Wednesday, 31 July 2013

One Of The Most Annoying Sounds There Is !

It goes to show, that small things pack a punch !

These words will tell you: Buzzing, around your ears, summer ! Oh yes, the dreaded Mosquito / Gelse / Knat / Muecke.

Those lousy buggers choose the right season to make their appearance. Summer, a time where you have to open the window. I mean, it's not natural to keep all of them closed. It gets too stifling. Yet, when you open the window those pesky little so-and-so's take off the windowsill and start their attacks.

These Mozzies must be lingering in glee outside our windows. How else would they come in so fast, the minute you open it. You feel them first. The air gets stirred up, then the sound arrives...bzzzzzz...! Followed by wild flaying of arms, in that stupid and rather useless attempt to catch them.

Bob gets so annoyed, he usually has a fly swatter next to him. Needless worry for the little buzzers, as he never catches them. Now and again he has a " Karate Kid " moment. You know, he'll catch one in mid-air. Gosh, you'd think he'd won the lotto.

He gets so into his mosquito-slaying character, that when we go to bed, the action continues !
I love reading, and readers need to read before they fall asleep. Light on, window open, equals buzzing ! Lo and behold, he berated me the other night, because as a mosquito flew past my face ( on the way to his ), I did not try to catch it. Jeez-Louise, I was reading my novel and had tuned out of reality...

On Monday we braved the heat and drove to town. The odd shopping & of course a mosquito repellent. Bob found a new device. A bracelet professing to work miracles. Well, he bought one just to test.( Don't want to waste money on two, if they don't work.) What do you know, this bracelet works a charm...on Bob ! He has been mosquito-sting free, but he smells like lemon furniture polish !!!

Well, for the good news. Bob and Albert are making mosquito netting window frames. They have been cutting/ planing /drilling and painting window frames. Yesterday we had the first two put in. They work amazingly well. Now I just need to remember not to put my head out of the open window...


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fixing & Cleaning Up Our Earth Cellar.

The farmers of yesteryear were smart.

Nowadays we could not imagine living without electricity. Hey, there are more uses for electricity apart from the computer and television ! Such as a fridge for instance.

If you have ever had a power failure for more than a few hours, you start to realize how much we rely on electricity to keep our food fresh. Look, it might be fine in the northern hemisphere's can stick it on the window sill and have frozen milk and cheese. But in the summer it gets a bit dicey, don't you think ?

Well, this is where the farmers of yesteryear were so clever. Earth Cellars are ingenious. To be honest, I never knew of them. Cellars yes, but earth cellars, no. When you see it from the outside, it looks just like an outbuilding. But it is actually a room with most of its walls built below the ground.

Yesterday we sported temperatures of 38 degrees. A scorcher of a day. A day when laundry was dry within an hour of being on the line. Stepping into the earth cellar, was like entering an air conditioned room. If it wasn't for the numerous spiders, I would instantly put a bed and TV inside.

You know, we have a lot of outbuildings and enough work for a month of Sundays. After more or less finishing the inside of our home, we took a breather with the rest. Apart from it costing a bit of dosh, Bob and I had spent our renovating-enthusiasm for a while.

But it is back....Bob and Albert braved the heat yesterday morning and started on making a shelving space for the cellar. Now we just need to clean and clear it out, and it will be a wonderful hidey hole from the heat...

They say, that if you put a ' fresh ' apple into the earth cellar, it will stay like that the whole year. One way to describe it would be a " cool, dry and dark " walk-inn larder.


This is our earth cellar from the outside. The end of the building.
A real paradise for the " fixer-upper " enthusiast !
A rustic charm ?
I tell you, walking in is a personal challenge. Note all those spider web-villages hanging on the left of the door frame !
A storage space of individual decades ? Old wine barrel bottoms alongside an exercise ball !
Look how fabulous the new shelving is. Ready for all our homemade jams...

Monday, 29 July 2013

A Walk On The Wine Side.

Nature is one of the best elixirs

Most areas that grow wine are scenic and idyllic by nature. Gentle hills and a kaleidoscope of colour. By now, I have walked in the vineyards in every season. They are all beautiful in their individual ways. Even the starkness of winter has its own appeal.

A usual walk has so many interruptions to my thoughts. Walking that first bit through the forest, it is normal to hear leaves rustling. By now I've stopped jumping in fright each time. No, there aren't any baddies in there. Perhaps the only baddie might be a wild pig. A boar.

