Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Just Plain Fun.

Re-Discovering games such as Yatzee or Memory.

Monday afternoon, Bob and I found ourselves with an hour to spare, while waiting in our community hall. It is just a bare bones room, with tables and chairs but no computer or toys of that ilk !

Now even though we both on the other side of forty, I admit that we do like having computers and iPad etc. That of course means that we have ( almost ) forgotten how to play actual games that don't involve electricity.

While we were waiting, we did have a bag full of kids games with us. So, my motto is definitely " If not , why not ? ". Before we knew it, we were playing the different games. When did you last play Memory ( Memory Challenge Holiday) ? Gosh it is nice to sharpen the old grey cells and extremely nice to compete with your spouse.

I forgot how nice it is to sit at the table and just play. No background noise to distract us. Both of us shared a bit of our childhood memories about playing. Isn't it amazing, how just by doing something we did as a child, the pictures of those times flood our memory. Clear as daylight, I could see myself playing Memory as a child ! Bob told me stories of him and his best friend Ian, when they were small.

Why do we forget how to connect like that ? Modern times are great, but we get so carried away by the fast wave of the Internet, that we forget to sit and hang out together. At least we do.

Or rather did, as we now have got the taste of actual games again. We also tried a game of Yatzee and actually loved it. Bob is very competitive and seeing that I beat him at it the first time, he will want to have more games to even out the score !

When did you last play a game of Memory, Rummikubor Original Yahtzee Spiel (Anleitung auf Englisch) with your loved one? More importantly, did you enjoy it ?


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

To All The Heroes.

The two faces of Nature

It is just awful what Nature is doing over on the east coast of America. Watching it yesterday, I was still hoping that it would lose some of its intensity and strength, but alas it is even more destructive.

All night I have been watching the coverage on CNN and reading about it on Huffington Post . Of course there is no comparison between watching it unfold on T.V. and living through it. Personally I think the reporters are and where brave standing there in the road, while sea water is flooding up to their thighs. Do they not worry about sharks ?

Often when, lets say Police, pull you over for speeding or just to check if you have been drinking, they get called bad names and thought of in a not so nice way. But you know, what about now. Who actually stays behind to help you ?

When everyone else is leaving for safety, Police, Firefighters and Rescue personnel stay behind to do whatever is necessary. From wading through torrents to help the stranded to putting out dangerous electrical fires and everything in between.

What amazing people. Tirelessly doing their job of saving lives. These guys also have family, yet they are out there helping strangers. Some of the deeds they are performing in these few days are definitely above and beyond their duties. But they do it without hesitation or question. There is only one word for them...Heroes.

This terrible storm will still cause lots of destruction and loss for many. Yet in its own way, it has forged people closer together. Neighbours helping each other out. Strangers lending a helping hand.


Monday, 29 October 2012

The Weather Fairy Was Right...We Have Snowy Conditions.

Christmas Morning early here in Burgenland ?

What is the one thing we all imagine is synonymous with Christmas mornings ? Yes, waking up to look out the window and seeing a snow covered vista ! Of course a search for the presents is the other thing...

All week long, the rumor mill was predicting snow for the weekend. Yesterday we had a few spattering's but this morning the world was white and wonderful. Just looking out the window, even though I was not fully awake ( you know when you are sitll involved in your dreamworld and on autopilot ), lifted my spirits.

Conveniently we have a street light outside our bedroom window and it illuminated the whole wintry scene to perfection. Those who know me, also know that I always get up at the crack of dawn
( well now it is mostly still dark for a while ), but not Bob. I deliberated whether to wake him to show him the wonderful wintry sight, but knowing that Bob is not a morning person, I left him to sleep.

When one thinks about it reasonably, winter is not such fun to live with...

  • Cold and red looking noses
  • Having to wear thermal undies at all times !
  • Scraping the ice and snow of the car windows...usually my job.

But I love winter and most of those points. Just the fact of layering your clothing. You know, taking off your scarves and coats when going inside. Great feeling when the warmth of any oven hits you. Even walking around in the snow and seeing your footprints brings me back to my childhood.

Personally I think that this is the key to why we all openly ( or secretly ) love a cold and snowy winter. It vividly brings back memories of all those enchanting Fairy tales that we were told about, read or saw on TV. Snow White ( Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) ) is what I remember and also how my world was fabulous at that age !


As soon as Bob woke up, he ran outside and took pictures...smiling happily to himself.

Nice wintry view from our bed.

This was taken quickly the season changed !

Sunday, 28 October 2012

When And How To Grow Your Potatoes Here In Burgenland.

Of course that is if you want to grow your own potatoes.

Being city-bred, the idea of growing a potato or even anything, had never crossed my mind. Why should it when every corner had a grocery store. Not to mention living on the eight floor.

Moving into the country has many surprises, pleasant ones really, apart from hearing some sort of pitter-patter of 'hopefully ' animal feet in our ceiling. Well now we are living in a house and have loads of garden space.

My in-laws stayed with us this summer. As was rather typical for me, I forgot that I had bought potatoes. A somewhat unpleasant smell accosted my nostrils one day while I was busy in the kitchen. Finding the culprit, not so fresh potatoes, I dispatched Bob to throw them away outside.

Well my eagle eyed father-in-law intercepted him. " What are you doing with those ? "
" Throwing them away, they are off ".
" My boy ( Bob really is 40 ) let me show you what to do." And the rest is history...

Harry, having grown up on a farm, took the potatoes, I think there were about five and started to plant them in our still meager looking vegetable garden. " You just wait and see, in October you'll have plenty of potatoes ". He proceeded to show Bob what we would have to do, to ensure a healthy progress of their life-cycle.

He knew that we both are not so good with the ' green finger ' business. So when he thought another step had to be carried out, he would tell us on Skype. Yesterday, he told Bob that the big day had arrived. We could dig for Potatoes !

Of course we both were sceptical. But Bob took our hoe ( such a groovy word ) and got busy in the vegetable patch. Suddenly he was shouting with excitement.
" Schnell, schnell, come and see. Oh and bring the camera."

Both of us stood there with our jaws hanging open in amazement. The potatoes just kept on appearing when Bob used the hoe. Thankfully Harry had told him to dig deep because we would have thought that the first one was it. Oh, parents are a great thing...

P/S...we have winter time now, so the blog is either an hour early or late, depending where you read it...!


The potato and the hoe.

Another potato emerges.

Great the leaf among it !

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Does This Remind You A Bit Of Your Childhood ?

Embarrassing moments while being dropped off at school...

