Sunday, 31 May 2015

If Our Kitchen Tables Could Talk...

The other place we use all the time.

On the surface it is just an ordinary table that is somewhere in a kitchen. Some of them are bigger and some not so, yet all of them are found in the coziest and homeliest part of the house.

It may sound silly, but a dining room table isn't the same as most of them are only for those special occasions and are too perfect to lounge around them. To my mind, a perfect kitchen table is eh, in the kitchen and from it the person making food is always seen and a part of everything.

Especially here in Burgenland, the kitchen table is almost holy and everyone has one, regardless of how modern their house is. This table has a magic attraction and even casual visitor and friends automatically gravitate to sit around it.

A kitchen table is used to do homework, write letters, read papers or have conversations. Oh, of course it is also the place to have family meals. Every day. It is the one place in our hectic modern lives that we get a dose of reality. It makes us realize that there is nothing more important in our lives than family, shared moments and having a meal.

Ideally, a kitchen table should be solid, plain with comfortable chairs around it. Nothing high tech as that usually equates to being uncomfortable and doesn't invite lingering longer.

Bob and I have become reacquainted with this lovely institution of life. In the flat we lived in before, the kitchen was a smidgen and even a cat couldn't have been swung around in it.

Granted, we don't use it for meals all the time, but when we do have family or friends over, we use our table to its best ability. Getting up for refills of drinks is a breeze and not one bit of conversation is missed. Even in our short time here, our table has memories attached to it and I can vividly picture who sat where, when and the conversation we have had.

Our modern lifestyle is extremely transient and it might just be that the endless restlessness a lot of us carry around with us is in fact a search for comfort and a feeling of belonging. Of course having lap-supper in front of the TV is nice and easy, but the true gems of life are unearthed around a simple kitchen table.


Bob was making jam in this photo and you can see how nice it is to have a table in the kitchen.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Has Greed Won The Day?

FIFA's election is one of those events, that no words aptly describe.

Everyone would have lain odds against The Boss winning this election again, especially after all the corruption allegations in his organization. Surely, now that it was out in the open, that house of cards should have collapsed?

FIFA, what is it really? Through it, we have been allowed to purchase super priced merchandise as fans of soccer teams. Oh yes, it wasn't enough to pay to watch the various games ( especially during the World Cups ) but no, if you do wear a team shirt, it can only be an officially approved one, which equates to a more expensive price as the organization needs to earn money! Money, that seems to not have gone where it should have.

As for promises of pumping World Cup money back into the host country, there are numerous local clubs back in South Africa still waiting for a better pitch to play soccer on. Pitches they were promised...Don't let me get started on all those ridiculously priced stadiums that were built for the tournament. Built to FIFA expectations, with FIFA approved companies ( not all local either ) and now, they are still having to be paid off by the taxpayers,5 years after the event and aren't even in use! Shocking.

This recent election shouldn't have gone ahead. Most other companies or businesses in the world, where so many executives were under investigation for suspicious behaviour, would have either gone bankrupt or at least have their CEO resign. Seeing most of FIFA's electorate vote for another term of the same, is sad reflection of our society.

The game of soccer has morphed from a wholesome event that we watched as families on a Saturday afternoon, knowing that the best or most trained team won ( with the occasional upset from the underdog ) to one where often a thought of:

" Was that real or not? "
has crossed a lot of minds.
Why still watch?

Money, has won the day. Money men,it seems as there are a few of them in the world, are pulling the strings. With letting this election proceed, I have a sneaky suspicion that these men have pulled the wool over our eyes again.


Friday, 29 May 2015

A Filial Mishap Provides Endless Dinner Conversation...

An involuntary fast before bed.

It could have happened to anybody, don't you think? My Dad is visiting and for days before his arrival I planned different meal strategies in my head. We are a food orientated lot and food is never far from conversation or mind! The first meal should be super and incidentally also supper.

Living in the countryside equates to not having a supermarket on every corner ( thank God ) and involves a 30-50 km round trip. Yes, we try and organize shopping excursions with other chores. As I wanted to only give the freshest and best to my Dad, I was going to shop on the day of his arrival.

Best laid plans and so forth...The night before his supposed arrival, my phone rang at about 8.20 pm and as you might imagine, I was almost ready for slumber on the couch.

" Biggi, honey, I am just outside Güssing and will be there in half an hour! "
Oh, I was so happy that my Dad was coming a day earlier but also had to suddenly rush about doing the last minute details for his bedroom etc ( which I had planned to do the next morning...).

Oh, it was so nice to see my Dad driving through the gate. After all the greetings and hugs, I almost whispered, as one does when we're worried about the answer:

" Papa, I am sure you've eaten already? "
" No honey, I just wanted to get here sooner and haven't had anything since breakfast. "
Oh dear, a dilemma indeed, as there was not that much food in the fridge. Somehow I managed to whisk up a batch of pancakes with organic eggs from a neighbour. The thing is, when you are not hungry yourself, you never realize that others might be! Look, a light supper of pancakes did my Dad no harm, but my reputation plenty...

My little mishap regarding groceries, has at least provided future humorous dinner conversations that will garner a laugh or two for sure! My Dad has been teasing me since then about the fact that I had waited for him to arrive so he could go shopping with me to stock up our fridge!

In fact, my Dad has told the story with a few new details, such as:

" You know, my eyes hurt when I opened the fridge, because there wasn't much in it and the light was so very bright! "
Ha, that was a witty addition and I am sure that in a year's time the story might end up on the comedy circuit. We are a teasing lot indeed, and as I know it was an honest mishap, I can take all the ribbing coming my way...

Talking to my neigbour, a well versed father & grandfather, I happened to tell him my Foody episode, because honestly I did feel a bit bad letting my Day go to bed hungry, but trying to hear a " oh, could have happened to anybody "...My neighbour listened to my plight and then turned to me with a grin on his face:

" Oh, you tried that one! I am glad I'm not the only Dad who fell for it. "


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Deutsch Schuetzen's Seniors Are On The Move.

The doyens of our village are amazing.

As you know, I have started a walking hour with Seniors in two of the villages of our Gemeinde and it is taking shape. The news has spread and yesterday I had gained another walker. Some of you might shake your heads and mutter ' so what ', but don't forget that making the effort to exercise isn't easy whatever your age...

The wind was so strong yesterday morning that it took great synchronicity to open my car door between the gusts of wind. Convinced that no one would venture forth in such gusty weather
( Bob, won't join me for a walk when there is either a drop of rain in the distance or strong winds around...) I waited nevertheless, just in case.

And just as well I waited, as three wonderful ladies came bowed in the wind to our meeting place. Seniors could teach us a thing or two! There was a new walker and straightaway she told me that as the weather was a bit nippy, ( good God, it was freezing in those gust of wind ) she had put on her winter coat and wasn't sorry for it. She is such a small and slight lady, that when we walked into those gusts I feared she might be bowled over...but she blew me away with her tenacity.

