Saturday, 30 June 2012

Lively Meals...

Happenings at our table

Yesterday was a momentus day, as we had our first lively family discussion! Voices were slightly louder and a tear or two was glinting in some eyes. But I always think it is a good thing, because that is what a family is all about. Misunderstandings get cleared and hugs still given. If you can have a " family discussion " and still hug, shake hands and laugh, it shows a dynamic, normal and loving family....

So anyway, this was a bit before supper. By special request I made a huge pile of pancakes. That in itself was funny, as Di & Harry wanted to heat up last nights leftovers, but Bob demanded pancakes. So the leftovers were dished while I made many pancakes. Our kitchen has a big table just in front of the stove. Thus everyone ate while I flipped !!!

Harry virtuously only wanted to eat the leftovers, but declared that he could not finish the plate. " Is it off? " I asked him in panic. " No it tasted great, but I need to keep space for the pancakes..."

We all finally sat together with sugar, cinnamon and apple sauce ready to add to the pancake rolls. Bob had rolled his second one, took a bite and literally bolted from his chair almost gagging. Instantly I my stomach dropped with dread. Had he found a worm in the apple sauce? The jar was old...Oh no, after our " discusssion " Harry and Di might wonder if I had planted a worm !!!

In concern we all rushed to Bob's aide. He laughed and spluttered with bits of pancake flying all over, while telling us " I put salt instead of sugar! "

Don't try this at home..

Biggi

Friday, 29 June 2012

Strange Find

Backyard discovery.

About a week after we arrived last year, Bob and I decided to take away the Bramble bush growing behind our house wall. So suitably equipped with gum boots and long sleeves, we started. It took us a few hours but eventually got most of it. Suddenly I heard an " Oh my ....! "

" Bob, are you okay? " A whole lot of possibilities ran through my mind - big snake or injured arm or worse! Suddenly Bob got all quiet and tried to evade me. But resourceful that I am, I got Bob to show me. It was a cross with a name on it, that usually is put on top of a Grave. By that stage I was in a panic. There was no way that I would live in a house with a grave in the backyard. If you could only have been there to hear us! But the reality was that I would definitely not live there and therfore all digging and cutting was suspended...

My Mum dropped by an hour later. In despair and close to tears, I told her our decision. She at first looked crushed but when she listened to our reason, she started to laugh hysterically. Not the reaction I was hoping for! When she had stopped her laughing, she told us that a few years ago they had a look at some property ( belonging to the previous owner of our house, who at that stage had already passed away ) in another place. While checking it out, they found a new cross with his mums name on. He did not have time to place it. So they took it, and drove past his house and threw it over the fence thinking that it needed to be at his house....never thinking we'd move there and find it!!!!!

Biggi

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hot Pants..

Gosh, another Pants Story...

Like all visits it is super at the start but sad when it draws to a close. We are having " Goodbye " BBQs, which of course sets the tone of farewell. It really is strange how time goes very slowly in the beginning and speeds up like a runaway train! Yet sometimes I think it was such a long time ago that we had those delicious Ice Cream Cups....you know what that means!

So yesterday we went to my parents to one of those BBQs. As Bob is the new BBQ-Master, he now is the only one doing the grilling. The input from the other grown Men is getting less and less...Secretly they are pleased not to do the work. Yet somehow I saw that it was not easy to pass on the " Trade ", as little pointers and reminders were directed at Bob ( he nodded wislely once or twice but mainly did it his way ). I find it so funny when they all ( everytime ) worry about what time to put the meat on. There is a bit of panic that the fire is dying, yet when everything is grilled, the men collectivly say: " Ah, now this heat is perfect for another BBQ. " Surely this should only happen once?

As much as Bob loves to grill now, there is only one slight problem. " Certain " parts of his body are exposed to extreme heat. He periodically has to turn around and hop away. At first I was puzzled, but then my intellect kicked in and I realized that his " nether " region took the brunt of the heat.

Bob had Hot Pants!

Biggi

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Animals

Horses galore...

My parents went to Lucky Town in Grosspetersdorf, which is a replica of a Western Town. Yes, really ! Anyway they met a woman who was parading her horse and it turns out that she owns a Horse Farm nearby. A lot of my parents' guests at their Kellerstoeckls want to go horse riding, so we hotfooted it to Michi's place to see what she does.

Not expecting anything exciting, I was floored when I saw what she and her husband had achieved. They have 34 horses, a donkey ( we were debating if it was a donkey or a mule as it depends on its parentage ),ponies, pigs, goats,cows and an Alpaca. Wow....a kids paradise.

