So where's the snow?

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


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Reflections on Austria

We’ve now been in Wales for seven months and I’m very aware of my looking back at our fourteen years there. I don’t want to go back, not even for a visit at present, but that’s not because I’m angry or sad about there. Some of it’s because I’m travelled out, have no desire to go anywhere except to explore Wales and maybe one day look at my roots in Ireland. It’s more that I’m so much happier here, and the contrast between then and now is becoming apparent.

We were both restless from 2004 onwards. Heading to the empty nest syndrome, work becoming less of a dream. Children growing up, Mum and dog passing. And some of it, my inherent restlessness. I think I get it from my Dad, the thought of staying in one place all my life made me feel like I was suffocating. Not to mention my impatience too. We wanted to go as Missionaries, but Dave didn’t want to study, but when looking we felt God was directing us. Oh, you can read it all in the rest of this blog!

Austria was never home, and maybe that was because I looked back, missing kids, and as we found our selves in a dead church, being in a living one. Our little fellowship here in Wales is so alive and I know God wants us here. Yes, we loved a lot of it, but we had always said we night go back and I knew there was another house for us to live in. This one. I will end my days here.

My overwhelming feeling of being here, is complete and utter relief! More in the next post…


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Holiday time!

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https://smarturl.it/wish-you-were-hereAS

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I’ve been involved in a Facebook group for memoirs and was thrilled to be asked to contribute to a book on holiday memories. It’s out on November 14th. I contributed the story of our first ever trip to Austria, to before this blog even began!

“I must send a postcard back home.”

“Hang on a minute, I need to take a photograph of this.”

Favourite holidays and special travel memories are shared in this anthology featuring twenty award-winning and top travel memoir authors.

We all have that one holiday that stands out in our minds, that one break or vacation we will never forget. Whether it is a childhood ‘bucket and spade’ family holiday, the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ dream destination, your first trip abroad or the city where you first fell in love, the memories are still there today.

The authors in this anthology bring out their postcards and photo albums and invite you to join them as they reminisce about their travels.

Maybe they will inspire you to book your next holiday too.

Amazon Universal Link:

https://smarturl.it/wish-you-were-hereAS

Amazon UK Link:

Amazon.com Link:


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Christmas over

How was your Christmas this year? We had the most wonderful time with family. Catching up and making new friends.

Now as the new year gets going, life is piling in again. Two books planned for this year, three short stories in note form and at last someone to translate my books into German. Holiday house cleaning season. More English students and my 60th birthday party to plan. I’m feeling snowed over mentally and physically already!

How’s your new decade showing up?


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Bella and Swingle’s holiday

For International dog day!

Bella came to stay for a few days and we had a ball!

Paddling was best in the hot weather.

Plenty of games of bitezes!

I even let her sleep on my favourite bit of the sofa!

In the woods was fun too.

Bella fell in the pond once, I did warn her! Oh it was fun!


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Schonbrunn, here Ve come!

 

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We were all so tired, that we slept deeply, and were refreshed despite some bright spark having a firework display during the night.  We breakfasted on the roof terrace – needed a bit of tlc I think. The semmels were huge, but no fruit juice but squash and no  fresh fruit.

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Off to Schonbrunn, this time perfectly leaving Stef to navigate, we piled out of the station with a walk of at least 500 m to the Schloss, what an inconvenience!!!! We queued briefly for tickets, some clever spark has put a restaurant right by the ticket office nice trick!  I don’t buy unto all this Sissi adoration in Austria, so we just had the basic tour, which had a start time for the tour.  So we went for a wander in the gardens, magnificent wells and fountains everywhere, lots of follies meant to look Roman but all made up!  A lot of local people were running and walking around the grounds- wonderful, that’s how it should be.

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We went for the tour, but there were so many tour groups it was impossible to really see the rooms, a lot of which were empty state rooms with occasional chairs, and a lot of gloomy Romantic pictures. And of course, having been spoilt by the National Trust in the UK, we expected to see more of the behind stairs stuff, and didn’t, different cultures of course.

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We snacked in the gardens and then went to the Maze, of course the daughter got to the middle first and laughed at the stupids being so slow!  We gave the zoo a miss – after all, Zoos, art galleries, museums are the same the world over, so we chose just the particularly Austrian stuff.

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We then walked up to the Gloriette at the top of the hill looking back at the Palace. I read that there was a proposal to have a ski competition there. despite the snow melting we wondered how they would miss the fountain!   It really is worth a visit, but if I hd chosen I would go late or early in the season to avoid the crowds, August doesn’t bear thinking about

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We then did the Prince’s gardens and were creased. A hot day, dust and a lot of miles we had walked. We didn’t even get to the Strudel experience which was on the ticket. Still the restaurant we collapsed in sprayed a lovely cooling mist on us as we sweltered. Back on the train to the hotel, we ate early then went for a walk around the area.

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Quite close to the Hotel, just by going down one backstreet, we were in the residential area and the sports field and mini golf.

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It was just nice on such a hot evening to have glances into inner courtyards on the blocks and see people enjoying the weather, sitting at tables having a beer, enjoying life.

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Nevertheless, we were all exhausted, so much on foot and the heat. Much needed sleep.

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Snow Prediction – Update

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Having blogged this in November, and in the hope that spring really is not far away, it’s time to see how this forecast went!

There’s a local man, Horst Noebl -well in the Pinzgau region of Salzburgerland who has made some pretty accurate predictions of the weather.  We’re in the same county so it should apply!

Its going to be a snow rich winter, worse (that depends on your outlook) than last year. Not really. It wasn’t snow rich until the middle of January.  The resorts had enough and at the right time, but not ample amounts.  We had ten days with no snow at all on the ground in January and even went walking up in the usually inpenetrable hills!

The rest of November will be changeable with lots of precipitation. For the mountains there will be a good covering of snow. However it is likely these in December will melt and before Christmas it will be unusually warm. Before Christmas, the cold and new snow will also arrive in the lower lands.  But it is also possible that it wont arrive here until after Christmas (that’s hedging your bets)! Right! So Right! ‘cept the melt lasted until the middle of January.

January will be very cold, to -20, but with little snowfall.Wrong, was when it really began to snow properly.  It wasn’t that cold, it was relatively mild, to -10! There was quite a phase when the snow was just too gripping for good skiing.

February and the first part of March will be the time for heavy snow fall. The Easter holidays will be great for skiing.  Right, but it’s now the beginning of April and it’s still snowing, although it melts quite quickly.  What this guy didn’t see was the slipping of the Jet stream to the south, which has delayed spring, caused floods in southern Europe and extra snow, a delayed spring.