As we set off, I hesitatingly asked them if they were alright to walk in such windy weather, offering them a

Get out of the walk pass ...No Bob, they aren't transferable....
Surprisingly, all three enthusiastically said yes to our walk. One said that she had made up her mind to walk in all kinds of weather and quite rightly said that when it rains, she can use her umbrella. Wow. Of course if she had taken her umbrella yesterday, she would have become a headline in our village newspaper
Mary Poppins sighted over Deutsch Schützen
. We set off on our round which took about 50 minutes and as the walk was in the form of a quadrant, there were places that seemed to be haunted by even more vicious gusts of wind. Instead of complaining, they just stopped and turned into ( or should it be away from ) the wind and waited it out.

Oh, and did I mention that all the way, they were laughing and enjoying the walk, despite or rather because of the weather. Life, even with obstacles is there to be grabbed with both hands...


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Funny Marriage Stories Are Not The Sole Domain Of Newlyweds.

Years down the road, the stories abound...

Newlyweds, what can one say except that sometimes their enthusiastic, public hash tagged exuberance can only get one response...#justwaitayear . They still wrap each other, metaphorically of course, in pretty terms of endearments and aren't scared to share that with all and sundry. Oh yes, they are the first couple to have found true love!!!

Anyway, just wait until this ' best husband in the world ' drops either a dirty undies, wind or his facade and then let's see those googly eyed hashtags.

Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet that could lure forth the #ohgodwhatnow hashtag from Bob and perhaps with reason. This time my eye was on sorting out our vegetable garden or what was left of it after the recent bout of hail. But regardless of hail, rain or shine, tall weeds and grass ( not the smoking sort of course ) have overtaken this little patch of our kitchen garden. It needed some tender love and care.

" Bob, let's do the weeding. I'll start here and you there. "
and because Bob has oodles more weeding experience, he took the big hoe and proceeded with great speed. I focused on another weedy spot and pulled out what ever crossed my path. Fair enough.

At one stage we were almost on top of each other and suddenly I heard my Schatzi say:

" Look, it's no use both of us having muddy hands. "
As I was finger deep in wet earth, I thought for a minute that I had heard another angelic one liner from Bob. With elation that after more than 10 years together, he still has my best interests at heart, I stood up to give him a googly eyed response, when he uttered another far from angelic one liner:
" Look, your hands are dirty already and mine aren't, so you should put the weeds and stuff into the wheelbarrow! "

... and there you have it folks. That newly wed "stars covering your eyes" state loses its lustre rather quickly and then the real McCoy comes through, and not a day too soon it seems. Real and honest one liners keep us in laughter and makes being together that much more fun...


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Remember How Much Free Time We Had Before Facebook?

Facebook makes sure we don't even have to think...

Don't get me wrong, I still love logging on to my Facebook to play the various games while reading 4-5 postings and of course more importantly posting my blog. Most days there is a very noticeable message reminding us of who's having a birthday.

About a week ago, I tinkered around with my privacy settings and took my birthday off line. I wasn't quite sure whether it would work ( taking anything off FB is not easy ) and was awaiting yesterday with bated breath.

You know something, it worked. Those who should remember my birthday did and most importantly, without being prompted. As you can imagine, that was ultra special.

Social media takes great pride in doing chores for us and making us extremely lazy in the process. There is not much we still have to think about that some app doesn't remind us of. Gosh, even Skype gives us a timely reminder if it is someones birthday!

Be honest, getting a gazillion birthday messages on Facebook doesn't really count if everyone was prompted, or does it? We should all purchase a little black book where we can stash all those important numbers and dates in our lives. Truth be told, I am ashamed to say that all phone numbers that are important to me, are stored in my cell phone and cell phone only.

The new social currency of the future will be privacy. As things stand right now, most of us are standing bare on the social media platforms. Imagine buying a book and having the whole plot exposed in the first chapter...Why would we still bother to read it?

Back when Facebook first came on our radar, we all had enough common sense to question why we would need to use it. Meeting up with old friends was a good selling point and only seeing everyone else jump aboard made us sign up for it.

But since then, it has become our living room, bed room and kitchen and has and still is robbing us of precious family time. With the collaboration with Smartphones, Facebook has us in the palm of its hand or to put it bluntly, we have it hugging our behinds most of the time...rather amazing that these phones don't break when everyone sits on them.


Monday, 25 May 2015

Where Have All The Meadows Gone?

Nary a cow to be seen, even in our rural paradise.

With all that rain we've been having, a lot of fields are water logged and some of the young crops are floating away. Sad for the farmers, but as someone told me the other day, in a way they are to blame as they have not left any place for the water to go because of over planting.

In the days of yore, the farmers didn't have Google, but they knew how to deal with water. Nowadays, driving through most villages, you can see crop fields everywhere but mere pastures with cows grazing on them, are extremely rare. Sad really as there is nothing more homely than walking passed a meadow with a cow ruminating on it.

Cows are extremely rare in our area and a lot of our little farming villages don't even have cows anymore! In the olden days, cows were a necessity and of course dairy farmers needed to feed the cows and have many pastures for grazing. And those pastures were a natural water sponge, that dealt with a prolonged rainy season. The farmers were clever back then...

Wouldn't it be a super idea for our village to have a few communal cows? A few crop fields converted into pastures and a mini herd of cows on them. Imagine how cute that would be, seeing the calves growing into a pretty Daisy or Moo!

What an advertisement it would be if we had that proverbial and communal cow grazing happily on a meadow covered with wild flowers, weeds and green grass? Children could have a holiday helping out milking, feeding or just conversing with our cow. When we say that we are going out for a pint of milk, all we'd need to take would be a little pail, a footstool and a few soothing words for old Daisy...

In a strange way, once we realize how much work goes into a liter of milk, we would appreciate it much more and not waste so much. Who hasn't thrown away milk, yoghurt or cheese that has gone off?

I can see our logo now...

Eisenberg, where we have the best vintages of wine and milk...
Eisenberg, the village that lets you try your hand at offline farming...


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Vienna Shines @ The Eurovision Song Contest.

Bob and I were proud as can be...

Some might describe this Eurovision contest as a kitsch affair and refuse to even watch it, but don't forget what this particular contest has brought us. Remember Abba, Udo Jürgens, Celine Dion, Katarina and The Waves and of course, Frau Wurst? Oh yes, all winners.

Whoever thought of this idea of letting the contestants experience the various attraction around Austria, is a genius. With one stroke, the world saw how divine Austria really is and that there is more to it than simply mountains where Heidi can spring from singing her song.

After each contestant performed ( those that I stayed awake for ), I told Bob that this was the winner. Well, truthfully, there were one or two that I didn't like very much. But next time I will have to have a pen and paper at hand, because it's easy to forget your favourites.

