So where's the snow?

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


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Cowbells

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I’m sitting on the sofa, avoiding the heatwave, but the window behind is open and a wonderful draught is blowing over me.  The next door farmer has turned out two cows in the field across the river, and one is wearing a bell. This jangles with grazing and flies and  grooming and moving around the field. It’s music. I can’t stand windchimes, but this constant theme is both lulling and calling me as I sit.  A sound that has echoed around Austria since times forgotten.  It’s also, for me, an autumnal sound  as usually we have the cows down for a few weeks in September, finishing off the grass before they go into the warm stables. A pastoral idyll. The song could easily drive me nuts, but I can’t get enough of it. The bell isn’t a hundred percent sound as it’s got a clang to it rather than a ring. It’s companiable, like a cat washing itself in the corner of a room in the evening.  It’s bringing from inside me, an emotion I cannot define. Almost sad, with the association with the end of summer, it’s nostalgic, and comforting.  Now the swallows are adding their song as they swoop over the Thomotalerbach, feasting on flies. The waterfall rushes  over the old weir as an undertone, a white noise.  Oh, I wish I could bottle this, and take sips of it everytime I feel low.


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Garden time; Cow bells and early summer

Now the Ice man has taken himself off, its like summer is advancing rapidly.  The dandelions have turned to heads and the air is filled with them, along with willow seeds.  The Margarita daisies -(probably the wrong name) are coming into flower with great drifts of white. Yet it’ll be  two or three more weeks until the flowers start showing their heads up in the Alms. 

We’re now getting lots of drizzle, so I’ve put out all the geraniums and the terrace flowers.  It looks complete chaos until I get them sorted out, but they’re all getting a good watering!  The Peas have got their sticks and the courgettes are showing the odd head, I’ll have to plant my indoor reserves if they don’t get a move on!  The carrots are showing and the occasional parsnip – I wonder if we’ll beat last years astonishing crop!  The brussels and the kohl Rabi are slowly recovering from the frost.  The garden centre where Dave works, lost all of their tomatoes.  Before the frost they lost 300 due to a virus and afterwards all had to be chucked.  It’s still manic there, with people queuing up to buy veggie plugs and geraniums, I just wonder where all these people went before, the centre only opened three years ago.  We’ve bought one more cucumber plant, and have clipped the damage off the old ones, hopefully they may recover, they’ve got fruit on.

BUT most of all, the cows are going up to the alms, the tractors with the open top trailers are heading uphill with the cows sniffing and sticking their noses over the top.  Some cows are turned out here in the valley, ready kitted with their bells, heavenly music. I must be daft, this I love but a windchime, I can’t stand!  Not everyone here likes the bells, someone I know stuff their neighbour’s cow’s bell full with  loo paper to stop them dinging in the early morning and waking them up – and these are local people not incomers!!!!!