A few days ago I was reading something extremely funny in the Huffington Post. It could almost have been a continuation of a conversation my husband and I had. Aah, synchronicity .

This article showed how parents " gated " their daughter for being cheeky, by taking over and using her Facebook account for a week. Now for us over thirties, this would mean nothing, but when you are a teen, it is the end of the world.

Now when we were teens ( no, we were the generation that came after the ' walking to school barefoot ' one ) most of us had our parents drop us off at school. Bob told me how his Dad would now and again embarrass him and his brother. My father-in-law loved his cars and being a mechanic, he had tuned up a few.

Bob ( and possibly his older brother ) being a self-conscious teenager, would plead with his father to drop him off 100 meters from the school entrance ( that could have been a busy zone as I am sure all the teens asked for that ). No such luck for Bob. In fact his Dad would rev the car alarmingly and almost made a wheel skid when he drove off. You know, the type that everyone can hear, see and smell. Bob would just put his head down and walk away, nonchalantly yet rather quickly. Oh the wily parents !

Of course, we all were in almost the same boat. My school, Carter High School, had the most awfully steep driveway. One that stretched for over a hundred meters. As it was always inundated with Mom's fetching us kids, there was usually a stop-start drive up the driveway. A driveway, that the older, cooler kids would walk up.

They were the ones that saw the infrequent ( or frequent ) stalling of the cars. Cars that suddenly and mysteriously had only one person visible, as the other passengers invariably dived or slinked down in their seat. Oh the joys of teenage-hood ! You must remember, in South Africa all cars are with gears, not automatic...

Just to let my mum of the hook, I must say, that I often caught a lift with a neighbour. But that was even more hair raising because now and again the grandmother would do the driving...I am sure you can just see it happening ! Writing this, a lot of images are flooding my mind.

Oh the good old days before Facebook or Internet ! Every generation has their embarrassing moments stories. But we all turned out fine.
Please tell me your moment, the one that made you cringe and hang your head in embarrassment.


Friday, 26 October 2012

What Does This Say About Our Mental Health ?

Forgetting things once maybe, but twice in a row ?

We all have our own particular traits that can almost be termed ritual. At least, I tend to do and think of things in a particular order. It of course does not appear so to an onlooker.

A while ago, we forgot to put out our rubbish bin. Now bear in mind, that here most of the rubbish gets recycled already in the homes and this particular rubbish bin was the " all the stuff that can't be recycled " one. I am sure that right now your mind is picturing the rotten things that could be in there...and you are not wrong !

Just to add a bit of colour to your mental picture, this bin only gets collected every six weeks. So it can be rather problematic, not to mention stinky if you forget to put it out on collection day. We had a lucky save the last time, purely because Bob is a good sprinter ( even with the bin in tow ).

Ever since then we both tend to vigilantly watch the neighbours. They put the bins on the road the night before and it is one of the best methods for us to remember. That is if we do it then and there. But no, I thought that we could put it out in the morning when I go for my walk.

They say that the best laid plans get unhinged by a little thing. In our case it was a cold and rainy morning. One not made for walking but rather for being under the covers reading a book. Literally on the last page, I heard two distinct sounds.

The loud stop and start of the rubbish truck ( with the clanking noise of the bin being empties in the back ) and of Bob running from the lounge to the front door while shouting " oh no, not again ". Both of us could have had starring roles in a comedy. Laurel and Hardy ( Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection ) comes to mind. Unlocking the front door and putting on shoes seemed like it took forever. You know how time slows down when you don't know what to do first...

Bob did the proper thing. He dashed to our front gate and pulled himself up and leaning over it he shouted as loudly as possible for them to wait. It was the funniest thing. He was leaning so far over that his " house " pants almost came off. I was laughing quite a bit at that stage and I just remembered in time that, I too was in revealing sleepwear !

Before I knew it, the big rubbish truck had reversed back to us, and the collection guy was smiling, no, laughing to himself... ( surely not at us ) ! At least from now on he should remember us and our forgetfulness because there is a likelihood that we will do it again in the future.

At least we give the people in our area a good laugh now and again !


Thursday, 25 October 2012

How Do You Make Wine ?

Well, we make homemade wine using a wine press.

Burgenland has one of the most fertile wine areas. Just about everywhere you drive in this part of Austria you can spot the vines growing. The choice of wine is astounding and fabulous for the wine lovers. Even for non-drinkers the colourful picture that the vineyards present, is worth seeing. At the moment the whole area is cloaked in the soothing autumn colours...yellow, red and amber.

There are of course the small wine makers, who really just make wine for own consumption ( which can really be a saving, depending how much you love your wine ) !
Bob and I helped out with the wine pressing yesterday and it was such fun to make the wine the old fashioned way. Of course as we found out again yesterday, it is really not the place to use good or light clothing.

It is not as if we have a slinging fight with the grape-mash. No, somehow " accidentally " the grape mash just flicks up at you. So Bob is now the proud owner of an almost " Picasso-like " white shirt. The best laundry in the world would struggle to remove the red wine stains, so he must get used to his unique shirt !

We used a manual wine press to separate the pulp from the juice of the grapes. It has only been processing for a few weeks, but jeez-a-lou, the fumes most likely put us over the limit. Whoever invented this wine press, was a genius. Yet it still is a lot of work making wine.

Well, now the wine will sit in the vat for a time, and hopefully the wine from the year before is enough to last us until this one is ready !
For some reason, any manual repetitive work, helps me focus on my thoughts and almost feels therapeutic.

Before most of the work processes were modernized and mechanized, life must have been simpler. Yes, of course it involved much more hard and exhausting manual work, but could that have not been a good thing ? Think about this : One of the few times that we forget about our stresses and problems, is when we are too busy doing things manually.
What do you think ?


Fun stuff...

Washing drums have lots of uses !

Now this is the best part.

One drop at a time.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Exercise For Back Support.

Fitness Class in our Village

The simple life that we have chosen here, is really rather packed with activities. Our village looks after us ! Through the winter months they are offering fitness classes to exercise the back. Nice, isn't it.

For someone living in a seriously large city ( Vienna, New York, Jo'burg ), our new lifestyle possibly sounds daunting and for them, questionable : " What are they thinking ? ". But I have got to tell you, it is refreshing and wonderful. Yes, we don't have the shopping malls etc, but we can buy most things online, and surprisingly things and activities to do are plentiful here.

In fact, often we don't have enough hours in the day, to fit it all in. The days just speed past. How did we do it all, living in a big town ?