Australia, our newest European neighbour has the advantage of time difference. They can view it over breakfast and more importantly view each and every contestant without nodding off. Not that Bob and I are in our dotage, but staying awake past nine o'clock is not so easy any more.

Talking about staying awake, I heard an ad on the radio about a nightclub that offered free drinks between ten and midnight. For me that sounded silly and stupid until Bob showed his superior knowledge of clubbing and of course the times one clubs.

" Babe, no one goes out before 2 am. No one of clubbing age that is! "
...well, that proved that I had a fairly uneventful youth and my husband an eventful one. Oh, he knew the times from personal experience!

The second last and last contestants were amazing. Russia and Italy were on my list of winners. Alas, we couldn't stay up until the winner was announced and only found out this morning that Sweden had won.

He performed brilliantly and deserved to win but so did a lot of others. Maybe next time and next time Bob and I will watch again...Well done Austria, for putting on such a great show.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

It's Raining The Proverbial Cats & Dogs In Our Paradise.

An adventure indoors for a change.

Naturally there are a few negatives to this continuous rainfall. A mudslide here or there but frankly, it often is the result of bad planting or urbanization ( not many places left for the water to be absorbed ) and it's not nice to blame Mother Nature. Doing laundry in rainy weather means that bathrooms and hallways will be stacked with those pesky drying racks.

A weekend where it is raining can easily translate into reading your favourite book. Is there anything nicer than reclining on the couch, book in hand, chocolate within reach and a story that has made you forget your surroundings.

Water is a precious commodity and when it rains, I feel as if gold is dropping down from the heavens. Years ago a farmer from Dalton told me that when it rains, it saves him a fortune each day. A day of rain means not having to irrigate his crop. Massive savings to the farmers.

No weather is perfect and as we are only human, we tend to complain in all types of weather. Either it's too hot, too wet, too cold, too cloudy ....etc.

Tomorrow, Bob is joining his Fireman's troop to walk to a Frühschoppen at a village nearby. Well, not so near as it is about 10 km from us. He got his marching orders for 7.15 sharp tomorrow morning, come rain or shine!

Frankly I tend to think that Bob would prefer it to rain. Last year was the first time he walked there ( oh yes, it is an annual event ) and it was blazing hot. So hot in fact, that when he was walking, one of the other walkers told Bob in the local dialect:

" Bob, hoas ias! ( Bob es ist heiss / Bob, it is hot ) "
and as Bob was still new to our local dialect, he told me that all he heard was:
" Bob, there is a horse "
...and after looking everywhere for this horse in vain, he thought to himself that this person was a bit dilly!

Well, to this day, they remind him of this bit of linguistic misinterpretation while doubling over in laughter. Of course, in Bob's defense, I have to tell you that some Austrians from Vienna, would have also thought it meant Horse...


Friday, 22 May 2015

Red Roses And Wine Make Life Just Fine.

A morning spent bottling wine and shooting photos.

It almost seems as if this red blooming rose is the keeper of the vines...When you see how tiny the bunches of grapes are, it is hard to imagine that they will make our delectable wine!
It was overcast and a tad bit rainy yesterday yet, the roses put their best bloom forward. For me at least. These red roses guard a wine cellar and what one calls a Kellerstöckl...( a place where the wine was made and still is, and a place to hang out in ).
I never thought I would be able to casually drop into conversation that I had bottled wine earlier on...drinking is easy, but bottling is another thing entirely!

A perfectly formed rosebud. Beautiful, vibrant in colour with its petals organized like sychronized swimmers.
A raindrop careering down a rose and vine leaf. Despite the dull day, this rose provides a bright spot.
A few of the vineyards of Eisenberg are in the background. The next four or five months will provide endless beauty and of course a hive of activity. No vintage is the same as it obviously depends on the weather and that what makes it so exciting when you get to taste the first sip of wine.

Here is link for a typical Kellerstöckl to rent in our area.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Nature, Hail And The Siren.

Two major hailstorms within a week...

Yesterday afternoon I was in Deutsch Schützen and on my way back home. Having been inside most of the afternoon, I hadn't seen this storm brewing and was rather surprised to see our Eisenberg on the horizon ahead with a really ominous sky hanging over it.

As I had parked across from the local shop, I quickly dashed inside to get a lotto ticket and then proceeded to drive back home to Eisenberg with slightly more speed than normal. The closer I got, the more sickly green the heavens looked, streaked with a dash of lightning on the peripheral. Scary stuff reminiscent of Independence Day

Strange how those type of skies seem more apt for an African storm, but now, the storms seem to be getting as severe as we've had them in South Africa. I parked our car undercover and found that Bob hadn't even realized a storm was brewing. Before you wonder about that, let me say that often the sky in front of our house is dark and angry while the one behind it seems blue and cheerful. I almost felt like his drill sergeant as I merely shouted:

"Bob, a big storm is about to break. Hail maybe as well."
like a well rehearsed duo, we unplugged all our electrical stuff and sat waiting.

About ten minutes later and then it was all over, but we had a deluge of muddy water careering down the lane. It seems that it was bad everywhere because the village Siren was sounded.

Bob was rather excited to hear it. He knew there wouldn't be a fire. Heavy rain might mean pumping out a cellar or clearing a road. I barely managed to wave a goodbye at him when he dashed out the house clad in his fireman's greens, at 5.45 pm. Supper had long gone cold when he got home at 9.45 pm.

At the entrance to our village, a field has been planted with an unsuitable ( for rainy season ) crop and with no natural border in an attempt to garner maximum yields. Well when it rains hard, a lot of the soil gets washed away. The result was a few feet of mud all over the main road. Bob started to tell me how he was seconded to re-direct traffic in a oh-my-god-what-next sort of voice. All sombre and so on...

" Oh Bob, don't try to bamboozle loved directing traffic and waving your shiny wand about! "
and of course he couldn't keep the smile from of his voice. Last night Bob got a taste of waving the lit up Stop & Go sign at motorists while clad in a fireman's jacket and has lived out another one of his childhood dreams...

Heavy storms and hail are awful but they are a reminder from Mother Nature that we need to take care of our planet.


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I Just Can't Get Enough Of Flowers.

My own little secret garden in the Deutsch Schützen vineyards...

These days life seems to be inundated with news about suffering, war and worse. Often one positive image helps to move onto a different tangent. The Happiness avenue.
I had to fight tooth & nail with my fellow walker ( a.k.a. Bob ) to be able to shoot some photos.
The mauve colour alone has me transfixed and feeling good.
An orange interlude is never amiss...
The daisies are a happy lot, aren't they? No wonder the saying goes
Fresh as a daisy

Daisies as supporting acts to a Deep Purple wall behind it.
Have a divine day and I hope these few flower images have given you a good start to your day...


