Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trick Or Treat Is Here, Stock Up On Sweets.

Another Halloween in Burgenland.

The first year we totally forgot to equip ourselves with the necessary gear, but alas, not one Monster / Witch / Herman Munster / Princess or Rapunzel passed by to ring the bell.

Last year, our second, saw us prepared for a whole onslaught of trick or treaters! Gosh, I vividly remember that while we were in the Supermarket buying up the various bag of sweets, we had slight vocal disagreements over the choice of sweets. Our tastes of sweets tend to differ just as our taste in music ( Frank Sinatra against The Killers - you guess who listens to what ).

But, can you believe it, last year when we were super ready for the tricksters, none came! Look, our house is the last one on a dark corner with the forest not far away, so maybe they were scared. Yet, my money is on the fact, that it was too far to walk to our house...

Bob & I ended up with a big stash of sweets. Of course that was before Bob's discovery of diabetes. Oh yes, we partook of those sweets even though I found new hiding places all the time. Are there any other women out there, who tend to hide sweets from, let's be honest...themselves? Would ' ingenious ' be the right description for this eh, tactic?

Today we are trying our third attempt of Halloween. We might temper our enthusiasm while in the sweet isle though. Ideally I should bake a bunch of health cookies....But, somehow I tend to think that if we hand out health cookies to the children, our fourth Halloween might be very lonely one indeed!

Imagine the village drum beating its message of : " Jeez, don't go to Bob's house. They only give out yukky stuff "


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Dear Captains Of Industry...

Would you like a better & bigger talent pool?

Business small, medium or large have the same problems. Where to get staff, educated and free thinking staff. Without good staff in any field your company is just not as good as it could be.

Everyone who has a job, has one thing in common. They went to school. Usually a local one. If you ask any parent what is the most important aspect of their pride and joy's school career, the answer is... their teachers. Sometimes the only difference between a pass, fail or an excellent mark is the calibre of teacher. ( yes, the pupils and parents need to do the work too ).

Teachers in most countries do not earn an excellent living wage ( you know, enough to have a roof over their head, food on their table and a car to get to work ) In some countries they do, but often not. Don't forget that teachers go to University the same amount of time as anyone else. Teachers create the foundation of knowledge in our future leaders. Or for you, in your future staff.

When as a teacher you don't earn enough to survive, you start to supplement with extra jobs. Extra jobs might dilute the energy available for the classroom. Most of you " Captains of Industry " send your offspring to Private Schools. Schools where the teachers might earn 2-3 times what they would earn in the public schools. Those teachers can focus 100% on their pupils.

As a society, we need to ensure that teachers the world over are firstly revered and secondly amply paid ( Interesting article ). If the starting salaries of teachers ( and naturally there needs to be a yardstick for quality ) are similar to lawyers and doctors, the teaching profession may attract more teachers.

Here is my suggestion. Why don't you sponsor a school near you by supplementing teacher salaries? Yes, I know that you pay lots of taxes, but alas, governments don't consider teachers as much a priority as Defence etc. You should consider this supplementing as an investment to ensure a future supply of good calibre staff.

Some of you might grumble that teachers have so many holidays. Yes, they do, but remember those birthday parties you had when your kids were young? You know, when 10 or so kids ran around screaming, hitting each other or just refused to listen to you? Imagine having those parties all day long, one after the other, all year, who deserves a holiday now?

Dear readers, should you agree with this, please share it with your friends.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Die Hard 4 Wasn't Too Far Fetched.

Hollywood sometimes has a sort of clairvoyance about it.

As you know ( or will now ) I am a Die Hard fan of note. It could have more to do with Bruce Willis and the incredible scraps he survives. Who doesn't remember him in one scene or another? You know, usually in a vest with wounds galore, yet looking very manly in the process...

When Die Hard 4 relayed the world as a connected & "Big Brother " one, it seemed far fetched to say the least. The Government knowing your every electronic move, syllable or sound only brought forth a " Get real, this will never happen! ". Famous last words and what not.

It appears that Governments are all knowing after all. The idea of our privacy is put into question and even the Hob-nobs of politics and society seem to be affected. One could be forgiven for wondering if business leaders have been receiving the same treatment?

Look, at the moment all this electronic surveillance is alleged only, but if true, where will it all end? Are we going to go Retro and stop using electronics of any sort? Or are there going to be stringent laws applied? But how does one prove or disprove surveillance?

