Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The New Realm Of Bob.

A box set of adventure.

Only last year Bob had fallen for the Game of Thrones series and was incommunicado whilst watching them. Even tempting him with ice cream, chips or chocolate didn't budge him from watching this series.

Last week, we both ordered a round of books as a treat and like true modern couple we each had the same amount to spend. Bob decided on a box set of the Game of Thrones novels and I for a mix of crime and romance. Although, Bob keeps telling me snippets of his books and they seem to have everything in it...murder, romance, adventure and fun .

Bob's books arrived on Friday and as any bibliophile will understand, he was in heaven when he saw five books of almost 900 pages each. Adventures that never end...Luckily he was on a weeks leave and started the first book in the afternoon and apart from supper he read most of the day and even night.

Today being Tuesday, I don't have to tell you that Bob's been very quiet all weekend as he had entered the fictional kingdom of his novels. Yesterday afternoon I had a great idea of how to get his attention.

" My lord, would you like a cup of tea? "
Honestly, I'm not one to offer making teas all day long and thus I don't know if he responded because I addressed him in this fashion or because I offered to make tea.

You know, there's nothing nicer than being with someone who also loves reading and understands why we disappear inside the covers of a good book for hours on end.


Monday, 21 August 2017

The Midlife Blues.

Blue is the new red...

Women have a make over, a lift of sorts or a holiday with their best friend while men take that stage a bit differently. At least it seems so. On average there are more silver foxes behind the wheel of a coupe than there are long maned ladies.

Yes, the famous or rather infamous midlife crisis and the associated set of red wheels that is almost synonymous with it. Night and day / sweet and sour / thick and thin / midlife crises and the red coupe. Deep down I am curious how my Bobster will traverse that stage of his life and if he should choose that aforementioned car he will have me in the passenger seat telling him to slow down!

These last few months I have noticed that two recently afflicted mid-lifers' have splashed out on a coupe. A blue coupe and as both blues are the same hue it made me wonder about blue being the new trend for the over 50's? Turn 50, buy a blue car...

Or more a case of copying the neighbour which might soon turn our village roads into a blue lagoon as there are a whole lot of friends who are or just have turned fifty. Interesting times ahead and a nice change from black. For some reason most cars are black Audi's or Peugeot's and always remind me of Henry Ford.

From an aesthetic point of view, the blue is more fetching, much more suited to a silver head of hair and as it is still rare, also rather eye-catching. Of course taking a blue coupe for a drive makes it far from private. Just the other day I saw one of the blue coupes outside the local village pub and wondered whose it was.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Flower Power In Eisenberg.

Capturing the flowery side.

Despite it being a slightly overcast day these sunflowers bring a round of cheer.
A mingling of flowers. A little bit of a field converted to a Kitchen garden by one of the local ladies. A lot of work yet a year's worth of free homegrown vegetables.
At the top end of Eisenberg is an old wine press converted to be a show piece. The red and white flowers are very patriotic.
Yes, some of the sunflowers are decidedly past their prime, but I find it a very good analogy of life...none of us are always going to shine in our prime, yet why shouldn't we be looked at? By the way, the building behind is our Feuerwehr Haus.
Walking by an open driveway I couldn't resist taking this photo despite hearing the owner drive up behind me...in our village one gets to recognize each motor's pitch and each driver's style.
Lastly, a few of the local geese circling the food wagon...


Saturday, 19 August 2017

An Early Start To Our Saturday.

... and we weren't alone.

The best plans usually get formed when it's still dark outside and ours wasn't any different. A light bulb and mosquito netting was needed and Grosspetersdorf was the place to go.

That's the thing with a two item shopping trip, it feels too bare, almost wasteful not to shop for more and thus we decided to go to one of the local supermarkets. Again to get one or two items but those sneaky supermarket folks put temptations in every aisle, a case of see evil, smell evil and buy evil...Evil equals cakes, ice creams and chips.

Well, I forgot how busy a Saturday morning can be. There were so many folk shopping with the added interlude of having conversations with friends, neigbhours, family or acquaintances as is normal in a small town.