Actually I felt so good walking among her paddocks stroking the horses that I travelled back to my childhood when I helped out mucking horse stables. Looking back now, it was a privilege to shovel out the excrement because it taught me responsibility. It was not just about the pleasure of riding but also of caring for the horses. Walking into the stable yard yesterday vividly brought back the act of separating the " apples " from the hay!

Just talking with Michi, a professional riding teacher, I could see how she adores her animals. We discussed each of her horses different character and she was laughingly telling me the difference between the donkey's and the horses' character. " When a horse sees barking dog approaching, it retreats in fright, but the donkey will stand his ground or even retaliate with braying. " As the donkey also has an extremely stubborn streak, does it not resemble some Men....?

I will definitely go for riding lessons in the future and also help sort the apples.

Biggi

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Humming...

The odd stressful day

We are going on a longer road trip soon and as the car has been making strange noises from time to time, I booked it in for a check-up. As our funds are very elusive at the moment, I took the courage to mention it to the mechanic. What a difference that made, because he was so kind as to sit me down and tell me what needed to be done and what could wait. Even so, it slightly took my breath away! But at least we won't hear any funny noises while driving...at least not from the car!

So next stop was Hofer for groceries. While trying to work my mind around the " car " issue I manoeuvered the aisles at great speed ( the men were waiting in the car ). But the funny thing is, that I was humming and muttering the odd word to myself. A few odd looks came my way, but I hummed all the way to the till.

The penny then dropped for me. All those years when I walked passed women in grocery stores, humming to themselves, they were not happy and enjoying their day... no, they were dealing with their various stresses....

That will teach me to never judge a book by its cover!

Biggi

Monday, 25 June 2012

Burg Guessing

A bit of Sightseeing.

The time with Di and Harry here, is getting less and less and so we are trying to make sure that they have seen a lot of our area. We enjoy this, as it again gives us a chance to fall in love with our area!

Guessing is about 30kms from us and really a characteristic little town. Di and Harry were so enthralled with it and loved their Tour inside the Fortress. Bob and I had seen the inside a few times so we just sat outside under a wall recess soaking up the aura of the past. We are still wondering how they managed to get all those bricks up the steep hill while building it?

Seeing that life also worked before all the modern conveniences is rather soothing. Somehow this reminds me of the basic and also most important point: To just enjoy life, despite anything that we have or don't have....!

It was another hot day yesterday with the temperature reaching over 32 Degrees ( this really is the "Florida" of Austria ). So it was absolutely necessary to visit a street side Cafe and have Ice Cream. I had already spotted the place as we parked the car on arrival and that saved us the bother of wandering up and down the Mainstreet! So, whoever comes to visit us, make sure I am with you for the " drives " as my knowledge of Ice Cream Parlours is invaluable...

Biggi

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Happy Sunday.

What a good start to the day

There are some days where I get out of bed and instantly feel that it will be a super day. Today is one of those!

It gets light just after 4.30am and instantly you can hear birds tweeting. We have such a vibrant bird life here. I certainly don't know their names but it is nice to always have their tweeting-conversations in the background! On days when there is not much on TV, we sit and watch them build their nests or feed their young...or watch our cat Tigger!

Sundays everything is a bit slower and more relaxed. Its always exciting to go to the local shop to get freshly baked bread rolls. Exciting, because they only get a certain amount in, and it is first come first serve...I love the fact that I see and meet different locals hunting for the bread rolls! Naturally I am to polite to fight over the last bread roll...

We have got such nice and sunny weather at the moment and we are sure to use it wisely today. Maybe a drive to take in the wonderful scenery here in Burgenland or maybe we will just sit outside in the shade and chat.

Life is good.

Biggi

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Ubiquitous Pants

Marriage Secrets

Bob has a habit that was rather cute the first few weeks of wedded bliss, but it has lost that status as time goes on ! Each night, when he changes into his pyjamas, he leaves his pants a few inches next to the wash basket...next, not in ! Now I have trained myself to not look at night, but when I get up in the first light of day, those said pants are staring right at me. Sometimes the underpants are artfully displayed in them as well...

I often wonder if I would have any members for a club called : Please put the dirty laundry in, not next, the basket ?

This talk of pants, reminds me of a funny but true " happening ". Good friends of mine back in S.A., who shall remain anonymous, drove over to my place so we could go for a walk. The wife and I started to walk while the husband stretched to warm up. Unbeknown to us, he discovered old underpants ( one hopes they are from the night before ) stuck in his pant-leg ! So, slightly embarrassed, but not alarmed, he discreetly took them out of his pants and hid them under the Wheel rim of his car as his wife had the car keys !

So, we all finished the walk and said Goodbye's. I waited until they had driven off and thus noticed that about a hundred meters down the road their car stopped, he jumped out and ran around his car and a bit up the road. Puzzled I watched but then he got back in and drove off. I wondered if it might be some marital dare and thought no more of it.

