So where's the snow?

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


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Back to Blogging and a snow report!

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One of the perks of living here, walking in the winter valleys

For the snowies, if you want to ski, there’s shed loads of the white stuff here, and the skiing is great!  After the odd January where we had no snow at all for the first ten days, we’ve just had a week of snow off and on with 42cm measured here in the valley.  Just like forecasted, but, the weather has gone warm, today we had +8 and it’s all melting, I only hope its ok further up hill! So although we have enough snow for all our local Cross country ski routes, they’re too sticky in this warmth.

We’ve just had my brother here for a visit and had one of those holidays from home, blogs to follow, it was a real boon in the light of all that’s been going on.

Talk about disaster after disaster! Since the beginning of this year, I  seem to be catastrophe bound.  Besides having to replace the laptop, I’ve ironed a whole in my bosses favourite dirndl pinny, in January I had  another bout of Diverticulitis and had all the horrible investigations,so we missed all the Ice stock schiessen in the village and the Faschings stuff as I felt grotty. I missed the flu, but broke a tooth and had to have that mended- I hate dentists. We arrived to open the holiday house we look after to find there was no electricity and had to get the bloke out – fortunately fixable, oh and I’ve lost my job!  Although I was employed for 15 hours, there was rarely enough hours, and before Christmas had to work out the backlog.  We’d just got it sorted and one of the houses I clean had got a new bloke installed and she didn’t want a cleaner any more, so back to square one.  Before I had a break I said I didn’t want to go back to a backlog, so while I was off I got the dear John phone call.

I’m just so tired of this starting and leaving jobs.  Six years here and still not sorted. I know God helped with this job as I blogged last year and I’d long felt this job would end in the spring.  It’s the not knowing what to do next that’s so depressing.  Dave has been out of work since October, and the job situation here is dire unless you’re happy to work in the Hotel system with all the hours under the sun. It is, I affirm because God has the next step in his plan for us, I just wish he would tell us the direction. Is it time to go back to the UK? I can’t see him putting me in the Church structure, and then tell me to leave?????


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Holidays at home

Obertauern, the ski lifts spoil it a bit for me, some people are never satisfied

Of course, we’re spoilt here with the scenery, castles, steam trains, Alm huts,  cycle trails……….but wherever you live you always take it for granted.  So when Dave and I boarded the bus to take us to Salzburg a few weeks ago, I began to get my holiday excitement.  We were going to meet the family and pick up a hire car at Salzburg airport, hence this journey. 

It was during the baking hot bit, so we were so glad to sit in an air-conditioned bus.  We sped through the Lungau and up to Obertauern, my nose pressed to the window like any good tourist.  Maybe its just seeing the usual from a new perspective.  Our train at Radstadt was delayed, then when we sat down, we found our coach had no aircon so we adjourned to the buffet for the rest of the journey.  Very picturesque through the gorges and mountains to Salzburg. The new Railway station we arrived at was buzzing, but we noticed for the first time the beautiful pictures high up in the main foyer. 

Another packed bus to the airport. I got a window and we saw the blocks of flats filling the suburbs catching snatches of life. One staggered me.  We were stopped and outside a shop I saw to alkies drinking together on a bench.  The I noticed one had a crutch, and a big stain down what looked like a hospital robe.  He had a black eye, and when he lifted his hand, a drip attachment in his hand.  Dave noticed he was barefoot too.  Had he escaped?  There was no hospital nearby, we’ll never know!

This was the first weekend of the school holidays and everywhere were groups of teenagers clad in similar tee shirts ready for their drunken trip to Ibiza and other places.  As Dave and I walked through the terminal there was a real stink of teenager -ugh!

We met family  and spent the next few days going to huts, walking, the shooting festival and it really was like being on holiday.  Usual routine gone.  Good company.  Even exploring a bit of Obertauern we didn’t know. Maybe it was taking the unusual journey that gave the sense of holiday, but I must say there’s a lot to say for a holiday at home!


