So where's the snow?

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


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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…


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Swingle is Five!

Can’t believe where the time has gone. She’s such a gentle but NOISY dog! We took the hedge down on our garden and it’s taken her all summer to realise she doesn’t need to bark at everyone.

This years’ disasters have been eating a long-dead, shortly defrosted Wühlmaus (Gopher) in spring which made her incredibly ill and several trips to that nice man with the needles. Eye infection. Another stomach bug from eating fresh slurry!

She sadly lost her bestie, Bella this summer, and her new bestie, Kira is eating for about 10 due in November. Even Dave has vaguely muttered about a second dog, but he won’t put it in writing!

She’s as greedy as ever, and we know definitely her Dad was a labrador. Her only playthings are fluffy cushions, keeps us poor as she’s always breaking the zips and un-stuffing them!


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Birthdays

I just celebrated my 59th birthday. A few decades ago, I would be considered ready for the comfy chair and and a bit of knitting.

Nowadays it’s just another start. I have to work until I’m 66 @:%=#**#=# it! I’m building my career as a writer hope to start some painting, and ride again.

So next year? Be warned! I’m planning a big 60th party in the UK. Then (don’t tell the pension people) I’m going to re-generate, following year I’m going to be 59 again. Good idea???


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Swingle is FOUR!

Happy Birthday, Swingle!

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My accident prone puppy is now a more mature lady. We’re now sure her Dad was the Labrador from the farm up the hill, cos someone told us! The accidents go on. This summer she missed the wasp stings, only because there were only a few. Her bladder still does play up every now and then, giving us broken nights but giving her Cranberry tablets seem to help.

This year’s thing was a ripped dew claw on a back leg. The vet said to leave it open to heal, as a farmer’s dog, she hadn’t had it trimmed off at birth, I can see why now. I wasn’t happy with it and was about to return to the vets and Swingle had to chase a cat out of the garden, blood everywhere. Back to the Vets, Stitches. All healed, stitches out, the first gallop, ripped again. Finally, he amputated it and now all’s well. It was a nightmare keeping her out of the water while she had stitches. If it happens again, I’ll insist it’s cut straight off! I wished the Vet Happy Christmas in August, no more trips, please!

This autumn, maybe the moles and Wühl mouses have been more active, and she has been hunting like mad! Four wuhlmouses, three she ate, two moles which she didn’t!

After writing this, she tore her lower lip, hunting in the ground of course, yet another scar!

She still plays like mad with Bella, Kira and Rocky, and my twice a day walks with her keep me sane and fit. Still a gannet, big sleeping, snoring, pest, but I wouldn’t be without her!


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Happy Birthday Swingle!

Well, I’m guessing really, we know she was born in October. So now she’s officially three!  She’s really grown up this past year. She’s got her qualification in sleeping on the spare bed. She now is more picky about her own food, she’ll even leave her breakfast if I give her the wrong one. But she will never turn down a genuine Scoobie snack of any sort.  She doesn’t need quite so much exercise and now is more inclined when playing with Chira who is only a year old, to sit and watch her gallop around her and then suddenly pounce!  Her best friend is still Bella, they are just the greatest of mates.  I still curse myself for having introduced the two walks a day routine, but can’t break it!She’s an international dog, having travelled with us in the car through France and Germany and England. When we were there, we would go to the town parks to exercise her and there was always someone for her to play with, even if she did get attacked a couple of times. I got so fed up with people asking what breed she is, so I’d reply in German,’Lungaukletterhund’ which means Lungau climbing dog, where she still likes to leg it up steep sides. Most people were impressed, I think!

Her favourite hobby is barking especially with guests, and we haven’t really got on top of that one! She does have a tendancy to panic, if Dave or I raise our voices, where ever she is, she’ll rush in quivering and doing her paw thing until we convince her all is OK. But if we shout at her, it has no effect!  She still hunts woozles and mice in the undergrowth, but she’s not so sharp now and hasn’t had many this summer!  I think I’ve mentioned the wasps!

We can now leave her for about five hours alone at home, and she doesn’t destroy the place if she gets her treats as we leave! She wont now play with rubber or plastic toys, but give her a stuffed toy, she will disembowel it and play with it with great delight! She still rarely sleeps on our bed, which is a relief!

She regularly mugs pensioners, well. Mr B our neighbour who always has a treat for her in his pocket. She will also do anything for a good neck rub!

Wouldn’t be without her, Happy Birthday Swigs!


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Birthday Reflections

1969, me on Buttons for my first riding lesson, Headbourne Worthy stables

Oh, where did it come from – 51!  I’m not old, though my kids insist I am.  When I look at characters in Elizabeth Goudge novels, who are often  about this age, they are already acting old, not me! I feel much as I did when I was 18, except calmer and without the angst.  I wouldn’t want to be back there again.  Maybe the best time was the 40s, with a career and kids growing up and at last some financial security.  Now I’m a bit lost. I don’t want any career, I’m happier to lead a quiet life with riding ,gardening,walking and blogging.  But at times I do miss the company of the girls from the Fortune Centre. Maybe I’m simply at peace with myself at last…

Birthdays past.  I can remember childhood birthdays, the best being when I must have been between 8 nd 10, and I’d have maybe  two or three pounds, and I’d go into Smiths in Winchester and buy every pony book I could lay my hands on! I still have some of them now. 

My 18th was at Prices College in Fareham, and I met up with the gang  for  a now  legal drink, but also had a party at my Swiss boyfriend, Ruedi’s house.  Don’t think he quite realised what was going to happen. It was a bring a bottle and there was loads of music, couples slipping up to his spare room, gate crashers, people chucking up – a good time was had by all! Seem to remember getting lots of birthday snogs, wonder what he thought of that!!!

Then birthdays went down hill. When I was in Switzerland, I didn’t get a pressy , nor the special cake because we were all so busy with spraying the cherry trees.  The new girl a month earlier had got loads. I was homesick and upset. My 21st at  Seale Hayne was a disappointment, I’d booked a hall for a party and handed it over to the year  group to use as I was so depressed and unhappy. It seemed to set a trend for the next few years when a birthday never lived up to the mildest expectations. When the kids came along and we were skint, their birthdays took precedent.

The worst came when my mother died and the funeral was actually on my birthday.  I came down with flu the same day, which I didn’t shake off for months.  The next year I refused to celebrate it, and it was actually quite a relief to go into work knowing it was the day but I had no expectations to be disappointed.

The year we left England I wanted no pressies as we were just about to leave and so it was filled with the excitement of the new start. Then when we came here, they improved.  All the greetings on Facebook were a great bonus in the first year. The next year we were Langlaufing and had a great day falling over in the snow in the sunshine. The next year was my 50th and the kids were here and we had a meal at the local pub and friends came to tea.  Lovely day.  This year was quieter, but a peaceful one with no sense of dismay as of old.