The dynamics of grocery shopping are fun to watch. There was an elderly couple ( no, not us but we are quite the same ) debating over each item put into the basket which the man was carrying. A harassed mother doing the supermarket sprint, barely avoiding nudging the amblers, and with a sure grip finding each item, nothing superfluous, everything needed.

At times Bob and I would get the side glance...firstly at our language spoken ( German and English ) and secondly at our debates over which evil to put into the basket. Somehow Bob and I have a habit of reverting to childish behaviour and neither one of us will budge an inch:

" If you buy those Doppelkeks than I am buying a bag of chips. "

Shopping for groceries together can be a daring experiment, a fun excursion and definitely an adventure...


Friday, 18 August 2017

The Grapes Are Almost Done.

The plumpness and beauty of the vineyards.

Wherever one looks, bunches of grapes abound and this year might be a bumper crop. Of course a lot of the grapes are discarded to further the quality of the wine.
The vines are starting to turn colour and dot the rows with stunning interludes of artistic display.
Three baby pheasants playing in the road, just like any siblings do. Precious.
A mingling of greens.
Isn't it magic how a bunch of grapes can create such a divine nectar?
The white grapes look fresh, crisp and sweet hanging on the vines...


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Choosing The Right Bus Is Far From Easy.

A holiday to remember.

The summer of 2010 saw just about everybody piling through the gates of Durban Intl to catch a month worth of World Cup games and we headed the other way, to Burgenland. Gosh, the planes were almost empty and queues non-existent.

A week or so into our holiday, Bob and I ventured out on our own for the afternoon. A bus trip to Güssing for a chance to spend our tourist rands. Those were the good old days with an exchange rate of 9-1...fast forward to today and it is almost 16 rand -1 euro.

At that stage there was an initiative of the Red Eco Bus driving up and down between Oberwart and Jennersdorf daily and for only 3 euros a ride.

Mothers being mothers, a lot of advice and info was given.

" Biggi, whatever you do, make sure you only get onto the red bus. Don't forget to get the red bus outside the Raiffeisenbank in Güssing and only there. No other bus, else you won't get home. "
Having understood the parental decree we set off to have a good time. We knew the buses ran every hour so we indulged in a delightful lunch of ice cream and cake to give us enough energy to scour the shops in order to leave our rands. Eventually we meandered up to the bus stop laden with parcels and bags. It was a quarter to the hour and thus we settled on the bench to while the 15 min away.

Buses of every shape, size and colour stopped to pick up passengers but alas, none of the red variety. The top of the hour had gone and Bob muttered;

" You should have asked that bus driver earlier! "

It was a hot day, tempers were a little bit frayed and I don't have to spell out the converstation during another hour of waiting, to you! The next top of the hour came and went with us still sitting on the bench. People were starting to notice. Bob was getting tetchy and hungry as we dared not leave our bench in case the eco bus came.

Oh, don't worry, I tried to talk to the various bus drivers but they are so quick to drive off or to lock up and go for lunch. Eventually I managed to speak to the bus driver of a green bus, one that had been leaving every hour as well.

" Excuse me, could you tell me when the red Eco bus to Deutsch Schützen is coming? "
" That's me. The eco bus is in the workshop and this green bus has taken its place for today. "

Those are the moments that one remembers forever. A nice dinner story, a nice adventure and a nice way to test the strength of one's marriage....


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Every Car Has A Name.

An unexpected surprise.

There was an old-timer's tractor meet in Rechnitz over the weekend and these guys had a pit stop in Eisenberg.
You can see the pride taken over this old tractor. A tractor that's fed a lot of people, a tractor that's been around for decades and a tractor that looks a bit Ferrarish...
For a long time our car's name was 'Subi ' and now it's ' Peugi ' but maybe it should have been Bob & Biggi all along.
What a great adventure it must be to ride around the country on one of these, complete with friends, comfortable seats and a cooler box?
This would be a favourite for me to ride along on. Experiences shared firsthand, automatic air-conditioning and an elevated view of our beautiful area...


