So where's the snow?

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

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Advent market at Burg Finstergruen

For the second year we have a stand selling here our old library books.

Austria at it’s best. We’re next to a lady selling home made punch!

Our stall has a big tarpaulin roof to protect us from snow avalances from the roof, we keep saying its the castle ghost chucking the snow.

Wonderful music, great people, and when the sun goes down,just amazing!

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Shame on you Burg Finstergruen!

I may be shooting myself in the foot here, as I’ve just been in contact with the Burg peeps about offering our therapy to the guests – as team building for kids and family strengthening.    But I’m writing this any way.

Last year,  one of the cooks didn’t return and we found out she just didn’t get a letter of recall, just nothing, she was left high and dry with no idea. This year,  I’d already sacked myself , but when I was talking  found out they now have two full-time cleaners, who must also work in the other areas – my ears will be burning no doubt when they begin spring cleaning as Erna slags us off!  I should have asked about Michaela but  didn’t.

Yesterday I had a call from Michaela, to quote herself, burning in Gas mark 500, she’d not heard from the Burg in writing, though admittedly she hadn’t attended the Christmas meal when the return forms were dealt with.  So she’d rung and found she has no work.  She could have hung on for weeks waiting, so now she has to deal with the Job centre and find a new job. 

There is no doubt ample legal reasons for this being ok to do. But the management were quick enough to sack someone in person when the Naschkammer wasn’t making enough money last year. All it would have taken was a letter to say not needed, especially as the job is now full-time.

So shame on you management of Burg Finstergruen, run by the Protestant church, what a good witness.  I hope one of you reads this!

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Another new job day

Dining hall in Burg

I’m due for my first shift on the new job tomorrow, going in on a late afternoon to do an office, I think this is just due to the leaving of the last cleaner and usually I’ll be able to do them on a Friday afternoon.

The job centre sent me the details of a place for a Riding Instructor at a stables nearby and for the summer, English needed – very good wages too.  Too late, but oh,what a temptation!  To be back with the horses – although they’re mostly Norrikers.  But the hours are 40 plus a week, six days a week, I would never have the time to do the therapy work or have the life I’ve so longed to lead in the summer.  God answered my prayer so specifically, now that little voice says why didn’t you ask for a part time job with horses?????  Ungrateful brat!

I’ve been seeing signs of activity at the Burg from the kitchen window  and its haunting me, I keep seeing the rooms and wishing I was there – I was even thinking, how will they find stuff we left in cupboards?  How easily I forget the stress of last year. Maybe its just because I’m at home and not much else to think of, once I have this work place filled in my head!

So yet another new start, I’m so tired of these.  This time, there will be no new staff to meet, just the Boss. Will she change from charm to a dragon, like Lois does once I’m her employee?  I imagine she will have high standards. How will I cope with so little hours?  I’m sure God has stuff in mund, and there’s never been a job yet that didn’t need more than asked.  And being me, I’ll be immediately thinking how to improve the job, and making myself more than a cleaner.  I’m always the same, when I went to the Burg and there was chance of  the guided tours, that really appealed to my sense of self-importance.  Still I feel God has given me these folks to love, and that I’ll do.

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Last day at the Burg

The Burg team, I name no names, but Erna is there and I'm sitting next to Michaela!

Compared to last year, everything seemed to be confused and ill-tempered.  Michaela and I finished the rooms – she had done some of the empty ones herself earlier in the week, and so we went and sat in the Naschkammer. We all ate lunch there, stale pizza and soup.  Rosie the head cook seemed to be in charge and to put it mildly she had a face like a slapped arse!  As we finished, she told us to scrub the floor as it couldn’t be left like it was (ie not cleaned all summer).  We were both spitting bricks – why couldn’t she have said so in the morning?  Time was running away and I had to be with the Asylum seekers.  Rosie came and slapped our beer money on the table and walked off again, then faffed around – apparently organising some pressie for a woman who was  retiring.  I had to go, said my apologies (feeling guilty of course) and bolted with Michaela.