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Has Formula 1 Been Made Too Safe To Watch?

Suddenly, Formula 3 looks more appealing.

This last Sunday I was on a long walk and wasn't sure if there was any F1 on TV but then it dawned on me, that even if I missed it it wouldn't be such a big deal. Goodness that surprised me no end, as Bob and I have been ardent F1 fans.

Frankly, the engine sound or not-so-much sound doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that the only excitement in the current form of racing is off the track.

  • Radio clips between drivers and pit crew are highly informative and even funny. Often it sounds as if a petulant child is having a moan about a sibling to their parents. eg:
    " Tell him to let me pass. He's not going to win in any case! "
    " Why can't I change my tires first? "
  • The pit stops are highly entertaining when at times the driver goes to the wrong spot or a lackey drops a nut and it takes a few seconds more to change a tire.
  • After the race, when the winners go into that waiting room, there is at times an air of petulance in it. A dropped lip there and no hand shake there. There have been times where it looked like a driver would have had a pugilistic response with one of the others.
  • Oh, and of course the eternal hair arranging. Gosh, men, if you have to sweat in those helmets, give yourself a crew cut like Keanu Reeves in Speed ...tres sexy!
  • Last but not least, have you also noticed that there is an abundance of celebrities slinking around the periphery. A possible ploy to up viewership? Do they get compensated for it?

At times I wonder why the drivers are paid such a fortune? With all those rules and regulations ( in effect taking their driving prowess down a peg or two ) Formula 1 has become predictable and boring.

Drivers should be disonnected from the radio and also from the remote control computers. Really, who is actually driving the car? Driver, engineer or computer...that is the question.

F1 should change and be a bit more realistic. Let the drivers do what they do best. They are all excellent drivers but alas, they are held back by the remote control leash. The other day, I heard one of the drivers tell his team, not to radio him while he was navigating a corner...gosh, what next?

They showed a two minute preview of a Formula 3 race and oh, how arresting it was. The cars looked similar to the Formula 1 cars of yesteryear and there was action on the track. A bump here and a nick there with smoking brakes and lots of overtaking...F3 seems to be the new show to watch...


Monday, 18 May 2015

A Poppy A Day Keeps The Doldrums Away.

Eisenberg's vineyards have something interesting wherever you look.

It might not look like this is in a wine area, but atop of the Eisenberg I stumbled across a small meadow of poppies adjacent to the vineyards.
I had just turned the corner when I stumbled across this beautiful view. Reds and greens so vibrant that it was almost breathtaking. The bees were buzzing merrily and pollinating happily. You can just see a bit of an old Kellerstöckl at the top of the photo.
This should definitely lift any doldrums you might have...
Imagine waking up to this view? Vines and forest as far as the eye can see and a red paradise right in front of you...
This view alone makes it worthwhile to walk on Sunday mornings....often a solitary walk!
A still life of harmony, happiness and industriousness. One could easily loose track of time...


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Bob's Now A Newly Minted Eisenberg Fireman!

Bob, what a man!

This weekend was the test of tests for Bob. A two day affair of theory and practical. Some would have seen it as a weekend away but Bob rightly saw it as an important milestone in his fireman's career. He never looses sight of the fact that what he learns might save a life one day.

The Eisenberg team usually wins a lot of competitions and he is thrilled to be drilled by the team leaders but he understands, that all this drilling is vital to handling any emergency. Even this weekend he realized how well schooled he is, by comparing to others. Look, Bob can't ( yet ) hold a candle to his team leaders and fellow longtime ( kind of a better word than veteran...) firemen, but they have instilled in him good basics to build upon!

I am so proud of Bob as he wrote the exam in German and managed just fine. Bob is fortunate that he has such a nice team around him, a team that works hard and, ahem, plays hard too.

Bob and I helped out at the annual Spring concert held by our village choir last night. Not just the local choir, but my mum's choir too. Well not hers, but one that she is a part of. They sang beautifully and it was nice to imbibe the wonderful energy of the songs. Good music has a life of its own and instantly lifts one's mood.

Even though it is a village choir, their performance was extremely professional and they put in hour upon hour of practice throughout the year, and it shows in their harmonious singing. I am extremely proud of my mum.

A few people asked me again last night why I haven't joined the choir yet. Alas, my mum's wonderful talent bypassed a generation.

Good grief, I can vividly remember an embarrassing moment back in the days when I was in standard 7 at Girls High. While we were singing during assembly ( oh my god, what memories ) the choir mistress walked about ( how Draconian ) checking if everyone was singing along. To my utter shame, she asked me to please not sing anymore...The only way I'd join any choir was if I could do it Milli Vanilli style.

Bob had received his certificate just hours earlier but it seemed that his team mates knew already. Those that I got a chance to talk to, all congratulated me.

Goodness, isn't it just the best? I am now the wife of a proper fireman and I have to admit that in his full fireman's uniform Bob is rather fetching...


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Gemeinde Deutsch Schuetzen Gets Moving...

Project walking takes its first step.

As you know, our little district has a committee that devotes itself to making life more livable in the village. Mainly aimed at senior citizens and I am fortunate that I can work part time and help out.

By now most of our village has seen me walk in the mornings...all year round which sometimes makes it look as if I was ice skating along! I just love to walk and the fact that I can walk wherever and whenever and without fearing for my safety. Well, the odd wild pig perhaps.

Walking is an instant Feelgood and if that feeling could be bottled, I'd make a fortune. Yet, it's not as if I yodel out of the house each morning. Often I do have to give myself a mental kick in the derriere to get moving. Although it only takes a few minutes of my walk for the endorphin to kick in and a general feeling of wellness to come to the fore.

At our last committee meeting of Leben Im Dorf ( Living in the village ), there were discussions of what exercise classes could be offered for our senior citizens. This and that got banded about and I thought why not mention a walking group?

To my surprise, my idea was grabbed with both hands and now we are in our third week. Making stuff complicated never works and so we merely put up posters advertising the fact that we offer two hours a week, where anyone can come and join me for a walk:

Monday 8 am: Eisenberg Feuerwehr Halle
Wednesday 8 am: Deutsch Schützen Komm-Zentrum

The first two weeks, nobody showed up and I walked on my own. Never mind, these changes take time. The second Wednesday, my walk crossed over the path of a local Nordic walking group. They noticed that I still walked on my own and wished me well for the following week.

Last Wednesday ( third time lucky indeed! ), I had my first success. A local lady who is a grandmother many times over joined me for a walk. She was thrilled about this project and we walked and talked for close to an hour. Gosh, how marvelous.

As it was Wednesday, we crossed over the path of the other walking lot. Oh my goodness I was so happy when they started to give us an enthusiastic cheer and congratulate this lady for walking with me...

