Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Gentle Walk In The Eisenberg Vineyards.

Paradise awakes...

Nothing better than to see the sun rise. Birds were twittering and two deer were doing a hundred yard danger from me!
A road that can't help but look romantic. This early in the morning, most are asleep and the only sounds heard, are those of nature...a bird calling its mate, a mouse rustling the leaves on the side of the road and the odd horse neighing the tiredness away.
Sunday is my day to do a longer walk, and this is at the other end of Eisenberg, or at the beginning!
Eisenbergers do love their roses, and wherever one walks, one finds brilliantly coloured roses.
A purple salvia at the side of the walking promenade between the two Eisenbergs ( Weinberg & village ).
Last but not least, a romantic holiday home to rent in Eisenberg.
Imagine waking up and seeing vines, blue skies and bird-life? Never mind early breakfasts or evening cocktails among the vines...


Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Ironic Sadness Of A Funeral.

A full house, admired by everyone but the star...

We humans are a strange lot. We fight with each other over the oddest of things, and often rather insignificant things. Many a family member or friend has been ignored for hours, days, weeks, months and god forbid, years, due to a perceived slight, insult, argument and feeling of being right.

I still remember a saying from my Dale Carnegie course: You can be right...but then you often end up alone.

That is the one extreme, but the other extreme of being overly polite in order to be liked isn't that great either. With the overly polite crowd, you never really know where you stand. Do they like you or anything of yours out of politeness or for real? A happy middle ground is needed.

When you ponder on the many feelings of being slighted, that have made themselves a comfortable nest in your mind, a lot of them are caused by someone close to you speaking in plain English, not the sugar coated variety. That little bit of plain speaking has a tendency to fester and morph into a huge balloon of negativity ( or should we call it righteousness ) that we schlep around with us, day and night.

Sadly, those plain speakers, who liberally use words that we don't like as they tend to hit the proverbial nail on the head, are actually those true friends that we should treasure and be glad to have alongside us in that journey called, life.

But back to the funeral. A funeral shouldn't be the only time that one has a full house. At funerals, people come from far and wide to pay their last ( and sadly, often only ) respects to the star of it and they realize that they should have made more time to visit earlier.

Isn't it ironic that it only takes 6 feet, to finally burst that balloon of negativity? Once you see the coffin lowered into the ground, you realize that those words spoken in anger, are mere words after all. That's one of life's greatest ironies: We only understand what was worth fighting over and what wasn't, once the 6 feet come into question.


Friday, 29 July 2016

The Delightful & Insightful Curtain Movers Of Any Village.

The good old fashioned information by-way!

On my many visits to the slightly older villagers, I've noticed an interesting and at times funny phenomena. Firstly, life in general happens inside the kitchen and yes, meals too. Secondly, the table and favourite chair are within looking distance of the kitchen window...oh, and that, most of the time faces the road outside.

Even yesterday, while I was chatting to a lovely lady inside her kitchen, she often lost her place in our conversation as she was distracted by the happenings outside. The odd motor car idling passed, the motorized lawnmower chugging up the hill and a few tourists on foot. Honestly, she had me looking too, whenever I heard or saw something...

The white sheer curtaining used during the day ( akin to a two way mirror, at least while it's lighter outside than inside ) is a most important tool to keep abreast of what is happening to the village, in the village and also gives endless hours of entertainment.

" Oh, did you see Mr. So and So driving passed just now? He is rather early and I wonder where he's off to? "
" Oh, my neighbour's window is closed already? Normally it's open till sundown. Maybe they are away. "
" Oh dear, who's that man walking up the hill? "

A while ago, I was helping out at one of the functions, when a distant neighbour ( about 200 m from us ) asked me, if I had stopped walking because she hadn't seen me start off at my usual time. She was right, I have started to walk a bit later in the morning...

It isn't a case of being nosy but more a case of marking ( the at times rather endless hours to each day ) the day, keeping informed and often setting your watch. Most older villagers can quote you chapter and verse about the arrival times of the various postmen, the weekly butcher truck hooting its arrival and the Saturday morning bakery van idling along the street.

An old fashioned neighbourhood watch is fun and keeps the villagers on the straight and narrow much better than a policeman would.
Isn't the first and foremost handed down social stricture from our parents...

" What would the neighbours think or even worse, say? "


Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Postman Always Rings Twice.

And usually brings a hefty surprise.