My friend phoned me later, hysterical with laughter, telling me about his underpants. Turns out, he forgot that he put them on the rim, until they were halfway down the hill. The funny thing is that he did not find his undies...They had floated off in the wind...

Biggi

Friday, 22 June 2012

High Pressure

Heat, no problem...

This heat is unrelenting, even reaching 40 degrees in the car yesterday. So most of the work happens in a slower motion !

In the afternoon the girls came for their " English Conversation " class. Amazingly the heat did not faze them. We played a bit of Monopoly and Uno. I knew that we had barely enough time to set it up, so when " rules " were invented to suit individual needs, I pretended to not notice, as I was glad that they spoke some English while doing it. Uno was not so popular and we abandoned it to go for a walk ! It was nice and grounding seeing the world through the eyes of 7 year olds.

We helped filling wine bottles ( with wine ) yesterday. Thankfully this took place in a cellar which is so much cooler. But afterwards we had to clean all the equipment and barrels outside in the extreme heat. It seemed to take longer to clean up than to fill up!

Of course Bob and I had fun cleaning with the High Water Pressure Hose...Bob " accidently " pretended to spray me until I returned the favour on his legs and feet, not realizing that he actually enjoyed it. It seems he loved having a high pressure Reflexology !

Gosh, our day's are action packed !

Biggi

Who needs a Spa..

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Habits

Household Chores

Moving into our own house is nice but it involves a lot of chores that I did not have living in the flat. Okay, " chores " might be a misnomer, because I enjoy most of those activities. Such as weeding, watering the plants, feeding the cat and cleaning ( okay, not so much the cleaning ) but it definitely gives my day a routine.

Now we have our parents visiting us. What do we automatically do ? Yes, I think most of us are the same, we " forget " to do the chores and our parents take over doing them. It's almost like they are programmed. Somehow it is a " chicken & egg " situation with difficulty telling, if we forget because they are doing it for us, or if they just take pity on drooping plants and hungry cats !

Tigger, our feral cat, has now sporadically timed meals. I used to remember like clockwork and scheduled our outings so we would be back in time ( I must say, that this sounds rather dilly as she is a feral cat and knows how to hunt for mice but she always looks so pleased with our offerings ). Lately I am right at home and forget until I see Di taking the milk outside. Shocking....but Tigger gets extra treats too, so she is still nice and portly and hopefully doesn't carry a grudge!

When they leave, I think that I must set an alarm clock every evening, but maybe Tigger will get impatient and hungry enough to attract my attention with " walk-bys " passed our window !

The plants will be another challenge.

Biggi

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Aloisia's

Frequent customer mileage...

We are approaching our first year of living here in Burgenland and it has been eventful, busy, wonderful and certainly never boring. Who would have believed that we both live and love the lifestyle of our small village, Eisenberg ! I am pretty sure that a few people took bets on how quickly we would go back to S.A....

It is so nice now when friends and family come and visit us. Initially they just want to make sure we're fine and to see what we have done, but everyone likes it so I am sure they'll be back. We love the fact that everyone cares enough to visit us. Our " Dance card " is fuller than ever. Wow, who would have thought...

So we now do the tourist thing to entertain our friends. We have it down to a " T " showing off a list of places... some again & again!

One of my favourite places is Aloisia's ( an unexpectedly grand coffee shop in a small village ). On Saturday I drove the family there - and possibly mad - to sample the atmoshpere and delectables. Yummi !

I knew I had made an impact, when the waitress commented on how good I am for their business....and the owner brought an extra plate of mini-delectables for our table.

It is a hard life here in Burgenland but I always step up to the plate !

Can't wait for the next " tourist " to arrive.

Biggi

Who's coming next?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Banana Bread

When life gives you Bananas....

I went to the village shop to see if my lotto numbers had paid anything. It is always an exciting time, when the slip gets checked. The anticipation that in those few seconds I could be a big winner...yesterday my lotto slip won 12 Euros ! Not much, but I was happy.

While I was standing at the till, I noticed a box with about 10 Bananas. Their skin was deep yellow with dark spots. In other words, they were perfect & ripe. But here the locals don't buy bananas like that and therefore the shop owner puts them out for free. Luckily for me, I got the whole box.

Most supermarkets will also mark down products that will shortly pass there sell-by-date to half price. Much better that way and a very economical way to shop !

Even though it was another " scorcher " of a day ( Burgenland really is paradise ), I was so happy to get these bananas that I went home to make banana bread. The thing is, I did not have a recipe nor a kitchen scale, but I did have loads of enthusiasm. While I mixed the flour,eggs,backing powder & sugar, Di mashed the bananas and just like that we had it ready. When it came out the oven, piping hot and steaming we fell over it like a pack of hungry wolves...it was so delicious. Di said it also tastes good the next day with butter, but I wonder if there will be any left...