The next few weeks will prove interesting indeed.
Was it all conjecture or rather the tip of a scary iceberg...?

Biggi Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection (Die Hard / Die Hard 2: Die Harder / Die Hard with a Vengeance / Live Free or Die Hard / Decoding Die Hard) [Blu-ray] Langsam 4.0

Monday, 28 October 2013

Do You Have A Favourite Remedy For The Dreaded Hangover?

Most of us have had one at some stage of our life!

The moment you wake up after what you thought was the best night ever, you realize that it should have ended earlier. That last drink(s) was that proverbial bit of straw that broke the camels back.

Lying in a spinning bed, you mentally castigate your better half or even yourself, for not ending the evening earlier and kind of ripping that last drink from you. Of course you are conveniently forgetting that stubborn " I knnoow whhat I am sdoing and when I'vvve sshad enough..." comment.

Regardless of who is to blame, it results in one of those situations, that leaves you in a very sorry state indeed. The birds greeting the day, your children jumping on the bed, your wife telling you
" I told you so " all cause you to wince in pain and organize your trusted hangover cure...

Do you use one or maybe all of the following?

  • A glass of water next to your bed with two Paracetamols.
  • Having an ice cold shower.
  • Cooking and devouring a greasy fry up.
  • Having copious cups of black coffee.
  • Staying in bed all day feeling sorry for yourself.

What all of these have in common, is that each one is followed by a promise to yourself to never drink again....which often doesn't survive until the next weekend.

What is your trusted hangover remedy?


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Scared Of Trying Something New...Well Who Isn't?

The first step is usually the hardest.

Mind you, it could rather be described as the last step. That last step where you could still turn around and go home without anyone being the wiser. Well, anyone but yourself!

We have met new friends in our village. To cut to the chase, Bob & I were invited along to a party. A party on our block. Yes, literally on the corner of our street. I had met the couple just this week, but Bob had not.

Yesterday afternoon ( the invite was artistic to a tee...come whenever you feel like it ) we walked the few meters. Bob, by nature being very shy, was moaning every step of the way about not wanting to go along as he didn't know anyone. Naturally, after 10 years of being together, you get a feel of what to listen to and where to develop a deaf ear.

Ignoring Bob's pleas of wanting to turn around up to the last step, we entered through the gate and stepped into another world. It is amazing how artists in any field, create thought provoking spaces of interest, beauty and comfort. Their own magic place where inspiration strikes them in even a blade of grass merrily rooted in their garden.

In true form, we arrived when most of the guests were there already and I know how hard it was for Bob to do that intitial " Hello everyone, I am Bob " ( To be honest, it is just as difficult for me ). Remember, he had to do it in a foreign language. As I knew all along, he passed with flying colours, and in fact had such a great time that I eventually had to drag him home five hours later!

How often do we pass up great opportunities, new friends or experiences because we are too scared to do that initial step. Yes, meeting new people or trying new things is never easy but oh so worthwhile and enriching.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Picture Perfect Start To This Saturday.

Some more Autumn inspired pictures from Burgenland.

As Autumn is drawing to a close, each day is trumping the next. It feels as if the days want to make a lasting impression and at the same time outshine each other. Here is a secret for only takes one day of Autumn beauty to be hooked!

A finale to rival a stage production. This is on top of the Deutsch-Schützer wine berg.
Next week or so, the leaves will have dropped and bared their tree trunks.
A fairly typical Burgenland " Weinberg " in Autumn. Typical yet breathtaking all the same. No wonder that artists and writers are drawn to wine growing areas.
Not only the wines have a perfect colour of red.
I wonder if it is as warm a blanket as it looks?
Vines, mist and blue skies are a perfect combination.
A thin veil of mystique is in the air. Yet if you look closer, you can see the rays of sunshine surrounding it.
Can you see the almost rainbow like beam? It could be a blessing of this area, from the Man upstairs...
What an inspiring sunset. Yesterday evening, I walked home and couldn't resist this image.


Holiday cottages, B & B's, Kellerstöckel to rent in our area.

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Handy / Cellphone / Mobile Scandal That Will Make History.

Maybe this might make us do more Face to Face communicating?