How do we know that our postman has been? Well, we hear the stop and go of his yellow van accompanied by music from the radio and an audible door slam at every neighbour in our street long before he even repeats the sequence at our house. Now and again, he ventures passed our front gate, a gate where the postbox has a home, and walks up the stony path up to our front door ready to knock.

The first time this week, it was a refund from our medical aid ( contrary to popular belief, a medical aid refund is not fiction but a reality ) and despite it not being too hefty, it was a lovely surprise and let's face it, getting unexpected money, is one of life's great pleasures!

The postman's second knock was yesterday. It was lunchtime and Bob was just about to go off to work, while I was lazying (ie snoozing ) in front of the telly. Before I realized what had awoken me from this divine lunch time slumber, Bob had already returned with a parcel in hand.

Yes, we had received a parcel and like a pair of hungry wolves we descended on the wrapping; ripping it instead of elegantly cutting it. Oh, you know how it is...receiving a parcel is very similar to opening your Christmas presents, only a bit better because you never really know what's in it!

My American parents, had sent us a parcel filled with the type of manna, which will get bibliophiles frothing at the mouth, or rather rearranging their calendars. A parcel full of books. Books of every genre, books promising a lovely time out from everyday humdrum and books that need a game of Eeny - meeny - miny - moe, because how else does one decide which to read first?

Even a parcel filled with Godiva chocolates wouldn't have made me as happy as receiving this treasure chest filled with the many permutations and combinations of letters and words, which have a tendency to transport me into a different reality.

The only other thing that might have measured up, would have been a box filled with wine...because reading a book does lend itself to sipping a glass of wine from time to time.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Stormy Blue Skies Gave Everything More Depth.

...most would have stayed at home, and missed it all...

There is just something so magnetic about this hue of blue, that if it wasn't for the threatening downpours, I would have spent much more time taking photos.
Imagine having this as your front garden? I know where I would have my cup of coffee and my glass of wine...
About a hundred meters down the path, I stumbled across a muster of storks having, what I presume would be a yummy breakfast of earthworms...
One tends to forget that we also grow a lot of fruit in our village. These pears look so tempting and wholesome...but alas, they might go into the dreaded liquidation and end up being restructured into either jam or schnapps.
The purple weeds growing everywhere are refreshing and uplifting. Let's hope they will live a while longer.
The breakfast dig...a romantic meal, when you add the stormy blue hue and the fifty shades of green...


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Mighty Pull Of A Little Paw.

The Bobster stood no chance...

It isn't so bad in the evening, but the morning meal time of our Mausi is only doable if we get up at the crack of dawn. But, please don't fear that our little cat will go hungry, as she has wiles and is a rather crafty soul.

The time in question is 6.15 and once the six o'clock is passed by the big finger, Mausi hovers at the window, not to view a bird bath but to keep an eye on Bob and his meanderings around our, eh, actually her house. She knows where we keep the stash of delectables and any footfall into that room, has her off her perch like a shot.

Often it is a false alarm, as Bob stops at the kitchen to feed himself! Oh, you should see the disappointment in her eyes and body language.

" Princess, it is still eight and a half minutes till you get fed. "
Then he goes back to the computer and that often forgets to fill her bowl at the correct time. Well, yesterday was a classic and heartwarming production in front of my eyes.

I was perched myself in front of the telly, when suddenly Mausi jumped onto my outstretched legs and sat, facing Bob. He was naturally incommunicado in front of his computer ( getting a husbands's attention away from it is far from easy especially if it concerns things like taking out the rubbish etc ) and ignoring the world around him.

Our cat is clever, special, dear and oh so crafty. She sat there, on my legs, serenading Bob with such sorrow filled meows, coupled with a coquettish twist of her little head, that even my heart plopped at her feet. Bob stood no chance. The first little meow had him sever the invisible strings emitted by the computer, and take in firstly her and secondly the time.

" Oh my darling, I didn't see the time. Come, let's get you something nice to eat. "
Yes, I used to be his #1 darling...

Of course the irony of it all is the fact, that after her soulful, heart rendering and oh, I am so weak & hungry performance, she only eats for a minute and leaves the rest for later...


This isn't at feeding times, but it clearly shows who's the boss in our house! Too cute indeed...

Monday, 25 July 2016

Thank Goodness We Took A Torch Along.

The relaunch of the local Bergfest in the vineyards.

