So where's the snow?

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


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Out with the girls…….

I’d made one outing with the Trachtenfrauen as I’ve detailed but really wasn’t too happy with my Dirndl and the ceremony.  So I waited until the Swapmeet in September where second-hand outfits are for sale.  I was there for nearly three hours struggling into different dirndls. I found one genuine Lungau but it was 250 euros, not quite my budget!  In the end I settled for one with a red bodice for 60 Euros, not the real Lungau one with black decoration but one that is a fairly common design. I even lashed out on a jacket, which was a wise move as the next outing was cold and windy.

This was the 20th party for the Ramingstein Samson, there wasn’t a lot of marching but all the Lungau Samsons were there and had a dance. There was the usual men of the village fighting for the microphone and blithering on, then we went to the local pub, where the schnapps and beer began to flow. I tried to buy a round, honestly, but never got a chance! It was a great time to chat and get a bit wobbly. I also found out that our group is only two years old – hey a new tradition!

The next outing was Harvest festival, and they had the cannon out again, shredding my nerves.  We had a service in the church, with gifts taken to the altar, and another march around the village and back to the church.  The Priest again carrying the Monstrance right in front of his nose.  Then back to the Pub garden and more microphone snatching.  It was nice that as part of the festival, all those who had round Wedding anniversaries were remembered. Trouble is, Austria has been hit by the Data protection idiocy and may not be allowed to reveal these highly personal details in the future.

Julie Andrews eat your heart out!

We then had the David and Goliath fight played for us.  As far as I can see, this is to encourage people that the little man can win.  They must have had the same lad for several years but he had grown and was as big as Goliath.  We all fell about laughing when he completely missed Goliath with his  Bommyknocker and shouted ‘Scheiss’ forgetting his microphone!

Then the Volkstanzgruppe had a dance, similar to our Maypole dance.  Another great event, Dave took loads of photos which I sent to the secretary who was thrilled as it’s not often there’s a shot of everyone together as she takes the piccies. Our next outing will be Icestockshiessen in January.  Maybe Dave will join the group as photographer, but he’ll have to wear a dirndl!


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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……….