Our village is small, in fact tiny compared to where most of you live, but our Mayor and various committees are progressive in thought and action. They have realized that walking not only helps to keep healthy but it also keeps a few doldrums at bay. An hour a week to look forward to....and for me too!


Friday, 15 May 2015

" No Really Biggi, Where Is The Real Prize? "

Don't try and bribe a Kindergarten kid with a measly 100g bar of chocolate...

It's the thought that counts, isn't it? Well, my two preschoolers are rather a hardy bunch and I told them last week that I would introduce the Bean-system. Luckily I remembered to bring it along, because as anyone who deals with youngsters of that age knows, they don't forget a thing!

As a reward for good behaviour they get a bean ( such as playing as a team, speaking a few English words and not using bad words ) and after four sessions a prize is garnered by the one who has the most beans! In my defense I was going to buy an additional big bar of chocolate but I just wanted to have them see a tangible prize.

I should have known better. Before I even finished explaining the rules, they both demanded to see the reward.

" What, is that all? "
" Biggi, I have a bigger stash of chocolate in my room! "
" Really Biggi, where is the rest of it? " about a tough crowd. Honestly, I was so thrown by this, that foolishly I dangled a possible addition for the winner in front of them.

Another good thing about preschoolers is that they soon go on to the next thrill and for the moment they were thrilled to win beans for things. One of the contestants kept on uttering a bad
( German ) word that rhymes with both ' hit ' and ' sit' and after the second time I told him that a bean would be taken out of the jar, if I heard it again....Let's just say that he willingly gave me the bean, but didn't utter it again. Definitely a win for me!

The other little chap was so into earning beans that for everything he did, he thought he deserved a if!

Gosh, they were so funny. All of a sudden, the one decided that playing two minutes of chasing after the soccer ball was ample and said to me:

" Biggi, I am hungry. Can I eat the chocolate now! "

Even bribery has inflation to deal with...and my leverage is shrinking alarmingly.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Eisenberg's Gardening Club Makes Our Village Bloom With Colour.

Being surrounded by beautiful flowers makes it rather special to walk about.

I've made the flowers the main attraction. The pots aren't that important. The other evening, I noticed the Gardening Club ( make our village beautiful club ) planting all these delightful flowers.
Sadly, we did have a hail storm a day later, but I thought that these flowers had to be seen.
We can all buy the same flowers, and yet everyone creates a different ensemble. This year ( oh yes, it happens each and every year ) the arrangement and colours are a step above. I just love it.
As we are in the middle of wine central, a barrel is never far off. Most villages have antique wine barrels on display.
Those almost black leaves are divine and provide a perfect contrast for the reds and purples. Just lovely.
Looking at these does make one forget one's troubles...I wonder if gardeners know what great pleasure it gives to others, seeing their awesome arrangements?
Last but not least...another delightful combination and you can see how close it is to the road.

Thank you to all the ladies who have organized this. It is food for the soul.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Meeting Of Kangaroo's In Burgenland?

Six degrees of separation and so forth...

Their pelts camouflage them perfectly ( of course only when the field is idle. I didn't see this huge fella straight away and got an enormous fright when he jumped suddenly. Doesn't he look just like a kangaroo?
Doesn't this hare run like a kangaroo? I have to say, that these hares ( there was a hare convention right under my feet and they scattered in every direction ) are extremely well fed and are the about the size of a small dog. Nothing cute and Bugs Bunny about them at all. Rather scary actually.
When you look closely, you can spot this hare. It was quite comical how they all scattered in every which direction and then stopped in their pose, waiting for me to go past. Of course I had also stopped, waiting to get better photos...A hare-hair stand off at a Burgenland vineyard indeed.
Enough of hares...isn't this picnic spot wonderfully romantic? A spot under an ancient tree, where shade is ample and the views breathtaking. This is so close to both Eisenberg and Deutsch Schützen, yet I don't think a lot of us villagers know about it or have used it.
Just to give you an idea of how ancient this tree is....look underneath its left side and you'll see the picnic table. Amazing, isn't it? This tree has survived for eons and could tell a story indeed.
To end off, I thought I'd show a few red roses. They are blooming all over our village and provide a refreshing and soothing feeling.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

That Could Have Given The Rubbish Collectors A Good Giggle.

Mixing up the schedule...again.

Now I am rather sorry that I mentioned it to Bob.

Burgenland has a very cutting edge way to collect the discards of life, ie. the rubbish. Not to put ourselves down, but it took Bob and me a few months to get it right. We came from a country where each and every day, anything our hearts desired to be tossed out, could be put in one bin and be collected. Easy peasy.

Not so here and I am very proud of this. Oh, we recycle, separate and even take the heavy old things ( not me ) to the dump once a month. For those of you not in the know, here is how we do the rubbish:

  • Anything plastic goes into the yellow rubbish bag ( packaging / yoghurt cups / milk containers etc )
  • Anything paper goes into the red lidded rubbish bin.
  • Glass gets taken to the local glass recycling container...quite a lot of winebottles in our household! Best done in cover of darkness to hide from prying eyes...
  • Cans get taken to the same place but different bin.
  • Anything else that you can not sort in the above, gets put into a general rubbish bin. The bin with a black lid.

Seems simple enough, but often the packaging is blatantly multi-rubbish. Anyway, we are good at it now. But, and that is a big but, each of the three rubbish-lines ( ie: yellow bags, red-lidded bin and black lidded bin ) only gets collected every 4-6 weeks. Oh yes. Fun and smells in a hot summer!

We get sent a yearly schedule of the various collection dates and Bob puts it religiously into our calander. The rubbish schedule is his baby. The odd times that I question his schedule, he gets a bit miffed and does his usual:

" If you don't like the way I do it, do it yourself.'
. You can imagine that I keep any complaints to a minimum, as I don't like to do this particular chore.

Monday was looked forward to by us because it meant Yellow Bag Collection in our village. We were proud that we both remembered to put out the yellow bags. About three of them on our curb. Bob was extremely chuffed that he remembered to put them out before 7 o'clock.

Fast forward to 8 o'clock and there I was walking through our village. As I was striding along, I noticed something strange. Why were there only red lidded rubbish bins on all the curbs? Oooh, ooops Monday was paper day and not plastic day.

For some lucky reason I had a cell phone along with me, and kindly phoned the chief rubbish man. As the roaring of the big rubbish truck was imminent I merely uttered one sentence:

" Bob, it's paper bins today."

Imagine the chuckle the rubbish men would have had seeing the yellow roses among the sea of red bins? They might have cut us some slack and given us a hoot. I bet they have a tick next to our house number because twice Bob has been known to run after them with a bin in tow...


Monday, 11 May 2015

Fourth Place Saved Bob's Bacon!

Bob's team mates are a clever lot indeed.

" Honey, I'll be back in two hours, three at the most. " they say, famous last words indeed. Saturday afternoon it was and as I had some experience from last year in waiting patiently, I thought maybe this time I could take Bob literally. Ha, I should have know better...