Could anything be more romantic, nice, traditional and a breath of fresh air than a gathering in and among the vineyards of Deutsch Schützen? Well, the walk there and back was a close second.

Saturday evening, the weather gods decided to smile on us and kept the showers away, although a bit of it might have cooled us down slightly. There was a young jazzy type of band accompanying the whole evening, much better than those loud oom-pah-pah bands usually favoured which cuts conversation down to a few seconds between songs.

This band,Chalk, Cheese & Pepper, was good and the singer's voice fantastic. The mostly did cover songs but still, people were standing talking to friends while tapping their feet in tune or swaying their hips in memory of when they attended the real concert.

As the crow flies, this Bergfest was about 1 km away from us, as the road runs, about 2,5 km and as to the Bobster's shortcut, 1,25 km! We left home at about six in the afternoon and tried to walk slowly in order to keep the sweat at bay. It had been a hot afternoon which wouldn't yet budge for the cooler evening.

Going home a few hours later, was fun. Street lights aren't dominant in the vineyards and when we had to go through a long stretch of forest ( oh, not like Hansel & Gretel as there was a road ) we were jolly glad for our torch showing us the lay of the road.

It took us about fifteen minutes and at times we both were a bit spooked. The dry leaves at the side of the forest road crackled a few times and both of us weren't sure whether it was from the tiny feet of a field mouse, a rabbit, a buck or the dreaded wild pig!

Boys being boys, The Bobster ( when he got hold of the torch ) played games and tried to illuminate into the forest with an appropriate horror soundtrack. Even though I complained in a wifely manner ( screeching and nagging ) he would have stopped eventually, as I think he also got a bit spooked himself...all in all, it was a nice evening.

Couldn't get a nicer venue! The wine bar, with all of the local vintners exhibiting their wines, was not too far from our table...
Bob, was enjoying himself and so was everyone else.
The band had their own little tent and were just taking a break. It was such a nice change to be able to have conversations while they were playing. Great choice.


Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Bench, To Make You See Sense!

Surprisingly, happiness doesn't cost a thing...

Can you see this little fellow, who has enough sense to rest in front of my camera. What a poser!
However one contemplates this bench, its message comes across loud and clear...
" Take time out and sit with me. "
The pond across the road. A pond that is favoured by our local fishermen and the odd walker, who keeps on talking photos.
Another view of the bird...very calming and I am so glad that those delightful flowers haven't gone to their maker yet. Alas, the Eisenberger's aren't very lenient with weeds.
Nature, best therapy there is...


Saturday, 23 July 2016

How Do You, Drink Your Wine?

Oh, one glass at a time!

Last night was one of those perfect summer evenings, an evening which folks in Denmark would give their eye's teeth for. The sun was setting and the temperature was cooling down to a more acceptable 25 degrees. A balmy evening indeed and one which lent itself for an excursion to a great local Buschenschank, Weinbau Stubits.

This particular one is within walking distance ( I know they all are, but this one could be reached in a pair of sandals or high heels ) and neither of us had to be the designated driver. A clear family favourite!

Sitting outside under the yet to be seen stars had to be celebrated with a glass of chilled white local wine. Chilled, being the operative word, is unfortunately interpreted differently around our village.

" I'd like an eighth of your Chardonnay. Oh, it is cold, isn't it, because otherwise just bring me an eighth of your coldest white wine. "

" Of course, but we've also got ice cubes."
Gosh, I nearly broke out in a song. Honestly, ice cubes are still not common here and the mere thought of putting one in your glass of wine, raises many eyebrows and gives cause for plenty of utterings...oh, those South Africans!

Only after the Bobster gave me a nudge under the table, did I calm down enough to order this glass of Chardonnay & ice cubes. Well, even though our waitress, who is the owner's daughter, offered the ice cubes, she did pause to ask me:

" Eh, did you say you'd like a glass of our ( obviously quality ) Chardonnay, with an ice cube in it? "
Say no more, say no order to not cause too much consternation at the bar, I asked her to bring me the ice cubes separately.

Back to my question, how do you like to drink your wine, when it is warm outside? Putting those ice cubes in it might offend the wine aficionados but at least it allows one to sip at the wine, and not drink it quickly. The alternative is too dreadful to imagine...a warm glass of Chardonnay, Welsh Riesling or Gürner Veltliner would give me cold shivers!