Little field mice can make a lot of noise zig - zagging through the leaves. Yet now and again, the crescendo of the rustling picks up and a deer jumps out. Often followed by a lusty buck. When it's their " season !!! ", you hear a lot of what sounds like dogs barking.

Most of my walk is alongside the vines. Rows and rows of them. Now and again I see rabbits, or rather hares, munching something. Could they have a head start on the wine ? When they see / hear / or smell me, they at first turn into statutes and when I am almost past them, they run and hop away at an unbelievable speed. Pot luck for dinner...hardly as I am not that fast !

At the moment, the school children are on their long summer vacation. Walking past one of their homes ( next to the vineyards ), I saw three tents pitched in their garden. Oh how wonderful. A sleep / tent over. What a fabulous childhood. Can you imagine how fun that must be. Telling scary stories, roasting marshmallows on the campfire and sleeping in a sleeping bag. The ultimate adventure for kids.

At the moment the vines are luscious and deep green, with the grapes still a bit green. The contrast of the azure blue sky and the odd creamy field of wheat, makes this place a paradise.


The buck that got away !
An idyllic & authentic Kellerstöckl for rent in the vineyards.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Stork & A Spider, All In One Day !

Here in Burgenland we've got it all...

A lot of you will stifle a yawn when thinking about living in such a small village, as we do. At least we are not a Hamlet. But let me tell you, there is never a dull day and surprises are plentiful.
Oh, and it is just the best !

Yesterday evening I was typing merrily on the computer when I saw a big bird land on the neighbours roof. Not the " Big Bird ", but one certainly big enough...a Stork.

Isn't he beautiful ? I wonder if we might get a nest next door...a future tourist attraction....Did you know that Burgenland is known for its stork population and there are even live web-cams ( stork cams ) 24 hours a day.
Here is a link to the ones from Rust

He was quite happy for me to take photos. In fact, it almost seemed like he was posing for me.

I wonder if the weather vane had attracted him ? It does look like he is having a chat." Why won't you talk to me ? "

As for the spider: I woke up this morning and felt a string of a spider web right across my face ! Yuk & uugh combined. This was the fasted I have ever jumped out of bed. Jumping and shaking myself off at the same time. All those horrible " spider-stories " surfaced from the back of my mind. Let's hope they are just an urban myth...


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Living Together: Do Men & Women Share The Cleaning Equally ?

Or do women just have a keener eye ?

It all sounds so romantic and lovely when you get married. But, has anyone prepared you for the role change that may happen ?

Who hasn't turned into their mother and chastised their husband over the silliest things ?

  • A dropped ( and might I add, stinky ) sock on the lounge floor. By the way, where is its partner in crime ?
  • A dirty plate languishing merrily on the floor / window sill / computer case...
  • Wet bathroom towels dropped on the floor, or the opposite might make you rush out and buy " His & Her " towels : Eh, have you ever watched some guys, and how they put their towel on the floor first, stamp on it to dry their feet, then continue to dry their bodies and then arrange the towel neatly on the rail. Ready for you to use!!!
  • Dirty clothing dropped next to, near ( bedroom floor ), or on the edge for all & sundry to look at, but hardly ever in the laundry basket !

But now to the real juicy bits. Tell me, do you ( should you ? ) share the cleaning equally in your relationship ? I am talking about things like the floor, toilet, windows, cupboards, laundry, dishes and lots more.

When you ask most men, they don't see the point of a reasonable clean house and almost in a challenging way tend to say: " Really, Sweetheart / Dear / Stinky / Schatzi, if you insist on having such a clean house, be my guest. But I am happy with the way it is now. "

Good lord, men are brilliant. With one foul swoop, they get out of the cleaning and we've snookered ourselves into doing it.

Maybe having an ' eagle ' eye for cleanliness is not such a good thing after all. When you don't have professional or spousal help, the work load an average house produces can be staggering. In fact, how many women are doing a weekly clean as we speak ?

More importantly, how many men are watching sports right now in their weekend mode? Elastic pants, remote at the finger tips, beer nearby and ears blocked for any sound the wife makes...


P/S 1: Bob helps a lot with the cleaning. If it's 50 %, em, I am not so sure.
P/S 2: Should I have misjudged men, and it turns out that they are doing their fair share, then please accept my apology...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Does German Sound That Bad ?

Beer & a Yodel Hat in hand...

Isn't it the truth, that when you wear ' questionable ' outfits ( you know the type that others point at, and not in envy either ) you yourself think it's fantastic. It must be a law of nature, that we don't notice our own faults !?