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Garden Time, hot, hot, hot

The freaky weather continues, with this long spell of really hot weather regularly 30 degrees with thunderstorms all around. Apparently its all to do with the Jet stream that has slipped down a bit giving the UK the horrible amount of rain they’ve been having, and it means we’re stuck with the hot air from the south.  We’ve got off lightly with damage from hail and rain, but in the fruit growing regions of Austria the damage to fruit and grain crops has been enormous. Still the 36 degrees we clocked one day isn’t normal.

The garden likes it though and the heat and rain has our courgette plants growing like Triffids, and a glut of cucumbers in the greenhouse. We’ve just harvested the first peas – sugar snap which you eat the lot and are much sweeter than Mange tout.  the first Courgettes are there and the Kohl rabi are ready.   I’m just so enjoying having the time to do all this, no more Burg!  In the greenhouse we have pea sized Tomatoes, nothing red, not so good.  We also planted an Okaido pumpkin, a red one which is quite sweet but great in stews, this is trying to take the place over, three times the size of its brother outside.  Of course the drip watering system Dave installed helps!

In the garden I tried sweet peas in a huge tub, with posts to grow y, but the cold spell held them back, I put in two packets, then another two when they didn’t germinate -result forest and no flowers yet!


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Sometimes you just have a good day!

One of my entries for the Photo competition

May 223rd

Some days at home drive me to distraction, others are ok, but last Monday was a great day.  I began with my mediation and prayers, I’ve found such a good book, it’ll be reviewed soon.  Its ‘Meditate and Declare by Lyn Dehnke, details will follow!

I then took to the net and was amazed by how many hits and Pingbacks I had on my first attempt at the Weekly photo challenge, hosted by http://dailypost.wordpress.com/ and I found some great new blogs to follow. I had a list of subjects to write blogs about and I actually did them all.

Dave came home at lunchtime with a load of compost, and it stopped raining, so I spent quite some time planting out my geraniums into containers on the terrace, and putting pea sticks in, most satisfying.  It began to drizzle again so they all got a good drink. 

Then Lizzie came over, a friend ad found a Golden retriever wandering up on Schonfeld, and it befriended her Collie.  This lady is a nurse and has a dog sitter, but who can’t cope with two dogs.  So Lizzie and I are going to be dog sitters when needed, Mega!  Dave didn’t argue either!

Then I went and planted Paggy’s replacement Cucumbers for him, and took his bin bag down the lane -such a buzz when you can help someone.

I was just sorting out my entry for the local photography competition about the river Mur, when there was a knock at the door. Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They had imported a lad from Klagenfurt who spoke fluent English.  Couldnt resist the challenge and I out talked them again, they actually said they had to leave -hahahahahaha!

I entered my photos for the competition, and then poor Dave was late back from work, but he took me over to the Holiday flat to close up after the visitors -such kindness.  What a day!


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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!!!!!


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Travel Theme: Summer

Looking down towards the Grangler Hut, Weisspriach, Lungau

This summer is going to be the best for several years, I’ve decided and that’s final! After all my time teaching riding and the summer when I worked seven days a week at Lois’s stables when he was hurt and then the last two at the Burg with all that associated stress, I’m going to be more at home.  As well as having weekends, I’ll have the Bank holidays. This means I will finally have the time to work on my garden, instead of filling it with flowers and then neglecting it.  I’ll have time to harvest my veggies and fruit and make jam. I might even have a go at some wine making if I can find the gear.  I’m putting a second picture in, wonder if that’s allowed?

June 2010

This also means I’ll have time to go walking in the mountains with Dave and friends. The Bergs are completely addictive, although I cuss and swear as I trudge up and have to take deep breaths, this year I’m fitter (but not thinner) and I cant wait to be up there in that clear air, beautiful views and the silence that wraps them. Of course it’ll also mean Kaisershmarrnn testing at the huts –there’s always one somewhere on a route.  And the camera will be with me, as I disappear for a shot, leaving Dave exasperated or talking to himself.  We just need the last of the snow to melt – which this year means some places will be inaccessible until July, never mind, I’ve got all summer!

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/05/18/summer/