So where's the snow?

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


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Leaving and letting go

I’ve run the village library for over five years now and have loved every minute, especially the training weeks in Strobl, which were almost like a holiday! The only downside was that all the books were in German, snigger! I can read them, but it’s such a long, slow process that I’d rather be in English on my Kindle.

I ran it a lot on my own as no one would come and help (was it me?), and so was limited on how many events and meetings I could do. But I had two teenagers for a couple of years, and we did the Advent market in Burg Finstergruen, standing in the cold for two days at something minus selling our discarded books. We did a Fairy tale day there too with a picture book cinema on the projector. I moved the rooms so all the children’s books and adults were separate, started our own Picture book cinemas, got a road sign, as half the people didn’t know where the library was. Offered a book delivery service to no interest.

We had special advents in the library, with cakes, biscuits and coffee. We wrapped discarded books for surprise Christmas presents which went down well! Put a sofa in one corner so people could relax, I think it was mostly bounced on by the kids! A highlight was when the kindergarten kids would visit, bringing a welcome noise and chaos, I would ask them their full names when they got their books, that the pace was a tip afterwards was better than order. I did read to them sometimes, but that was difficult as they didn’t understand my accent! Readers’ summer, where the kids would have a little books and got a stamp, after three visits they got a free ice cream at the shop. Ran it for adults too, and the most active got a bottle of wine at the end of summer!

Then Ingrid came along and for a while it was wonderful, we ran summer events for the kids and had a ball. Then the bug came along and Ingrid returned to work. We used the time to do an inventory, but something went wrong and half the books we thought had gone, later turned up! Then I was on my own again, then with the move, trying to find a successor. In the end, I put an ad on a local Facebook group and I now have two ladies taking over, sharing the library between them. We had the Mayor and deputy mayor come and do a farewell bit, speeches and flowers which I loved and a voucher for the restaurants in the village, Dave and I will feast for the next couple of Sundays. I just wish I had known that the council had a huge store of photos and documents that need cataloging, would have been a job right up my street.

So, I’ve trained them in the system, them doing in six weeks, what I did in eighteen months, and I won’t be sad never to have to do the yearly registration form again. I’ll miss the quiet air in there, the friendship of other librarians, we’re a special lot, and the fun when we had events. I hope I may find a library near our new home, and all the books will be in English, I can shop for second hand ones again, collect horse books….


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What a week!

We’ve been working so hard at it all this week. We’ve spent hours trawling through our areas. Selected several. Even had one walk round viewing. All sold. Then another came back up again that I fell in love with back in April but was sold. Sale had fallen through. So we had a virtual look around and put in an offer for the asking price…

As a Christian, I believe that God has already prepared a place for us, I just need to come to terms with my ingrained intolerance of uncertainty.

As we wait, I am so chronically tired that if it all falls through, I am walking away from the whole thing until next week. Have a lovely weekend.


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Time trickles on!

Having sold our flat, we are waiting to hear when it has been cleared by the local court. Then we should be paid, and no, I won’t be going shopping! We had always known our budget would be tight, so it was a complete blessing when our daughter said she wanted to be in on the idea. We will get a better house and she will have a foot on the housing ladder. She lives in London and no way can afford to buy there. Corona has meant she has saved a bit and paid off debts and can afford a mortgage. Wow.

It started when I sent the kids a picture of a house I loved near Rhyl in Wales. Near the sea but also a quiet location, but near shops etc. We will have to tie it all up legally. We will pay the deposit which is also her inheritance. If the house ends up in her name, she could stick us out on the street! Wills and conditions will have to be clearly stated. It might be that we don’t need to get a mortgage, if she just tops us up. We’ll see.

We found we can get a mortgage despite not being resident with a specialist firm, we might even have a credit score as we still have a bank account and an address.

But, we’ve had to stop house hunting. Most of them are being snapped up quickly. We have said Wales, but what if we don’t like it, and want to move again? To this end, we’ve decided to rent when we first arrive, and spend time hunting.

We’ve heard of someone taking an empty van travelling to the UK from Austria and he could take our furniture. We think we’ll be going in the first couple of weeks of July, after Dave has had his second jab. Our son has blessed us with two new sofas, so we don’t need to bring ours which is really uncomfortable. We will give him his share of the inheritance in advance too, it messes our budget a bit, but will help his mortgage payments.

I just need to curb my impatience!


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A new hobby

No, not his one!

One of the results of lockdown and travelling restrictions is we can’t actually get to the UK to view places. But there is a new online hobby for us. House seeking. We got onto the sales websites and gloriously troll through houses in the areas we like.

We did find one we loved recently, but with only twenty years leasehold on it and it being on the small side it’s gone on the reserve list. We’re looking at Wales as it has it all and it’s cheaper than the UK. Off for another look!


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How’s your summer?

We’re having a warm and wet summer this year, compared to last year’s hot and dry. As it may be our last summer here, I’ve been enjoying it as much as possible and making videos and photographing to make memories. Here are some of my favourite piccies.

We’ve had a couple of viewings of the flat.#, but no offers yet. We’re in no hurry!

Travelling to the UK is getting better,as the quarantines get relaxed. However, we may have to sell up, store our furniture here, and go house searching when we get there!

How’s your summer?


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Getting ready!

One of first reactions on deciding to sell the flat was to look at it with fresh eyes. There then followed a couple of weeks of re-painting, cleaning, packing up some of the DVDs and books that dominate the place. Trouble is now we like it all the more, but feel someone is just waiting to come and love this place too.

The only problem is that when there’s nothing on the TV, we can’t get the DVDs out to watch!!!!!