Little things make life worthwhile !

Biggi

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Monday Buzz

Another beautiful day

Why is it, that time seems to speed up when we have visitors ? I suppose it might have to do with squeezing so many activities in. We had a fabulous weekend with family from England showing them how we have fun in Burgenland : Eating & Drinking..& lots of laughter.

When we were at a grill party, Harry came up with some " Gems " that made us nearly fall of our chairs with laughter. There were too many to mention and many unmentionable, but in the car home, he got a wifely " Harry, really ?"....

This monday morning was rather important, as it showed us the direction of Greece's government. Somehow we seemed to have dodged that bullet and " normal " life is on track again. Optimism is definatley in the air. There are the doomsayers, but you will always get them. Personally I know and feel that the good times are ahead.

We are having another glorious summers day with a predicted 34 Temperature. It gets light at 4.30am and only dark at 10pm. This gives us so much more time, and we need it as this week is " wine-bottling " . Di & Harry will help this time and it should be fun as sampling the produce is the order of the day....

Biggi

Sunday, 17 June 2012

First Dates...

Backgrounds

I always am fascinated by people and their life-stories. When anyone talks about themselves, they become animated.

We had a family B.B.Q. last night, and the usual conversation floated about-work, weather, home, how to best get the fire ready and sports. Just listening and participating is nice but I like to ask people about their precious moments. So the one topic that always interests me, is how couples met ! Of course the answer differs depending if you ask the man or the women.

Someone asked my father-in-law, and it was so nice to hear him tell the story. In fact he became animated and re-lived the story. It felt like we were there. He even remembered my mum-in-law's haircolour ! You could see that he was reliving the moment and the love he has for his wife, then and now. Precious. Of course, he became a bit too lively, causing my mum-in-law to blush and Bob to disappear....But it really was great having the privilege to almost " be " with him, when he first caught a glimpse of his future wife.

We all have so many different stresses in our live and it is nice to actually forget them for a while. I could see that Di and Harry experienced their courtship again and had fun thinking of it.

Most people have so many conventional layers, but this question always gives a true glimpse of them. Try it, and let me know.

Biggi

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Working Hard

What an example !

Since moving here, I have realized that the physical work is ongoing and sometimes hard. Not just to do with building, but the everyday " household " chores. There are still plenty that I need to embrace to have a spic & span home....

Our area is a farming community which is predominantly wine producing, but also has normal crops such as wheat, pumpkins and Timber . The amazing thing is that most farms are run by only the husband & wife. So you can imagine the daily routine ! Yet when you go into their homes, they are always extremly tidy and clean ( The wives help with all the farm work plus keep a household ).

Even writing this, I know I am going to feel guilty the next time I moan about my little household chores...People sometimes suggest that we keep chickens for eggs & sheeps to graze the lawn. It all sound idyllic, but even now I sometimes " almost " forget to feed our cat...( of course she parades outside the window until my attention is caught ! )

Yesterday I met a local woman who works in Vienna during the week, but comes home to her parents farm every weekend and helps out. The minute she gets here she gets stuck in ( no lounging around on the sofa watching TV)!

How amazing and wonderful is that ? Most of us have to be prodded to just wash the dishes when we visit our parents yet alone do anything else !

Life shows us gentle reminders about how things should be, and hopefully we are cognizant of them, because helping others and being there for family is what it is all about...

Biggi

Friday, 15 June 2012

Another Lesson

This times it was the girls

Mothers are clever and they soon realized that having an english conversation class with boys and girls was not an option. The boys would make fun of the girls and they would just become withdrawn. So we organized a separate " Class ".

It was decided that I would hold the class and yesterday was the first one. It seems so easy to have four girls, all 7 years old. But suddenly I wondered if I would be " cool " enough to keep them interested for one hour ! Very nerve wracking..

So my plan was to straight away make a batch of crunchies with them, to break the ice. It started well with each girl getting a turn pouring the ingredients into the bowl. When the batter was too dry, I got a cup filled with water and told one girl to pour a little at a time. Of course I forgot that they are just starting to speak and she poured the whole cup...oops, now the dough was too wet and did not look to appealing. " Yuk, this looks slimey " whispered someone and that did not bode well.

While the crunchies baked, we talked and I was so lucky to have my Mum-in-law, Di, there because she is a whiz at dealing with children. You know, it is quite difficult knowing what is " in " with the girls. I assumed that any girl under the age of 15 was a Justin Bieber fan, but the grimaces told me differently ? Lady Gaga is " It "...

