So where's the snow?

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

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Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)

We had one of these trees in our first house at Little Marsh near Beaulieu. Its scent when flowering is amazing, heavy and a bit peppery. It takes me back every time to when our kids were small and how they played in that garden. There’s lots of these trees in this part of the Lungau and it seems this year is their turn for heavy flowering. Here are some piccies I took today. Have you got some great flowering trees where you are?


Bad, bad rain

One the weekend following the snow, the rain fell and fell and fell. Sunday it was heavy and continuous for over 36 hours. The siren which had been going with snow problems was now going for cellars to be pumped out. Then on Karneralm, there was a landslide, and a power transformer slid down the hill and the water power station was flooded. Families were evacuated.

Then there was a mudslide behind a house in Ramingstein and towards Tamsweg. Roads were flooded, rivers burst banks. By Monday morning, you couldn’t move far as roads were shut as the clear-up operation began.

The road up to Burg Finstergrun was all but washed away.

In Kendlebruck, a wooden house was turned around 360 degrees by water.

Our local railway was totally taken out by a mudslide, the tracks being pushed up in the air like a fairground ride. Stadl was declared an emergency area. The railway might not be repaired until Christmas.

All over Salzburgerland, Carinthia and Tyrol, similar stories came in, two houses being knocked over by a landslide in Bad Gastein. Such heartbreak after the damage done by the heavy snow. The farmers who had been cut off with no electricity due to the snow, were now facing being washed away, Muhr at the end of the Lungau is only just out of being an emergency area.

By Wednesday, our road was reopened by the herculean efforts of the local council workers. The mudslides will take longer. Here in  Austria where all the councils have their own teams and machinery and a local fire brigade, help was quick and efficient. I take my hat off to them all.

Now we have a few days of relative peace and dry. I’m praying for a mild winter with not a lot of snow in the valleys!

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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!


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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Family car

Seen at a local ‘Oldtimers meeting’, I guess these extras effectively makes your tractor a four seater family car……..


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