So where's the snow?

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


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Fake Spring

After a couple of warmish weeks, winter suddenly returned. On Sunday we had another 10cm.

Now it’s coming on the wind, tearing down the valleys and disappearing. I feel sorry for the birds who had been so full of joy.

Hopefully it will blow away in the next few days. Some of my author friends in the US have had the same, but more so.

I just hope it means it will finish and there will be no late, sudden surprises that nip the buds off the fruit trees and bushes!


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The contract

After a long. long winter, things are moving along on the sales front. We had agreed a price in the autumn and after sorting some things out, the buyers have got the contract organised! They will sign it in Vienna, then send it to us, then back to Vienna. Once it is entered in the ‘Ground Book’, we will be paid, Whoop, whoop!

It’s certainly less complicated than the UK, and there’s no Estate Agent as it’s a private sale. No capital gains as we have been here over ten years as our main residency. Then, Covid permitting, we will pack up, maybe truck all our belongings with us and rent somewhere in the UK till we find our forever home. Or we may hang on until the summer when maybe the vaccination passport gets going for Europe, we have an agreement with the buyers that we can stay until October. Or we may store the furniture and come back later for it. Or if we find we dont like England anymore, we can come back here as we wont give up our residency!

It’s been such a long time, I’m a bit numb. The desperate longing rises now and then, but we’ve sort of switched off over the winter. I can’t face another winter here, all that trucking through the snow with the dig, despite my shoe nails. I want grass and snow drops in February! I want a life with more people in it, family. We’re now starting to pack things up as I’m haunted by the last move when we had to clear out sixteen years of family life.

We’ve been watching the market and it’s sad, but there are suddenly a lot of nearly affordable retirement homes for sale, but we don’t feel ready for that yet. A little terrace house in a small town in Wales would be good, where there are lots of churches to find a new spiritual home, and all that coastline, hills and castles to explore. Our home town of New Milton, being on the south coast and near a National Park is now way beyond our budget, although I would love to return to New Life Church.

We’ve looked at park homes, but you have to pay Ground rent, fees etc plus Council tax and we worry that that they wouldn’t actually be that secure.


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Snow Muse!

This year, I’ve been mostly photographing this view from the kitchen window!


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Blue November

We’ve been having a long spell of clear skies, frosty nights and wonderful days of walking. After the early morning mists roll away, it’s wonderful!

After the chaos of the snow and floods last year, this is a real blessing! Not to mention no damp, grey days that create gloom.

This is a new path we took near Mariapfarr. Hills in the distance, was a flock of Fieldfares cackling in the trees. The Vogelberries added a bit of colour.

I found a HEDGE! First one I’ve seen in the Lungau!


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November Days

November can be a pretty grotty month, this time last year, it was heavy wet snow.

This year, we’re blessed with high pressure, clear blue skies, frosty mornings, sometimes with fog until late morning. The sun slowly breaks through, throwing shadows in the mist.

 

Waking in the afternoons is a pure joy. The sun is still warm on one side, the other is cool in the crisp air. Underfoot is cold. In the woods is that autumnal smell of gently decaying leaves.

In pockets, there’s still frost, that might stay here until the spring.

The larches are flinging out their last colours.

There’s a wonder in the air, of the dying year, of crisp joy, a sense of treasuring this before the hardness of winter.

David Essex’s, ‘It was only a winter’s tale’ sometimes plays in my head at this time. Not of the lost love, but that feeling of autumn, cold and change that it brings.

 


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Swingle is Six!

She’s a much calmer lady these days, sleep is good! Brisk walk first thing, snooze, help folks with their lunch, shorter walk, snooze, supper, sleep. She has three beds, ours, the spare room and the sofa.

She still plays with Rocky and Kira. She still hunts the Wuhlmaus(sort of gophers). Hate it when she crunches them!

Still barks too much and gets excited with guests. Very sensitive, slightest grumble if I’m writing or Dave and I have a bit of a discussion, she runs in, in a panic. She should have been a therapy dog!

And now, shes learning to bark in English and Welsh, and how to hunt rabbits…