At first blush, it seems one of those information tidbits that makes one shrug one's shoulders and mumble: " So what? They should know by now." Surely everyone subconsciously knows that nothing is secret or rather private anymore...

Yet, when you start to think about it, the severity of it clicks into place in a two fold way. First, at such high level of Government - hands off and second, with all their security details and officers they should really know how to protect the cellphone of a leader of Government.

This scandal about Mrs. Merkel's cellphone being allegedly spied on, has rattled everyone. If they could do it to hers, then...! ( Story in Huffington Post )

For all we know, more often than not, she might have organized the household with her husband. Along the lines of: " Don't forget to do the laundry. " or " Let's have a leg of lamb for dinner. " She is a savvy lady and hardly would discuss the personality or merits of leaders she just dealt with over a mere cellphone.

Of course, we are a bit different. Who hasn't left a dinner party and straight away phoned their best friend to discuss the finer details of it and the host:
" Jeez-a-lou, he served dry meat, the wine was dreadful and there wasn't any toilet paper..." or
" You won't believe what she wore. Talk about brazen. Bob could hardly keep his eyes away! " or
" Oh my God, I am in love with him. Do you think I have a chance? "

Imagine, if the host you were talking about, was listening to everything? Not so nice, is it? In our connected & wired world, nothing stays private it seems. Being online requires concentration so as to not say the wrong thing, but it shouldn't be like this.
Our information should stay ours and ours only!


Thursday, 24 October 2013

A Speed Walk To Beat The Garbage Truck.

Garbage bins don't move themselves.

Frankly, I don't know what I was thinking. Yesterday morning, we both realized that we hadn't put out my friend's garbage bin. Her place is far enough away from ours, to warrant a car trip ( about 2km each way ). Never mind, I thought, the truck usually only makes its appearance in our village at around 9 am.

As it was only 7.30 am, I told Bob that I would walk to her place and put out the bin. Off I went, using the shortcut next to the forest. Well, as I looked across the valley to her side of ' town ' I saw the flashing lights of the garbage truck. Good lord, why were they so early? Putting pedal to the metal or rather thrusting my gait into a half gallop, I just hoped that they would collect from the outlying houses first.

When I got to her place, the only way to see whether the truck had been, was to lift the lids of someone else's bin. A very graceful move indeed! Hopefully no one was perusing the road from their window, but in a small village I am not so sure about that. Sadly, the truck had beaten me to it.
( By the way, it seems that Bob and I make a habit of missing the truck. Funny blog story )

The rest of my walk was at a more leisurely yet still brisk pace. When I had stopped muttering about missing the truck, I took my self to task because I had forgotten my camera. The vineyards were cloaked in a sheet of mist that bathed the whole area in a veil of mystique. At times just the tree tops peeped out on top, almost making it appear like an island.

On the way home, I met a hitherto unknown neighbour and had a brief chat with her. As can only happen in a small village, while we were talking outside her house, a tractor stopped next to us in the road and the driver joined us in conversation. Another neighbour. Just those few minutes of talking about nothing & everything, made my day!


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

When Did You Start To Miscalculate Your Age?

A lot of us women should have of a hint of Pinocchio on our faces.

Good grief, we do start to enhance our age from early on. Yesterday I asked the kids how their day at school was. They are in class 1 and I was expecting a discourse on their love of words, numbers or pictures. Well, what do I know!

The topic de jour in the class 1 was: " ..... told everyone that she is 7, but she is lying because she is only 6! " Scandalous indeed. Age in class 1 is vital or rather the lack of it. When you are straight out of Kindergarten, you move mountains to be seen as a scholar even resorting to add a few months to your age.

I was keenly impressed by the kids ability to know each other's age to the day. It might have something to do with attending the various kids-birthday extravaganzas.

Do you remember being in your late teens and fretting over admissions to the Mecca of teenagers - The Nightclubs / Discos / Bars? Those were the days where we had to have our I.D.'s on us all the time, just in case we looked too young. ( How that could have been possible, when we piled on every bit of make-up we had, is a mystery to me.)

Of course, nowadays we would name our grandchildren after the bouncer, should he ask us for our I.D's...Maybe their might be a chance of being carded if the electricity is cut and only candles display their amazingly kind illuminating ability.

