So where's the snow?

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



In August, I was in Strobl on my last week of librarian training. It proved a magical time. We were all meeting for the third time, so we were all forming friendships, although they are now lost forever. I just so enjoyed being alone in the evenings with a walk to the village. lake Wolfgang is beautiful, and I guess other less built up lakes are more so, but for me, it was healing and quiet. I did have a swim in the lake, but the water was lower and I don’t like putting my feet on the bottom, so that wasn’t so great!

I presented my project as a poem which got a huge laugh to my relief. We had body language training which proved really helpful. Worst was the first day when we did a revision of the course and I couldn’t remember half of it and had forgotten my notes. Only too find others were in the same boat! Relief!

It was the last day that blew me away. We had all had our certificates, so we sat in the warm sunshine in the grounds by the lake, just to the right of the photo. Where I sat, I could see the lake, hear the small waves, watch people paddling and water skiing in the distance. The drone of the boats was familiar to when we lived by the sea. It was all sooooo peaceful. We sat as a group and all talked about our favourite books and their part in our lives.

Then we went to the classroom and had a sort of closing ceremony. One of the leaders, Gabi has retired and this was her last course. We had got all the leaders flowers and presented them. Then Andrea welled up and I think we all did a bit too, maybe because it was Gabi’s last but also because, as she said, we had such good camaraderie and spirit the course was special. We all then said our goodbyes and went home, me with a great peace over the whole thing. I understand there is a refresher course in five years, Oh I hope so!!!!!


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Training in Strobl

My last week of learning how to be a voluntary librarian! No cleaning or dealing with holiday houses, lovely surroundings.The stress levels are sinking!!!



I found Lake Wolfgangsee, on which Strobl lies absolutely lovely.

The town has a Victorian feel to it, with the pier for the round lake ship, the older wooden houses, not to mention the boat houses.

There was also a lot of holiday flats and Hotels. The institute had its own one dating back to when it was one of the bigger estates.

It was here I had my first swim in a freshwater lake. It was amazing, no salt or chlorine, and I felt clean when I got out.

The colour was an amazing turquoise.

The resort wasn’t busy in June, there were a few folks around.

I wouldn’t like to be there in August, but I would like to got there as a holiday maker and explore the area.


Learning how to say Shush in German……..

Such a busy summer! Next week I’m back to Strobl in the Salzkammergut for my second week training as an voluntary Librarian- SHUSH!  Right on Wolfgangsee,  there was talk of swimming in the evenings this time. Quite honestly, it’ll be a luxury to sit down!I haven’t written my book for over a month. Heatwave weather. Stunning thunderstorms. I’ve managed to work with Dave in the heat, but even he’s commented I am genetically meant to work in an air conditioned office! Great sadness in the family, meaning a trip to the UK after the course for a funeral. Real joy in my English classes.  Taking the step of faith, and not claiming income support anymore, and we are living in his financial blessing, he supports us in such unexpected ways. Believing that something new is beginning here in the Lungau, no more Bible studies that fail, but doing, maybe this will kick off when we have a service in the summer at Burg Finstrgrün. Looks like if the Elderberry flowers take, its going to be a record year for the wine. Lots of work in the garden. Infected tick bite, bad year here for them.

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Becoming a Librarian


Home made advertising in one of the libraries!

Becoming a librarian is my latest challenge, I wanted to start a scheme in the village to get books to the old folks and Annie (the Bucherei leader) said if I wanted to do this, then I had to take over the library as she wants to retire. I had considered this before, and this time it seemed right.

So training is needed! I was booked to go to the Salzkammergut for a week shortly after we returned from the UK. At least obsessing about this stopped me feeling homesick! Luckily I got a lift from two other women from a another local library (every village in Lungau seems to have one). I so enjoyed sitting in the back of a car and being a passenger!

We were going to a village called Strobl, and when we arrived it seemed the Salzkammergut had got all our snow and it looked idyllic as we drove around St Wolfgang See. People rave about the area, but to me it looked very overdeveloped with holiday houses.

The training centre was gifted to the people  after the war, and was in a beuatiful  area. I had a room to myself and that I was looking forward to, no dog and no husband – more of this later! I had to register as Gluten free but the cook was very helpful.

We were a little early and we did the wandering around looking at people out of the corner of our eyes thinking who are they, are they on the course?? I was really freaked out at the thought of all this week just in German, and I allowed myself my pre exam freak out, of going to pieces completely inside, self pity and wanting to run away, then pulled myself together, it always works! But I did burble when asked to introduce myself, but at least they knew I wasn’t Austrian!

We did Ice breakers, and through the week learnt about  cataloging, systematizing, law, yearly reports, funding, all the government agencies, we visited an old and a new library, did role play, presented a kids book, it was full on intensive, but well run and organised. I got my certificate, and am looking forward to the next part in June, we have to plan and run a project in the village and present it on the last week next year!

Each night we had a drink in the bar, and then I took myself to bed. I found the sitting all day really difficult, as I’m used to dog walking a couple of hours each day, I wish I had used the gym- if I can’t go for a brisk walk on the next course, I will! I was also really hungry, as the GF diet meant some days I got just meat and veges, fruit (no cakes for me) no spuds, no one in the kitchen seemed to read my order, on the last day I went and demanded some some!  So I got hungry and then the wine on an empty stomach gave me both heartburn and a carbohydrate rush, so I didn’t sleep well. But it was nice having the room to myself!

I saw changes in myself, I used to rush in to be the first to do things in exercises to get it over, now I left it as long as possible to learn from the others how to do things and speak them! I was expecting people to find me different, so I got attention and I did have to tell my Austrian story a lot but by the end I just wanted to merge!

I’m 57 this year, when I write that,it’s scary, but inside I’m still me doing another challenge, which I need for my self worth. I’ve got a goal and a sense of having almost too much to do now, which is better than the post Christmas gloom. Its even been a struggle to find time to write this, but I must!!!