Last night, we started our fitness training classes again. This is my second year of attending and it was nice to see the usual crowd. How is it possible that we don't run into each other more often, seeing we live in such a small place...

Andrea, our trainer, put us through the paces, and could surely get a New Yorker to huff and puff. She always smiles when she tells us to do one more, or to keep holding the pose ( it is true, you do catch more flies with honey ) but she makes sure we finish it all. I could easily imagine her training some elite force with aplomb !

While I was following her instructions to the letter, my muscles just quivered and shook from not being used for such a long time. In my mind, I was preparing myself for that first step out of bed, when you don't know if you can manage a second. Or how you could ever exercise again !

Well, Andrea is the real deal when it comes to fitness trainers. With all the painful teeth grinding and face distorting while doing her exercises, I don't have any aching nor stiff muscles today. That is the sign of a professional Fitness Trainer... Wow !

Another fantastic thing about these weekly exercise classes is that, as it is just for women ( some stretches and poses would hurt a man's eyes ), Bob makes supper on those days.
Yes, I get home to a fully cooked supper.

The simple life is just dandy and I love and recommend it !


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Universe Provides.

In surprising ways.

Moving to our new home also meant starting from scratch again. Exciting yet often also nail biting stuff. As is done in millions of households the world over, we also have our survival worries.

There is a sort of intrinsic belief in me, that things are always going to work out fine. It is a great feeling to have, yet modern life and its ideas kind of make this feeling outdated and silly. But is it really ? You know how calming it is to know that there is always a universal safety-net under you ? It helps you make decisions easier and not to be scared of failure.

Our Village is a very small one, yet it has a lot of young children. The life here is idyllic for them and all those adventures we only read about in " The Famous Five " ( Famous Five Mysteries Collection~Enid Blyton [Hardcover] ), are things these kids can do on a daily basis, if they want. Building forts, climbing trees and just walking over to your best friends house, are everyday occurrences here.

Bob and I of course are English speaking and we now have the opportunity to do " native English " conversation classes. From the Kindergarten kids to the pre-teens. I tell you, what a privilege. We get to speak English and earn an income.

We did a introductory class yesterday. So many kids took part and the most fascinating thing for me was, how eager they all are. Not a cross or angry child in sight. Even the shy ones were trying to listen and speak English. Granted, we did mainly ice-breaking stuff, but it was fun.

I see this as a wonderful opportunity to meet everyone, spend time with the kids, talking ( English ) the hind leg of a donkey and reliving my youth. Doing Nursery Rhymes, painting pictures, reading fables, having ordinary conversations or watching Disney Cartoons.

When I said thank you to the lady who organized it, she floored me. She turned to me and told me, that we are an asset to the community and that she is very grateful that we offer these conversation classes.
The universe provides perfectly. The coin always has two sides. Win win.


Monday, 22 October 2012

The Four Fabulous Different Seasons.

Another treasure of Europe.

Having lived in South Africa for thirty years was great, yet one of the things missing, was the changing of the seasons. The weather there is mostly sunny and hot, with a few colder months interspersed. Somehow I never saw the point of buying a winter wardrobe. Throwing a jersey and a scarf into the mix, usually did the trick.

Of course, now that I think of it, there were extremely cold days. Most of the houses don't have any type of heating ( the selling point is the air conditioning ), so in the few winter months, you do huddle a lot under numerous blankets while watching TV. When it gets more colder than normal, most people rush out to buy electric heaters ( or bring them out of the cupboards ).

This of course, can have alarming effects. In the last few years, the electricity grid collapsed under the onslaught, and some neighbourhoods would have no electricity for the night. Most TV programs would have a ticker tape running, asking people to switch of non-essential electrical equipment. Now that can be an experience ! Everyone in Europe has central heating of some sort and I think they would never understand even living one or two months without it, especially when the temperature hovers in the teens. They would call it " Indoor Camping " !

We have been here over a year and for me it is so nice to experience the different seasons. Almost to the day the different seasons appear. At the moment the leaves are changing to those beautiful autumn colours : Gold, yellow, orange and rust laced with browns and reds. It is a feast for the eyes and I would prefer the autumn as a holiday time.

There is this hint of winter in the air, but only in the mornings and evenings. The air is definitely crisper and clearer. We in Burgenland are spoilt with a warmer climate than the main parts of Europe. There is not so much rain as in England and our temperature is usually about 5 degrees warmer than the northern Europe. But it is cold enough for me to need a separate winter wardrobe. Thermal underwear, warm socks, bulky jackets...real romance enhancers...!


The vines are starting to turn colour.

The tree almost could be saying..." Wow, look at me ".

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Modern Fairy Tales

Interspersed in real life.

Where ever you look these days, there is a barrage of news that is not so pleasant. For some reason, since the Banking Crash in 2008, the world is not as we know it. Stuff that should make us sit up and say stop-no more, has almost morphed into our a new reality. One we mistakenly take for granted. Just take the war in the Middle East. We see daily reports of multiple deaths, yet it doesn't get resolved.

Among this carnage of reality, was a rather long segment of another Royal Wedding. It surprised me, how much coverage it got, but then when I took some time to ponder this, it made sense. Royal Weddings and anything to do with Royals, is what we want to see again. Well at least I like it.

When I see anything Royal, be it Katherine & William , Charlene & Albert or this latest Belgium one, it reminds me of the Fairy Tales I read as a child. Seeing these resplendent affairs, takes me back to a time, when I felt safe, always cared and protected from the realities of life, with the future golden and laden with wonderful opportunities and endless possibilities. Just the kind of feeling, that is so important to have or feel, to bypass some of the problems we face. Once we think and feel positively, the problems are easier to solve.

There must be hordes of people who maybe feel the same because why else would it be so newsworthy ? It could almost be our escapism from this rather difficult time in our lives. If the number of Royal Fans gets counted somewhere, it would be interesting to know if it has increased.

Surely though, reading anything about Royalty has become fashionable again. Be it fiction or non-fiction. There are some old-fashioned royal-genre books that I loved to read as a teenager but have started to read them again ! First-class escapism..( I will put a link at the bottom )

Royals are not so prevalent anymore ( I am talking about the real thing and not the Cinematic Royalty ) and they should actually be cherished and protected. In their own way, they give us the feeling, that life will be fine. Even more so, I think, than any Government or Political Party. In our modern times, that is invaluable.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Wonderful Reality Of Living In A Small Village.

Everyday activities become Social events.