The sun had already set and Schatzi was nowhere to be seen to share a sun downer. I had settled in front of the TV and had fallen into a pleasant slumber but woke up the minute I heard the gate chain rattle ( goodness, I must have intuitive hearing indeed or a sixth sense ). Glancing tiredly at the clock showed that witching hour wasn't too far off. Well, the proverbial bitching hour not far either.

It was too comical. There I was getting ready to bitterly complain about the time Bob chose to come home, when as if on cue ( from who indeed? ) he jumped into our lounge like a jack out of its box. He jumped while holding a trophy and shouting at the top of his lungs:

" Yoohoo, we won 4th place....!" about a deflated balloon. It took me about ten seconds to remove my ire and ask Bob about this wonderful turn of events. He went out at 2 pm to spectate in Steinfurt and came back at 10.30 pm with this huge trophy.

Bob was bubbling over with recollections of his successful afternoon and was extremely chuffed with himself. Rightly so. Fantastic. Of course the only other fact I could get out of him before he fell into a victory slumber after eating dinner, was that when his team ( or part of it ) was driving home, the longtime married men cunningly gave Bob the trophy to take home for a few days.

His team mates, veterans of the village fire brigade ( they sound ancient, but remember that they started in their teens and aren't that much older than Bob ) must have had eons of experience of how to handle an irate wife...They knew that any wife would hesitate to complain about the lateness of the hour, when faced with a stunning trophy.

Well done chaps, your strategy worked. Oh and also well done for winning this trophy. Super.


Bob and the trophy. Well done to Bob and his team. When he got home on Saturday night, I didn't have the energy to take a photo of him in his uniform. This morning I made Bob pose with the trophy.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Orange & Mauve Mothers' Day Bouquets For Mothers Everywhere.

A day where mothers everywhere should be pampered...

This so delightfully bright orange even surprised me. Isn't it just gorgeous? It is astounding how flowers know where to grow and show off their flair.
Wow, every little detail of this mauve stunner is placed to perfection. Subtle shades that somehow leave a strong imprint on our soul.
Some of you might recognize this gentle garden's slope. Yes, last year I had a chance to photograph Renate's wonderful display of flowers. This year might surpass in stature. Her garden is so lovely and most of the time has the fortune of a powder blue sky in the back.
I am not sure which of the two main colour schemes of today is my favourite. The orange packs a punch but the mauve sneaks up on you with its loveliness.
...A little mini-cosmos...

All over the world there is a movement afoot right now....little elves are busy in kitchens everywhere preparing breakfasts for Mums. Hardworking mums. A mum keeps a family in tow, sorts out all our problems and always puts us first. Who is usually the first person we call when we don't know how to solve a problem? Three huge cheers to our mums.
To end of, there is a nice bunch of flowers. The blurry white daisy guarding the combination of a colourful and joyful meadow.
Here is a Happy Mother's Day wish for all my Mums and all Mums everywhere.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Mysterious Case Of Bits Of Wool Disappearing From My Stash.

I think I know the culprit...

Lately I have been finding colourful bits of wool lying all over the place. They are at least two meters long and of a very familiar baby blue hue. What on earth? The usual suspects such as our cat can be ruled out as she never ventures further than the well worn path between her hiding place and the feeding spot. Oh, she of adventurous spirit!

Apart from the bits of fluff flying in the gentle breeze of a warm summers evening, I have also spotted a plank, a walking stick and our broom handle with these bits of wool attached to them.

While I was typing away on the computer yesterday afternoon, I noticed ( in my periphery ) that Bob had gone outside. A few minutes later I heard a dull knocking sound through the house wall. Goodness, this called for a personal investigation. A little bit on the intrepid side, I stuck my head out the front door while of course hollering for Bob.

The image that I encountered struck me as a little bit strange indeed. There was Bob, plaiting a piece of wool in a brisk way around the broom handle, which was leveraged between the house wall and our bench. He was so concentrated on his task that he didn't even notice me.

" ....Unter, über, unter, über..."

And then the penny dropped. He was practicing for his new position in the fire brigade. There are competitions between the various village fire brigades throughout Summer. Even though it is more of a sporting occasion, it is actually a series of tasks and combinations handling the big fire hoses and nozzles and this knowledge might one day save a life.

If he isn't watching re-runs of other winning teams on YouTube, he is busy shortening my ball of wool. Of course his team leader is a perfectionist and has Bob bending and sprinting. All good indeed and when Bob comes home from practice, he is exhausted but extremely pleased with himself.

The World Champion Team ( of yes, these competitions are taken very seriously ) does this combination of tasks in 28 seconds and Bob, even though he keeps mumbling that he

'ain't 20 anymore '
is trying his best to perhaps come within a whisker of a minute....


Friday, 8 May 2015

It Only Took A Flutter & Emancipation Flew Out The Window.

There is nothing like a strong cave man husband.

You know I can parallel park with panache and of course only in an empty street with no onlookers ( especially a husband ), I can chop my own onions, I can feed our wildcat and I can manoeuvre my way around an airport with ease but there are some things, where the only solution is to scream at the top of my lungs for Bob to come to the rescue.

It's not really fair towards men, but we still do sometimes cling on to our age old weakness. Well I do at least. Need I say more than the word Spiders or Strange noises at night that make most of us suddenly revert to being the weaker lot? And gladly so!

Anyway, yesterday morning I had opened all the doors and windows to get a breath of fresh air and while I was taking the washing out of the machine, I heard a loud woosh sound and saw two fast moving shapes flying past the bathroom door. Oh my gosh, what was that?

I had just recovered from my fright when these shapes flew back the other way. Oh, I then realized that two swallows had thought our entrance rather attractive and made a turn into our house. But with no obvious exit, this poor bird and his wingman got scared and flew backwards and forwards with speed and the odd crying noise. As much as I wanted to help them, I was still busy hiding behind the door from the big bad birds that could fit into the palm of my hand, come to think of it.

" Bob! Booooob! Quick, you've got to help."
I have got to hand it to Bob, he was there in a flash from wherever he was working in the garden
( my high pitched scream could have woken up the whole neighbourhood ). As soon as Bob came in, I tried to calmly, while still hovering behind the bathroom door, tell him ( stupidly because the birds were doing a fly by ) that birds had lost their way.

Suddenly Bob disappeared again and I thought: ' Unbelievable. He knows I am in a spot of bother and he is a fireman after all...' I timed the fly by in the same manner as we did as kids, while jumping the rope held by friends, and dashed out the front door to see where Bob had gone to.