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Stillness Of A Public Holiday.

Nary a soul's astir.

Sundays and public holidays are my favourite days to go for a long walk. Cars are almost nonexistent on the roads ( well it's not as if we have traffic jams but instead of five cars passing the whole walk, none do ) and thus the human stillness is complete.

For some reason I tend to come across half a zoo on most walks and today I picked up a battlion of horseflies when I took the time to pat Sepp's horses. Irritating beyond belief and thankfully nobody saw me striding along constantly waving my arms over my head, behind my back and around me.

Luckily they didn't like the upper Eisenberg and buzzed off to find another victim. A variety of birds were settled on either the electricity lines, trees or the more delicate tops of maize along my route and were tweeting at the rate of Donald but in a more cheerful way.

A lot of the holiday cottages are let and I love to decipher the various number plates along the way. The ' W's ' are easy and rather infamous here due to their different driving style. On the upper Eisenberg I veered off to the left along a forest stretch and could have sworn that I saw a fox sitting patiently five meters in. Suddenly my pace increased although it could easily have been a ginger tabby looking for a field mouse.

A bit further on a hare crossed my path. At least I thought so as my eyes took a while to adjust and decipher, which I think the hare's did too...it waited until I was closer before hopping away to safety.

Further on a most inopportune house, beyond having a bad position had the sold sticker in the window and it boggles the mind how it could have found favour. Yet, houses in our area are selling like hot cakes.

In a case of deja-vu, a young deer was grazing on the verge of the road and jumped off into the shrubs after identifying me as a sort of big foot. The rest of the walk was devoid of anything exciting and that is what makes it so addictive. One of the only times where thoughts can run wild, do cartwheels, imagine the impossible while skimming along the various corridors and cul-de-sacs of the mind .


I know, you can hardly see it, but that's as close as I got.
The hare and I...


Monday, 14 August 2017

Shoe Nostalgia, Or Shoe Madness?

A yearning for times gone by?

Honestly, I must be dilly the way I refuse to throw away old shoes. Really, old shoes full of dents, wear and tear not to mention the aroma aquired throughout the summers.

In case you might be thinking that I have one of those organized shoe closets let me put your mind at ease. The full extent of my shoe storage are a couple of dusty old shelves in the delightfully termed ' Sommerküche. ' A little cottage on our property that has morphed into storage central and faces de-cluttering only during leap year.

Quite ingenious to put all the unwanted possessions out to pasture together awaiting that infamous rainy day. Out of sight, out of mind. Well, I ventured in there earlier today, equipped with brown bags ( akin to a rubbish bin ) and good intentions.

Isn't it funny how esoteric we all become once we pick up an old shoe, book or game. Images of good times had flit through the mind bound ruthlessly with a ribbon of time. Time had, time gone but hopefully not time wasted.

Old shoes, shoes that are or rather were practical should be given the boot once the sole has left, but stubbornly I find reasons to keep them. A game of what if? makes it darn near impossible to discard these shoes. Well, today I've given a pair of old running shoes an upgrade in living space...they've found a place inside our house, mingling with a friendly bunch of our current shoes. One step at a time!


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Another Gentle Sunday In Burgenland.

A perfectly overcast day ideal for a walk.

These golden blades of grass are amazing. They sway to and fro with the wind reminding me of a gentle soft carpet, or a velvet throw.
Overcast yet despite it, the outline of a mountain range in the back is nicely visible.
A stunning reminder of times gone by. A nudge to not forget to live at a slower life pace.
I rounded the corner and saw this clearing complete with the wall of straw. Surprisingly soothing for my soul.
As I turned towards the forest path, I saw these berries. They look so temptingly yummy that I wouldn't be surprised if they were poisonous.
The last kilometer or so of my walk. The gentle road ahead...my slice of paradise.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

My Daily Dose Of Acupuncture.

Just call me a living pin-cushion.