Most mornings will see me walking my route around the Village. It is on my own, as Bob has decided I walk too fast for him ( really a good one, Bob ).

Doing mostly the same route on a daily basis, I get rather good at distinguishing the different sounds that are the norm on walks. When I hear some kind of barking in the forest, I know that that is actually a buck doing its mating call ( Men, please don't get ideas, as your " nudge nudge, wink wink " is more than enough...) !

The other sounds that are rather distinctive are car engines. Drivers always slow down when they pass me on the narrow roads, but now and again, I hear the rapid downshifting of gears that means a stop next to me. Where I lived before, the sound of a car stopping near or next to me, would have made me start a hundred meter dash to run away.

Here, in Burgenland, I actually like it when the locals stop and chat with me. It is mostly a quick " Hello " accompanied by a wave. But now and again, it is a longer conversation. As everyone knows everyone, including where they live, your life is rather an open book. But it is a two-way street, as I often pick up great bits of interesting Village ' News '.

" Birgit, what have you done with Bob ? " Gosh, I thought, what does he mean ? Like every couple we have our little fights, with maybe a loud word here or there ! You know how thoughts travel at lightning speeds ? Well that made me wondered if he heard us and thought that I cooked a batch of self-picked mushrooms...

Then it dawned on me. Bob had left to see a customer early and obviously the car was not in our yard when the local drove past.
" Oh, no, Bob has gone out to see a customer. "
" Where did he go to ? " , and so our conversation had started.

Village life is just dandy. Everyone knows what you up to and that is good. What is even better, is the fact that your neighbours care about what goes on in your life.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Instantly Recognizable !

Only the foreigners would do this...

As you know, we had family come to visit from South-Africa. Winter is approaching fast and in our pre-visit phone calls, I tried to convey to them, that warm clothing were essential. Well, South-Africans are a tough breed, who think that they can easily master the European cold.

When they were here the weather was nice, yet it was extremely cold in the mornings and evenings ( I already made use of my thermal undergarments ). On the day they arrived, I realized that they were dressed more for the African cold...normal summer attire ( t-shirt and shoes without socks ) with an added jacket over it. Well that explained some of the shaking ! But never mind, I had plenty of jackets to lend them.

Like me, they love to walk. So a few mornings we set off into the cold morning. You know those mornings, when the windscreen of your car is iced over. Those mornings where one definitely needs gloves, not to mention long pants !

Well, that morning, one of our guests chose to walk in shorts. No, not the shorts you think of, but a slightly longer version of Soccer shorts. In other words a daredevil, as I don't think they kept anything warm !

Of course, when I tried to convey to him the degree of cold, he said that he did not feel cold ( yeah, obviously he had no more feeling left in his legs ). Living in a small village, everyone knows everyone and those who don't, know someone who does. Already I am known as the woman who walks so fast she almost runs !

Well, that day I picked up a new nickname for sure...The woman who walks with near naked crazies, in the freezing cold. I of course, tried to nonchalantly duck my head each time a local drove past, but that sight, was surely already imprinted on the retina...Instantly recognizable as foreigners !


Thursday, 18 October 2012

First Impresssions...

Needlessly Stressing.

Let's set the stage. Family are coming to visit for the first time. Yes, a bout of furious cleaning and fixing up ensues. We just had family to stay and they sadly left today.

For a week before they arrived, we were scrubbing, making window sills, mowing the lawn and even cleaning the windows on the day. First off, they only drove into our driveway late in the afternoon, thus making the light rather hazy. Hazy light is great, as you don't see the finer details of dust. In fact, I could have used a little bit less effort in my dusting ( For future reference, I must try and schedule first arrivals in the evenings with the more forgiving and romantic light ) !

We see our house everyday and know its flaws and points that need to be done up. What we always forget when we get visitors, is that they don't see all those things. They only get the overall impression...luckily a good one !

The second day of anyone staying, we forget about a stray towel on the bathroom floor, or a few dirty dishes in the sink. Somehow, those stressful first few impressions that we try to give, are a waste of time. No one is perfect or has the perfectly kept house. Guests actually relax more, if there is a bit of imperfection. Of course I still flit about the house, to straighten it up a little, but the hectic first day is definitely over.

Overall it is nice when we know that visitors are coming. It gives us a bit of a push to do a long overdue thing ( like the window sills ) but it can also be a bit hectic between spouses....My idea of what should be done, is mostly not Bob's idea of things to do...Luckily walls don't talk !

It was wonderful, fabulous and heartwarming to have had our family to stay those few days. Yet I know, that the next time they visit us, I most likely will do the whole stressing thing again.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Rainy Day.

Isn't it just dandy to get one of those ?

Often they are dreaded, but I enjoy those rainy days. Granted, it does tend to muddy the waters, floors and clothing. Cleaning up after it is not too much fun, but it does not change the mainly positive impact of a rainy day.

Most Sundays or days off, are usually the days that you can and unfortunately should tackle a much neglected chore or do a leisure activity, just so you feel that you used your day off constructively. Being busy and on the go tends to be the norm these days. Not doing any of the above can make you have that feeling of guilt...

Now picture in your mind those days that you wake up and you hear the raindrops pounding your roof or washing against your window. Isn't it just the best feeling, when you realize two things:
1. There is no going to work today.
2. That it is a day ideal for just lounging around. A day where changing out of your pyjamas is rather optional ( you are not going anywhere ) !

My first thought is to make a nice cup of milky coffee and to wonder if there is any comfort, eh...rainy day food in the house. You know the kind that is best for spending the day on the couch, either watching TV or reading. It might be a good idea to close the curtains and lock the door. You know, in case of surprise visitors, bearing in mind, that you are most likely still in your pyjamas and have a big pile of empty food wrappers strewn haphazardly around the area of your couch. Neither is a welcome sight for visitors !

Oh, it is so great to have those rainy days. What a pleasure to just chill. No big decisions about where to go and what to do. For me, it is the best day for really recharging my batteries.

Do you have a rainy day ritual, routine or tradition ? Or are you a person who is on the go the whole time...come rain or shine ?


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Being a Tourist...

Why is it ?

We have been blessed with so many of our friends and family visiting us here, in our Burgenland. It is top-notch, to get the chance to show off our new home. In fact we are getting rather good at it...

Yesterday, we did the drive to Burg Guessing, and walked around the village. As always it is a wonderful place to show off. We did the trek up to the castle. Normally they have a little tram, but it was out of order !

