have been prescribed it in the first place as I get very occasional migraines with auras – he never asked me. The only good thing was a brief return of a sex life, and I’d quite like that back.

So how long do I have to put up with this? Palpitations back again for over ten days, sad, low and angry (although there are other things triggering these). What’s the point in taking Oestrogen? I understand my symptoms are due to falling levels – but I was told to take it for only two months -what happens then – do the symptoms return again as the levels drop once more? I’m suffering from lack of correct information and don’t know where to find it. Do I go to the other Gynae doc in Tamsweg, go back to mine and tell him he was wrong to prescribe? Oh, somebody, just tell me what I should do. I believe as a Christian, that I have the power of Christ in me, and I am healed, so why doesn’t this all stop?

What’s the point of even blogging this as people receive my blog but never read it? No one will reply, the only good is in I’m having a rant.