So where's the snow?

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


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The trees have gone!!!!!

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As you will see in the slideshow, some very fast growing conifers were planted by our neighbours  shortly before we bought this place in 2007. Our view across the fields has slowly disappeared, but we just got used to it! I did sometimes see the squirrels run along the fence and I had a small view through the gate. I suppose its an English thing wanting our views………

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Until last week when the farmer who cuts the hay turned up with the neighbour below us and spent the day not only chopping down the now huge pines, but all the pines that were blocking his light and sadly on of the sycamores.  The trees had cast so much shade that the hayfield was turning slowly into a moss field. Our neighbour gave in to the pressure on the condition it didn’t cost him anything.

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I was taking to his wife who said they miss the trees, but it was each to his own. I suppose as they are on the upper floor, they see more into the houses and roofs , but what ho, for a few years we don’t feel so claustraphobic!  Our neighbour is now 89, so maybe he wont replant!


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Paggy’s Home

Stripey Lungau

For all you Paggy fans, I’m pleased to announce he’s home.  After three weeks in hospital, a chest infection, a kidney infection not to mention the diabetic coma he’s home and back to normal. 

Dave had remarked that we needed to get all the jobs at the front of the house done, so we could work in peace, as shown as when the wood delivery arrived.  It had come early so instead of having it put right in front of the shed door because it was only a couple of metres, it was over the yard as usual.  It was Friday, and it was already 6.30, so no way were we doing it then and there, so we fetched a tarpaulin.  Voice yells, it’s going to rain get a move on and it’ll be done by seven.  I told him in no uncertain terms we were covering it, so he quoted some proverb at me about lazy people,so I went back to covering the heap. Dave asked why we were ever worried about him!

A couple of days later we went for a visit – he’s now getting daily care, which maybe means the doorkey issue may not arise if his health is checked up on, he wont get in a coma a gain.  The stubborn old bugger isn’t going to give anyone a key, it’s a shame his insurance will pay for the broken window, he might think differently if he had a large bill!  He told us he now has to have diabetic injections, and the doctor has told him not to drink beer as there’s too much sugar.  His response – to drink a smaller bottle.  He’s been told a little wine is ok, but he needs his beer.  He’s looking very thin, but maybe that’s down to hospital food, and he had a fall when he came home twisting his knee – poor old git!


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Poor old Paggy!

Action in Madling

When I got back from Bible Group last night, I noticed Paggy  hadn’t put his blinds down or taken the post in, but I’d seen the Red Cross lady leaving earlier that day, so wasn’t worried but thought I’d go and see the old codger in the morning and help put the tarpaulin back on his car which had partially blown off.

No answer to the door or yelling.  I checked with his support agencies ie Red Cross (Amateurs!) and Hilfswerk but they knew nothing nor did the Hospital.  I was now entering panic mode, none of the neighbours were at home.   So I got the ladder, which had been used in his previous emergencies to peer into his first floor bedroom.  Then I wussed out and called our English neighbour (Hi Dave) who went up for me. He could see Paggy lying on the bed, but not moving.  I began to think Paggy might be dead.    So like the previous two times, I called the Fuzz.  They got him to answer, but he couldn’t move.  So this time they had to get a hammer to break the window when the ambulance arrived.  Linda , who was now home  and I cleared the glass and left the professionals to it.

Of course I remained about, and one of the paramedics told me, Paggy was in a Diabetic coma – with his sugar at about 30 when the normal is 100.  He was talking by the time they brought him out, so I guess they filled him with sugar!  I took some photos then wondered if this was a bit ghoulish but they’re only the cars!

According to my calculations, he must have been taken ill in the late morning the previous day.  Too early for major beer and he’s been drinking less. He’s moaned for ages about the Meals on Wheels he’s been having, so has he been eating properly? Was the coma a side effect of being out of things for maybe 24 hours, maybe underlying was another stroke? Poor old bugger!

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting him and giving him a piece of my mind about not giving anyone a key – if they let him home, after all he’s been receiving monitoring.  He’s convinced everyone steals from him and trusts no one. I bet once he gets the bill for repairing the window he will  do something!  Its the third time I’ve rescued the old git because I’ve noticed something not usual. I just hope one day someone looks out for me.  Now maybe you’ll understand why getting old freaks me out!!!!!!!


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%*(“~#+&*^+ Snow

It probably hasn’t got much to the news in England about the amount of snow that has fallen here since late last week.  It started here on Thursday after a day of really heavy grey clouds. We’d been warned that this was the storm that had hit the UK, then tracked down through Germany, named hurricane Andreas.  Its hit the west of Austria mostly, some places having had more than a metre of snow, resorts are blocked, tourists stranded and most places in the west on high avalanche risk.

We had about half a metre here on Friday morning and I had to drive to Mariapfarr  to do Lois’s horses – thankfully for the last time. The roads had been cleared by 7.30 and the drive was no problem -phew! It was blowing a gale and snowing, one of his horses got out of the gate as the wind blew it open, by the time I had caught it, Lois turned up shouting at me for having given the horses too much hay again – I admit I find it really difficult to judge, I’d thought it was a little over the previous day, and so I was at fault but I didn’t need the shouting.  Then when I had a wheelbarrow filled with enough hay for three horses he took it all out insisting I do three trips – taking longer and keeps the horses waiting.  Difficult Austrian syndrome again so I smiled and let him get on with it.  BUT IF I EVER TALK ABOUT WORKING FOR HIM AGAIN, LOCK ME IN A CELLAR AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!