As I was about to have a wifely ( a.k.a. high pitched / supersonic ) cadenza, I realized Bob had actually started to help these birds. He was taking off our mosquito netting so the frightened birds could fly outside easier. You know, I was so proud of Bob. He knew instantly how to deal with two birds while calming down his

All I can say that it was fortunate that the birds weren't bats. Bob has a phobia about bats and once back in S.A. a bat flew into our flat and if I recall correctly, we both hid in the bathroom until the bat left on its own accord....


Thursday, 7 May 2015

Let's Get Paid For Not Re-Inventing The Wheel!

A different approach to stop climate change perhaps?

You'd think we were living in the tropics the way the weather has been recently. Mornings already in the mid-20's is not bad at all. Coupled with lovely sunshine and blue skies it is fabulous unless you consider the sweltering side of a hot day. And it is not even Summer yet...

Bob and I are lucky in that we live in an old farmhouse. An old farmhouse built in the beginning of the last century and sporting 60 cm thick walls and not too many windows. They knew their stuff back in the days of yore. In fact, the one side of our house has no windows...the stormy side!

Our house is usually cool in summer and warm in winter and could be much more so once we insulate the roof better. But life is highly livable in it.

The other day, also extremely hot one, I was in a modern house. A very nice modern house with big and many windows and an open plan layout. Hot as blazes though and it was hard to hide from the sun even inside the house. That got me thinking about our constant need to change things. Why?

Our worldwide obsession to have big, better, different and best of everything, might turn out not to be that clever after all. Apart from changing that which has worked for ages, we have collectively chained ourselves to constantly run on that notorious treadmill of life. Most would love to come off it, but alas they need to carry on to fund their ' newness '

You know, even in this department our previous generations knew best...they only bought things if & when they could pay for it in cash...
. Of course the other side of the spending coin is climate change / global warming.
Each new thing we buy, has to be produced somewhere. Produced with perhaps a few harmful chemicals used in the process and later discarded into our precious EARTH.

Most of our homes are bursting at the seams with stuff in it. Finding clothes in our over filled closets is far from easy yet we still buy new ones.

Have you ever thought about how much water is being used to make one item of clothing? For example, a pair of jeans uses over 6000 liters of water. The humble T-shirt about 1500 liters....Interesting article worthwhile reading.

It is no secret that most of us are driven by the mighty and powerful buck. So here is a different way of approaching this whole debate of how to save our planet.

The governments should put a premium on reusing stuff. Let's be paid for using up already existing houses, clothes, cars etc.

Once people realize that there is a way off that extremely tiring and exhausting treadmill of life, they might grab it with both hands and hopefully start a trend...The Retro Is Cool Trend.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Nature Reminds Us To Live Life Slowly.

Just like the fine print counts, so do the little things in nature.

These yellow lovelies, are on the side of a road in our wine region. For many they are just a bunch of weeds, but I think they are absolutely stunning. This yellow curve needed to be enjoyed for a minute.
At times I don't quite know what catches my eye, but I think in this instance it was those little dots of colour among the pine needles. Baby pine cones perhaps? How many people merely drive passed and never notice the intricacies?
A few mornings ago, the mist hovered at the right time outside our house. Coupled with a sunrise, it was a treat to behold. A romantic image indeed...

As Burgenland is home to over a billion trees, forests are everywhere and these observation huts along side them. It must be a step back in time to sit in one of them. In there you don't need or use all those modern contraptions that have taken over our spare time. In these huts, you can have a time-out from the stresses of modern life...and rediscover the breathtaking beauty of nature.
Bob and Albert have started their own project in our garden and it looks as though Tigger has a word to say about it...or she has found a new toilet ground!
Nature's detail are a marvel. A mere month ago these leaves didn't exist yet.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Growing Up In A Bilingual Country Meant Having A Radio Alongside Your TV.

We became masters at the simulcast game...

A bilingual childhood isn't bad at all because from a young age you are surrounded by two languages. Always a plus. In my case, I had already a first language ( German ) and thus was blessed with an additional two languages. English and Afrikaans ( Afrikaans is an amalgamation of Dutch, French and German ).

Of course I didn't grow up at the time of the Arc but not far behind either...the eighties. It might surprise you that TV only arrived on the shores of South Africa in the mid seventies and thus the early eighties meant a TV schedule in its infancy. English language programs were mainly from England and America. British humour is subtle and rather elegant and it gave us endless laughter with Fawlty Towers and Not The Nine o' Clock News

For the Afrikaans side of programming, unless it was ' homemade ' it was an imported show dubbed into Afrikaans. German shows were brilliant for it as the language was rather similar and easy to dub.

Now for the interesting part. Each dubbed program could be accompanied by the original sound track through a radio station. Don't forget, in the eighties there was no Internet / SmartTV / or Smartphone...Many a night, when my favourite program ( still to this day ) was shown, we had the radio tuned. The always interesting....Tatort or as it was called in Afrikaans, Misdaad.

Honestly, you would think it is easy to tune the radio to the TV, yet often we heard the actors speak before their lips moved or vice versa. At other times the radio made the voices sound very tinny and so forth. When you compare it today and how we are in the lap of TV luxury, you would never complain about anything anymore.

Back in the eighties, I don't think we had a remote control either and I must confess it was rather bliss being able to watch the whole program.

Most of us were too lazy to get up and change the channel and to be honest, even today, if our remote control is out of reach I, at times suffer through a so-so show instead of getting up to fetch the remote. It might perhaps be possible in a few years time to change the channel by merely thinking about it...


Monday, 4 May 2015

It's All In The Name, And Elizabeth The Third It Might Be.

A royal conundrum perhaps?

My money is on that little one's name becoming Elizabeth. Lizzy for short, because ever since seeing Pride & Prejudice the name " Lizzy " sounds nice. None of this newfangled name giving. The hyphened names, the strange musician names, the city names and let's not forget the produce ones.

  • Apple
  • Paris
  • Brooklyn
  • Saffron
  • Moon / Diva
Good grief, imagine this little princess being called " Chelsea " or " Petal ". Enough said. Strong, old fashioned names are great. They don't age as much and to date them is rather difficult. To put a date on modern names is rather easy, as there is always a wave of copy cats.

Naturally this little princess will have to honour some of her forebears in her name and I hope that the first one is an easy one. At least her parents have their choice whittled down by protocol and they won't be tempted by " Mackenzie / Chloe / Peaches ".

Regardless of her name, this little princess was a ray of sunshine in a world dominated by turbulent news. Often, the mere thought of goodness makes all the difference and perhaps bring a lot of people onto nicer thoughts.

The World being as it is, there are already complaints about the little one's mother as she looked so beautiful mere hours after giving birth. Well, I think that Princess Catherine is clever enough to realize that whatever she does, there will be the odd lot complaining...The hecklers or to put it bluntly, the Envious.

As much as we all want to see photos of royal babies and children, I hope that this little " Lizzy " will have a modicum of a normal childhood.

One thing that is for sure, is that there will be a wave of girls having the same name as her. Let's wait and see what it turns out to be!


