So where's the snow?

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

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On being a mother

No one ever told me that you would still see your children as your babies even though they are grown and leading their own lives and you yourself are in your sixties. I grieve for the years spent in Austria, where although they appeared to be happy and settled, they weren’t. One went through a divorce, just at Covid time and we couldn’t get over.  The other, found their love, but to the extent, they have moved on and that relationship between mother and child, which naturally must transfer to the partner has never been the same since. She now in a busy professional life and there is a barrier. I sense there is some deep problem there too, but she’ll never confide in me now.

I always imagined big, family Sunday dinners but they will never happen now as the only time we all seem to be together is at Christmas and they all can’t wait to rush back to their own lives.

My fear of crowding them is a result of my childhood, where I was brought up by my mother and grandmother, who fought the whole time, my mother ending up an alcoholic. I’m so scared of being intrusive, and in course, they have backed off, into their own lives. I always hoped that one day, when they were in their thirties, they would be mature enough to talk adult to adult, but it’s not happening. I so envy those close families.

My son, I did have some time with when we got here,and I tried so hard to tell him I was sorry for failing him during the divorce time, and of course he didn’t reply, but at least I said what was needed. My daughter had a blow up with her dad at Christmas, but it meant the next day she and I did chat a bit and for a few hours, my daughter ceased to be grumpy,fed up with us and non communicative, or maybe that was the alcohol!

My son has a new woman, who is from Europe and lives with her mother. I met them at Christmas and they seem lovely. But my alarm bells are ringing, how is there a future there? I want to say, beware set up boundaries. I know he is so hurt and is sailing into a new port, and its not history repeating itself. Then today I find they are all on holiday somewhere hot, all three of them. I’m jealous that he has a new mother figure. I’m hurt that he would never be on holiday like that with us, and I know my husband will never understand how I’m feeling right now, its a mother thing.

I hurt.




The pain of parting


I’d long looked forward to the arrival of Stef for Christmas, even though I knew I’d be boring her with all my health concerns – I’m the biggest hypochondriac ever since the menopause. I was quite stressed before Christmas, with so much to do, houses to get ready (and I really need to stop working with a sense of panic that we don’t have enough time to do the job) and the inexorable dog walking. Dave has got bronchitis again and can barely get out of the house without wheezing. I nver thought I would be on my own so much with the dog, so God gets the earache from me as I walk!

Any way, she arrived, and I was so happy with her there, loads to chat about and catch up with. Some of the days, I felt she could leave today and I wouldn’t be upset, I’m so calm with her here. In the past, when the kids have left, I’ve been reduced to a sodden heap in a couple of days, with stomach gripping grief. This time, I didn’t even think I was going to be struck. But as she bossed us away as the dog was whining and she had to queue, we left abruptly. As I walked the dog around the car park, it hit me like a punch in the stomach, I was silently crying, hoping none would see.  We did the usual parting  thing of texting each other while she waited in the airport and then when she was home.

But the next morning I was again a sodden heap as I walked the dog. It wasn’t self-pity. it was separation pain. I cried in the loo and in secret. But this time I prayed. Took the power of the risen Lord within me and rebuked it. Asked him to help me. And as I stopped thinking about myself, and began praising, the pain began to lift, In 48 hours I was through.

I know this may be something in my personality and I know I felt this even when we were in England, but I so deep down want to go back. Not forever, just more visits, so there is a balance. We’ve been here nearly nine years now and my homesickness is not going away. Last year was such a hard year, despite the dog coming into our lives. Dave seems to have found a niche with the Burg and will go back next year. There are so many things to keep us here,its in many ways a fantastic life, I’ve a few really good friends even if they are mostly english!  It’s the pain of missing the kids that slays me. Dave said he was so pleased I hadn’t had the miseries when Stef left – if only he knew!

So I havent really moved on from my last post. I began to think, maybe God means the situation is ok, I’m wrong so I should go, not alter my attitude!!! There’s the possibility of a part time year round job as a carer of old people, but with the Christmas break, I’ve not heard anything. Do I want to go on taking the dole so we are free to do a UK trip after the season? I somehow don’t see me teaching another English course.

So I’ve made a new year resolution to contact the kids more. Maybe in letting them go, I’ve let go too far. and its all too late. If I can find a balance it may be ok. The trouble is a lot of time, here doesn’t feel home, the UK is. Maybe I’m looking back too much.  God díd bring a lot of change in our lives last year, but nothing that resolved anything long term.

Anyone out there in blogging land has kids in another country, how do you cope???


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I don’t think I can go on like this any more……


We recently had a visit from our son and his lovely wife. We hadn’t seen them since the wedding, 16 months ago, although we had exchanged infrequent emails, texts and face time on the phones. But not enough.

We had a time that was intense, such fun, chatty, learnt stuff about each other. Caught up.We even discussed what our future is here and how all we have in the UK is the kids. When they left, I decided that this time, I will let the emotion out, but I was in such pain at the Airport, I had to keep a hold on that in front of them.

I know it’s a reflection of how we are finding work and life here difficult. How would it be if they had moved away?

The next day Dave and I were both tired and ratty, and the following day I started the morning miseries, mild panic attacks, fear, light palpitations. Just like when our daughter left us in June.So it wasn’t a hormonal thing, it was my head and grief stepping in. This morning I cried. I prayed in tongues, letting it all out, and I was healed.  I am calm. But I can’t go on like this. It doesn’t change the situation. I don’t want to step on their toes or be the intrusive mother, but 16 months is too long. My family is my life. Sacrifice apart, God, you brought me here. I am a Mother, I will see my kids. If you want me to stay here, you have to trump up more money so I can go to see them more often. If not, next year, I’m leaving Austria. And going home. To where I can see them maybe every couple of months, or even more.

Have I talked to Dave about this – no. and I know that’s not good. I will not be putting this through Facebook either. But he doesn’t want to leave here. And it would be a great wrench to go to. We have quickly slipped back into our calmness and doing stuff, pottering about, filling our days and in six weeks I will be teaching again, having a shift on Meals on Wheels focuses our day.  What is the solution? Dave has been given a verse, about what is sown in sadness will be repaid in joy-he sees this as a us getting loads of money in the autumn, I see it as my situation, but I wasn’t given the verse.

I’m hanging on for Christmas, when we all get together in England. It is my focus.

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Mummydaddy by Jeremy Howe

This only links to the published book

I don’t usually go for books about death and grief, but the story caught my eye.  How do you cope when a beloved partner is murdered?  So often in the press you hear of people who form support groups, push court cases and make shrines to their loved ones as either a coping mechanism or an un-coping mechanism, so I was interested to see how someone grieved especially with small children.

It was good that the narrative is framed through the perspective of now, how the girls have grown up and Jeremy has moved on.  Yet he writes about the agony of his loss as if it were yesterday and all his reactions through the first few months and years are fresh.  There’s no rosy tinted-ness either, he depicts his love, how she was with a clear sightedness and honesty which keeps you hooked to the tale.

Jeremy does find an end to his grieving, a unique closure, which perhaps many people do not get, such as when a murderer is not found or convicted, or the disease conquers.  His strength builds through the story, and this held me until the end. I guess the book could help anyone going through the same situation, but as a read, it was gripping through its sadness iand hope