I never know when I am going to be the lucky recipient of our cat's affection. Sometimes all day long and other times a mere smidgeon just before meal times. More a point of a reminding me in case I'd forget to feed her...as if that's ever happened!

The omnipotent Google gives seminars and lectures on how to cut a cat's nails but we've never quite got around to doing that. Every time my acupuncture session starts, I think of a way to persuade Bob to give Mausi a manicure. As cute as she is, she might turn into a wildcat and really give us an overdose of acupuncture.

For some reason she loves to knead methodically before cuddling down on my arms, legs or stomach. Not a few seconds either and if I try and get her to settle down she carries on that much longer. By now she should realize that what she feels is what she gets.

Look, once she settles in to be cuddled, all the pin pricks tend to fade from memory and as soon as she purrs like a lion, they are totally forgotten.

Of course I'm not the only pin-cushion in our household. Funnily enough it isn't Bob. He was clever enough to shoo her off a few times and she is more reluctant to apply acupuncture tactics on him. A lot of our bed linen has not been spared tough and rather mysteriously has developed a holey pattern.

Only yesterday I had to tell Bob about her Naughtiness and the plight of our linen and the need to replace them with new ones. Luckily all of ours are hand-me-downs and ancient.

" Which ones did she ruin? "
" The orange ones. "
" Oh thank god, I hate those...!"


Friday, 11 August 2017

Putting It All On The Line.

A tempestuous evening indeed.

Despite some promises about the extreme heat being done and dusted, yesterday decided to buck the prediction and scratch on the 40 degree door. Yikes it was stifling and not to mention muggy. Just after three the first sms from Zurich came through ( never mind that we saw the writing in the sky ) and some rain fell, just enough to ensure my pristine dry washing on the line had to stay out a bit longer.

The heat returned, supper was made and some Blaufränkisch had which shouldn't really but somehow lends an excuse for my memory loss in regards to the washing on the line.

Nine o'clock saw us go to bed with the odd thunder and lightening in the sky. Of course it intensified and it didn't take long before an sms came through. Bob got up to have a look in case it was a call out for the Feuerwehr.

" Schatzi, you won't believe it! They are predicting 110 km/h winds along with the rain. "
Oh dear. We could hear the howling start, doors slamming and rain drumming on the various roofs. Being inside it felt rather cozy until I remembered.
" Bob, I forgot to take the washing off the line. "
Oh, one would think I committed a major crime. ( Luckily, with esoteric premonition I had omitted to hang my undies on the line which gave me a good night's sleep ) He was imagining our bits of laundry flying about the village and was less than happy when I told him about the lone position his undies had on the line.
" Bob, weren't those your blue underpants that just flew past the window? "
In between laughing like kids and picturing those blue undies in one of our neighbours' yard, Bob was muttering about my forgetfulness and the bleak future it painted for him.

This morning on the way to drop Bob off at work, we drove slowly and carefully down the road scanning to the left and right of us...just in case one of Bob's belongings was dangling precariously on a windowsill, garden chair or car window.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

A Chuckle Was Had.

The joy of living in a small village.

Yesterday afternoon I was busy tidying up a veranda when a neighbour came over to talk to me. Bob was at the car doing his own thing. It was a hot afternoon still and it was a welcome interruption to shoot the breeze with our neighbour. He's about my age but one hopes a bit older as being the oldest is never much fun.

Halfway in our news gathering conversation ( village life has its rewards ) I happened to espy out of the corner of my eye another neighbour of sorts approaching. He is of an age where he assumes that giving critiques and tongue lashings are his god given right and being retired affords him oodles of spare time to find enough cause to apply and practice the above.

Last year Bob got a taste of it and Bob having been brought up with manners, merely stood in respect of an elder and quietly nodded away as he told me afterwards.

Anyway, when I saw this man making a beeline towards us, I inadvertently blurted out to my other neighbour:

" Look, sorry but I'm going back to do the gardening as I don't want to be admonished for something or the other. "
Oops, I thought, I shouldn't have said that out loud...
" Don't worry, I'm also out of here. Don't want to be taken to task. "
If we could have, we would have scattered like bugs when the light turns on, but he was too close already. Of course we were friendly and had a shortish conversation but with aplomb both of us steered it away from any potential pitfalls.