I must say, even though I walk everyday, this steep hill up to the castle nearly ' did me in ' ! Embarrassingly enough, Bob who hardly walks, cruised passed me with still enough energy left to throw me a cheeky and questioning look. How on earth did they build this big castle, brick by brick, back in the day ?

What I found so interesting though, was the fact that meeting strangers on our trek up to the castle, was such a friendly affair. We greeted and exchanged a few friendly words with all of the fellow visitors. In normal ( non-holiday ) life, most of us don't even look at people we walk passed.

Yet on holiday, we turn into beacons of friendliness. I really mean that bit about the beacon. It is almost as if we radiate friendliness and ease. Where as before, dogs and cats would have barked and hissed, now they wag their tail or do a dizzying display of a mini-racetrack around our ankle.
The proverbial " shooting the breeze " with anyone gets to be a cinch !

We should bottle that holiday feeling, and spray it on like perfume ( Eau De'Holiday ) on a daily basis. How great would our day's unfolding be. Can you imagine, smiling, chatting and possibly whistling during each and every day.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Communications Technology...Wow !

How did I ever manage life without it ?

Even living in this wonderful yet small piece of paradise here in Burgenland, with this new way of life, I am connected and actually nothing passes me by.

For starters, is this fabulous little invention called ' Broadband '. Whoever thought of it, or rather, invented it, deserves all the riches in the world. Did you ever think that all you need is a computer and an internet connection, to stay abreast of your far-flung family, or anything that you can think of ?

Our family is present on three continents. Yet, with Skype, it seems that they are really just next door. You see them, you hear them and you talk to them. Even though it is more holographic, it seems real and that's what counts.

Sundays are great, because our family takes the time to Skype. My parents from America, usually Skype late afternoon. As parents, they have been supportive in reading my blog from the start ( in the beginning out of parental obligation, yet now they are reading it to be involved in the stuff that happens in my life ).

Well, that is the one downside of this new communications technology. Nothing is a surprise anymore. News is hardly news anymore. When talking to my Dad, I forget that he reads my blog and thus is usually a step ahead of me. My stories are not ' current ' anymore.
I do have to admit, that it warms my heart, to have all my family part of my life. In the ups and downs as well.

Ten years ago, telling your trials and tribulations would involve typing an email or picking up the phone ( old-fashioned land line of course ). Which quite frankly, I did not do so much. Skype is much easier.

Of course, with the iPad, communications just got that much better. You can Face-Time from anywhere now. The major downside to the Apple Face-Time is the is so crystal clear, that you almost have heart-failure, when you see how old your really are. Every wrinkle is unfortunately clearly on show ! Even though, it is worth it...


Sunday, 14 October 2012

One Man's Back Of The Cupboard Item Is Another Man's Treasure !

Lederhosen....again !

As you know, Bob is enthralled with anything to do with Lederhosen. Every shop we go to, Murphy's law, there are Lederhosen that Bob can study in detail. Isn't it funny how, when you focus on a thing, it shows up everywhere you look. Definitely a case of " What you think you ink! "

Since we have moved here to Burgenland, we see a lot of my Uncles. Between them, they visit at least every six weeks ( they live five hours away ). The last time one of them was here, was our momentous October Fest. Between celebrating " Bavarian " style and having a blast, my uncle must have noticed how Bob and Albert love anything to do with those infamous Lederhosen.

Monday, my Uncle arrived unexpectedly for a visit. That is great in itself, but he came with a bag of gifts. He had brought his ' back of the cupboard, not used in years, stuff '. It was a pair of Lederhosen, that was over forty years old and a genuine pair. He wanted Albert to have them.

Albert took them into his hands while grinning with glee. Yet, he only hesitated a minute and turned to Bob, giving them to him. " I already have two pairs, you take them " ! Well, Bob's face was a study. If you can picture a young boy getting his most wished for toy, you know what Bob was like. When it sank in, that they were his, he almost raced inside, to try them on. That was after he did a little dance of joy, shouting at the top of his lungs...
" Yipee, I got a pair of Lederhosen ".

Of course Lederhosen are not so easy to assemble on your body ( only the first time ). The men gave handy pointers and before we knew it, we had a fashion show, with the happiest of models.

Of course, being the wife, I put in my unwanted advice, " Just remember that you can never wash them. Careful when you go for a # 1 "....only saying !

Trachten Lederhose Rindsvelour Hosenträger Dunkelbraun Oktoberfest, Herrengröße:50


Look, they fit.

Where does this go ?

In seventh Heaven...

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Have You Got A Drawer Full Of Private Undergarments ?

Underpants, that you want to keep a secret...

First off, I'll put my hand up and admit to being a culprit as well. But not what you think. The Underpants I am talking about are not part of the " lingerie " department ! Theoretically they could have once been...

The underpants, bloomers, briefs, scants or bloomers that I am talking about, are of the washed-out and of loose elastic kind. You know the one, that is most comfortable to wear. Yet surprisingly enough, also the one we all want to keep secret.

Not to be to discriminating towards the men in our lives, but I've got to say, that they seem to be more attached to their pride and joy undies. Those ladies, who do the laundry at home, can surely attest to the fact. Hanging up the offending item to dry on the line, can be a game of hide and seek ( from the neighbours eyes ). At least that is what I try and do. Of course, when Bob hangs the washing on our line, he almost delights in hanging my " valuable " undies for all and sundry to see.

An acquaintance of mine, was so upset about her husbands offending pair of undies in her almost daily wash basket, that she took out a pair of scissors and cut them into two. As you can imagine, there was a real to do, when he looked for them. Without batting an eyelid, she sanguinely told him that the hole just suddenly made them rip apart in the wash ! But of course, he being clever, had another pair step up to the plate.

I have heard an urban myth of a lady, who has a new, modern and extremely fashionable pair of men's undies ready to put on her washing line, when her friends come over to visit. She had espied an offending pair hanging in a friends yard, and knew what impression that made !

For those men out there, who wonder what we ladies talk about when we get together for a coffee afternoon or a boozy evening out, this is your answer. At some point, this conversation about old undies comes up, and comparisons are made...comparisons about the age and style of the offending undies, that is !


Friday, 12 October 2012

Mothers Are A Blessing In Every Way...

The fine nuances of Motherhood.

We have been doing an English-Conversation group with a few of the Village kids. It is great fun and a source of extra income, while also giving the kids a chance to converse in English. Yesterday a few of the mothers in our Village organized to meet with us.

They were keen on this class, that they've been hearing about ( oh the word has spread ). That of course showed us that we are doing the class right. Bob more so than I, as he has the boys in his group riveted with old-fashioned games. You know, the things we used to play before the advent of computers !