When the crunchies were ready, they looked OK and Di was the first brave one to try them. The girls each tried one-some valiantly-and finished them.

When two girls took another one, I knew all was well...I look forward to having them each week as they are great kids.

Biggi

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Birthdays

Too public ?

Someone in the family had a " Round " Birthday yesterday and it reminded me of the times we drive through the village and see strange looking banners displayed on various fences. Well, not so much strange but funny.

You see, it is always big white bedclothes painted with colorful letters and numbers, advertising the owners " Round " Birthday. So if it is one of your more memorable birthdays ( 30/40/50/60...) your friends will secretly, display this banner on your fence. Often they dress a dummy in your clothes too.

It will stay up for a few days and it is an open invitation for everyone to come and have cake, coffee or maybe something alcoholic. Of course it is fabulous to be thought of when you are say 30 or possible 40, but I will try and " hide " any record of my age in order to be spared this public reminder of time passing, when it gets to 50 or above....

As women ( or maybe just me ), we spend a lot of time hoping to fool most people with our chronological age using tinctures, creams & other outrageous methods. So it just dawned on me that here in Eisenberg my age won't be the secret that I was hoping it would be !

Quite liberating, because now I can omit the " outrageous methods " from my life and just get on with it.....

Ps, by " outrageous methods " I mean denying myself sweets & treats, not anything involving surgery...though I will definitely keep using all my creams!

Biggi

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Networking

Wow, Bob...

Bob is registered with the Chamber of Commerce here in Oberwart and they sent an invite to a Networking evening which we went to last night. Bob is a tad on the shy side, and therefore was not too keen to go.

So, there were about twenty business people there and it was interesting to meet them. In the beginning it was just mingling with drinks, but then we all sat down and the speaker told us that we should all introduce ourselves in detail...

Now I think most people, including myself and Bob, get an elevated heart rate at this point. It is really not so easy to get up in front of people to speak ! We sat in the middle, so it took a while before it was our turn ( I was the only woman there and thought they would ask me first, but I dodged that bullet ! ). Bob whispered " Please speak for me " but I sort of ignored it worrying about my own dilemma..

Bob has only been learning German since we got here, and it is a difficult language to learn. But he is getting better by the day. So, when it was his turn to speak, he floored me with his eloquent and long introduction to the group - all in German. Wow !!! Even the members sat up. Super.

Afterwards a few people came up to Bob to speak with him and express their admiration. They all told him that they would have battled to speak so well in english.

This is what makes this move to Burgenland so exciting. Each and every day we grow and have new experiences and integrate.

What makes me chuckle, is that Chamber of Commerce functions are similar all over. Wine is the lubricator of meetings...

Biggi

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Surprise in the Bedroom...

Treasure Hunt

When we bought our house, it came with all the old furnishings, including a stocked liquor cabinet ! Here in Burgenland or maybe just here in the smaller villages most houses for sale are still as the previous owner left it ( maybe it has to do with the cost involved when throwing any rubbish out ).

After the initial " Aagh " we actually realized that a lot could be recycled and save us money in the process. When we got to remove the Bed in the second bedroom ( did not keep it ! ) we found that a mound had formed under it. Immediately my mind went into overdrive recalling all the CSIs' I had watched on T.V. " Bob, if we find bones, I am not living here !!", " Don't be so dramatic, it is propably just a tree root." But I could see that secretly he was also worried.

Upon further hysteric reflection, I started to think along the line of a buried treasure chest filled with gold. Finally it was time to tackle the floor of that bedroom. It was nailbiting stuff and in true feminine style I refused to dig anywhere there, just in case a bone would pop up.

Bob tackled the digging manfully and we were both relieved, and just a tad bit disappointed when it turned out to just be an old tree root.

As we are having visitors, Bob and I have temporarily moved into that bedroom, and it turns out that I am having the best sleep there. Wonderful. Of course it could also be that I am now finally sleeping on the other side of our bed. Men are somehow so territorial about their side of any bed. I just don't buy the argument that they want to be closer to the window in case an intruder comes in....

Biggi

Monday, 11 June 2012

Grass

Childhood Memories

The other morning I was walking my usual route and passed by the " Grass cutting crew " . As they used the big tractors to cut all the verges, the smell of cut grass lingered everywhere. Just being hit by that smell took me instantly back to my childhood. It was such a positive onslought to my senses that I could almost see myself as a child playing in the field.

How easy life was then. The main objective was to have fun which I somehow discarded as I grew up. Spending time with my Dad has been invaluable and great, because he embraces life and has fun living it. Something that I am trying to learn again !

It was raining most of Saturday night and into Sunday morning. I was sleeping nicely until I heard the most terryfing racket outside, next to our window. Cats fighting ....Of course, Bob woke up and we both stressed about what we should do. Bob somehow seemed to think that I should go outside and check it out. Yeah right...as if!