German, being my mother tongue, I tend to forget how hard it is to learn. I have tons of respect for Bob and am extremely chuffed when I hear him converse in German. What I am most surprised at, is how he tends to straight away pick up if someone is talking in a bad German accent ! How on earth can he tell...

We have rediscovered our Sat.1 Morning Show. It makes a welcome change from watching the News Channels and their incessant looping of it. Bob's favourite gal is still in the Morning Show. Blog post about this.

When I am writing at the computer, I often get little side comments: " Good lord, what is she wearing ? " or " Karen is looking rather nice today. " or " Come and watch this...". Clearly Bob is in his element.

Well, I must say, that they do have interesting stuff. Just this morning, with just a funny clip, they started off our weekend the best way...with laughter ! Oh dear, is that how you hear us ? Do you even differentiate between the various and rather obvious German accents ? Some differences are like night & day, almost like English and Scottish.

F.Y.I.: Not all of us wear the Yodel Hat & Hosentraegers and have a beer in front of us ! Tell me, do we sound like that to you ? Here is the clip, it's only 1 minute long.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

No Kids But A Cat: NoKiBAC

Move over, DINKIs'

There should be legions of us. Either by choice or nature ! Now and again, after a tremendous bout of screaming and misbehaving, some parents might have envied us NoKiBACs...

But don't worry, we have our own parental issues:

  • First and foremost, we have to adhere to meal times. Okay, should ( yes we have ) we forget, at least we know that the little darling can go and catch a mouse. Failing that, more than likely due to laziness, said darling can do a cartwheel or two outside the neighbours window...
  • Potty training: We are fortunate and clever indeed, because we have a feral / wild cat. She trained herself. The only complaint this parent has, is that at times the ' loo ' is a bit to close to the house.
  • Our darling doesn't say much or ' smart mouth ' us. We get the odd midnight screeching match outside our window. Don't ask me WHY ! Bob says it has something to do with the neighbourhood Tomcat.
  • Just like any parent can't stop talking or bragging about their bundle of joy, we also love to talk about our cat, Tigger. We do stop short at carrying a picture of her in our wallet. Oh dear, I have inadvertently given Bob an idea...But please Bob, don't show it around at the pub !
  • Our darling is clever and keeps us entertained for hours. Even when we are not there. Often I catch myself talking to Bob about her and what she'll do. In my defense, his eyes light up and he adds his comments too.
  • The issue of spoiling the child : We fell into that trap. Partly because Bob has a kind heart, partly because Tigger was prancing & parading prettily in front of him, Bob bought an upgrade to her food. A ready made meal with sauce and all the trimmings...As any parent knows, once you do that, its downhill from there.
  • Our darling has a sensitive pallet. We can use her to test if the milk is off or god forbid, Low Fat..She won't touch either ! Spoilt brat. Add to this list ordinary pellet cat food, and you can imagine the life of Riley, our Tigger leads.
  • She assumes that we might forget her needs, ie. food, and makes sure that when it is meal time, she sits outside her lair. Somehow she makes herself look waif like and hungered out. All pretense, as she is rather hefty...but then, only I'm allowed to say that !


Outside her apartment. What a darling ! 08541 Temptations Hairball Control Cat Treats, 2.1-Ounce (Pack of 12) Dose, Cat food tin, Vintage style mit Löffel Fisherman's Choice in Jelly Pouches 48 x 100 g

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Breath Of Fresh Heir: Family Life.

Family life is " cool " again !

Everyone is off all over the place trying to make their mark in & on life. It all sounds incredibly exotic and in a way exciting. But all that comes with a price.

The price: A family life, plain and simple. The merits of having a family life seem to have been put behind the merits of having a wonderful career and all the trimmings of wealth. Yet, if you don't have a family life, it can get lonely when you come home at the end of a working day.

It sounds so cliche, but children are our future and should be cherished. Not cherished in the modern sense ( buying them every gadget imaginable ), but in the old-fashioned way.. spending time with them and just being there.

Seeing the Royal Couple and their wee bundle of joy coming out of the hospital, was one of those moments. A moment where a lot of viewers were reminded of how nice it is to have a family.
Oh yes, I know that the Royal Couple are privileged, but you can see how genuine they are as a family.

In our turbulent times, times where we see war, suffering and hurt on a daily basis, it is nice to be reminded of how special having a family is. In fact, that family is the most important thing we can have !