By the way, their Chardonnay was excellent with a hint of honey and their Welsh Riesling made a perfect foil with its hint of tartness or was it lime? Oh dear, I might have to drag the Bobster there again, in order to be sure...


Friday, 22 July 2016

And Then The Light Tripped.

Accompanied by the appropriate snack, fizzle & pop...

I am not sure if the text from our insurance company awoke me, or if it was Mausi fidgeting about. Did I mention it was just after two in the morning? At least the witching hour had passed.

A storm with all its unpleasant accomplices was shouted off the roof tops, well, the modern roof tops...the ubiquitous mobile phone. Gosh, even before I hastily read the text ( one does wonder whether the lotto was won, or some competition, or some rather inebriated friend choosing this moment to reconnect ) I felt a Shakespearean note all around me:

" When will we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain..."
The dastardly storm was right above us, with the thunderous result of lightning only a smidgen away. Mausi was understandably upset, either mirroring my distaste of lightning or a natural fear of it, while his lordship, Lord Bobster was audibly sleeping next to us.

With duvet, pillows and cat in toe, I chose to change my sleeping quarters to a more quieter location, our lounge. After cuddling Mausi long enough to transmit to her the feeling that Mummy was there to protect her, we settled down to chasing a mosquito ( not me, in case you're wondering ) and reading a crime novel.

Ten minutes into the murderous plot, the lights tripped loudly and with a few sparkles to be followed with a pitch black house. Honestly, I was rather scared and braved the snores coming from the bedroom with great haste. The cat wasn't far behind me and made enough noise to awaken Bobster.

Appraising him of the situation, brought forth a...

" I hope you've unplugged everything? ", no! As soon as the storm had moved towards Deutsch Schützen I felt that it was safe to see to the lack of electricity. Even as I swung my legs off the bed, I was hoping that the man of the house would take over such an excursion. Our fuse box access is outside our house...

When he heard the rain, he had the decency to warn me about not touching anything electrical with wet hands...ah, he still cares about me... And with those few words, his lordship went back to sleep. Don't worry, the power was restored with my masterly flick of the switch.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

I've Been Bowled Over By A Tibetan Sound Massage.

An experience, that everyone should try sometime.

It is always the unexpected little corner shops, or in this case, out of the way Salons, that hold little nuggets of gold. Now and again the Bobster and I have driven on the country road in Hungary that connects Szmombathely to Eisenberg.

A real treat indeed, as it winds and meanders through the most poetically inspiring rural parts of west Hungary. Personally, I tend to picture Empress Elizabeth riding about in was part of her empire after all.

Halfway home, there is a village called Narda, which not surprisingly caught Bob's fancy and made him slow down enough, for me to espy a sign: Christine's Beauty Salon and commit it to memory.

Last month I ventured a toe over the threshold in order to have it and its nine siblings seen to. A pedicure and while there I saw that a therapist was giving these Tibetan sound bowl massages. Oh yes, just up my alley.

Yesterday the stars aligned in my favour ( maybe it was the full moon ) and I managed to get an appointment for one. When Bob came home for lunch and was regaled about my fortune, he was sceptical enough not to be envious ( that came later when I reported back ).

The sun was in its zenith and driving through the meandering road to get there was the start of my therapy and the good feeling still hasn't stopped since.

The massage itself has to do with sound waves that the many bowls made ( aided by the therapist ), which were circled about my body as well as the three placed on top of it. In some sort of way, it was out of this world and at times the vibrations of the sound bowls were powerful enough to make me feel rather Elvisy...all shook up!

Otherwise, my mind relaxed enough to be at ease and rest, perhaps being in a meditative state. As happens with good things, they do end, but even this morning I still feel marvelous.

For most folks, a massage out of the norm is not something they are open minded enough to have done, but it is often those occasions where we try something different, go a different way home or converse with someone different to the usual, that make life change from bland to interesting.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Road Less Traveled.

The back of Eisenberg is also suitably romantic, don't you think?

The little chapel on the hill being guarded by this wise old tree. What has it seen through the ages?
A closer look at the two sanctuaries offering to counterbalance the turbulence of a life lived, or just a place to meet each week. Amazing really, how churches are most often situated in prime positions....
The other side of Eisenberg. The few houses at the bottom are in Hummergraben Lane, the usual locale of Sommerrock Festival which has morphed from a mere birthday & happy to be bash into a showcase of Austrian bands...and our local wines!

