So where's the snow?

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

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On being insulted


Dave and I were enjoying our first day back in the UK, we were in Wareham in Dorset. We had browsed charity shops, looked in windows and had a scone and tea in  a cafe. So we decided to take the bus to Swanage. It was expensive, but we were so sick of the car we felt it would be a treat. We were stood in a bus stop with a couple of people and looked at the digital board withe bus times. Our bus was just up the High Street. Dave said, ‘Oh is that how long it takes to get to Swanage?’  ‘No, I replied, ‘that’s when the next bus is due’.  A little lady sat beside us replied, ‘Crumbs, I wouldn’t let him out on his own too often!’  Much sniggering from me, naturally.

Later on after a trip around the Curiosity Shop, the Hippie shop, more Charity shops, the Second hand book shop and more pasties in another cafe we decided to walk up the pier. I got the money ready and handed it to the guy who remarked, ‘that’s not bad for a woman’. Guess who was sniggering that time!

It was such a joy to understand all around me,I felt friendliness all around me. I feel that people were more friendly in the UK, so back home I’ve trying to see where is nicer………………..Sorry Austria, I’d rather be insulted in my own language where I can get the word play and humour.


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Home or away?


Regular readers will know that many times I’ve used the view from our kitchen window,here in Austria, in snow and summer as I waste many idle minutes pondering on life, talking to God and just watching the birds and the weather.


When we were in Swanage, we rented a small cottage on the High Street. Completely unexpectedly we found the most incredible view over Swanage.  To the right we could see the sea over the rooftops, in front all the lovely grey stone cottages and the Swanage Railway and bus station. The hills behind the town beckoned me to walk them again. We could even sit on the loo and watch the trains steaming in and out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a view to engross and always something new.


Then it struck me.  Here out of my window, I see and hear no sounds of life apart from the waterfall, nor see people apart from cars on the road. Here, as I sat in the garden was the noise of trains, buses, cars, but most of all, LIFE.


I could hear people in the street talking as they walked past, people going to the church over the road, people pottering in their gardens, doors banging, birds singing. And people are life. Suddenly my home seems like an empty wilderness.

Jeremiah 29, v 10-14

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Blighty Trip!


I’ve been cheating and put all the women’s stuff on a timer, while in fact we were in the UK for our son’s wedding.  All the lovely photos are on Facebook!

This time we flew with British Airways, and it was nice not to have to worry about the weight of our suitcases and get free nosh on the flight!  We flew into Gatwick and as we came in over the parking lots I was a tad worried to see our yellow Fiat Panda already parked there, it was also in Barton on sea when I was out for a walk with Liz, in Swanage, and in the airport parking at Stansted, what was it up to I wonder??? Or maybe that yellow is so rare as a car colour it stood out.  My daughter said I was totally sad for noticing this!

We then took as train to New Milton, our old town but had a pause at Clapham junction where we enjoyed the first on our culinary list, a fresh, warm traditional Cornish Pasty, with a cup of proper tea, fantastic. We then munched our way through our list during the trip, all stuff we can’t get here. Oat weetabix, Scones and jam in a Dorset cream tea, curry, a proper roast beef with all the trimmings, apple crumble with custard, sausage rolls, Bath buns, Steak and Kidney pie, Chocolate and ordinary Hobnobs,  Victoria sponge,  Lamb shank, Sausages, Pork and lincoln, full English breakfast and of course in Swanage, fish and chips!  We haven’t dared weigh ourselves,but it was worth every mouthful. This is all part of the ex-pat thing I suppose, we rarely mention these delights at home in Austria, apart from an occasional whim.  Most of these are also relatively high in fat and unhealthy!!!!

If we went back to the UK, we would soon take all these for take them as the norm and probably not eat them, so what is better, to enjoy as a treat or take for granted???????

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Off to London


Not quite Austria……..

For a short while, I’m becoming a travel Blog writer as I blither on a bit about our trip to London this Christmas.  Having costed it out, we took a taxi to the Airport. We  flew from Salzburg to Stansted with Ryanair,  then took a National Express coach to Stratford, near where to Olympic games were held.  We rented a Marlin apartment nearby and spent quite some time in the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.  After an exhausting few days, we took the train to Wareham in Dorset and spent  some time in a lovely Bed and Breakfast, Easter Cottage, and  the days chilling with our son and his fiance, and tripping on the Swanage railway.   We then all drove to Aldershot to see Dave’s family, and  stayed in a Premier Inn. It was all highly organised, unlike last time when I forget the Credit card so we couldn’t hire the car, all went smoothly.  It sounds a big rush, but compared to other trips it was ok and we didn’t arrive home exhausted!

I admit, two years are  too long to stay away from home, and it was so good to be back.  We returned in some ways quite unsettled as I’ll explain………..


Travel Theme: Oceans

Living in a landlocked country means we always make a beeline for the coast when we go back to England.  This was taken near Tilly Whim Caves, Swanage. Not very original but nostalgic for me

On the same walk, we were buzzed by the airsea rescue, can you see them???? The sea can be so dangerous, we need these guys!

Lastly, How many oceans has he flown? (corny I know!)

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Fish and Chips and Homesickness

Not so happy cows, just turned onto the Alm, June 2010

One of the few programmes that Dave and I enjoy on the Austrian TV is Sarah Wiener and her cooking adventures as she gathers the ingredients for a meal, usually taking part in harvesting them, she takes an instamatic photo of herself and then beetles off in her car to cook them and of course everyone loves them.  She now has a new series set in Englandwith Gary Rhodes offering tips.  I just wish I could cut off the translation as she speaks a lot in English as do obviously all the people she meets.  She started in Whitby, at the Magpie Café, cooking fish and chips.  We were quite unsurprised to see she had tartare sauce with them as most people here go a shade of green when we say we have vinegar on ours!  Oh it looked so tasty, Dave and I fantasized about Greasy Nicks in New Milton (not the real name) and family fish and chip meals in Swanage, especially the restaurant by the quay whose name I can’t remember, or sitting in the ozone filled breeze by the beach.

Homesickness hit me in the guts.  I missed my kids. I mourned that we’ll never be a houseful on a Sunday for a roast, my kids have their own lives and even now its maybe too late to re-create the links.  One of the costs of coming here.  And no bloody fish and chips in the Lungau. Don’t   know if I can face watching more of the series!