It carried on for sometime, but we dozed off again until the morning, when we went outside to investigate. We were expecting a blood massacre but found nothing. So it seems that our Tigger must have had a romantic session. I just wish that next time it will be held somewhere else, because it does not sound to good....

As the saying goes....Get a room !

Biggi

Sunday, 10 June 2012

What a beautiful Province

Road Trip

Isnt' it funny how we only explore our surroundings when we have visitors ? Being a " Tourguide " allows you to go to places that you normally would not go to.

So yesterday we drove to Rust, in a convoy of two cars. That alone is mentionable, because we did a game of " Tag " when the other car took the wrong exit from a circle- twice...I was in the backseat with my Dad driving and it reverted me back to my childhood and trips we had taken !

But what an interesting and beautiful place. It most likely has not changed much for hundreds of years. Of course they preserve it for the tourists but I could still imagine that, and how people lived there so many years ago. Naturally, we were the perfect tourists, snapping lots of pictures.

Now that all my parents know about my blog, they panic everytime something stupid happens, just in case I mention it in my blog. As if I would dare !!!

Of course the spousal interaction while driving is invaluable, especially where the reading of Maps is involved. My Dad is a master at cloaking any potentially hazardous situation. When he took the wrong turn in Rust, he just said " Look you can now see the other side of the street " . I realized , sitting quietly in the backseat, that we, couples, all do the same thing when driving...therefore I am not unique ! GPS instruments ( Garmin nĂ¼vi 3700 Series ) are almost a requirement if we want to keep having a continued " Happy " relationship with our men...I know that I will get one for our car...

I can't wait to get more visitors because it will give me another reason to see Rust. Oh and I forgot to mention that it is also a major wine producing area. Those excursions will be fun...

Biggi

Isn't Rust Picturesque ?

Doesn't that make you hungry ?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Gym

How to get fit Burgenland Style

Now that Harry is here, we are again doing more physical work around our house. Last year when we got here and started this lovely adventure off, our bodies went into a " slight " shock dealing with all the hard labour. Digging, hammering, taking old plaster off, carrying cement loads etc.

But like anything, we got used to it, and for once in our lives our bodies were as if chiselled ( well we thought so ) by a personal Trainer, with a hint of a " six pack " peeking through ( it would have been better if we hadn't eaten all the good stuff ). Every now and again we would catch each other out while preening in front of the mirrow.

Eventually we finished with all the hard stuff and slowly but surely we changed back to our sedate way & bodies..That is until now. Yesterday we were up in one of the attic's forking down old, dusty and prickly hay. We thought we'd be finished in a few hours, but we only a quarter in having worked 6 hours, as we have to drive it to a " Grass Dump ".

But all this got me thinking. Why don't Bob and I start our own gym in our garden ! Fill a wheelbarrow full of cement and demarkate a plot of ground. Then every morning we could take turns pushing the wheelbarrow up and down our driveway and also digging up the plot one day and filling it back the next....

I think this is a faboulous idea and I can just see Bob's face when I tell him ... and I'm sure it won't be pretty !

Biggi

Friday, 8 June 2012

Knickers in the Wind

It could only happen here.

Day 2 of having all six parents here in Burgenland and it is going great. Polly and my Dad are staying just up the road in one of the Kellerstoeckls. Last night I mentioned that my walk goes past it and it was arranged that I have a Coffee Pitstop. Of course the arrangements were made during an alcoholic session so times were forgotten. My Dad was keeping an eye out for me, Biggi alert, from 5 am onwards and of course I only huffed & puffed by at 7am ! But we had coffee together and that was worth a Million Dollars to me...

In the afternoon we drove to Eberau to have Ice Cream creations - yes, it seems all we do is eat - and then home in preparations for the first ever Braai at our house. So far so good. As it was so hot, my Dad quickly drove to his abode to change into shorts.

He took forever to return and when he did we, all the ladies, were as usual in the kitchen cooking. " What took you so long ? " came the typical wifely enquiry. " I had to run all over the road collecting your Knickers. " . It seems the wind had blown them of the line and the rest is history !!! Only my family...

We also had our first B.B.Q./ Braai at our house and how wonderful to have all the parents here. Bob, " officially " took over as Grillmaster because I could see that he stood his ground when he got various " suggestions " about how to grill from the three titans...When they all tasted the meat they agreed that Bob has taken over the mantle. ( Men are very territorial about their grilling ).

Biggi

Yummy

What an Oke....

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Workers

One of the good thing about Parents.

