So where's the snow?

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


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For Martin

For Martin, who once lived here too!


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The contract

After a long. long winter, things are moving along on the sales front. We had agreed a price in the autumn and after sorting some things out, the buyers have got the contract organised! They will sign it in Vienna, then send it to us, then back to Vienna. Once it is entered in the ‘Ground Book’, we will be paid, Whoop, whoop!

It’s certainly less complicated than the UK, and there’s no Estate Agent as it’s a private sale. No capital gains as we have been here over ten years as our main residency. Then, Covid permitting, we will pack up, maybe truck all our belongings with us and rent somewhere in the UK till we find our forever home. Or we may hang on until the summer when maybe the vaccination passport gets going for Europe, we have an agreement with the buyers that we can stay until October. Or we may store the furniture and come back later for it. Or if we find we dont like England anymore, we can come back here as we wont give up our residency!

It’s been such a long time, I’m a bit numb. The desperate longing rises now and then, but we’ve sort of switched off over the winter. I can’t face another winter here, all that trucking through the snow with the dig, despite my shoe nails. I want grass and snow drops in February! I want a life with more people in it, family. We’re now starting to pack things up as I’m haunted by the last move when we had to clear out sixteen years of family life.

We’ve been watching the market and it’s sad, but there are suddenly a lot of nearly affordable retirement homes for sale, but we don’t feel ready for that yet. A little terrace house in a small town in Wales would be good, where there are lots of churches to find a new spiritual home, and all that coastline, hills and castles to explore. Our home town of New Milton, being on the south coast and near a National Park is now way beyond our budget, although I would love to return to New Life Church.

We’ve looked at park homes, but you have to pay Ground rent, fees etc plus Council tax and we worry that that they wouldn’t actually be that secure.


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Effective Prayer

As those of you who follow me know, I’m a Christian and a huge fan of Andrew Wommack. We’ve been following a teaching called, ‘You’ve already got it’. This shows how God has already provided all that we need supernaturally; we just need to reach with faith into the supernatural realm for this. He uses people, God doesn’t manufacture money!

So, we began praying by thanking him for his provision, that we reached into the supernatural to make his provision manifest into the natural. We prayed for those who will buy our flat to be enabled, and their funds to be freed up. We began telling people then one afternoon as we were starting to pack up books, and the house was a mess,we had a phone call from a friend, whose agency we bought this flat through. Friend of a friend was interested, could they come round? We hadn’t even put it on the market.

She seemed interested. Then Pete came back and told us what we could realistically get for the flat and that as we are friends, he would cut us a deal.Okay. There would be an issue due to Brexit and it’s a residential property. We let it go and thanked God!

Today, he called and asked us if he should go on, he would get the price we settled on, so we said yes, although we said that we weren’t accepting an offer (this is legally binding in Austria). So it’s now in God’s hands to sort the funds and dates, we are at peace and bowled over at the same time.

We’ve been looking at sales sites and realized we will have to move north. We found that around Durham, we could buy a house for under £40,000, which is what we paid for this. I saw a two bedroom house with a cherry tree – I’ve always had one in my garden. And we’ve been googling and checking it out.

Then when asking what we do, Rotherham came into my head and bounced around all day. We looked, but we saw prices are higher. It’s a huge city with many problems. So I’ve asked God to send us a clarification that’s not in my head alone, and if he changes our hearts, we will go willingly and with joy.

We have to decide when we go, we’ll both have to work, hopefully we will get some of the summer before we go. Watch this space!