After a certain milestone ( for me it was 40 ) the numbers blur a bit and often I forget my exact age. That's when the old fashioned art of mental arithmetic comes in handy. You know, current year minus Birth Year!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Chat With An Octogenarian & Change Your Life.

Preferably an Octogenarian from the countryside.

Of course the term octogenarian is just a fancy word for a person between the ages of 80 to 90, but I thought it sounded swell. When you are in that elite age group, it is only right that you get a fancy sounding name.

Let's get down to basics. Don't you at times get upset or terribly stressed because:

  • They have run out of your brand of milk / bread / chocolate at the supermarket...
  • Your car is not the latest model...
  • You think you have been dealt a heavy hand from fate because you can't go on holiday this year...
  • You haven't got the latest iPhone...

Granted, some of these points are slightly exaggerated yet aren't they usually the cause of our dissatisfaction or stress? In comparison to the life experience of an octogenarian they pale in stature. The elite group of over 80's are the ones who:

  • Have had times in their life, where food ( any food ) on the plate was not a given.
  • Had to grow their food. We can nip to the supermarket, they had to dig up potatoes, milk a cow and make their own ham.
  • Had to get up before dawn and go out onto the fields to plant, tend or harvest it. Please don't think it was a cushy job. They didn't all have fancy tractors or legions of help. No, if they were lucky they owned a horse and could string a plow behind it.
  • Coming home late and the work wasn't over. Washing clothes was done by hand and outside. Oh yes, we have a hernia when the water is switched off for an hour or two, but back then, there was no water on tap. A well outside was it!

Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg in life experiences of an octogenarian.

When you go and chat to an older person, it tends to shift your inner compass into its right setting. We all have so much to be thankful for. Yes, all of us. Yet, often we are disappointed with life over trivial things.

The next time you feel stressed over some modern day problem, just think to yourself:
' What would an octogenarian do / think / feel ? '


Monday, 21 October 2013

A Slight Drawback To The Season Of Autumn.

Nature extracts its fair share of duty.

As you have been seeing in the past few posts, our Autumn season is just so spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful at times. The kaleidoscope of colour on the leaves is alas only temporary. Oh yes, those leaves have a mind of their own.

For some reason, they like to experience the world from terra firma. It seems that life attached to a tree or vine branch looses its lustre. For a while, they all huddle together around their former home. Who hasn't seen the russet coloured blankets around the various trees?

Admittedly it does look nice for a while. In Pietermaritzburg they had Art in the Park every year
( and still do ) with the exhibition floor always covered in a sea of autumn leaves. Somehow it enhanced the whole atmosphere of Art. Walking on the dry leaves and hearing that crackling sound as you do, is also special.

Nature does have a sense of humour. Just as all the leaves are assembled on the lawns all over the gardens and neighbourhoods, it gives us huge bursts of wind. Wind with enough strength to keep the leaves suspended in mid air for bits of time only to then hurry them along to places all over the streets and other peoples lawns!

You know, in a small village such as ours, it could happen that the neighbours know when your leaves are gracing their driveways. One can almost sense a raised hairy eyebrow now and then. Well, the only solution is to rake, stack and fill...As I mentioned in the header, there is a drawback to Autumn.

These last few days, Bob and I have been picking up the errant leaves. The trees take pity on us, and release their leaves in daily rations. Oh yes, often it feels like you've just done it yesterday and have to do it again today...


Bob in action!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Purr-fect Coffee Shop, How Fabulous!

A cat lover's paradise indeed.

When I saw it on BBC, it was as if the penny had dropped or the clock ticked or the world felt right... Cats are great and give us so much pleasure when they allow us stroke them or dangle a pretend mouse in front of them.

You know, just those games of cat & mouse transform even the crustiest of person into one that is putty in the paws of the cat. Playing with a cat or kitten instantly takes us back to our childhoods.

Of course in our case, we have never physically stroked yet alone touched our feline lodger - yes, the renowned Tigger of Eisenberg. Yet even though, she has a way of making the two of us behave as if we were back in short-pants and pony tails. Simply marvelous the way she has managed to snare our hearts with just a flick of her tail or a look in her eye. To be honest, that look more than likely means: " Get going and feed me already..."

This cafe or coffee shop in London ( the original idea is from Japan ) has umpteen cats that live permanently in the shop. Yes, they eat sleep and play there. When you order a cup of coffee along with a scrumptious mouthwatering scone you could have both of those while hearing the content purring of the permanent staff members. If you are fortunate, they might even do a close figure of eight around your ankle.

