So where's the snow?

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


The river Mur

Before - picture swiped from

 The local power company, Salzburg AG wants to install a power station on the river that flows past our house, the Mur.  The river has already near its source near Zederhaus, two stations.  A gravity one with turbines and  a power station with a reservoir.  Further down the valley, near Murau there is another power station right across the river with turbines, so I guess there is a precedent.


The river begins in the Lungau and is the second biggest river in Austria, and runs through Graz and then into Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary then into the Danube and the Black sea.  In Austria there runs a 365km bike path alongside and locally much is made of the main Lungau river and its beauty and natural ness and so on and so forth. This year, Lungau becomes what I roughly translate a Biological Park because of its pure water, air and land…..

The Mur runs past our house with a waterfall on a bend and in the summer we hear the screams of white water rafters as they go down.  Earlier, there was a small water power station here for the large paper factory, which now makes wood and concrete building blocks.  It consisted of an open leat which then went into a pipe just where the Thomotalerbach river joins it.  Kids used to swim in it despite the danger, but now you can just see the footings of it, since the road has been widened. When it was built, the paper factory was innovative in that it offered its workers accommodation,  childcare and support.  Our house in one of the two accommodation blocks built in the 1930s.

So maybe there is a case for another power station. They want to build this at Kendlbruck at near us, piping the water through the hill from Tamsweg, using turbines I suppose. The local upcry is huge and the meeting in Ramingstein  made the ORF news last week. It seems most of the politicians are against it to.

Now, I’ve never wanted to be a NIMBY, but when Linda came round with a petition, Dave and I realised we needed to decide. I’ve always felt the water power here could be used more, but they don’t seem to think of small units powering a few houses or a village but these big ones which do have an effect on the environment.  Maybe the small ones aren’t cost-effective but there are abandoned old mills all through this valley.

As  you know, I spend too much time looking out my window at the Mur, and even I can see that most of the year, the river (except when flooding, or with snow melt), runs at a lower level than earlier, because of the patterns in the stones and on the banks. Maybe its climate change (No, I’m not getting into all that stuff) or possibly  further up the reservoir takes out too much, maybe this should be addressed.  If they take water out here to fill the tunnel, even I can see that the river level will drop considerably, with effects all the way down the length – what will they do at the power station at Murau?

So in the light of this and we think that it should be small mills that just divert the water, Dave and I have signed the partition. On travelling to Keep fat last night, I suddenly felt if I had said I was for the station, I would have been chucked out the car and told to walk, local feelings are running high!

For those who can read German


After the meeting….

A really nice, traditional Austrian restaurant/pub, Seetal, Lungau

We finally got to the ‘Making a new House Church‘ meeting a bit late, but Dave came although he grumbled!  I was so glad here was there and we shared it! There was a lot of talk we just didn’t understand, but some points we did.  The pastor said we should self appraise  on our work with God and where we stand with him. About keeping a sharp focus, being willing to fail, to look at this as an opportunity, to delegate but not to such extent you get lazy or think only you can do something.   He looked a lot also at how a church is structured, the service being the key point, with learning and discipling, serving and mission and so on.  He talked also about the use of technology as in live streaming a service on the net.  I felt he had it all the wrong way round, I was expecting to hear more on what do you think , whats your vision for the Lungau? The meeting went on for three hours and I was fidgeting not only because  we had a barbecue to go to but it was just dragging out with moaning.  It soon became clear who will talk and talk and complain about the time and energy it takes, and no one has asked her to do anything yet!  She asked him to come and speak, something that could have been done on the phone anytime.  Worries about the cost and finding a building – have we got that far yet?   There was the legitimate point about how the Lungau is so widely spread that its difficult to get people to attend, even when they’re offered a lift in the parish car.  All   I could hear was complaining and nothing positive about the excitement of doing something for Christ, just negative, negative.  So why were they there, I just can’t imagine. I said so to Heidi who seems to do a lot of the work in Murau, the mother church, she said she was excited, so maybe that makes three of us.  I think technology will be a way forward and getting this minister from Radstadt to visit.  Still I came away cynical and wanting to be excited but couldn’t.

Then on Sunday we caught a Ministers conference at Hillsong in Australia with the  guy saying SOOOO many of the things which had been said on Saturday that Dave and I were gobsmacked.  A real God-incidence, and a confirmation we’re on the right track – it was a live performance so the Pastor would not have seen it and used it. I rang Heidi who was gobsmacked too.  So now time to pray and talk to God for what the next step in the autumn is!