Off we went to the meeting. I was expecting a few mothers, but as we stood in the hall, the numbers just kept growing. Wow !
The local kindergarten and school will possibly send most of their kids to us. Can you imagine. Bob and I are so chuffed at this opportunity.

So after the idea of the conversation class was conveyed to all the various mothers, with our future pupils running around and playing with all the other kids, we got down to the" nitty gritty ". Where, when and how ?

As there are quite a few kids under 5 years old, we are also having a class for them. Like any meeting, there were ideas and facts passed backwards and forwards. At first I was a bit hesitant to have the young kids, because obviously they speak no English. But then we agreed, that the little ones really are at an ideal age. They can absorb English like a sponge, even though they won't understand in the beginning.

The little one's class was agreed on. One of the Mums then said, that one of them would have to be at the class as well. At first I thought, that maybe they did not think we could handle it on our own. But before I could say anything, the Mum said, like only a mother could,
" One of needs to be there, in case any of the kids need to go to the loo " !

Well, that thought had never crossed my mind. Frankly I would not know how to handle that situation. Bless the Mums for always thinking ahead and of others.
I think that as soon as a woman becomes a mum, she automatically puts other peoples well being ahead of her own...


Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Neighbour's Chickens...Best Source Of Entertainment !

Chickens seem to be more clever than we thought.

At about six yesterday, I went outside to lock our gate, and started to settle into the evening
( lounge pants and sweats etc. ). I was just about to sit down and watch TV, when walking passed the window I saw a lone chicken meandering inside our yard. It was one of the lovely brownish colored ones.

As I watched it, another one suddenly appeared behind her and the young Cockerel, lets call him Lothario, was making up the rear. Unbelievably they had been hanging out behind our shed. Looking at them, they actually had a slight naughty semblance. Could it have something to do with being in our yard or possible activities behind our shed ? Their chicken-age must surely be the equivalent of a Teenager ?

When they were a few feet from the closed gate, they stopped and just stood there. Lothario posed nonchalantly on one foot with a smug, yet expectant look on his face. Yes I wonder what he had been up to !?. The chickens actually looked around, as if they were wondering, when we would open the gate. Cheeky so and so's...!

It was raining and I was luckily in my " sleep attire " , so I asked Bob to open the gate. Off he went, mumbling something about 'stupid chickens' ( Yet I know, that secretly he likes looking after them, including running and fetching for them ).

As Bob went out our door, I thought that the chickens would scatter in all directions. But no, they just stood politely until they saw a gap in the gate, and then they all waddled out in single file. Of course " Let's go, Let's go " and " Go straight home " could be heard from Bob. Amazingly they listened.

They high-tailed it across the road so quickly, that Bob could hardly keep up with them. When they were herded into their yard, Bob fastened their gate and said something to them. I was to far away to hear it, but I just saw all three make a dash ( I was doubling over with laughter by that stage ) across their yard, as if their life depended on it !


Photo taken on the run... culprit is a bit blurry.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How To Get A Wealth Of Knowledge.

The old fashioned way

Knowledge is passed from one to another, and has been throughout history. Of course in the last few years the knowledge we want has been mostly gained through using the Internet and Google.
Life without it would be unimaginable and there is not a day that I don't use Google.

But the real " dot on the I ", or the " warmth " of knowledge, is still got by good old fashioned conversation. Verbal interaction with anyone, can be a myriad of things. From feeling needed, taking an interest in someone else, use of your vocabulary to exchanging a bit of gossip !

How often do you miss a conversation opportunity ? I know that in today's society, the propensity to talk to another has been vastly diminished due to the sending of e-mails or sms. Some of us have possibly forgotten the nicety of a little conversation and importantly, how to do it...( I have heard tales of teenagers sitting in the same room, within talking distance, yet texting each other to communicate ! ? )

On a daily basis, we meet so many people. The people who serve us in some way. At the petrol station, at the supermarket checkout, the receptionist who takes your details or the person sitting next to you on the bus.

Many years ago I took a Dale Carnegie course and read his books ( How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age ) and I still remember the important point of listening to the other person and asking them questions about THEMSELVES. Really, that is often all it takes, to have a wonderful opportunity to get to know about a person. Of course when you actually start to listen to the other person, more often than not, you get to glean the dot on the " I ", that makes a conversation so special.

Make someone's day...have a conversation with them.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Just For Today, Only Do Nice Things For You And Others.

That Includes what you think too !

It is no wonder with our busy lifestyle and hectic pressures of daily life, that we can get a bit stuck in a negative frame of mind. It takes effort to think more positively than negatively. Yet often it is just a " bad " habit, that we got into along the path of our life.

We all want so many different things for ourselves, but often our negative thought pattern kind of keeps the good things out of our reach. I firmly believe in the axiom of " What you think you ink ".

There are wonderful books to read on this subject ( I will put some links for you at the bottom ). Often a book is what causes us to step outside our own comfort zone and into a better one. Just for today, try one or all of the points below.

  • Smile at everyone that you meet, and if possible take the time to ask them about themselves and really listen.
  • Try not to critize or complain.
  • If you at a toll road, pay for the car behind you.
  • Listen to classical Music.
  • If you use public transport, give up your seat for an elderly person.
  • If you use the Tube / daring and smile at people.
  • Be happy with what you have, what you are and what you look like.

Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)

Ändere deine Gedanken - und dein Leben ändert sich: Die lebendige Weisheit des Tao

Die 10 Geheimnisse für Erfolg und inneren Frieden

50 Classics For Relaxation (2 CD)


Monday, 8 October 2012

One Way To Make An Impression.

At least they won't forget me !

Our Gemeinde ( Community ) is made up of four villages. We live in one and my parents in another. Yesterday, was local elections day. The ballot was out for a new Mayor and a new Town Council, or more aptly named Village Council.

As I registered in time, I got sent a voting slip. My Mum, to help me with my first local voting, organized for me to go with them. So I got to their house in time and we meandered along to the community hall. The queue was already substantial and we made it longer. In a small place, it is nice to mingle and chat with everyone. I suppose most voting queues are the same.

As it was my first time voting here, I felt a little bit nervous. When the queue got withing the main table, I was watching the procedures like a " Hake ". Eventually my turn came, and as nonchalantly as I could, I presented my voting slip, along with a jovial greeting. So far so good, piece of cake !

Well...suddenly the official, kept flipping the pages of the register backwards and forwards. His face was a study. Of course, he turned to the official next to him, and now they both flipped through the pages. By that stage, I was getting a bit concerned. Apparently they couldn't find my name.

