So where's the snow?

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


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The Asylum Seeker

On our way to church on Easter Sunday, we passed what looked like one of our local Asylum seekers walking in the direction of Ramingstein from Tamsweg. We thought he looked a bit odd with his hood pulled over his head, most of them use the bike path in the valley. Maybe he was on his way to see his friends and he was new here. But walking along that road is dangerous. Later that day we saw him again when we were doing Meals on Wheels, still on the main road and well past Ramingstein.

Dave what do we do? We both felt there was something wrong and we felt driven to do something. So when we had finished we drove in the same direction. If he was visiting someone we wouldn’t find him. But we saw him in the distance. We overtook him and turned around and stopped. He looked like he was ín his twenties I guess and dark skinned, his lips were dry and cracked. I asked internationally OK? He nodded. I asked where are you going in both languages. Slovenia. I couldn’t believe it. I signed food, and drink pointing at my mouth and said money.

Another car stopped and asked if all was ok, we explained and to the nearby farmer who drove all of fifty yards to ask!

Dave brought my bag over and gave him one of the boiled, coloured Easter eggs in my bag.  I couldn’t feel the others. So I then gave him some money. He tapped his heart as I have seen these guys do, I didn’t have anything to give him to drink. He went on.

I spent the afternoon beating myself up for not giving him more money and eggs. Should we have taken him to the railway station at Unzmarkt? Or to a restaurant? Or called a friend further down the road? Or maybe he was fleeing a crime?

I don’t like the Asylum seekers, these young men who leave their families to face the war, they’re migrants. So why did her stir Dave and I so much? Where is he now?


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Passing through

Anyone know what this bird is that stopped by us last week?


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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…………

https://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/a-sunday-stroll/


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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…….


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This Winter

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It seems like only yesterday that we got back from England, and I treasure that memory. I came back with no depression, just a deep peace. I’ve finally adjusted to this winter quiet, in summer I look now forward to the rest! But I seem to bustle around mostly due to the dog being walked twice a day. We’ve had duty with Meals on Wheels, I’ve started my library service. I just love being there, planning things, meeting people, and the quiet. My love of books extends to those in German now! Meeting with friends to dog walk, chatting as we walk or we watch the dogs play, echoes of those times in the parks in the UK.  The holiday lets have been easier, I got rid of a lot of furniture in the spare room, and so have more dryers, and for our main flat, we’ve got Polyester cotton quilt covers, that take up less room in the machine and  dry quickly, so I’m not stressing about the house being full of laundry! I’ve stopped being silly about working every Saturday either! The job with Interhome as a keyholder I love meeting the people away from the stress of arrival day. I’ve made the odd mistake over bookings, but I’ve learnt now to  get someones surname spelt out if there’s a problem!  I’ve just had a new English student come knock at the door, more jobs finding me, thanks, God! Dave has the meeting for Burg Finstergrün this Sunday, when we will know what his contract will be this year. I’ve started my new book, just need some quiet in the house to get on…..

I’m starting to hunt down the certificates so that I can get an Irish passport through my Grandparents, hopefully that will fix Brexit!

Then it will be a summer of gardens, dogs, flats, sunshine, meals on wheels. I feel settled. I have more training in the  Salzkammergut in June for being a librarian, I have to write this book review in German -argghhhh! Steph and Paul are coming over for my birthday. Its her 30th this year and I’ve just finished a special book of photos of her from 0 to 30. I did one for George too.

The winter has been amazing with a long really cold spell with blue sky and ice,(see posts) which could have gone on longer as far as I’m concerned. Oh, the crunching of hard cold snow underfoot! I like real cold! We’ve just had a mild spell but last night brought more snow, don’t want a too early spring if it means another late snow that destroys my fruit!

The only thing that jars, is my faith. I’ve felt God saying to me that he has given us Ramingstein as our area of witness. Its not about housegroups and home churches, its about shining with his light, being his love in the community. To stop going around the houses with housegroup-we’ve been trying for ten years and each time its grounded. And I believe, someone new is coming here who will sort all of this out. Its not my job, just to instigate. This year will see if all this is so.

I mean to look back at this post at the end of this year!!


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Pinks and Greys #2

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I repeated the walk about a month later in the sunshine, this time, my joys was in the sparkling water and the brighter colours. Which do you prefer?


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Pinks and Greys #1

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Walking  along the river Mur at St Margarethen  at the begining of August, on a dull morning that forboded autumn, I was bowled over with the grey colour of the river, contrasting with the pink of the Baldrian flowers that were starting to go over. Some of the newcomers to the Lungau, the pigeons flapped out of the trees and for a minute I wondered of I was in the UK.