So where's the snow?

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


1 Comment

Doing things I always vowed I’d never do……………

DSCN2949

Bombed again

Getting older and doing the parent thing even though the kids aren’t kids anymore, has reminded me of all the things that hacked me off when I was their age. Now I find myself nearly doing the same things to my mortification.  I think their generation is far more verbal about being embarrassed than mine, and they will tell me to my face!

Firstly, I used to go and visit my mother in Somerset and we would go shopping together. My mother was proud of me, and to get his approbation was a hard thing. But that’s another story. I would trundle her around the shops and she would insist on introducing me to every shopkeeper, ‘here is my daughter from Hampshire’. Inside I would be cringing as I saw the uninterested look on their faces, but a little bit happy at her tone of voice. So yes, I found myself doing it when Stef visited and I introduced her to folks. I tried hard to be matter of fact, it was just a normal introduction.  I tried to keep the pride out of my voice. I found myself doing it again when I was telling someone about George and Michelle’s visit. Right or wrong? I want them to know how proud I am but not embarrass them in public- ahhhhhhh maybe I shouldn’t be writing this blog……

Then today I was clearing the spare room, and saw a coat Dave bought last year and has never worn. OH, wonder if George would like this. Then I saw some of the really awful old gits clothes I’ve been given in the past. By people full of love but not realising that one generation doesn’t wear what the other does. I put the coat back in the cupboard.

Any of this familiar to you??


Leave a comment

Niedermohr – a place without culture

View from Guest house window

Niedermohr, the village we stayed in, I found fascinating and found out what all I could. The whole area is very low-lying and is obviously drained water meadows with thick black soil.  Yet at the top od the hills, the land is red, like in Devon, and I found they think it is full of sand, copper and iron. 

The houses I soon noticed had their cellar windows above ground and asked the Landlady if this was right.  She said the area is prone to flooding and where they are converting an old house, the earth cellar is constantly wet and they have to lag it.

She herself offered the idea that this area is without culture.  They local population was wiped out by every plague that has swept Europe, with only a resurgence in the 16/17th century before another bout of illness.  It’s not surprising with the low lying, swampy nature of the land. There  was a couple of battles there in the 18th century and a couple of castles still survive.  Farming is decline apart from growing Maize for heating fuel. So how do you attract people to an area where there is no culture?  Is this an attraction in itself?  The village looked just like a commuter belt place, no shop, just the station and many old farmhouses either abandoned or converted into flats. Most of the income in the area is generated by working for or coming from the USA airbase.There is the attraction of miles and miles of unlimited riding or walking.  But this would have to be marketed, with maybe a marked path such as the Niedermohr route if you see what I mean.  The couple who run the Guest house where we stayed have just built extra flats, and maybe they can bring the riders in if they create a riding centre – but the buildings at the Riding school require a bit of investment to get up to licensed standard, at the moment it’s just half livery,maybe if someone needs to invest in a whole new centre! Yet I feel they are on the right way, maybe Niedermohr will just have a horsey culture of its own!

Maybe you could visit to for a ride!

www.husarenhof.com


Leave a comment

Der Lungau, Four Years along -Winter

Schneeeeeeeee!

I wrote this last year, so may be a bit repetitive, we’ve more snow now too!

Four years, my the time goes by.  Life seems to be settling into a new, seasonal routine which makes all seem familiar and like home. It seems to be that the months after Christmas are the most boring, almost a time of hibernation.  I’d rather have the summer off like when I as at the Fortune Centre.  New Year begins with loads of fireworks like in England, but sometimes, they are just chucked about in the big parties in the square.  They’re never sold from a locked cabinet, although teenagers are banned from buying them. If you want you can buy Children’s fireworks – smaller versions of the adults ones -ahhh! If there’s enough snow, Dave and I can go Langlaufing or even falling over in the snow. 

This is because he works so many extra hours in the summer, he gets almost all of January and February off.  Even when I was with Lois it was quieter with him too.  Yet it’s so easy to get bored and into lassitude. Cabin fever even.  We did a lot of DIY last year, having tiled the kitchen, so much better than laminate, they actually seem to catch the heat of the wood stove – luvly.  We can’t garden until maybe the end of March as the ground is frozen! 

The year roles out thus. We have the Star singers – the three Kings come in January  (and always one blacked up!).  They raise money for charity, and get a cut, carefully negotiated with the Priest.  All the events I am talking about can be no doubt more accurately read about on the links I’ve put on the Blog.

The Stern singers

 Then it’s party time as there is a season of masked balls and then it’s Faschings or Shrove Tuesday, when there’s lots of parades in fancy dress – not quite like Rio de Janiro, ready for fasting time. We had a real laugh at the Mayor dressed as a Smurf.  These parades go back into folk history and have had people dressed as dancing bears and strange masked costumes.

Fasching parade

There’s Icestockshiessen parties- skittles on ice which we must learn how to do. Where England descends into debt and gloom after Christmas, Austria parties!  The farmers cut loads of timber before the sap rises, mainly by continually thinning, a far prettier way of clearing, but its amazing how they slide the trees down the hills for collection.


Leave a comment

Still no snow!