All of a sudden, they looked more closely at my voting slip, and with a smile, pointed out to me, that I was at the wrong voting station. Wrong village ! I am fairly certain, that I turned every shade of red. As is usual in these embarrassing ( yes, they happen often to me ) situations, I started to make fun of me and it. The Mayor, standing at the end of the official table, got wind of it, and jokingly, yet kindly, called out, " Well at least you are mobile, and can get to the other village " . Fair enough...

Being a Mayor entails making plenty of speeches, and our current Mayor is no exception. Natural orators, having honed their skills, and with it the decibel of their voices. They never whisper, nor speak quietly. His little comment was heard by most. Actually I don't mind, as I think it is funny. But unfortunately, I most likely will be known as the Ditzy Blonde from now on !

As I am always honest, I couldn't help myself, and when I got to my real voting station, I told them of my adventure. Well, that got some giggles and a few raised eyebrows. But at least I am now most I will be remembered with a smile in both villages.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Interesting House Guests...

But who is the Guest, them or us ?

When you move into an old Farm House, interesting things happen. If it is one that seems to have been around for roughly one hundred years, it gives life an extra bit of spice.

Before we moved in, there was the mysterious hump under the floor, in one of the rooms ( It could have been buried treasure, or bones ). That kind of fortified my nerves, when it turned out okay. As our house is built on a slope, the floors are slightly, just barley though, off balance, which can result in doors closing on their own. Takes some getting used to.

We have an attic, but I prefer not to go up there, as it is dusty and possibly full of spiders and icky things. Most evenings and nights, you can hear the pitter patter of little feet scurrying around in the ceiling. Bob and I think it is Tigger, our cat. But the Marten is also rather nimble on his feet, and I am sure he is more comfortable up there in our attic !

There is a resident ( very cute ) squirrel,that lives in our walnut tree, who often scampers up, down and all over our roof. I only know, because I can hear its little claws tapping on the drainpipe. Most mornings when I sit and write, I can see it doing its morning exercise on top of our garage roof. It's fun to watch. Especially when the squirrel starts to chase and break-up the birds daily morning congregation on the roof's apex. Squirrels don't eat birds, so I think it just wants to play with them !

We have birds galore on our roof. The tweeting escalates tremendously when they all fly in for their get together...Like any other meeting, you get the screamers, the whisperers and the obliging ones.

As we have only been living in our house for eight months, I wonder who is the proverbial House Guest.... And I have got the feeling that it is Bob and I ! Let's hope they are happy with us, so far...


Please play with me..?

Have you heard the latest ?

Where is the squirrel ? Is it safe to land ?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Harvesting The Grapes....Weinlese.

Hard but fun work in the vineyards.

When autumn approaches, it rings in the season of grape-picking. It is the most amazing thing. Our whole community, being mostly wine makers, becomes abuzz. Activity everywhere you look.

A lot depends on the weather, actually the picking should only be done when the sun is out ( the morning dew should have been kissed away by the sun ). The different varietals get picked at different times of their growing cycle, with the red ones being last. Well the renowned and superb tasting local " Blau-Fraenkisch " grapes were it !

This last week, driving around the vineyards, you could see harvesting in progress. But the very brave, wait as long as they can. I think that the longer the grape is on the vine, the better the wine. Of course you could get a nasty spell of freezing weather, which is NOT good for the grapes. Nail-biting stuff !

Bob and I helped with harvesting yesterday. It sounds fairly easy. Cutting the bunches off the vines, and putting them into buckets. It is easy the first few meters, but when you realize, that the vineyard line is a hundred meters long, an inkling sets in, about the hard work ahead. Backache, sticky fingers, sunburn and often scissor cuts go hand in hand with the harvesting. Yet it is a most hypnotic and soul-soothing job. Wonderful....

Obviously, there is so much more detailed work involved on Harvest Day, but I just gave you a snapshot of a step. For Bob and I, being here to help with the harvesting and just being a permanent part of our little community, is the " Bee's Knees ".

For those who have never seen some of the the wine-making / drinking process, you should try and do a holiday in a local Kellerstoeckl in our wonderful Wine Region, or a Wine Region close to where you live.


Already lost in my thoughts !

Bob is starting on his row.

The scissor and buckets distribution...

My personal favorite. Picking errant stalks out of the grape-mash. My hands are smooth yet tinged with a hint of blue !

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Distinctive Burgenland Trait...?

The House Martens'

Those of you who are about my age ( hint : Kylie Minogue,Kylie , had just started her singing career after her acting on Neighbours ) will remember the band. Sorry, that I gave Kylie as an example, because if you liked the HouseMartins (Best of ) , you definitely would not have listened to Kylie...

But no, I mean the real thing, a " marten ". It's an animal that slightly resembles a cat, but only if you look quickly. In fact, I have once went into our barn, and saw this lovely looking cat in the roof-rafters, staring down at me.
" Here kitty " did not budge it, but when I moved closer it moved into a prominent position, showing me that it was no cat. A Marten !

Well, that had me running off, screaming for Bob to do something.
" What do you expect me to do ? I don't want to be jumped by a Marten ! " , was Bob's stoical, yet logical reply. I remember an incident at my Mum's shed. She called us to look at the cute kitten. Well before we saw it, it had bared it's true identity to my Mum ( and a full set of sharp teeth ), and had her running out...

To be honest, I don't think that the Marten would attack us, but you know, it's the thought that counts !
But what the Martens do like to attack and eat, are the delectable and possibly warm cables underneath any car. There are tales of them chewing through the cables, and cars consequently giving up the ghost.

When you drive along the villages of Burgenland, you will see a peculiar sight. In fact in the beginning I wondered if The Burgenlanders loved their bottled water, but were just too lazy to carry it into the house. Each night, when the car is parked in the driveway, a semi-empty plastic bottle of water is placed at each end of the car. Very distinctive indeed...

The theory is, is that the bottle is very shiny at night, and the Martens' are scared of it. Well, Bob and I have started to do this, and so far so good. We do hear the Marten mark his territory, by having screaming fights with our Tigger ( cat ). But so far, our car is safe...


Notice the bottle at the rear of the our car...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Heartwarming Character of Animals.

Animals, you gotta love them...

My parents and I were at a friends house, collecting her unwanted firewood. Her house is about 20 km's away, so it was an outing of sorts for me. The scenery here in our area of Burgenland is just so beautiful and interesting, and it's always nice to make new friends.