What was the problem?  Helmuth wasn’t there! We  could only found out he was in Vienna, but all was vague and so the whole day fell apart without his humour and presence, he’s so much the spirit of the Burg.  That  night I had nightmares and by morning was convinced that he is ill again and is actually in hospital – who knows?  I wont have to go back to the Burg as I thought to collect various forms and so find out.  When I signed on they said the gap in the season is too long for the return to work stempel and I must find something else.  I begin to understand why the kitchen ladies deliberately bump up their hours to extend their holiday allowance, so they have less than  a six months gap.  As I said I want an all year round job, something broke in me, I had finally affirmed I’m not going back.

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The Very Last Moaning Blog – yes, really!

Stuck Cherry picker

This is the last really negative blog I’m going to allow myself to post. Looking back through the summer I’ve done nothing but whine, suffer and grumble.  Take it as said till the autumn that  Erna drives me mad, work knackers me, and if she is working next year, unless things change I will not return to the Burg!   There are some developments on the horizon which I will blog later.

I sometimes really wonder how long I can go on like this.  Maybe the situation is of my own doing, my reactions, my lack of faith.  I don’t know.  Its all snowballing in this fear of tiredness, the tiredness itself and the consequent lack of sleep, the frustration, and the just sheer numbing , overwhelming sense of the futility of life  for me as it is now, the sense of having nowhere further to go which generates an inertia that is inescapable.  The thought of not going back to the Burg and being at home and writing and doing stuff is such a dream.  I don’t even feel the therapy work is going to begin, what should be my biggest dream feels like nothing.

Not the usual lunch break!

The film crew was at the Burg, along with 140 school kids.  Whoever thought the two groups could be compatible in such an enclosed space needs their head examining! They brought a Cherry picker up the steep turning road and of course it got stuck and the trailer collapsed.  Did no one in logistics look at a map?  Michaela was stuck for nearly two hours until they shifted it – I decamped and walked home!   They later used it to shine a light from outside into the room they were filming in, to keep it constant I suppose, I could see the guy’s feet hanging over the edge of the box, he was asleep I think!

Shades of the past?

The following day was an Erna day.  It started well for me, I’d finally sensed my oncoming sleeplessness feelings and so took a tablet at the right time instead of trying to get off and giving up at midnight, and so I slept like a baby though the night and felt great in the morning.  After breakfast I said to the other two that we must clean the main loos in the yard first because they were being used so much the previous day that I’d had to do them three times. It took several attempts to get through what I was saying. This lead to confusion, a break in the Burg cleaning routine, something out-of-order, the dumb twit was speaking .  I took the buckets and went. My fault, I took the wrong one and when I got back to the other two, Erna and Michaela had had a shouting match,  because I was with the bucket with the binbags in and they’d forgotten a scrubbing brush.  The atmosphere was hell for the rest of the day.  Erna asking Michaela if she’d known a shower door was stuck, despite the fact I was working the previous day, it didn’t even occur to ask me.  I do have another day with her, the 23rd.  Do I go on or hand my notice in?  The next few weeks I’m with Michaela or on my own.  I can download some good bible teaching and listen to that as I work. I’d feel wrong leaving them in the lurch mid season if I did leave. We also need the money for bits we need to do on the flat.  I’m maybe not listening to God enough.  I feel there is no point in saying to Helmut that I can’t work with her anymore, he is soo just keep the peace and bury your head in the sand.


Then at lunch time, Helmuth started saying he may need both of us on Saturday, I have three days off and need the break.  The thought of working the weekend through just made me want to weep.  It would mean working three weekends his month.  I keep on getting this what I call, ‘Unexpected moments of sadness’ when I just want to weep – (see being Austrian blog) , maybe its related to tiredness or hormones, I dunno!

So when I get home, Dave announces he has Thursday off, fantastic, extra time being given to us together when the weekend is lost, just the thing I’ve been saying we’re losing.  But all I wanted as time out on my own, in quiet, to write and potter.  It was delayed till today.  Dave and I talked about walking, but overslept and just spent the day doing a it of shopping and sitting, which did a great deal to make me peaceful.  and I’ll get all day tomorrow too.  Is God giving me what I need so I can make it till the end of the year?

Most important, is that I have the plot for a new book.  I’m going to put Tom onto Kindle once I’ve checked it over and this will follow.  If I could make money writing, I’d be my own boss and never have to see the inside of the Burg again.