A lot of young girls will have new dreams about their future. Or rather dreams we used to have and that went out of fashion. Apart from wanting to marry a Prince ( didn't we all ? ), they will want to have a family. Having a family will outrank having a career !


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

1 Royal Baby Has " Aged " Millions Of People A Generation !

Admit it, you feel older.

The mind plays curious tricks on us. Even now I can still remember vividly when we watched the other Royal Wedding. You know, the original one: Diana & Charles. Even if for no other reason, than that our Headmistress allowed the entire school to watch the wedding.

There were no flat screens, gosh, we barely had colour. But I am willing to bet that a lot of you will remember when & where you watched this wedding ( or the next big one ). Back then, could you have imagined seeing Diana & Charles's offspring have offspring ? Of course not, even thinking of the school year ending, took a lot of mental gyrations.

Well, seeing William grow up before our eyes was an aside. One that you couldn't help noticing if you read or watched TV. It seems strange to say it, but seeing the Royals in their various poses & guises in the media, made them seem familiar.

On the one hand, I have noticed that William has grown up. Yet, on the other hand this does imply that I too have grown up ( older ).

As pleased as I am for them and their new baby, it has made me a generation older and am now one of those. You know, those people who are old enough to know a second generation.
Baby of a " baby " so to speak !

But, many many congratulations to Prince William & Princess Catherine. This is just wonderful !

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Monday, 22 July 2013

Do You Also Structure Your Day With Routines ?

Are routines just idiosyncrasies ?

Do they make us predictable ? Oh yes, an advertiser's dream or a Private Eye's money for jam.

We didn't have those self imposed routines as children. Oh yes, our parents made sure we had routines galore: bedtime, mealtimes, study times & the list goes on. But back then, most of us vowed not to have routines as adults...

Famous last words indeed. I have plenty of routines and I am sure you do too ! :

  • We have pizza on a Friday. Eating anything else that day seems weird.
  • On Sundays we have eggs on toast. If one of us forgets to buy the eggs, the other starts to panic.
  • When the phone rings, it is the routine, that I answer it, even if Bob is right next to it !
  • When I wake up, I have to immediately make a pot of coffee.
  • When we go grocery shopping, we start at the same isle every time.
  • When Bob mows the lawn, he starts at the same corner every time.
  • When we drive anywhere, I get the job of locking the house and opening & closing the gate, while Bob routinely sits and waits in an idling car. ( God help him if he ever hoots or needlessly revs the car )

Routines and structure...I cannot imagine a day without them ?


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Start Your Sunday With Some Flowers.

Flowers and their colours have a magnetic quality.

It's the small details that make a day better. Often we don't realize how much influence a pretty and colourful flower can have.

This Sunday I thought I would post a collection of photos, showing various flower scenes. All are taken within walking distance from our house. One or two might be a repeat, but I hope they give your day an extra bit of cheerfulness.

This is just outside our front door, and every time I walk past it, it gives my heart a lift.
This was taken in April, but the combination of yellow, green & purple is very soothing.
The 'Queen Rose' surrounded by her bowing subjects !
Isn't the way nature makes flowers amazing ?
These are two baby marrow wannabees kissing in our vegetable garden.
I am fascinated by how acrobatic a bee can be. Planting a lavender bush outside the front door, provides non-stop entertainment. It also helps the dwindling European bee populations.
Window boxes look jolly cheerful.
The wild flowers are abundant on the side of the roads. This photo has everything that I love about living in the country.

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

If You Had To Do Your Driver's License Again...?

What do you feel might be the outcome ?

The minute we have that little bit of paper stating that we know everything on the road, we get unstoppable. At least most of us. Add on a few years or decades and the " know-it-all " of most drivers becomes galactic !

For some reason it is the new trend to have reality programs ( here is a link to Sat.1 ) dealing with just that. The other day they had a teaser ad for Celebrities redoing their drivers' license on TV. It's alright for them, should they not make the grade. One word: Chauffeur.

Frankly I would not be that brave. Maybe I would do it, if they promised to disguise my face...The real driving inspectors are more than likely watching and waiting with glee !

Another show had a segment with strangers ( not anymore ) volunteering to drive around the block with cameras left right and center. Out of three, two went through a stop sign. When asked by the driving instructor, whether they had not seen this sign, they replied " oh I saw it, but seeing as there was no one coming..."

Should you or do you do...