Well, in this case I made three. All men. All with their individual traits. The house we went to, has three proprietary dogs. The grand old Dalmatian, Roger, who looks deceptively agile and trim, yet is 12 years old. When you are around him, you notice his age more. He has a habit of dropping his wee wherever he wants, and is deaf to boot. Yet adorably, loud ( you know how the hard of hearing somehow bark louder ) and affectionate.

Max, the teenager, being only a year old, is a fluff ball of fur. His breed is a mystery to me, but he is a convenient lap dog size, and a cheeky character to boot. Once the initial cooing and stroking was done, he just wanted to play. Like a naughty boy, he could not get enough of running and chasing ( I baited him by pretending to chase after him ). A real treat to watch, as there was no way I could keep up with him, running those crazy rodeo like circles !

Just like a human, the third dog was rather reticent and shy, always keeping in the background. His breed is similar to Max, but I have to confess that I have forgotten his name. Every now and again, he would enter the fray, but he rather sat and watched all this energetic behaviour from the side lines.

At one point, the dogs all started to get agitated and barked in varying tones. Their owner somehow tried to " shoosh " them, but to no avail. Thinking no more of it, I kept on loading the trailer with the wood. Suddenly, I heard this rather loud and shrill voice, from inside the house, calling the individual dog's names, and telling them to shut up. It confused me, as I knew that everyone was outside !

The owner saw my questioning look, and explained to me, that she has a Parrot inside the house. Well this bird was having fun, calling out the various commands and barbs, to the dogs. Must have been a female bird, because she really knew how to get the dogs going...


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Presidential Debate.

Shouldn't they just call it a pugilistic event, and be done with it ?

Even living here in our small Village in Burgenland, you can't escape the build up to this year's Presidential Debates. Every TV channel gives advice and comments. I watch a lot of CNN
( we only have BBC or CNN in English ) and at times they really go a bit overboard with their analysis, potential pitfalls and predictions. Each step gets dissected into minute details.

Here is what I think. For starters, the mystique has been taken away. Now there is a discussion about and with the debate coach ! Surely those things should stay private ? The fact that I now know that there is a coach involved, has deflated the bubble for me. Sure, I realize that they will be practicing ad nauseaum, but did you have to tell us and remind us, that it won't be off the cuff ?

Media, commentators and the public from both sides of the political spectrum, are expecting the opponent of their Favorite to be " knocked out ". Yes, it would only be in the verbal sense, but if you have been following the whole Presidential race, you kind of get the feeling, that some want to see a real fight ! The pressure both candidates have been under is immense, and each side wants the other side to go down in flames. Unfortunately old-fashioned courtesy and civility have been somewhat replaced by a mentality of " win at all costs ".

Maybe an old-fashioned duel should be had ? Or what about a real pugilistic fight. Put both candidates into those silky shorts and uncomfortable looking gloves, and give them a referee
( hopefully they are not on strike ). The bout could even be staged in Las Vegas, with all the glitz and glamour.

At this stage of the presidential race, a few voters surely have information overload and thus have switched off. Having a boxing-ring match, would make it easier. Who has the best physique, who the most stamina and in the end, who stays the distance...


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

5 Ways That Might Ease A Bad Day !

Monday Mornings are sometimes the culprits...

You know the minute your eyes pop open, after the horrible continuous howling of the alarm clock, that it's not going to be a good day. The mere act of getting out of bed, to quieten that unrelenting alarm clock, is a slow-motion adventure which is interspersed with terse moans and groans. Should a spouse be close by, he / she will be at the receiving end of the unhappy barrage. If they are clever and know you, they have already beat a hasty retreat !

For me, there are some definite " cures " that lift those " blues ". When you feel like that, it is time to go into immediate action.

1...TRY and take the day off.

2...GET dressed as quickly and un-slovenly as you can, and go to your local store. If you don't know the people there, it does not matter how you dress, but try and at least brush your hair ( and eh..teeth ).

3...ONCE in the store, go straight to your survival aisle. You know, the one with all the treats you like. The same one, that you usually try to avoid, yet walk up and down it a number of times to
" just " look. Buy all the food that makes you feel better. For me it is chocolate, crisps, ice-cream, biscuits and celery. The celery is just to stop me feeling guilty. I do put it on top of the basket, so if I run into someone I know, the celery deflects their eyes off all my goodies !

4...GO to your local DVD shop and get RomComs (Triple Feature: French Kiss, Never Been Kissed, One Fine Day ) or Action Flicks ( Die Hard ). The more the merrier. Don't forget, you will spend the day on the couch in front of the TV .

5...GO to your bookshelf and choose a romance novel ( I like These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer ) to read. Something simple yet effective. Men, you should also try a simple romance novel, as it gives you great insights into our ( women ) minds, which is helpful, as most likely we ve caused you to have a bad day in the first place.

Please let me know your Feel-Good magic and ritual. I would love to hear from you.


Monday, 1 October 2012

How Do You Deal With Your Information Overload ?

your awareness of news and information is 24 hours a day.

Let's face it, most of us like the News. We either get it the old fashioned way, such as listening to our wireless radio, watching our Television or the new way, by being connected via the Internet. Wherever we are, the News is there.

As small as my Village is, our connectivity to the world is as strong as if we were living in any Metropolis. Any remote spot in the world is most likely connected. On the one hand it is great for business and earning a living, but we need to learn to tune out at times and ( excuse the pun ) switch off.

Somehow, News is never really news anymore, because we have heard it, read it or seen it already. Before the Internet, a time when we still used letters or the telephone ( land line ) to keep up with family or friends, exciting occurrences were shared the " bush-telegraph " person tells the next !

Anyone under the age of twenty today, possibly cannot imagine how we coped. For them, being aware of what is going on in all of the world, every second of the day, is a given. The new Norm. But at what cost ?

How do we cope with constantly being able to see the world's problems and absorbing it into our lives ? Personally I think that it is an overload of information, emotions and knowledge for us. Our mind is constantly full of sometimes irrelevant ( to us ) information. In a way, we are so concerned with the world, that we forget about our own self.

Being in the moment is so important. A lot of people are searching for this peaceful " moment " time. Just thinking of right now, not yesterday nor tomorrow. To feel calm and happy.

In our new way of living, we have almost forgotten the little things that give us such pleasure and thus calmness. When did you last make your own jam, if ever ? Or build a model airplane ? Or knitted a scarf ? There are so many things we can start to do, that will give us some time out from our modern busy lifestyle. Try one...