So where's the snow?

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

1 Comment



As Ive said, I’ve been seeking God a lot more since loosing my job, 8 in 6 years is a bit ridiculous.  I’ve had the homesickness to deal with, and I’ve had a sense of having lost our way here.  A brick wall. I’ve been  focusing in on Mathew 7,7, as well as looking at the stories of Mary and Martha, I’m a convicted Martha and Dave a Mary.  It’s interesting they both say exactly the same thing when Jesus arrives after Lazarus has died.  I digress.

I’ve felt for a long time that I must put all the old things behind, the horses as work in particular, I haven’t ridden for over a year and the nerves are coming back.  Dave hasn’t even perceived this but has said, why are you cleaning, you can do better than this? Not good for the arrogance!  I’ve thought, maybe erroneously that I had to give up all of self, but there has been a nagging sense that while the job was relatively stress free, there was an underlying deep sense of boredom.  Then again, I’ve done different cleaning jobs all through my life it’s a fall back. Maybe it is that God had only meant me to serve through cleaning, not all my own aspirations such as writing.  Maybe I’ve started grasping his lessons about life through these jobs, and I can move on.  But surely to go back is a mistake, you should look forward?

There’s also the Mary, Martha situation. I have to go out and try things, step out and at least find out if they are wrong.  For example, telling people that we are looking for work, Dave especially in the garden. Dave thinks we should just sit on our bums on the sofa and wait for it to arrive in our lap. He got cross the other day when I mentioned to some people that we were thinking of starting a business, but I’d felt prompted to do it.  Who is right? Surely there is a balance of both, half of Dave’s trouble is that he has no self-confidence and is scared of failure.  Id rather make a mess than not do anything.

I was at the Lois’s stables  the other day, having told Dave I was going to give up the lessons.  I was well aware I was whining about my situation, and I shouldn’t be doing it , but at least I could be upbeat  next time!  But out of this, the Mum of the girl I was teaching wants to go on with me, not her daughter going to Lois to ride, and she wants  me to do some English teaching.  I’ve done this before but after a lad I’d coached still didn’t pass an exam, I felt underqualified and useless and gave up. Then I shot myself completely in the foot. The next day came a phone call from a local estate agent who I used to do some translating for, asking me to go out on a visit with him to translate.  I was so chuffed, and said things to come around, so Dave had to rub it in, just what I said about waiting – arrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!

So have I a few years ago taken a wrong turning?  I felt God leading me to working at the Burg and his God-incidences led me to this previous job.  Or was it a direction he had to take me to teach me things, then lead me  back with a new knowledge on this path, of horses and teaching which was his way all along?  Both?  I’been praying for a new thing, but maybe it’s within the old, I did have an attitude problem about going back but consciously prayed whatever he wants, I’ll do. I’m surprisingly happy about the whole thing, the only thing is, how will I earn enough?  I’ve felt maybe this unemployment will enable me to use the self-employed advice centre here, but all is so regulated here, could I do an all-purpose jobbing self employment, and what about our project?  I know, trust and stop manipulating, but I can tell this estate agent about how things are when he asks????????

1 Comment

Frohnleichnam or the Feast of Corpus Christi

Sometimes, I just don’t think things through properly. I’ve been so wanting to get to know people and mix in and thought the Trachtenfrauen was a good group to join.  They were great, even finding me a Dirndl that I can wear until September when there’s a big swop meet and I can get a traditional one.  All the week before the first outing, I guess I was freaking out a bit about wearing this thing in public – I am surgically attached to trousers, having fat legs and am life-long tom boy!   I even kept it secret from Dave so I didn’t have to put it on for him to see it beforehand, what a twit I am!!!!!