  • A car drives close behind you, almost on top of you speed up or slow down ?
  • Drive through an orange light ? Some say that you still have a few seconds to gun it.
  • Stick to the speed limit ?
  • Take the gap and cut someone off with the usual " he should have been faster. "
  • Do you still make use of your indicators and the hooter when needed?
  • Do you keep both your hands on the steering wheel, or do you use one to tune the radio and or give hand signals to your fellow drivers ?
  • Drive slowly on the road, and the minute someone tries to overtake suddenly and inexplicably put your foot on the pedal and almost recreate a scene from
    " The Fast & The Furious " ?

Happy driving. Oh and let me know if any of the above apply to you...

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Friday, 19 July 2013

Do You Also Read Your Novels Twice ?

It is like visiting an old friend.

Books and there anything nicer ? Novels have a portal of sorts. Usually after a few pages that portal appears, opens up and pulls you in.

It becomes a case of never wanting to put it down. Days are scoured for spare time and spouses are forgotten. Or at times you transform your spouse into a copy of the hero you are reading about.

Mentally I have seen Bob in many guises :

  • Swashbuckling Bob
  • Pious Bob
  • Karate Bob
  • Historical Bob
  • and my personal favourite...Spy / Cop Bob.

Both of us love to read. So you can imagine the mental role playing that happens in our house ! One of the genres he likes is Fantasy / Sci Fi. Oh dear, I can picture myself from his point of view - pointed ears, longer nose and mind reading capabilities.

Just about the only things we sent over when we moved here, was our collection of books. Treasures rather. Yesterday, I pulled a Quintin Jardine ( Quintin Jardine ) book from the shelve and wow, the portal opened on page 2.

By the way, where do you read your novels ? Sitting in a comfortable chair, supine on a couch or in your bed ?


Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Queen Victoria The 2nd ?

Whatever the name, it is exciting to have a new royal baby.

In the span of the last 10 years, naming children has sort of gone out of control ! Thank goodness for a rather strict protocol in the British Royal Family.

Some of the names parents give to their bundles of joy, certainly push the boundaries of humour. Do they ever consider how their offspring will be teased throughout life ?

Princess Catherine is a modern woman and always a trendsetter. All well and good, but what about the all important name for her child...Can you even picture a Prince or Princess named after a fruit, flower or colour ?

You know how you can tell in what decade a bathroom was decorated ? Everyone will spot one done in the 70's ( green and or pink tiles ). Well, names of children can also be recognized in that way. Aren't you nodding your head right now, thinking of all those strange and peculiar names you have heard in the last few years ? Apple, Peaches, Moonbeam, Sunshine, Lavender...

In fact, it must be a refreshing surprise for any teacher to have a child with a solid, even rather old fashioned, name ! Victoria, Emily, Margaret, Richard, George... Those are the strong names that will stand out among the crowd of modern names.

I think that Princess Catherine will start the trend of going back to normal, solid and slightly old-fashioned names for children. Personally, I think the baby will be named Victoria, if not this time around, then the next one !

That is what you might call a " breath of fresh heir "...


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Joie De Vivre, Wisdom & Fun: The Older Lot Has It !

Hang out with the older lot, and watch your worries wash away.

First of all, I don't want to be too blunt, but by older lot, I mean the over 70's crowd.
Most of us " younger lot " tend to have the attitude that we know it all. Listening or spending time with anyone resembling an elderly person is avoided by so many.

But, Yet and Why would we be so silly ? Where else do we get our wisdom about life from ? We won't get it from our peers or someone younger than us. I mean, they themselves are going through their life garnering wisdom.

Look, I know that not everyone in the older crowd is a perfect source of wisdom, but at least you'll hear some fun life stories. We tend to think that whatever hardship or problems we may have right now, has only ever been experienced by us and that only we can find the answers....

Let's face it, anyone over the age of 70 has had the whole barrage of problems life tends to throw at us:

  • Problems with relationships ? They instantly can tell you the traits & qualities that are vital in a partner. And that it all will work out perfectly .
  • Shortage of money ? What do you think...they are the masters of coping with that sort of thing ! Again, they will tell you that it will all come right.
  • Loosing your job...even though its hard, they'll tell you that most things will work out in the end.

Of course the most important point about spending time with someone older, is that they have such fun stories in their reportoire. Sometimes, I tend to think that they might have had a more fun and better life quality, without all the modern gadgets we think are needed to have a life.

