So where's the snow?

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


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It’s snow time for skiing!

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I was wondering what weather this winter would bring, and while there is a lot of ice about, the little amount of snow here is melting around us as I write on February 1st. Its been cold as usual, and we’ve had rain as has been the trend for the past few years.  I’m happy as I’ve been able to dog walk with relatively little peril, especially as I now have shoes with retractable spikes! It rained this weekend and once again our yard was like a skating rink. But it has meant the ice on the lane has melted and I don’t have to worry for Mr B making his daily way across it. We haven’t had the snow shovel out once.  I’m just hoping we don’t get another load of snow in March like last year just after we got Swingle.  There’s been very little rain or snow which had the hill farmers moaning before Christmas, and where I’ve been measuring the Thomatalerbach, its been steadily low the whole time.

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Skiing? The season started with streaks of man-made pistes down the hills and accidents galore when people went too fast or off the edges. There as a good bit in the middle, there were some spells of -12 a couple of weeks ago, and where the Mur is so low, it actually froze across for a couple of days. But all our friends say its been awful recently as the snow is turning to slush by middle morning, and sections of runs are ice.  The rain means the avalanche warnings have all been raised. At least its an early Easter this year.

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Back to Blogging and a snow report!

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One of the perks of living here, walking in the winter valleys

For the snowies, if you want to ski, there’s shed loads of the white stuff here, and the skiing is great!  After the odd January where we had no snow at all for the first ten days, we’ve just had a week of snow off and on with 42cm measured here in the valley.  Just like forecasted, but, the weather has gone warm, today we had +8 and it’s all melting, I only hope its ok further up hill! So although we have enough snow for all our local Cross country ski routes, they’re too sticky in this warmth.

We’ve just had my brother here for a visit and had one of those holidays from home, blogs to follow, it was a real boon in the light of all that’s been going on.

Talk about disaster after disaster! Since the beginning of this year, I  seem to be catastrophe bound.  Besides having to replace the laptop, I’ve ironed a whole in my bosses favourite dirndl pinny, in January I had  another bout of Diverticulitis and had all the horrible investigations,so we missed all the Ice stock schiessen in the village and the Faschings stuff as I felt grotty. I missed the flu, but broke a tooth and had to have that mended- I hate dentists. We arrived to open the holiday house we look after to find there was no electricity and had to get the bloke out – fortunately fixable, oh and I’ve lost my job!  Although I was employed for 15 hours, there was rarely enough hours, and before Christmas had to work out the backlog.  We’d just got it sorted and one of the houses I clean had got a new bloke installed and she didn’t want a cleaner any more, so back to square one.  Before I had a break I said I didn’t want to go back to a backlog, so while I was off I got the dear John phone call.

I’m just so tired of this starting and leaving jobs.  Six years here and still not sorted. I know God helped with this job as I blogged last year and I’d long felt this job would end in the spring.  It’s the not knowing what to do next that’s so depressing.  Dave has been out of work since October, and the job situation here is dire unless you’re happy to work in the Hotel system with all the hours under the sun. It is, I affirm because God has the next step in his plan for us, I just wish he would tell us the direction. Is it time to go back to the UK? I can’t see him putting me in the Church structure, and then tell me to leave?????


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Snow report – Matters back to normal!

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After our weird week with no snow and the grass showing, we’ve had more white stuff, not as much as last year, but enough!  The  ski resorts  have plenty, and I’ve heard that skiing is great.   We haven’t got enough here to go Cross Country skiing in the valleys, but there’s still time.  The temperatures seem to be swinging between normal cold and up to about+7.  There’s supposed to be shedloads of the white stuff coming in February.  We’ll see!

Our new neighbour in the block, who we’ve nicknamed ‘Nipper‘  in English dialect (he’s in his early 20s) has got a snow blower and a plough, so on the first snow was tinkering away, neither of them working. The little he did do just seemed to make the snow a mess, not actually move it. After the next snowfall overnight, by the time he got up, Linda and the GB contingent had already cleared it away, how long till he admits defeat and buys a shovel?

So of course, the UK is nicking our snow and its quite funny for us to see them all enjoying the little they’re getting!


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Snow report and strange weather!

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Yesterday

For all you skiers who may pick up this blog, there’s tons of snow in the ski resorts here in Austria, Salzburgerland, especially in the Lungau region.  But not in the valleys.  it’s completely weird.  The snow that was on the ground when we arrived back from England has melted, and we’ve had temperatures of +5 to +7 and RAIN!!!!!!

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This time last year!

Result is a sense of spring, yesterday we walked all over the place, and you could smell the vegetation, something you don’t usually get until the real thaw.  It’s also extremely windy, unusual for here, it usually just blows when there’s a storm coming.  Apparently its all due to a big high pressure which is keeping the real cold in the direction of East Europe.