The row of houses at the top is colloquially referred to as Millionaire's Row, and that doesn't need further explanations!

One of the many hunter's towers in our area, but it wouldn't surprise me if it had or is used for romantic twists.
A right turn brought me alongside a blossoming pumpkin patch. The orange flowers of the budding pumpkin are refreshing and awesome.
Closing the loop of my Eisenberg walk at the other end ( or beginning ) of our village which has a goose farm guarding it. Their goosey conversations do sometimes sound like a shrill convention of women and I am not surprised that the collective noun, Gaggle of Geese, isn't only reserved for geese...


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Our Winding Country Roads Lend Themselves To Grown Up Boy's Dreams.

Another bonus to living in rural climes.

Have you ever faced an oncoming combined harvester? A scary sight on narrow roads and one that needs great skill and dexterity to pass...oh, and a whole lot of guts. Have you seen the size and width of those fangs dangling and swinging from the front?

The golden wheat fields are being visited by these huge machines and the dust in the air stands testimony to it. Thank goodness they do what they do, as otherwise our daily bread would be in question. On the fields these machines are agile movers and don't seem so scary as they do close up.

By the way, the men sitting in the cockpits of each harvester are always smiling, happy and full of cheer. Who wouldn't be, driving such a beaut.

Tractors are a dime a dozen on our roads and either they pull a trailer filled with crops, or an appendage for some agricultural deed or the less often seen, a manure truck. At least you get to smell it before and after it passes you...and you know what, it brings back pleasant memories of a childhood spent in the country.

Last, but not least, is the ultimate of any man's dream ( I think? ) and it is a red siren. Yes, the fire engine, that has large enough dimensions to warrant a bit of nervous driving when faced with it.

Luckily, our village's fire engine is more ornamental than used. Fires are hardly ever present and the few times our truck sees action, is when there is flooding and the cellars have to be pumped dry. But a car needs to stretch its legs, so to speak and the red sirens of most villages are taken for a joyful ride around the village.

Not everyone can and is allowed to man the controls of these fire engines, but those that do take them for an outing, have huge smiles on their faces and I am sure they are itching to sound the siren!

This morning another of these red engines passed in front of me with a happily smiling man driving it. Do you think these men every dared to dream that they would drive a fire engine, back when they were playing with Thomas, the train?


Monday, 18 July 2016

Happy Days Or Rather Happy Monday, Everyone.

A gentle way to start the week.

Would you believe that we've got this beautiful sunflower growing wild in our front garden? A jolly nice sight to stumble over...
For some reason, flowers love our garden. Both of us are rather mean regarding the caring of flowers. Unintentionally, but nevertheless, they reward us with a stunning display of beauty. This red siren is striking a pose in front of a discarded wine barrel.
Even half a sunflower can be a cheerful sight...
Except for the flowers, everything is recycled. Our farm was and still is littered with these old treasures lurking in corners, attics and barns.
Another side to our sunflower...
Nothing special, yet I love it. This woven basket was made by a friend of ours. He's about the last one who still knows how to use reeds in order to make baskets and decorations.
A meeting and mingling of red beauties.


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Many A Repartee Are Usually Fashionably Late.

A big party was had...

There are only a few who have mastered the art of quick and delightfully witty comebacks or perhaps they've always had it yet one only notices it as a grown up. Back in the days of school most of us never heard a word uttered by anyone else as we were so intent on saying our bit of whatever.

How many parties, BBQ's and weddings have you been to that have made you ponder on the best repartee to a round of verbal sparring...but only the next morning? You know, these seemingly random, innocent and off the cuff conversation stoppers aren't often more than an opening lunge from verbal sparring partners who graze longingly about a party trying to find a perfect fit in wit. A bit of verbal culling perhaps?

Only this morning I was lazying on the couch going over a missed opportunity to repartee a rather innocuous exchange yet, words do have a substrata of meaning after all.

Of course, conversing at a party ( which has live bands ) doesn't lend itself to smooth sailing. There are only so many time you can acceptably say:" Eh, sorry, I didn't hear you.", before you just start to nod along despite only skimming the surface of the story and with luck getting every fifth word...

Embarrassingly, one can also step into the quagmire of a sudden cessation of noise. How often have you shouted the last words of a private conversation only to realize that these pertinent words had jumped over the fence of privacy?

