So where's the snow?

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


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Mud

It’s only since we’ve been here in Wales that I’ve come to reluctantly admit just how much the winters were getting me down in Austria. It’s lovely if all you have to do is skim down a mountain and have a drink at the end or just watch it fall and take photos (Well I did love that).

But. When you have to live day in day out with it, as it compacts and hardens into ice underfoot and you have to keep your eyes on the ground, or like me put spikes on your boots all the time, the thrill wears off. Or the obsessional snow clearing of the stuff, when you have a huge yard, and the neighbours are tearing out with shovels the second it stops falling, it becomes an irritation. I always felt we didn’t need to clear so much, most of our neighbours weren’t even there in winter, so why clear their garages?

Let alone, when you get ‘Tau wetter’ when it rains then freezes and the whole place turns into a skating rink. Walking on ice had me permanently in a panic, although the nails helped.

The day in day out, changing of layers of clothes to take the dog out and the paths that became inaccessible in the woods. Yes, I really was going to pay 20 euros to go up in a lift, walk on a piste and get mown down by skiers! There were lovely walks, which we did find, but few and far between. But daily runs with the dog lost their appeal.

Here, it has been raining since Christmas day, now over 2 inches. There is mud and slush over the paths, the dog comes back wet, and I’m quite often soaked. Do I panic when I slip in a bit of mud? No. It’s a soft squelchy landing. I’m happy slinging wellies off, towelling the dog and as it’s not so cold, no need for layers of coats.

I’m home.


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Wet


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Clouds

This warm, wet summer has made for some stormy weather and some spectacular clouds!


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Bad, bad rain

One the weekend following the snow, the rain fell and fell and fell. Sunday it was heavy and continuous for over 36 hours. The siren which had been going with snow problems was now going for cellars to be pumped out. Then on Karneralm, there was a landslide, and a power transformer slid down the hill and the water power station was flooded. Families were evacuated.

Then there was a mudslide behind a house in Ramingstein and towards Tamsweg. Roads were flooded, rivers burst banks. By Monday morning, you couldn’t move far as roads were shut as the clear-up operation began.

The road up to Burg Finstergrun was all but washed away.

In Kendlebruck, a wooden house was turned around 360 degrees by water.

Our local railway was totally taken out by a mudslide, the tracks being pushed up in the air like a fairground ride. Stadl was declared an emergency area. The railway might not be repaired until Christmas.

All over Salzburgerland, Carinthia and Tyrol, similar stories came in, two houses being knocked over by a landslide in Bad Gastein. Such heartbreak after the damage done by the heavy snow. The farmers who had been cut off with no electricity due to the snow, were now facing being washed away, Muhr at the end of the Lungau is only just out of being an emergency area.

By Wednesday, our road was reopened by the herculean efforts of the local council workers. The mudslides will take longer. Here inĀ  Austria where all the councils have their own teams and machinery and a local fire brigade, help was quick and efficient. I take my hat off to them all.

Now we have a few days of relative peace and dry. I’m praying for a mild winter with not a lot of snow in the valleys!


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St Margarethen again!

I went back recently to see how the water protection works have gone on, and was relieved to find the works finished.

The bear trap wooden sticks have been mostly backfilled to redirect the stream.

Most odd sort of sculpture at the end, death of a hut?

There was rain all around me. I was watching it coming over Aineck.

I only just made it back before it hit.

Swingle didn’t care!


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Wet

From loads of snow to loads of rain. The hayfields are going to seed and the grass is lodging under the weight of water. But beautiful!