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bob's Wine Adventure In Rechnitz.

The Spring-Wine-Weekend in our area.

Our roads, far from being lined with gold, are littered with pedestrians on their way to the next wine tasting. Ingenious indeed, that a collection of villages in the superior wine region of Südburgenland ( ) have organized this weekend where for the price of an entry ticket, you can walk, hop on hourly bus and merely go along to the next wine tasting.

As small as our village is, it was abuzz yesterday. Bob, had wanted to taste his way around all the villages too, as last year we only went to one wine tasting. Unluckily or rather luckily for me, I couldn't go with but a husband needs to go off on his own too ( how else do they appreciate our wit and charm unless they don't see it for a while? ).

As I had suspected, Bob only came home after the sun had gone, to see other parts of our planet slightly tipsy but no more than that. It seems he had picked up on my trick of matching a glass of wine instantly with a glass of water. Most of us do know the effects of drinking wine all afternoon without having water along with it...The next morning might be rather disastrous.

Normally we just drive through Rechnitz and don't stop to take in its beauty. With Bob and his crowd tasting their way around the Rechnitz vineyards, it has opened up another avenue of adventure. Tasting wines from Rechnitz has also put our local wines into perspective ( oh yes, we are still fans of wine from Eisenberg and Deutsch Schützen ).

Bob, was telling me the in's & out's of his afternoon and I could hear how taken he was by the spectacular beauty of the hills covered in vines and that he had an opportunity to witness this splendour alongside his friends. As he was enthusing about his adventure, he suddenly gave me a bottle of red wine.

" I bought you a present. After tasting this particular red, I thought that you would love it."
How nice is that? With Bob having discovered a new wine route, on those weekends that there is nothing to do, guess what, we can meander through Rechnitz and its vineyards. Rechnitz is also at the bottom of a magnificent mountain range and to drive over it, is something special everyone should try.


As Bob has taken this photo, I can just tell you that it is in Rechnitz. But what a beautiful photo!
Is there a better way to have a wine tasting?
It seems that riding a horse is fine, even if you tasted wine...rather a novel and brilliant idea!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Dear Men, Husbands and Boyfriends: Thank You For Putting Up With Our One Flaw!

All of you deserve a medal.

It was a typical May-Day yesterday. A day of leisure, family and good food. Bob had gone off to spend most of the day with his other family ( fire brigade ) and we went to a proper castle to have lunch. Schloss Kohfidisch had a Buschenschank and I had wanted to try it out for a long time and it surpassed my expectations.

Alas, I have not spent much time in castles but driving up to this one and entering the Buschenschank was special. An occasion coupled with imbibing the history of walls and tables. We sat in the kitchen, mind you the kitchen of yore with super large Aga like stoves and more than likely the place that everyone congregated during the cold winters. Gosh, if those walls could have even whispered the going on's of a few centuries ago...

The food was great and as is the case with Buschenschank fare, laden with delightful yet tasty calories. Say what you want about our parallel parking abilities / driving abilities or cooking skills, but almost all of us are ace at counting calories. Not only counting them, but intrinsically knowing the " stickabilty " of meals: a second on our hips, a day on our hips a tad longer...

My food tasted so divine, that I finished each and every bit of it and resisted using my fingers to lap up bits. We sat at the long table in the kitchen which could easily have seated about twelve or more. As we paid, another party came and sat next to us. I didn't need to be a profiler to know that they were from Vienna ( overdressed for the countryside ). The women were perusing the menu with great care ( perhaps counting calories ) and then one of them uttered that age old line.

" Oh, I don't know if I should eat this...perhaps I'll start my diet tomorrow "
We've all done it and when I heard her say it, I felt deflated.

Even before they had ordered, she had set the tone. The men of the party, were nicely filled out and clearly they were looking forward to enjoy their vittles.

I am sorry for those times that I have uttered these sinful words. Men, how often have we spoilt your meals at restaurants with our constant niggling about what to eat. When you guys want to show us a good time and feed us ( men are honeys and always think we are too opposed to us, who are brainwashed to automatically think we are too fat ) we do deal breakers such as:

  • " Do you think they use a lot of butter in this sauce? "
  • " I would like to order a salad, but leave out the dressing. " ( gosh even a rabbit would revolt )
  • " Honey, how many calories do you think these dish has? "
  • " Oh, I would love to eat this Schnitzel, but I don't know. I shouldn't as I don't want to put on weight."
  • " Do you really want to order this? Think of the how rich it is..."
it is a sheer miracle that you men haven't wished us to Jericho. Collectively we have ruined rather a few of your dinners out. Kudos to you, that you still venture out with us.

Dear men, would you rather we enjoy our food without a care in the world and perhaps sport an extra pound or two, or would you like us to be stick thin and carry on eating rabbit food?

Dear men, you need medals galore for putting up so long with our one & only flaw...


Friday, 1 May 2015

Dear Money, Have You Lost Your Value(s)?

A boxing purse to rival any other and to make us think!

By now just about everyone will have realized that boxing history is being made on Saturday. History to do with the amount of money earned by the pugilists rather than by their might. Have we gone mad?

When I first heard on the news that even the loser of this match will earn about 100 million dollars, I thought:

Here we go. This smacks of the time of the Great Gatsby and that moment before the fall.
or rather the moment before hyper inflation reared its ugly head.

So many people all over the world are starving and would be ecstatic if they have more than a meal per day and here we go and throw money at two pugilists, who don't need any more money. Yes, I know that they are not the only ones making a buck. Everyone associated with the fight will garner oodles of money. ( Jeez-a-lou, would you pay 90 dollars to see this fight on your telly at home ? )

Even the newsreaders didn't see that irony of first reporting about the tragedy taking place in Nepal and people being hungry, thirsty and having nothing but the clothes on their backs, and then following it up with this ridiculous pugilistic bout.

Am I being hypocritical because honestly I do play lotto and dream of a few millions here or there and yet I take a stance at this " billion dollar " twelve round spectacle?

Reading between the lines, I am getting a sense that the money bubble ( the one created by Le Internet ) has a puncture. Apps are going bust, and even Twitter seems to have disappointed their shareholders by being less profitable then expected. Perhaps we are awakening from our stupor and becoming reacquainted with the smell of real roses...

Virtual fatigue has crept up on a lot of us. Back in the day, when Facebook first launched, it was easy and fun to connect with friends everywhere. My golly gosh, have times changed! The boast of " Can you believe how many followers / friends I have " is all very well, but how on earth does one keep up with them?

Unless you are part of the inner clique of Facebook...the 100 Likes club, your thoughts are hardly noticed. The only other way to get noticed involves the payment of money to, no thanks, my thoughts aren't that important!

Virtual fatigue is here and the only way to cure us of it, is to switch off every now and then and go outside into the non-virtual does exist, you know!