So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


So it goes on

How are things in your part of the world with this annoying bug? We are ornate, just to the left of the big green bit at high risk, but not yet higher.

We now have two people interested in the flat. Our last sale fell through as he went on holiday and bought another place, not having signed the contract. We now have a lady from Styria who has been twice, but is very non commital when she speaks to us. And a couple we know, who work locally, are fellow Christians. They have given us the offer we want, but the Gemeinde is being sticky about it being their main residence. They will have a talk with him early next month.

Last night, we were shocked when we saw how Austria is turning red with Corona. Germany has put a warning on people returning, that they must have a test or quarantine. The Aller Heiligen going to the Graveyards church services have been cancelled. It seems the problem is people mixing in private and event, shopping and keeping distance is not the problem. There’s so much idiocy with conspiracy theories and anti government stuff. Can’t people see it’s a matter of self responsibility? I would be devastated to think I had infected someone who later died. Why are people so selfish?

So this all means, that maybe if Europe is more and more restricted, we won’t actually be physically able to move, Wales where we might go is locked down. The spectre of Christmas without family is looming.



Paggy Adieu


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Paggy’s brother Hubert has begun clearing the flat, cutting the trees down and making it his own. The view from the back of his flat, as suspected is stunning, I don’t know why he didn’t want to see it. That’s great, especially as Hubert’s offered us to use the greenhouse which means we may actually get some ripe tomatoes this summer!

However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the emptying of the flat, seeing someone’s familiarity and life being stripped away. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it doesn’t matter to Paggy anymore, they’re just things, although they did matter to him. I can understand the family history which means Hubert may just want to strip the place clean, it has no value to him. But I see him giving things to the local charity shop and I think he could’ve made some money for himself there, I’m feeling Paggy’s life had worth, don’t bin it.

They’re just things and to the people who buy them, they will add their own value and appreciation to them.

But I don’t want this to happen to my things. I will stitch up where I want my things to go. I don’t want anyone else wearing my clothes (as if they would), furniture -a pyre? What do you think?


RIP Paggy


In 2010, last time he really succeeded in getting us all plastered!


Those of you who have followed my blog, will know about our neighbour Hans, and how he befriended us, irritated us, got us drunk, stuck his nose in, criticised all our home additions, but was always pleased to see us.He had had a stroke and so couldn’t use one hand and was also diabetic. He spent a lot of time frustrated that he could no longer go shooting and hunting.

In our strongest memory of him, was when we had our friends John and Liz here, who he also got so plastered that John still can’t remember coming home and eating trout with us. Then on a later visit he had Liz and me making plum jam, (which never set because he wouldn’t let us put enough sugar in due to the diabetes) while the men were eating pigs trotters he had boiled especially for them!

In the past couple of years, he’d had falls, and I forget how many times we had to get a ladder to his bedroom as he was locked in and was laying on the floor, having fallen or was in a diabetic coma. He was taken into the care system and had carers, all of whom he slagged off and accused of stealing things – we often wondered what he said about us! He couldn’t handle it when we didn’t want paying for doing jobs for him, but we did accept a beer now and then.

On his birthday last year he wouldn’t accept a drink and we could see he was losing weight. He was eventually admitted and it was cancer, and the rest is history. Always a difficult man, he alienated most who knew him and he had rifts with the neighbours. I often wonder what had so damaged him in childhood to make him so. We just saw a grumpy old git, not the real troublemaker he once was. He was often very rude to me and took the mickey constantly. There were tales in the village he had beaten his wife too. But that is past, who am I to judge hearsay.

Shortly before we left for the UK, he seemed to be slipping away and we expected the worse, but three days later, he was sat up in bed, he pointed to the crucifix on the wall and said ‘HE healed me’: From that point we had no worries about where he would be, it’ll  be great to have a chat with him on the other side. The last time we saw him he was not so good and as we got on the ferry home for England, he passed away.  He has a brother,to whom he was always been horrible to who will inherit everything. We’ve been asked to carry a cross and a lantern at his memorial service which is an honour. I must admit, I’m breaking a commandment in thinking of what we could do with his flat as a holiday let. It’s said that death brings out the worst in us all.

So RIP Paggy, life wont be the same here without you bellowing out of the window and asking us if we want a beer.

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Reflections on a funeral


God has recently given me so much to write about, especially things for Daily readings, which I’ll get to in due course. I even have softened against my conviction not to write my auto biography, I rarely speak of my childhood to anyone, and maybe it would be interesting for the kids. Enough.

One of neighbours (86) died last week after being ill with cancer for a long time (I’m not going to use the cliché). She was a lovely lady and lived a very quiet life with her husband. They were always pleased to see you, but were self-contained. When I saw her just before Christmas she was in a lot of pain and I think had given up.

So we went to the funeral and waited outside as the custom is here. The coffin was under an awning and you went up, sprinkled some water, took a remembrance card and then went and shook hands with the family. Mr B was there, looking absolutely distraught, and shaking like a leaf. The whole family looked numb. I was glad when they got him a chair. I was thinking about Mrs B, and how the whole process must have been such a relief at the end  for her, I could almost sense it. The Priest duly arrived and we all marched in. I had never seen such outspoken grief, nor it affecting someone so much. Continue reading

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Unlucky Lessach???

I have earlier blogged about deathograms, or what is called Kleindenkmals in the Lungau.  This is where a tragedy has occurred and a small picture and a verse are mounted on a pole with places for flowers – well you’ll see.  The pictures I used were all on the roads in Lessach, one of the Lungau valleys.  We recently walked further along the same road and found even more, which makes a total of 9  in about 2km.  Is is that the place is  unlucky or just the Lessachers are more into this, maybe a resident artist? There is a large Chapel on the entrance to the valley asking in a typically Catholic fashion for St Christopher to allow a safe passage through the valley…………


This one is dated 1881, and the guy fell off the mountain, quite graphic details here!


This one is 1991, and a tractor fell on this man.


This one is 1856, quite typical, someone working alone in the forest and a tree falls on him.


This one is 1896, and a hunter was found dead, you can see the naughty gams (or chamois) that may have caused it lurking in the background.


This is 1985, a hunter tragically died. This is added to the other four in the post below!  Just what’s going on here????????????

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Kleindenkmäler or Austrian Deathograms

As  I posted last year, all round the Lungau in the woods and on the paths are memorials to people who have lost their lives to accidents, whether working or travelling.  They are all over Austria, and can be more ornate than our ones which tend to be of wood. The one above reads;

In Memory of Johan Moser, Moser farmer, in Weisspriach.Who on the 23rd May 1919 at 7.15 am in his 43rd year, while woodworking was unlucky and was separated from Life. 

The poem loses its rhyme in translation;

I came out early to work in the wood, but didn’t come home again, Hit by a stone I lay, it took me to early to my grave.  Dear reader, please say for me an ‘Our Father’.

This memorial was taken down last year and has been repainted.  It’s an interesting insight into local folk culture. It shows a different scenario, I always wondered how the tree felling made the stone fall on his head, unless it started a small landslide!  Still, I think I prefered the earlier picture! And what had Mary to do with it -she doesn’t heal people!?