Mingling and meandering about a big party is far from boring. Passing by the various pockets of conversationalists often reveals some salacious nugget of knowledge and if one is quick of foot and meandering, one can catch the end of a story on the return trip.

Last night was another great party put on by Mike and Heli. This was the fifth edition and hopefully there are many more of them ahead...Sommerrock 5 was a hit.


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Seeing Life Through Rose Tinted Glasses.

Don't knock it until you tried it...

As you know, the Bobster and I have recently splashed out and ordered a round of new specs. They were so jolly affordable ( cost less than a Schnitzel and a beer ) that quite a few of our friends and family copied us.

Prescription sunglasses are often an elective even though they should be a must for the four eye's brigade. Cunningly most medical aids eschew the cost of glasses because they know that only seeing a hazy outline doesn't cut it after a while, except for sunglasses, where we all tend to close an eye or often two!

Family visits are fabulous and on one of them a pair of authentic Ray Ban Sunglasses was left behind and like a pig sniffs out luxurious truffles, so I discovered these Ray Bans at the back of a cupboard.

They were in the trendy Hollywood style ( big and dark ) and I walked in them even when the sun had hidden somewhere else and it might have added another layer of eccentricity to my persona as I am usually covered in a huge scarf in summer to escape the sun's biting rays. Surprisingly my eyes sort of adjusted to these sunglasses even in rain and snow until...

Choosing our prescription sunglasses at Fielmann was such a revelation and not only for suddenly being able to read the proverbial small print. They let us choose between nine different shades of darkness and the most comfortable for me was a dark yet rosy hued lens.

Fast forward two weeks and my new sunglasses are glued to my face and how could they not be when everything looks so nice. The trees are more alive, the roses a deeper red and the sky a shade of blue to bring tears of joy to one's eyes. Even though I am already Burgenland's #1 fan or perhaps #2 behind the Bobster all of a sudden I am walking about with a permanent grin on my face.

The world we live in is peppered with bits we'd rather not see, but luckily not majorly so,
( don't forget that the lens of media is a huge magnifying glass ) as there are millions of wonderful, divine and soul soothing sweet bits in our world. Getting rose tinted sunglasses is a divine way to magnify the good in our world....

" You think ink it!


Friday, 15 July 2016

A Stormy Visit In The Suburbs Of Deutsch Schuetzen.

It doesn't matter how small a village, there is always a suburb or two!

A most stately acacia tree majestically towering over the suburb of Bergler Häuser. The slightly out of focus dot on the top right is actually a bird in flight.
As tall and unreachable as the top of this tree is, it seems to have been well manicured. Watching it sway with the strengthening wind was surprisingly soothing.
The one lane leading into suburbia. Akazien Weg is a hilly part of the village with the most amazing view over Deutsch Schützen.
Here you can see the outer edge of it.
I sat and chatted to one of the locals on a bench for quite some time and was privileged to see the deepening colours of a stormy sky.
Another bench not far from the one we sat on. Shaded by a giant tree and conveniently close to the road...nothing escapes you there. All comings and goings will be noted...

The gal I was visiting told me how quickly gossip starts up. She went to visit a neighbour of hers ( an elderly woman ) who happens to live with her single son ( who's not so young ) ...and the next day somebody asked her when the wedding might be!!! Good golly gosh.
Even yesterday morning, the storm had announced itself in style.


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Imagine Going On Holiday In The Most Divine Place Of All!

Your own four walls...

Have you ever weighed the stresses involved in actually arriving at a destination against the ease of merely staying at home? By staying at home, I do mean that your home must be treated as a holiday zone and not a place for donning tool belts, or bringing out the cleaning utensils.

For want of more privacy you could even park your car somewhere out of sight so that you won't get visitors. An added layer of excitement for sure.

The run up to a holiday involves numerous argument laden discussions, comparing costs, buying new clothes ( yes, beachwear etc ) house sitters, pet sitters and a foreboding of having to max out a credit card or two. Never mind the actual journey, where you need to be on your toes in order to get to your flight on time.

Now, imagine spending a holiday in your own four walls:

  • No clothes to be packed.
  • Two extra days of to and fro travel.
  • You can buy the most luxurious ingredients for your meals or go to an expensive restaurant and still be under budget.
  • You can make little day trips or even spend a weekend at a Spa.
  • You won't feel guilty reading all day as you've seen the sights in your neighbourhood.
  • You actually get to spend real quality time in your own home...usually it's only the weekends.
  • You won't be disappointed with the accommodation or scenery and thus be more at ease and less cranky with your family.