What a wonderful idea. Apparently ( interesting article ) cats soak up our stress and leave us feeling relaxed. I simply love that idea but I have to wonder how they will get the patrons to leave on time. Perhaps a time limit per customer?

" Bob, imagine if we opened a Wild-Cat Cafe? "...ours would have that special touch. A cup of coffee and an original cat tattoo. Oh yes, the inevitable scratch on your arm. Now we just need to teach Tigger how to scratch her signature T.


Tigger of Eisenberg!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Suddenly I Felt Part Of A James Bond Movie.

Thrilling to say the least...

On Thursday, when I took all those lovely photo's on my morning walk, I came home with my camera at the ready and stumbled upon Bob pumping a bicycle tyre in the yard. But I shouted my " Hello " in vain, as a helicopter chose this moment to do a fly-by.

' Never mind ' I thought, it will be gone soon. For some reason the noisy rotation of the engine just increased its audibility and made both of us look up. Oh yes, there was a helicopter circling our place.

As it was flying rather low, a whole barrage of movie scenes kept flitting through my mind. There was no smoke or weird engine sound coming from it, which was a relief. Yet, it kept flying lower and covering a circle of about 300 meters a few times. Of course, never one to waste an opportunity, I took snap after snap.

Bob, after pumping his tyre, left to see his client and I couldn't go inside because this was getting a bit of a mystery. Maybe a celebrity or some politician? It was a yellow helicopter from the Austrian Automobile Association, so that ruled out an ambulance one for me. All of a sudden I could see and hear that it was preparing to land very close.

Naturally I had to follow it as it made the field next to the pond its landing spot. As I was trying to see exactly where, a police car came to see where it was. After I pointed the other side of the pond out to him, he did a u-turn and drove there.

With great restraint, I decided to go back home as it was a bit far to walk to it ( the pond is surrounded by trees, it would have meant walking all the way around it ) and I didn't want to appear too much of a quizzy Bee. Surely they had seen me taking umpteen photos of them. After 10 minutes they took off again in any case. Never a dull day here in Burgenland!


Not that far up, is it? You can see the tree branch in the photo.
Very close indeed.
Our roof.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Who Could Say No To Autumn In Burgenland.

My Walk Inspires Happiness.

Look, Autumn is halfway out the door already but it is leaving a spectacular and awesome memory along the way. Here it goes.

Imagine waking up to this view every morning. The first cup of coffee must be a treat to have among this...
A great matching of colours. Nature is fabulous.
I love the way the vines are standing toe to toe and of course neat as a button.
The essence of life in the country! Stacks of wood ready for winter and grapes ready to make wine.
The branches make the perfect frame for this picture.
This one is for the bicycle enthusiasts. A gentle downhill with perfect scenery. If you look carefully, you can detect the sign of welcome to all cyclists. Bottom right of the picture!
The ' Goose Discotheque '.
A tree in our neighbourhood. Magnificent purples.
Our house wrapped in that beautiful autumn coat...


Our area loves visitors. Here is a list of local accommodation.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Isn't It Nice To Be Able To Help Your Parents?

It is nice to be there when someone needs you.

Last weekend my Mum did a rather ungraceful dismount from a ladder, with the result of a very bruised rib. Although not life-threatening, it is extremely and constantly painful. Even with this injury, my Mum hardly sits still!

Anyway, I try and help out wherever I can ( and so does Bob ). Yesterday Mum came to pick me up and after changing driver's seats, we were off on our rounds. When you live in the country, there is always work lined up. Fetching, carrying, digging, hanging, stirring, wiping, cleaning etc.

In fact I have this niggling suspicion that Mum has hauled out her ' Getting the house ready for Christmas ' cleaning list and is making hay while the sun shines....but, what can I do but do it! Clever indeed of my Mum...

When Bob got home from his clients yesterday, I told him how I could thankfully help out Mum but that the list of tasks keeps suspiciously growing. Bob laughed and did the usual " He, he.. " until I reminded him:
" Don't worry, you are coming with tomorrow to do the rounds. "

Well, that lessened his laughter because the one thing he has learnt over the last two years is that my Mum is a perfectionist of note. ( Only to be rivaled by his Dad.)