The day before, I thought, lets see what this festival is all about.  As I read, my heart sank.  It’s only about one of the main theological differences between Catholics and Protestants, what the dickens am I doing associating  myself with all this?  I’m on the local church PCC,  and I just cannot agree with this festival. It’s not even biblical, some saint wanted to celebrate the event of the first communion being made, and with all the fuss of Easter and Pentecost, asked the local Bishop who agreed to a Mass and Procession. When this Saint died, another asked for it to be extended to all the Catholic church and so it was.  It involves the Priest under a canopy trotting around the village to set points, holding a Monstrance with a host in front of his face.  I don’t think he can see where he’s going at all.  Being Austria, they also shoot the cannon as the priest prays.  Each station has a set reading from the gospels.  They also cart a statue of the Virgin Mary along, which is completely silly -she wasnt even there!  Linda told me earlier it had to be carried by Virgins who had to wear a special outfit…………

I was in a right state by the evening before, and went to Linda for advice.  Quite sanely, she said the group has helped you get the kit, you’ve said you’ll go and you must try it.  Test how you feel and what God is saying to you.  She is right, my neighbour in the group knows I’m Protestant. It was the right decision, so the next morning at 7.30, I was ready to go……….

Leave a comment

Now I’m doing it too………….

May 2007; Camping in the kitchen!

Three weeks on in the new job and I’m just about to start my first day on the cleaning round on my own.  I’ve got three whole weekends off this month, and its such a relief to know when and how long I’ve got off.  The hours mean I’m not constantly exhausted, its great.   (Later)  The day was fine, had my MP3 player with me and after forgetting minor things such as keys and bin bags, the day passed really quickly – and I didn’t get lost once!I’m still not getting all that’s said, particularly from the Boss Helmuth who speaks such rapid dialect.  Mary has told him to speak slowly to me today. I’ll wonder if he’ll remember!   There was a Knight’s festival last weekend and Friday had plenty of men in Strumphosen or tights trotting about the place.   Lois was booked to bring some of the horses over for what I later found out was a wedding.  Lois being Lois had to borrow Edith’s horse because the one they wanted wouldn’t load into the trailer (should have asked me!) and the other is the dumbest, flightiest one on the place.  He arrived there without the girth so of course Grani then took his chance to muck about and the Bridesmaid refused to go near him!  Still the Norriker from another stable looked brilliant with the Knight, wonder if there’ll be some piccies. 

Smoking for me is a major issue here.  They cannot understand why I hate it and how I won’t sit near them.  They are completely perplexed, even though I was told there is a smoking ban in England and how dangerous passive smoking is. They all go into the café/bar and out come the fags.  On the First Aid course, they even got to the beer – amazing! It’s been a real struggle for me because I don’t want to alienate myself.  I sit well away from them and when possible with by an open window. Maybe they’ll get used to the foreign nutter or even give it a thought.  There is little or no education about the dangers here, and the general ban will be dodged I’m sure- on the induction night the boss said there was a total ban – obviously only by Austrian standards!

I’ve been observing my fellow workers, and maybe a continent apart but I can see great similarities!   I find it really difficult not to laugh when Mary  gets into what I call her Les Dawson mode.  Usually sitting smoking a fag, which stays in her hand the arms get folded and the bosoms hiked up just like in the sketches he did with Roy Kinnear, she only needs a housecoat and a turban.  She then proceeds to pass judgment on how the place is run, how it seems crazy what they’re doing, jumping to conclusions, such as when she heard there was no one in the kitchen one day, and we’d have to bring a snack – when she asked Helmuth, he looked flummoxed, she hadn’t read the rota!!  Everything that is mildly wrong is a Katastroph,   a word which I’ve heard used everywhere I’ve worked and seems to be a favourite. A major source of interest is how many people have been on shift – and it’s either too many or too few. There s also criticism like where I used to work, when something isn’t right e.g. not enough paper towels left in the loos at the weekend, they’re straight to moaning,  no could you put more out next time etc etc…….So I felt very smugly that I wouldn’t buy into all this until I heard my self saying to Mary how it just needs communication to be improved and how it could be done…….I’m off for my housecoat!