 The snow continues until this morning (9th) but the forecast says by Wednesday we’ll have a high and clear frosty weather. Time to try some Langlaufing again methinks!

The thing that’s really buggin me is the snow clearing.  Linda was out there at 7 am on Friday morning, and Saturday and Sunday and today a bit later.  It makes us feel that we have to go and do so to – we can’t leave her to do it.  Yesterday, the snow was very heavy and her kids actually came to help. I made some comment to her daughter about how we don’t need to clear all the snow in the yard – after all three of the garages and sheds are unoccupied.  Seems daft to me, so this morning I get it in the neck about how we don’t need to help she’ll do it. Perhaps I just will.  It doesn’t help that Dave’s been acting like a spoilt brat about having to get up and help, though I do agree it doesn’t have to be done at the crack of dawn.  I see all over the place people clearing so much snow when actually they don’t need to, if the area isn’t walked or driven on, why bother?  There seems no logic, just a frenzied panic that it’s here, but then I’m a foreigner, what do I know?


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A Christmas tea party

The hamlet of Madling, circa 1960

I’ve been wanting to do something to get to know the neighbours a bit better and this year felt I really had to get my act together.  In our small hamlet are eight houses although our is a block of flats, and we’ve found our neighbours cautiously friendly over the years.  Our lack of German -well Lungauerish,  probably was the barrier.  So I set about making far too many mince pies (imported filling) and Christmas cakes but it filled the time. I gave everyone a written invite, and waited for the day.

 The old couple over the road didn’t come because they had argued with the father of their immediate neighbours and he has been accused by Paggy of nicking stuff from his house when he was in Germany.  Paggy wouldn’t come for the same reason – and he’d have to put decent clothes on.  Probably just as well, I didn’t fancy separating warring pensioners.  In the end all the others turned up, except for one husband whose brother lives across the Thomotalerbach because they have fallen out.  What a warring place Madling must once have been! They all brought presents, which I didn’t really expect and we had to explain again to a couple just why we’re here. Then the discussion was general as they pitched into and enjoyed the English food.  At times Dave and I were slightly gooseberries but it was ok.  Surprisingly, none wanted a drink but drank fruit tea. Paggy has said he heard they all enjoyed it, I never expected to get 9 people around the table in our kitchen – being Austrian we never got as far as the sitting room!

A non event maybe?  But they all came and despite the feuds, all chatted together, so I felt great.  Maybe now in a little way we are more of our little community.


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Paggy News, the Not Beatles and stuff

A change from rain..........

All sorts of little things are happening here, daily life and stuff.  I’ve been praying more and getting closer to God, and saying to myself, ‘I don’t care anymore’.   Not that I don’t, it’s a way of saying I’m stepping back from all this, distancing myself and reclaiming my peace.

Poor Paggy has been in Hospital again. He suddenly collapsed and now that he has the Carer, the Doctor was quickly called and it seems it is a lung infection.  He still wont give a key to anyone and the Doctor had to climb in up a ladder! Paggy reckons he caught the bug on a jaunt out with the Postman, but maybe its this funny, very humid and hot weather we’ve had lately. He’s in a ward full of bright old gits which is good for him I think.  It was most embarrassing for me last time I went to visit, he said something about his wee bottle but it was only on his third attempt I realised he was saying he needed to use it- I got my coat! He should be home soon.

I had my meeting with the Boss lady and Helmuth.  I don’t see that anything is going to change.  They listened politely to my ideas.  Apparently previous cleaners have refused to carry the hoovers around the Burg, painting is costly, though there is a chance we’ll get  some bins and a ‘shut for cleaning sign’ maybe next year after the committee has agreed.  There’s some big upheaval coming in the organisation of the Burg, and the Boss lady agreed my German maybe wasnt up to the job offered, but maybe I should take a course – if I had a job offer maybe I would! If God wants me there, he’ll move on people and change things.  I’m getting seriously attracted to the idea of working this winter and having next summer off.  We do get a bit bored here in winter, I’d rather be here when I can garden or get out rather than being house bound in the snow.  Do I have a heart for the Burg -yes in a way.  However, one thing is definate, if Erna’s there next year, I’m finished. Michaela is also evaluating if she will, she has other jobs, but like last year, I expect I’ll say at the end of the season yes,I’m coming back  just to keep my options open.   No Erna maybe I’ll stay, I’ll be tired in any job, but all this lugging of buckets……On my last shift a door handle came off in my hand, trapping my bucket in an empty bedroom, but at least that Trakts empty for a week!  One the kids had broken one of the wooden bed frames, how did they ever sleep on those two nails??!!

We had a night out with our English neighbours to a concert in Tamsweg.  It was a group called Brainless – who played punk and the ‘not’ Beatles.  When the first  band came on, a bloke at the next table started to moan, bring on Hansi Hinterseer – ugh, Austria’s Daniel O’donnel.  He chatted to Dave and I thought, on no, not another drunk, leave us alone,and  he got the hint in the end. The group  did need a bit of practise but it made a change from the Volks ‘Dumblich’ popular music as I call it , with Lederhosen, songs about mountains and clarinets!  We saw four guys come on and check the instruments, and I did remark, I bet that’s them, they were all well middle-aged and plump. I was right, they shortly returned with black suits  and four of the most awful wigs you’d ever seen.  They very nearly sounded like the Beatles sometimes, but I couldn’t understand why they had to speak with an American accent. I’m afraid we went home in the interval!