All jokes aside, I ( & Bob too ) love helping and it seems that I ( we ) will still love it for the next few weeks. It is nice to be there for Mum and that is one of the reasons that this move to Burgenland is so special for me.

Earlier while doing the round of chores a vision of me sitting and reading a book popped invitingly in my mind. Yet, after Mum dropped me off at home, I raked the leaves across the road and made two batches of Jam ( Uhudler & Quince )...Good Lord, my Mum's ways are rubbing off on me!
And what's even more scary...I enjoyed it!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Waking Up To Rain And A Change Of Plans.

Love it or hate it, but there is something special about hearing rain fall.

Doesn't it just make you feel nostalgic when you wake up to the sound of rain? Nostalgic to a time where you could have easily stayed snuggled up in bed listening to the crescendo of those raindrops. Maybe only a foray into the kitchen to have made yourself an apt companion for this arduous task: Hot Chocolate and a bowl of Choco Puffs!

But alas....Yet, the rain always changes the unfolding of the day. When you can hear the rain, it definitely is advisable to stop all exercise ( except a dip in a pool of course ) and plonk yourself on the couch with your favourite book for an extra hour. I don't know about you, but for me this always feels like an oasis of comfort and escape.

Another certainty in our household is that Bob and I will argue over who gets to wear our one and only proper raincoat. My Dad left it on his last visit and we are jolly glad of it. Not a drop of moisture gets through and it is rather stylish as well. New Yorkers do have a flair for fashion...

We both have Dry Macs but they are similar to those " guaranteed waterproof " tents that only need a touch of an elbow to dump a whole lot of water on you. Bob at times gleefully uses this as an excuse to not go for a walk / nor chop wood / nor dig up our garden or buy me a bar of chocolate!

Rain will bring with it a touch of mud, extra frizzy hair but thankfully a dewy complexion to handle both. As annoying as it can be at times ( when your shoes do a disappearing act in the mud with your foot still in it ) it also means that nature doesn't go thirsty. In our new reality of global weather, not everyone will be blessed with ample rain. When some are predicting conflicts over the dearth of water, it makes me glad for every drop that comes our way...

Biggi River Apparel Women's New Englander Rain Jacket, Buttercup/Reflective, Large JACOBSEN Damen Regenmantel RAIN07-37, Kapuze (nicht abnehmbar)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Some More Pictures Of Autumn In Burgenland.

Nature's gentle nudge for us to get ready for winter.

The road from the greens of Summer to the reds of Autumn. At least the last colours we remember before the uniform starkness of Winter are the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows.
Not every tree is ready to don its Autumn coat. I suppose it would spoil the effect if they all did it at the same time.
Sunday was a brilliant day for harvesting the red grapes. Bob in action, sorting things. This is at the start. All the bunches we snipped off, got put into those crates and then driven to be de-stemmed.
Two buckets ready to go to the red crates. It usually is a few hundred meters to the car. But when you are amid these stunning colour ranges, the work becomes fun.
Vines just seem to flourish more on slopes, and there you see the long uphill...
Not to be outdone, the forest also jumps on board, providing its offering of mushrooms ( not sure if these are edible, but they do look pretty )
A mushroom camp!
A nice view of some local Kellerstöckls.
Roses guarding the vines. I just adore seeing the succulent green grass, luscious grapes being fronted by the vibrant red roses... Life is grand.


Monday, 14 October 2013

It Takes As Much Effort To Point Out A Good Trait As It Does To Point Out A Bad One!

Traits come to life when shone upon.

It sounds incredibly simple, doesn't it? We all have traits and think we are aware of them. Although often we are our own worst critic and tend to see our traits as bad before good. But just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so are our traits.

When someone unexpectedly points out the merits of one of your traits, it feels as if a light of goodness has been switched on over your head. Once your train of thought acknowledges the compliment, a whole range of things happens. You sit up straighter, a load seems to have lift off your shoulders and you feel like you can conquer the world.

In this current world where " perfection, haste, and bigger is better " seems to be the order of the day, it is difficult to find your inner compass. That beacon that will guide you through the ups & downs in your life. All it takes is a person who can see the rose among the thorns. The sad fact is that a trait is just like that glass of water...half full or half empty. Good or bad. Help or hindrance. Asset or liability.