We've been conditioned by advertising that the in thing to do, is to travel to foreign climes and take loads of pictures that never even get a chance to be leisurely shown over a cup of coffee at a later stage as they get posted instantaneously online. Often I do wonder whether people see the sights they like or those that look impressive online?

A step in between going to a different country or staying in your own home, might be exploring your own county or country which many of us have never really seen apart from school trips back in the day...


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Flowers, Cats And A Stork!

A stork parades around the village and perhaps, young couples should be alert!

A few cosmos standing to attention in front of a grass arch. Strong purple and lovely.
A wheat field not yet discovered by the harvester that is gurgling about our village. Isn't it awesome?
Look who has landed in a field near our Eisenberg? If you've had your fill of children, best to look away...just in case he'll pop up on your doorstep!
Appropriately enough, the car driving passed is the Kindergarten Taxi, Pree, on the way to pick up its passengers.

I love how Agatha Christie like it sounds to call a taxi by the owner's name. Finch in her novels, Pree in our area.

Isn't it a fabulous bird, worthy of being mentioned in fables...
To end off with here are our two cats. Tigger & Mausi lazying about on the windowsill watching the birds parading in front of them....


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Curtain Reveals All...

The many measures of success.

Who would have thought that a curtain dangling on a window frame would be a measure of the life lived beyond it. A life that could be anything but is really defined by the curtains espied by others.

There was a fascinating documentary about German women of the 50's and 60's and their life as housewives. Well, it must have been the same in most parts of the world, but this program focused on a handful of housewives living in West-Germany. Oh my, have we come a long way.

Imagine ladies, only about 50 years ago, you needed to have your husband's permission for everything, be it a driver's licence or joining the local choir. Some housewives, and they were mostly freshly married and not even off age, had to live under the same roof as their in-laws and were taught how to pamper the offspring...ironing his socks, underwear, learning how to make his favourite meals and of course cleaning according to mother-in-law's idea of cleanliness!

One woman reminisced about the all important curtaining in the window facing the road. A curtain revealed all about yourself, or rather what you'd have liked to be revealed. Well, nobody ever saw beyond, did they? A big portion of savings was spent on buying curtains at the curtain shop and if you close your eyes, I'm sure you can imagine these types of curtains. Staid yet full of colour, incredibly clean and more than likely above the owner's means.
Gosh, the importance of being well perceived by your neighbours seems to stick around in each generation.

Life for our generation has changed a whole lot and thankfully our mums didn't want us to mirror their lives and helped change the stereotype of man being pandered to like a king.
Yes, he was the breadwinner, but often a housewife worked for harder and many more hours a week ( about 70 ) and without time off, leave, sick leave or pay.

Remember, for most an automatic washing machine was not on the cards, neither a Kindergarten nor help in the household. All those modern appliances that we think are a given, weren't always so.

Being a housewife and stay at home mum is an important job and I think it is about time that society rewards this. A salary from the state might not be such an outlandish idea because being at home while your children grow up shouldn't be a luxury but a necessity. Pension and paid leave & sick leave should be included.

Don't forget, the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow...


Here is the link to the tv program on ARD.

Monday, 11 July 2016

We All Love To Complain About Our Weather, But...! the end of the day most of us carry on as before.

The only upside to this constantly worsening change in our weather seems to be a concrete proof that Global Warming does indeed exist. A few doubters heckle away and it makes me wonder what they have to gain from denying this whole business...follow the money perhaps?

Some of us only have to deal with extreme heat ( bad enough ) while others have to circumvent tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires and worst of water. Sadly, our voracious appetite for meat and goods is mostly to blame.

The plethora of " Of course there is no global warming. " reports and studies are now being questioned and the " For goodness sake let's stop this madness and save our planet " ones are being at least read and taken in. Surprisingly, meat and dairy consumption seem to be the main culprits of global warming.

Article in The Guardian.

Eating meat and all that it entails is so entrenched in our societies that it is difficult to change our habits. We have ham on our sandwiches, bacon and sausages for breakfast, cooked meat for supper and a Sunday roast too. One or two generations ago, eating meat was only a Sunday affair and not guaranteed either. Meat was jolly expensive.