Now I am very very lucky because I have six parents. Mum, Mum-in-law, Step-Mum,Dad,Dad-in-Law and Step-dad. Can you believe it ? But the nicest thing for me is that I love and get along with all and they all get along with each other.

Right now they are all here at the same time and we have been partying up a storm. In our small village we have definitely increased its GDP..

For years most of my " parents " lived in different continents and I saw them maybe once a year. So I never understood how a lot of " kids " don't go and see the parents that live in the same town more often. But that is that.

Anyway I am having the best time, and so is Bob. Yesterday my Dad and Polly arrived and the Party is complete ! They have such an amazing sense of humour and enjoy live which is quite infectious. Polly jokingly told us to put my Dad to work at our house ( we still have oodles of stuff to do !!!). Upon which I "jokingly" replied that I had made a list and that work starts in the am...They knew I was playing the fool, but was I really ?

Harry has already done a lot of work since he is here including digging up most of the grass on the one side of our house, in order to make the proper Rain-drainage. How great is that. I helped just an hour or so, Bob helped for hours and I even saw Di lift the shovel for a while. A family affair.

There is something so comforting in knowing that our parents always look out for us !

Biggi

Diana in Wonderland

The Three Wise Men.

The Hungry Bunch.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Eating again...

Somehow it all revolves around food.

Eating diffrent foods on holidays was always my favorite and I hope that Di & Harry like it too. As Alberta is also here, we have been meeting up in the local Hotspots to have a bite or two and end up having a great time.

Yesterday we went to Bruni's . You get two types of eateries that are so typical to Burgenland. One is a Buschenschank, which only opens several weeks per year and the other is a Heuriger, which opens all year round. Bruni Kainz is the latter. It is amazing, because everything sold on the premises is homemade. Bruni is this spunky woman who owns and runs it buy herself seven days a week, all year round.

Bob and I like going there because her " Kuemmelbraten Brot " is legendary , plus she is this great local character. She smokes a lot and thus has a voice like Marlene Dietrich and Bob is in his element when he hears " Haaloo Bob, wie gehts ".

But what I love about going out to these places is the fact that one can always meet interesting local characters. While the others were enjoying their drinks, I got a chance to talk to Ferry. What an amazing man. Firstly he drives around the village in his Motorized Lawnmower. Yes, really. Maybe he had his driving licence revoked or didn't have one. But throughout our time here, even in the midst of winter we saw him cruising around the village on his Lawnmower.

As Ferry and I were talking he told me that he was 73 and still went everyday into the forest to cut up trees for firewood and proudly told me that it takes him 2 hours to do three cubic meters. Wow... His is fond of saying that all his friends who do nothing all day, are either always sick or no more !

Most days he is at Bruni's for lunch and yesterday as we were there he told me that he had forgotten to check his petrol and he had run dry. So Bruni had jumped in her car and driven to get him a canister. Just remember, that she runs her place on her own but she left it to help him out.

How wonderful is that...

Biggi

The portions she serves are huge and I was amazed that Di finished hers.

Bruni and her Hungry patrons.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Wine Tasting ..

Di has her first taste of Burgenland wine...and likes it !

In true South-African fashion we had a " Braai " (B.B.Q.) yesterday afternoon at my parents. There is just something so comforting when you walk to the braai-area and see the usual assortment of Goodies : Boerewors, Steak, Salads and Chutney.

Albert, Alberta and my mum have made their own version of a Boerewors, as unfortunately you can't get any here. So after loads of driving around to source the ingredients, they made this version. Let me tell you, it tasted so good. Bob grilled it to perfection. Everyone loved it and favourable comparisons were made to the S.A. version.

Now, those of you who know Di, will enjoy this bit: Di does not like the taste of alcohol and therefore never imbibes but she bravely volunteered to try one of my mum's wines. In the beginning it was, I think, just to be polite but it turned out that Di liked the taste of mum's wine. By the time I had returned from the kitchen, a second glass was had !!!

So all was jolly and as I glanced around the table I saw a bowl of cherry's soaked with Schnapps. Bob nerveously whispered that his mum had eaten a few while Harry had a twinkle in his eye wondering what would happen later. So when it came to eat everyone went to dish up their plate. That is to say, some people had a few extra sways in their walk....

The giggles were plentyful and we really had a super, memorable and fun evening.

We just love having eveyone here and this simple live is perfect.

Biggi

A family affair.

Di and my Mum

Monday, 4 June 2012

Cacophony of Eisenberg

Sunday Morning

As we now have visitors, I decided to go for my walk early. So at 5.30am I got to the top of the wineberg with a view to kill. The mist was rising over Deutsch-Schuetzen and all I could see was the Church Tower and some rooftops. Absolutely divine ! Peace and quiet interrupted with sounds usual to here but strange for the cities'.