Often it is our nearest and dearest who point them out to us. Make today a day where you look for the good in a person and point it out to them. Just say one nice and encouraging point about one of their traits and ... the joy come over them, see their eyes start to sparkle, see them sit up straighter and ready for action and most importantly, see them re-discover their inner self or their authentic self.


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Our Village Friday Afternoon's Rush Hour Traffic.

Could almost be called a traffic Nirvana!

It was late on Friday afternoon when I had just finished visiting someone in town. Sorry, tend to call it town even though it only boasts a few hundred villagers. But when you live on the outskirts of anything, it always seems to be " going to town " !

As I turned from the gate to the road, I saw a friend walking her dog. Granted, as I didn't have my glasses perched on my nose I only recognized her by her dog. Or rather hound! Her dog is an Irish Wolfhound and almost as tall as her.

When you first set eyes on him, you tend to plot your escape routes, but I know he is just the sweetest of dogs. Unless of course you are a deer, rabbit, cat, mouse etc because then this little sweetheart thinks he is ferocious and starts wildly chasing the said animal. Quite frankly, should he ever catch one, I doubt he would know what to do with them...

One of the many aspects of living in a small village that I find so precious, is that most people take the time to stop and chat. The eternal haste of big city life is out of the equation. So there the two of us were, shooting the breeze in the middle of a side street, with her hound lying contently on the street but still attached to a leash.

Isn't it amazing how when you do stop and chat with someone, you loose track of time? Well, we covered a lot of bases, and in between, various cars drove past us. Even though we took up one side of the street, nobody hooted or seemed irritated. No, they just drove around us.

One car even stopped to join our conversation. We must have been fun to talk to, because he switched off his engine. Seriously, the three of us and the car were in almost the middle of the street, yet no one made a fuss about having to detour on the side walk.

Those impromptu chats are never about anything monumentally earth shattering. No, most of the time it is just an exchange of trivial stuff, recipes or village news. Yet, it is so much more because that interaction is what makes life so special.


Just a cheerful Sunday Morning picture...

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Six-Pack, Autumn & Fantastic Grapes...

Small but packing a punch!

Isn't it funny how we remember certain happenings as if it were yesterday. In our first month here, my brother-in-law and family came to visit us. Look they thought it pretty and nice, but I am sure they were wondering why we would move to such a small place.

While they were here my sister-in-law and I went to one of the local farmers to get a bottle of pumpkin seed oil. Both of us didn't realize that he was actually one of the six-pack members. Well, as we went in, there were at least four hunky men sitting around the bar, drinking wine. To be honest, it was so unexpected that it looked more like a pride of hunks to me. Still not too sure of the actual number.

Oh, I think we had stumbled upon a six-pack meeting! What was so funny, is that my sister-in-law was not expecting such a sight in our small village. I think that both of us ( as most women would do too ) straight away tucked an imaginary strand of hair behind our ears and sucked in our stomachs...

Oh yes, our little village boasts a Six-Pack...of winemakers. Whether a few of the six actually have a physique true to their name, is one of those eternal mysteries. But they do look like they could have one!

The Six-Pack is made up of six local wine makers. By the way, they have won awards galore and some of their wines are sold all over the world. Oh yes, our area and village might be tiny compared to others, but it packs a punch and makes the most delectable wines.

Places to stay when you come to visit our fabulous village.


Grapes & vines make a perfect poetic combination.
Autumn must be the prettiest season.
Who would have thought, that this humble yet delicious grape can produce such world-class wine ?

Friday, 11 October 2013

Are You Still A Fan Of The ' Joneses ' ?

A la modern or the old fashioned way?

Before the advent of the internet, keeping up with with your neighbours was just as stupid as it is now, but it was a little bit less stressful. Luckily one didn't have that many.

Depending on how familiar you were with your neighbours, it could involve copying parts of their homes exterior or if your were the lucky recipient of a dinner invite, emulating the interior too!

Wive: " Did you see that bathroom honey? We need to get a shower like theirs..."
Husband:" There is no way I am still going to mow the lawn with that old fashioned push lawnmower. That's it, I am getting a lawn-mobile just like Dave has!"

We all didn't realize, that as costly as it was, it still was the less expensive version! Fast forward to the internet and social media, and the plot thickens as much as a custard just before its done.

