So where's the snow?

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


Winter season!

I used to spend my winters feeling caged, now the days just aren’t long enough!  We have three big holiday houses and the main ski season launches in February. Might have two courses next month teaching English conversation,  one morning, one evening. Snow clearing for all the houses. Dog walk twice a day. Library twice a week, and I’m just doing the ‘Jahresmeldung’ for funds, not so fraught the second time around.  One block of flats to collect Guest tax from once a week.  But most of all working hard on the books. Baize Door will soon be relaunched as Challenger, Compromise is finished and with the beta readers and an editor. Tom will be re-released at Easter. Third book to be written, which will be set in Austria. Roll on spring!

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Yet another new job


How many times have I written this in the past nine years?  In 2010 it was the Burg, then the Insurance company in Tamsweg and then ibis, plus many other disasters! It sort of became clear to me that the English teaching wasn’t going to work out long term, I can’t claim dole for all but 10 weeks of the year, my conscience can’t live with it. So when there was a cleaning job advertised at the Jagglerhof (pub/restaurant/events  and wedding venue)  in the village, I applied with no real interest, and was relieved when I didn’t hear but to my surprise, I got a call back and the job starts tomorrow. Only  15 -20 hours a week and some weekends, it may work if it gives me an income and enough time to be at home, walk the dog and help Dave. He’s also going to be doing some weekends at the Burg, so we may not see each other much. I’m resigned to it, although deep inside I’m screaming, please no more cleaning. This winter with the holiday lets has meant  we haven’t had a Saturday off since Christmas.

Or maybe its another one of my mistakes and I should run the holiday lets with Dave having this extra work-its the uncertainty I don’t like as we’ll be on weekly plans. I’ve just had an idea for another book after having written Tom about twenty years ago!

I hope to meet nice people, no Erna, no insane boss and something that is varied -well at least there’s no beds to make. I will get extra cash from the Job centre as I’ve been so long un-employed and I’m a wrinkly………I hope Swingle will be ok being left more regularly, but she is calming down and she’s used to being left in the mornings when we do Meals on wheels etc. This we hope to keep on doing between us.

I also had an idea while chatting to Linda in the local library, that the old peeps in the village never get a look in. So having talked with Annie the librarian and the mayor, we can use the council mini bus and take books around the village. This will go out to the village in the summer, and we have lots to organise. Annie wishes to retire, so I’ll also have to run the main library, but I’ve been umming and ahhing about this for a couple of years, maybe I need this push! It would be great if I could  use this as an excuse to go on a fact finding trip to the UK! If it only paid more, I wouldn’t need the Jagglerhof. But we’ll see. Quietly hopeful.

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‘What a Mess’, her friend and an awful day……….

One of my jobs now includes cleaning the house of the Lady who owns What a Mess, who I usually meet when I clean the Insurance Office in St Michael.  This Afghan is just so typically hound, friendly, bouncy and yet elegant.  She’s got adult her coat so isn’t quite like Frank Muir‘s puppy.  I’ll now call her WAM!  This lady leads a chaotic life as a single Mum of a boy, full-time worker in Insurance (and I know, having worked in it how demanding it is), and she’s into all this stupid numerology and card reading stuff.  So I felt when I was asked to clean her house by my main boss, I could really bless her, give the house a lift and her too.   Apart from the first time she showed me round, I haven’t seen her.

So last week I arrived, and I fully admit I was tired, and so emotions are  bit higher than normal. The two Siamese/Burmese cats were looking indignant by the front door, so I opened the door to let them in and then the inner porch door as one lingered.  To my shock I was greeted by WAM and what I take as a brindled whippet puppy! Cats slunk in, door slammed and I enjoyed being frisked, bounced and slurped on as the dogs greeted me, full gas. I went and sat in the sitting room, of course the puppy shivered as they do, but I cuddled them both and chucked some toys around -bliss.  Then I really knew I had to  work.  I looked around for a note, could I let the dogs in the garden, where was the dog poo cleaning kit?  Nothing.  I had to clear up -I could see WAM looking at the baby’s accident with worry. So in the end I found a plastic sack and left it right by the front door.  It was such fun though, especially as it became obvious that the dogs werent allowed in the bedrooms by the way they leapt on the beds and jumped about, (just like you know who) and all too soon, I was done and gave the two some treats I’d found and slunk away.  I could hear them barking -and hounds don’t bark that much, as I left.

HOW  FLIPPING RUDE! Yes, Joyce, I’d taken offence.  I can only hope there was some huge problem why this woman hadn’t left me a note or rung to explain. If not,as Dave said, remember we’re just slaves here.  It’s the lack of respect, the taking me for granted that I found so bad.  But not only that, it’s the leaving dogs for so long alone in the house.  I had to remove various medicines that the woman had left lying about that the puppy was chewing, there was what just seemed a lack of care.  Not even a newspaper put down. If the silly woman had called me, I could do more if she must leave them in the house. Of course I could have rung her, but I’m nervous speaking on the mobile in German, people speak too quickly, and I would have just been really rude to her.

I wished then I had another doggy person I could talk to about this, but have no real doggy friends in Lungau, I havent spoken to folks in the UK for a while and of course I couldn’t make a phonecall out of the blue so upset.  I wanted to talk to the only person in the world who knows dogs  as I do, Mum.  And she’s dead.  It hit me like a blow to the stomach, grieving for my mum at her doggy best when she wasn’t drinking or depressed.  I grieved for my own dogs, who I’ve given up living in here, in a belief or decision (right or wrong) that I need to keep myself free for the next step in my walk with God.  I so missed my horsey/doggy life that I’ve left  behind.  And I knew I was also jealous of this woman for having two dogs, and I none.  I did talk to Dave, but he’s a man and not a pet fan, he only sort of understood.  I calmed down and finished the days work. I don’t know how I’ll deal this with next week.

I saw the puppy had peed on the bathroom floor, so I left it.