The Rooster was calling his ladies', the Cuckoo was cuckooing, the blackbirds just chirping and to top it off, the churchbells were ringing. It was such a wonderful combination. A great morning.

It was Harry & Di's first morning here, so we went to Kainz to get fresh breadrolls. They are the only ones open on a Sunday, so it is another hotspot for meeting the Locals. Needless to say, Harry & Di were shaking hands endlessly !

For them it was exciting to put face to name, as we had only been describing people via skype. Some descriptions must have been apt because they actually recognized a few people.

After breakfast we took a leisurly drive around our area to show them our little treasures. I think they liked it. In fact when we stopped at Aloisia's - the most wonderful coffee shop in a really small village - I knew they like our neck of the woods. The " oohs'and aahs' " were plentiful and not a crumb was left on the plates...

The Good Life of Burgenland.

The three "T's"

The choosing of the cakes took forever !

But they were eaten quickly...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Little Things make me Happy.

A Chuckle a day keeps the Doctor away.

The other day my Mum came around to see how we were doing, and wanted to jokingly say: " I'll watch you like a hawk " but she mixed up her phrases and came out with " I'll watch you like a hake ".

Well, that made us laugh so much our sides hurt. Of course from that point on, we have only used the " Hake " version and it makes us chuckle every time !

Bob actually thinks Mum should patent it as we love using it all the time and are sure you will too. As the world is so connected, we can't wait to have a stranger use the " Hake " phrase...

This morning I asked my Mum if I could publish this and she told me to go ahead BUT not to post any pictures of her that she hasn't seen. ( Secretly she is worried that I would put a photo that shows her with one eye closed and mouth open etc.) As if I would dare, seeing she watches me like a hake !

Yesterday I met Helmut again on my morning walk. His beautiful Labrador recognized me and ran straight towards me. Helmut was on his bike, but quickly stopped for a chat. " I saw your parents and your sister at Pinter's last night and did they have a nice time ! "

" Oh, what time did they go home ? " and just like that I was partaking in village-gossip.

I know I shouldn't, but it is fun...and I only hear and say nice things about people.

Biggi

Saturday, 2 June 2012

May-day

Felling of the Mayday-tree Burgenland style

Well to start with, on the first of May each little village in our area erected a huge May-Tree or rather Maypole. It was quite an event, in our usual style-with wine & vittles !

So yesterday evening the Maypole came down and of course we had to do hard work, celebrating first with Beer, Wine, Frankfurter's ( in Austria a Vienna sausage is called a Frankfurter...) and the most delicious food called Langos.

It started of quite hilariously because the venue was unexpectedly changed and we drove around for hours (actually only minutes due to the size of our village ) looking for it...But when we found it, it was so festive and fun. Bob and I are not the " Newbee's " anymore, and we can now mingle and give out the " Nods ". During the evening a few of Bob's pupils came and greeted him in English. So cute.

Alberta had fun and she is taking to Burgenland life like a duck to water. She can't wait to come back with her husband and friends to tour the area on Motorbikes. So something for us to look forward to.

Two hours into the evening the Mayor announced that they were going to fell the Maypole. As the venue had changed and it was about a 5 min walk only a handful of people - mainly we, the Newbee's - went with to see. The tree is possible 30 m high and it seemed quite scary to me working out where it would land. But Alberta was in the midst of the action taking close-up pictures. Rather brave or...!

Albert and Mattias wore the traditional Lederhosen, and our Mayor came over to take a pic with the two. Only in Burgenland.....

What we did not realize was how the delicious Langos were laden with garlic and it is going to be fun fetching Di & Harry in the " Garlic Mobil ". Yeah , Today is the day.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Great Excitement...

Di & Harry are arriving tomorrow

Bob and I have been counting the months then weeks and now days until they come for a holiday. Skype is a great invention and it is super to be able to communicate through it, but it still does not give the " Real " effect of everything.

When we drive around or even just look around our yard, we always wonder how Di & Harry will react and if they will like it as much as we do. So Saturday it is !

We have also both been mapping out possible routes to show them the three " C's " : Castles, Churches and Cathedrals without which an European Trip is not complete !

But in the meantime, great activity is taking place in our household. I am sure that most of you will know about " The Cleanup " before the parents come to visit....luckily we don't have a lot of furniture or stuff so cleaning is still a breeze.

Bob was planning to do the lawn this afternoon so that it looks nice and neat, but alas, it's raining continuously. Possible blindfolds may be the order of the day.

Just now, I am going to sort out the bedrooms. We have four new mattresses, but only one double size base set. We can't expect Di & Harry to sleep " Japanese style " so we'll give it a go. Might even be fun ! Debbie and Alan survived it intact... I think.

Biggi