Who hasn't scrolled down their news-feed and seen a friend display their new pride and joy. Suddenly it is en vogue to show pictures of your new car, holiday and a lot more. I don't know about you, but I do admit to the odd bout of envy when I see those exotic holidays coupled with the abundant approval ( likes ) of everyone else...

Have you also noticed how many young couples choose to get engaged on social media? There seems to be a whole lot of planning involved to make it look good on the various platforms. That must be a big powder keg of pressure for the buyer of the ring. Eh, we all know that in order to look good on a picture, it needs a fair size!

In the past, an announcement in the local paper was all that was needed to inform long lost friends. No mention of the size of the ring or where you proposed. Mind you, that was one of the first places to look in the local paper. We called it the " Hatched, Matched & Dispatched " section. Now it is called a " News-feed "...

Economic times being as they are, most of us have had to curb spending in one way or another. I think that the first irrelevant lot of spending to fall away, was that insane effort to copy the Joneses....

Have changed your spending habits recently? Bob and I have. We now shop weekly and have a shopping list. Oh, and we shop without the aid of a credit card. We only buy with the money we have at the time! Oh yes, positively prehistoric ...


This series will make you have a sore stomach from laughing... Up Appearances - Hyacinth in Full Bloom Set (Vol. 1-4) Up Appearances - Series 1-5 [UK Import] Up Appearances Complete Collection [DVD] [2013]

Thursday, 10 October 2013

What Is The Magic Key To Unlock A Love Of Reading In Kids?

Love of reading, is there anything better?

If only there was a way to show them on what magic they're missing out on.
If only there was a way to tell them that a lot of books have a way to pull you in, heart and soul.
If only there was a way to tell them about going on adventures through books...

But how do you get them to even open the cover, yet alone touch a book? I do some English homework with the local kids. English needs to be practiced and the odd lesson at school just doesn't cut it. To get a feel of fluency and that innate knowing of how a sentence should flow, one needs to read a lot.

Well, I am an ace in recognizing a certain look...a look that tells me that they don't even read books in German. When I ask that stupid question " Why not? " I get the usual: " I don't need to, because I can just watch a movie. "

Here are some suggestions from me ( a book fanatic ) on possible ways to get the kids to start reading. In a world where we can get inter planetary travel off the ground, surely getting kids to pick up a book and read it, should be possible? So, here they are:

  • All the mega soccer stars ( Messi / Ronaldo / Schweinsteiger...) should have it written into their contract, to enthuse about books they read all the time. A lot of the boys are mad about soccer, idolizing and emulating the various stars.
  • In fact, it should be announced, that major soccer clubs will only sign you up, if you have read lots of books. Stringent testing will be applied!
  • The above points should also apply to Movie stars, Models and Mega Bands.
  • When parents pick up their bundle of joy from the hospital, they should be given a supply of books to start their offspring off on the right road.
  • Each household with ( or without kids ) should observe an internet & device free day per week. No TV, no iPad, no computer and no cellphone. Okay, a kindle is allowed!
  • My editor-in-chief ( eh, Bob ) has just informed me that those points are outlandish and will never happen. But often the ' outside the box ' kind of thoughts tend to take hold.

The beauty of reading is that you only need to read one book that grabs you heart & soul to hook you up for life. The ultimate addiction. Think of the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter. These books alone got a whole wave of kids to read...

What do you think should be done to get more kids to love reading?


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

An Autumn Morning Walk Through A Burgenland Vineyard.

Who wouldn't want to walk in this?

There is a pond right across from our home. This is a neighbour's house, seen from a different perspective. As I was taking this photo, I mentally shooed all the birds away. Didn't want to disturb the mirror image!
I find this so fascinating.
Deutsch-Schützen bathed in the mist. Isn't it gorgeous? Sometimes when I walk and see this misty scene it almost looks as if there is an ocean out there.
A local artist has put this up. Can you believe that I took this photo a second after the previous one? I just had to turn around to get these stunning colours.
Vines as far as the eye can see!
Vines in the sun taken a few meters later. Don't you also feel like snacking on a grape or two...
This is one of my favourite views on my morning walk. It looks good in all seasons.
I couldn't resist because I love the colour scheme.
Shadows and sunlight!
This is taken just around the corner from the previous picture. Sunlight makes all the difference, doesn't it? ...Who wouldn't walk in this natural paradise?