Bob and I like meat, but we've decided to make more of an effort when we go shopping. Meat only once a week, if at all and less cold meats. If we go out for a meal, that gets counted too.

It's so easy to fall into a particular thought pattern,

" Why should we eat less meat, if everyone else keeps on eating the same amounts? "

" It won't make any difference if we cut our meat consumption, so why bother? "

But we should bother as we only have one earth, one life and our selfish attitude towards nature should be changed.

Gosh, it isn't the end of the world if you don't eat meat every day,
but it sure is the end of the world if you do...


Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Weird & Wonderful Adventure Of Feeding Our Cat.

Frustration and tears often not far away.

Our little Mausi is such a spoiled princess and I fear that the Bobster and I are to blame...It started out innocently enough but I have a feeling that most parents might have done the same.

When we first fetched her from her digs the only shop open that Saturday afternoon stocked one type of cat food and that's what she got...and ate. Once we ventured a bit further in our foray for cat food, the plot thickened.

We made the fatal mistake and stepped foot into a pet emporium which has numerous isles of cat food, cat food to pander to every cat's dream and every cat owner's wallet. The Bobster and I only had to take one glance at our little Mausi and she had both of our hearts at her feet. That is a good thing, but alas we tend to want to give her the best...

Now, we have reaped what we sowed...a finicky eater. At times we both dread giving her a portion of whatever, as she takes one sniff, coupled with that accusing stare directed our way and meanders off. Many a time we've had to bin her food because she wouldn't touch it. Naturally I gave her the Starving cats in Africa speech, but to no avail.

In between the finicky times there can be days where she eats all that is put in front of her. Those are the days that both of us are happy as can be. Even today, the Bobster and I almost had words about what to feed her as he thought my choice would be disdainfully left. Well, for a change she ate it but only after he had cut it into little pieces for her. Oh yes, soon we'll catch the mice for her too!

The irony of it is that we also feed our Tigger ( feral ) daily and some other neighbourhood feline hooligans and you know what, they are grateful for the generic and inexpensive food in their bowl. They, unlike Mausi like the life of lounging lazily about until meal times.

If we could take our cat shopping, I fear that she would be the one making a scene at the check out counter, meowing like mad at the sight of a Kit Kat...and sadly we would buy it for her, just to keep her happy and quiet!

Never mind a cat whisperer, we need a cat owner's whisperer!


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Sometimes, Looking Back Isn't Such A Bad Thing.

How many of us forget to be proud of what we've achieved?

In a world where just about everything is measured by the weight of your purse, the manner in which your bank manager bows before you, the number of rooms in your house or the symbol attached to your chariot, it doesn't take very long to be disenchanted at times.

Somehow we've all forgotten the core values that maketh the man... respect, diligence, honesty, hard work, happiness, patience, forgiveness and kindness. These rather old fashioned concepts of personal development have been pushed onto the fringes of society as without them those empty symbols of wealth are often achieved. It shouldn't be a choice of one or the other as that might morph schools into money making machines which run without the oil of respect, honesty, manners etc.

Once we've been launched into the world at eighteen, twenty-one or later ( hotel Mamma residents ) we have to navigate the myriad of turbulent waters with the parental and scholastic education and advice given. Yes, our parents instill those important mainstays of and to our lives but often they get blurred by the ease at which a lot of people get ahead without them...

The world is full of sheep that follow the herd, but once you've dusted off your inner wealth and feel the weight of it anchoring you in your daily life, you become the captain of your ship and not a crew member in that massive Dreamliner conceptualized by eager corporations who by virtue of advertising plot the course taken.

So take the time and recount the many nice things you've done and long as you didn't compromise your core values along the way. Most of us have a mental cupboard full of these type of experiences ( or shouldn't we call them the elixirs of our lives? ) but have allowed ourselves to misplace the keys to it as it tends to be unfashionable to live life unless it contours the herd.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Thank Goodness It's Friday...

A budding sunflower more akin to a naughty teenager, complete with an elegantly gelled hairstyle a la Nero.
A typical Südburgenland rural landscape with all the elements...sunshine, pastures, romantic cottages and bright wildflowers.
Cares and worries somehow take a backseat to more fun emotions like gladness, happiness and gratitude.
Gosh, a green uprising in the wheat fields...
A dangling Yucca flower is elegantly dazzling and cheerful.
Last but not least is this magic portal leading from the forest onto the Deutsch Schützen vineyards.