The forecast says its coming tonight, and certainly the tops of the mountains which we can see  have their coating of icing sugar, so maybe the snow panic will be over this week. The only thing I really don’t like about the stuff is driving before the ploughs have been out and its rutted.  And of course as we’re newcomers to the game, we tend to drive more cautiously than the locals and they get so impatient.

I’m getting quite childishly excited over Christmas, we’ve got a small tree by the porch with white lights I’ve only seen one other in red here, and I’ve got the deccies ready for the tree but that really will wait a couple of weeks. The main thing I’m building towards is my planned party for the neighbours.  I’m inviting all the houses in our little hamlet and to this end have cooked several Christmas cakes and will have a mince pie making extravaganza next week.  The tradition here is biscuit baking but surely I’m allowed to cling a bit to my cultural traditions? My only problem is Paggy, we cannot not invite him but he has alienated himself from most of the people here by being obnoxious and difficult over the years and I’m afraid that because of him the others wont come.  We did think of having it on two days but as Dave may be on selling Christmas tree duties on Saturdays its not practical. I’m going to tell Paggy it will be an alcohol free zone (except in the cakes), maybe he wont stay long.  Oh I hate being in the middle, I seem to have been there all my life – between my mother and my Grandmother, Mum and my brothers, kids and father, I suppose I should be experienced! What would you do?????

Dave had some unexpected time off last week, and so we have a new project of insulating our wooden porch, polystyrene then laminate – which we found  was cheaper than wooden cladding and it looks good! I may have the chance of a job in St Martin, with an English family who run ski chalets, working as a cleaner again, I have to find something. Is it a backward step as it’s a bit in English although I’d be working with local people?


Leave a comment

Testimony

The storm - hailstones hurtling onto the Hof

This is first of a series six I’m reposting as I’ve added extra shares to the Blog.This summer I posted  a spate of blogs  that I wrote in the spring as I was having a break and dealing with stuff as in that Woman and life, but also because I knew I was back tracking in my faith and needed to do something about it.  The blogs are full on Christian which I hope might inspire some comment -although if something interesting happens I’ll add!

 I started off the season with all the best intentions, using scripture to deal with that E woman but I fell by the wayside as stress and tiredness took their toll, and laziness too as I relaxed my Bible and prayer time. It was  in some ways  a desire not to get tied to a regular reading in case it became the law ie just a ritual which I know now is a lie.  It was a twisted thinking because I need scripture to feed me spiritually and let God speak to me through it.  God will not love me more because I do it, he just gets more chances to talk to me!

The Burg being quieter meant that there are now days when we work on our own and so my MP3 comes out and I wander the Burg like a demented wombat singing when I hope no one’s around and listening to Andrew Wommack downloads.  This amazing man does all this for free, the only telly evangelist I know who does so.  We are partners with him and so I feel free so to do.  Last year I had listened to the How to Find, Follow and Fulfill God’s will in your life series and as the player was on the blink, it seemed a good idea to start here again as I’ve felt for a long time we had taken a wrong turning.

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1066

 As blogged, Edith and I have finally started the Asylum seekers work and yet I was just feeling a sense of dread and hoping no one would turn out.  I began to see that here I was fulfilling a dream of working with horses and kids again and I was so guilty of not loving them at all. It was particularly when a little five year old girl took my hand for reassurance I was shamed and began to love again. I even had the naughty joy of nicking one of Lois’s customers one day and it all came back to me, I need to refresh my teaching skills so that I don’t run out of things to do in the lessons. 

 So I set too and cleaned bogs and listened.


Leave a comment

Healthy Lungau?

More from the LungauVolkskultur fest (LVKF), blog to follow!

Sometimes it amazes me how people are cared for here.  I went to visit Paggy the other day and took him his prescription to find him with a huge box of medicines and a shiny box of daily doses on the table.  He told me that a woman comes weekly and sets it up.  later I visited the other neighbours and she was doing there and later was at the other neighbours what care, and it means lonely people get contact each week.  Nice!

When we were first here, having worked with disabled people, I couldn’t help notice how many there were with what I’d call slight birth defects – such as a limp.  Then there are obvious stroke victims who are quite young.  Then as we became aware of the diet here.  Drinking and smoking without any apparent teaching on the dangers – and look at how beer is a part of life.  When Dave worked at the builders they had a beer dispenser in the rest room, and when I was on the Job seekers course, there was beer on sale. The alcoholics were thrilled and were on their first by 8.30 in the morning.  They all think me nuts when I moan at the Burg at having to sit in a smoke filled room….the smoking ban was introduced there this year under much complaining from the staff, I imagine that by October the smokes will have bronchitis and flu from having to smoke in the Hof!!!  They din’t like it when I luaghed at them! You don’t see the alkies on the streets like in GB and most of the local events I’ve never seen anyone binge drinking etc, but we don’t go to the events for the young uns so I can’t say!

And the diet!  sausages in so many form, cheeses of all sorts. (Ok so I gripe a bit having hugh cholesterol and being unable to indulge).  plenty of healthy bread and the ubiquitous semmel- white bread rols that atste and smell like heaven when fresh.  You see kids being given a semmel as a snack – better than sweets?  Yet, they eat loads of salad and fesh veg, make loads of their own jam and in the autumn a lost of places have their own meat in a calf or pig slaughetered on the place.