What worries me is my own attitude to it.  I’m feeling a huge sense of relief, not having to battle with the ice, does this drag me down more than I imagine?  Or is it because of my own very unsettled state of mind following our trip home to the UK  where in fact the weather was identical? Usually I’d be moaning at the lack of snow for Cross country skiing, instead I just want to put the walking boots on and head out for a stroll.


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Snow update and a shameless asking for Vote for me as your favorite IX12 blog!

Our very own Iceberg!

 England has snow, and the usual moaning stuff on the media, perhaps they should try the regular -15 we’ve had for the past week!  We’ve had a little snow and some due tomorrow, but the resorts have shedloads.  Dave and I are planning this years  veggies, but think its going to be a really late spring compared to last year – just to get the snow melted.  Will be ok of course if it means the snow stops in April, not keeping on into May and June!  Everywhere is crisp here, but the old snow is looking ugly at the sides of the roads, we need another load to make it all pretty again. I suddenly realised I like the snow and the winter, the past couple of years I’d begun to see the winter negatively, but maybe coinciding with my increased confidence in Langlaufing, I really don’t mind it at all, in fact I want more snow so we have to dig ourselves out!  Cant get enough!  Brilliant! Praise God!

My Blog is Public, so tell everyone to have a read and maybe vote for me it ends Feb 12th.  Follow the link below, click on ‘So where’s the snow’ and then vote!  Well if anything I can now say its an Award Nominated Blog like in the Oscars!!!!!!!!!!

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Give your vote to the most exciting, inspiring, open-minded blogger writing abou…t his or her experience abroad. Voting will be open to anyone until February 12th
 
 


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Me and skiing/Langlaufen/Cross Country skiing…..

Me not skiing!

Are you a skier is one of the first questions we get asked when we meet people, here or in England, and when we answer in the negative, a second’s disbelief flickers across their faces.  Our joy is walking in the summer and spring.  It just didn’t occur to us that you can go walking in the hills when it snows, or that modern ski shoes are brilliant.

So bending to some pressure we decided to give Langlaufen/ Cross country skiing a go. Even before starting, neither of us felt the attraction in belting down a hill.  So we hired some skis and boots and poles and went off to give it a go.  We chose a flat place, where we just got going as we did on a cross trainer in the gym. This was fine till we met a small hit, where we both shot down and fell flat on our backs.  Undaunted we went on and found that besides hills  we couldn’t really stop or do corners. Still it was fun and we were out in the fresh air and getting exercise.

Edith took us out the next time and was brilliant at explaining what we should do, till I took off down a hill and got my stick caught between my legs and had another pile up – I’d actually quite enjoyed it until then! 

So we booked a lesson with a local guy – Dave found him ok but I felt if I used his tactics to teach riding, I’d have precious few customers.  When I panicked he stood there with an impatient,’look at the idiot’ look on his face, and then bullied us into doing various exercises such as going along the training path with no sticks.   It didn’t help when all he would say was its easy do it like this – ok for someone who has spent his life belting about on the cold hard slippery stuff.  I don’t even really enjoy the sensation of slipping – maybe its a control thing.

So Dave and I went to Shoenfeld and had a wonderful day falling over on the loipes ( the installed paths with two slots for skis) and that was it.  Last year I had no chance to ski as I was working at the stables, except for one day when we went to the local airfield which has a lovely flat loipe. 

I always start of in sheer fear as I begin to move on the snow, jabbing my sticks in the ground at the slightest slipping feeling.  This gradually wears off, but if someone rushes me while I’m getting over my panic threshold, it goes on longer.  This year we went up to Prebersee where we found several training lines, and the first time, it was a good three-quarters of hour before I got going.  But then I did and loved slowly chundering along in the glorious sunshine, till some bl*&^%dy German moaned at us for going the wrong way round the loipe.  It’s getting better, as slowly I absorb the feeling of the skis, and when it’s all flat, it’s better than a cardio vascular workout. I’m even beginning to get annoyed at myself for chickening out when Dave goes down a slope and I bail out. We see loads of people doddling about like us, and leaving falling over marks which is heartening!

But Skiing?  My brother took me for a lesson last year.  I felt I had to try it just once. Got onto a childs slope with practically no gradient.  I was paroximed with fear, every muscle in my body (including brain).  I did a couple of little slides, which were horrible.  Then Larry was trying to tell me about snow ploughing, and someone was right in front of me -splat onto the ground!  Its much more difficult to get out of proper skis!  We had a break, but to no avail, I ended up on the ground each time so I said that’s it. NO More!  I just don’t want to ski, can’t see the attraction.  All those people on the slopes like ants, getting in your way.  Put me on a horse, (well an Icelandic with the proper shoes and nails) and I’ll gallop across a sheet of ice.  I used to love taking the kids out for a ride with plenty of galloping especially when it was snowing.  Would all you skiers do the same?  If your scared that’s just how I feel about skiing and is why I don’t pressure you into riding!!!!!

Complete Fear