Do yourself a favour, and spend some time with an older family member...or if that is not possible, go and visit a Retirement Home. There you will find Joire De Vivre, Wisdom & Sheer fun in abundance. Have an hour or two there and feel the weight of worry lift of your shoulders !

And, guess what ? You will make someones day and that is a win-win situation all around.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Émigrés: 2 Years In Burgenland, Austria. ( 3 )

Outside, Garden & Animals.

Both Bob and I didn't realize how much work a garden and house take.( Here is a link to part 2. ) Most of the time we are happy doing the work and enjoy it. Like anything else in life, there are days that we don't !

I think this job was an enjoyable one for Bob. A man and his toys...We have so many fruit trees in need of pruning, that often we don't know when & where to start.

Getting ready to cart the cut branches away. We both do that together, but as I am " Photographer " it always looks as if only Bob does the work !

Planting our vegetable garden.

It has grown in leaps and bounds...

A buck in our neighbourhood. Wildlife abounds here.

Pheasants have adopted our village and you often see them crossing the road.

Bob picking our peaches. Jam, jam & jam.

The first cup of coffee always tastes the best. Listening to the birds tweeting at the same time.

Finally, because we can't have a dog, Bob takes our rubbish bin for daily, he missed the scheduled day of collection and had to improvise. Check out this funny blog post.

Our life has changed so much. We lived in a flat on the eighth floor for years. Even pot plants on the balcony tended to not get very old. Yet now, we get things to grow and blossom.

A real farm life. Making jams, growing vegetables and keeping flowers in bloom. Gardening with gusto. That saying: " Life starts at 40 - ish " is true...Oh, and by the way, we love it.


Monday, 15 July 2013

The Émigrés: 2 Years In Burgenland, Austria. ( 2 )

Different seasons.

Moving to another country and setting up a home, has so many facets that it is only natural for time to fly by. You are kept so busy finding your feet and sorting out your nest...Here are some more impressions of our life. It is impossible to list all, but I just wanted you to have an idea.
( Here is a link to part 1 )

The look of a man who has achieved things...plaster on the bedroom walls.

The bedroom done !

It looks worse than it is. By that stage, we had taken off all the old plaster from the walls. Let me tell you, that is not a nice job to do !

Walls etc. done. The angle is slightly different, but you also get a view from one room to the next.
Most of our furniture is second hand, but I love it because it has character and is good for the environment.

We have been fortunate to be able to help with the wine making process. Our village is right in the middle of vineyards. A paradise for wine lovers.

Our neighbour often gives us some of his homegrown produce. That is the beauty of living in the countryside.

We have stacked wood for the winter season.

Before you know it, snow is on your doorstep. Winter can be such a scenic and romantic season...

Bob's become a master at navigating our garden when we get snowed in. At times even leaving the house is impossible. In the winter you need to make sure your larder is full. No popping over to Woolies.

The vineyards bathed in snow. Isn't it romantic ?

Tomorrow will be the last part of a collection of snapshots, from our two years in Burgenland.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Émigrés - Already 2 Years In Burgenland. ( 1 )

We have lived a whole lifetime in those 2 years !

Emigrating is never easy, although it is an adventure second to none. It can test all your strengths, emotions and resolve. But what a privilege and opportunity to have been able to do it.

This was us, hot off the plane. My parents took us straight to our house... Look how full of the joys of spring we were !

Our first week of working in our house. Our bodies were in shock for weeks. Not to mention in pain !
They make it look so easy on those home make-over shows. There should be a banner at the bottom of the screen : " Careful, D.I.Y. is hard physical work."

We literally dug out ( and 60 cm down ) every floor in our house. Fun with the first room, but that tends to fade...

In between the digging and hammering, we had a lot of
" rays of sunshine ". Here we are at our local bank. Each year they invite the whole village for free food & drinks. Oh yes, it does happen !

My work as a " stripper " of doors. I was high for days from fumes of melting paint & glue.

Every Saturday for months on end, this was our world from 7am - 5pm. Mixing concrete: shoveling the sand, emptying the cement packets, mixing to the right consistency, pouring it in the wheelbarrow & poor Bob had to navigate that vehicle ( fully loaded ) over precarious terrain ! Even when it was freezing cold.

We put this old " Aga " stove to good use, to have heat. The house was freezing and we needed to make sure that the cement would dry. Those were the days of dressing in layers. Going to the lav, was an exercise in peeling off the layers.

The beauty of nature and our part of Burgenland, made up for all the hard work.

Please check in tomorrow, for the next lot of pictures of our journey !