Hopefully when I get to that age I won't be befallen with the same tendencies although, I think I just might be...already I have been known to say:

" When we were young, we would have never done this or that! "


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sometimes A Change Of Scenery Is All It Takes.

Keeping the rumblings of world events at bay.

The tree that's seen it all and survived many a war...As gigantic as it is, it exudes a sense of calmness and permanence.
The little chapel under it stands testament to the sheer size of this beautiful tree.
Seeing my Eisenberg from a different perspective having taken the low road...
The Adaxl road through the vineyards. Straight as an arrow which leads some to be a bit heavy footed with the gas pedal.
A leafy suburb of Deutsch Schützen.
The low road taken...therapeutic and refreshing to walk along it. A bit of nature that could have looked the same a few centuries ago. Not many left...


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Never Mind A Month Of Sundays, We've Got A Month of Zucchinis.

We can't even give them away...

Any seasoned gardener will know what we've just found out. Planting zucchini is fool proof and a great way for a garden novice to feel abundant and successful. Enough of both to enthusiastically relive it the following year. The pro's have cleverly restricted their yield by only planting two seeds of baby marrow with enough room in between but Bob was so delighted when all his seeds germinated that he replanted eight in our vegetable garden.

For a while these eight behaved in an orderly fashion and then, they took over and made a zucchini themed garden, one that is very prolific in rewarding us. At any time there are five or six huge marrows ready to eat and it seems as if they grew overnight.

Zucchini soup, zucchini fish stew, zucchini fries and pasta & zucchini on a loop. Let's just say that after such a green sounding menu, the heart and stomach year for blue cheese pasta, steak eggs and chips.

We cunningly tried to gift a lot of our produce but it seems that most planted their own and don't want ours. Freezing them is not a good idea as we only have a small pint size freezer compartment and making a jam might be rather eccentric and questionable. The size of each zucchini could easily be fodder for the Guinness Book of Records considering that we didn't use anything remotely related to the periodic table.

Yesterday Bob went to explore the jungle and came back with the tidings that only one zucchini is left over...yet, more yellow flowers are growing announcing another round of them. As I am writing I think I have found the answer to our vegetable abundance. A mere two meters away we've got a huge lavender bush. A hive of bees constantly on it and surely as a way to thank us they did a bit of extracurricular activity on our zucchini plant!


Monday, 7 August 2017

Cranes And Sheep.

Never a dull day.

Merely walking past this crane made me feel small and insignificant. Gosh, how heavy must this crane be and how strong the road to support it on stilts?
Real excitement and if it hadn't been a day of extreme heat, many would have pulled out their outdoor chairs and watched the proceedings in between giving opinions and advice. The top floor was taken off and a new floor is being put on...
There you can see the ready made piece of a wall being swung like a pendulum to find its place.
My favourite flock of sheep were grazing next to my route and when they laid eyes on me they gallop to the fence in unison while happily braying away.
Nice and therapeutic to watch...
To end off with, a photo of the St. Martin's chapel before the storm came. The maize is about to be harvested but in the meantime it provides a nice frame...


Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Allure Of A Single Fly.

Sleeping with one eye open.

The lure of a fly instead of a fly as a lure it seems. There are a subset of creatures that find their energy zenith at three am. Cats, flies and the odd clubber.

The buzz was hidden for a long time and I only found out about it when a sudden heavy bump awoke me. It transpired that this lone fly had started to use my body as its airport. Buzzed here, buzzed there but made sure to land on my hip, ankle or hair. Very annoying when one is trying to sleep.

Of course the other early live wire, Princess Mausi thought this was the bee's knees and was literally quivering with excitement. The fly buzzed and princess meowed in her quick mini soprano. She jumped in the air, on the couch, on a chair and finally on me. Yikes, she lunged to catch the fly on my ankle, the fly grinned and flew off and yours truly had a scrape with Mausi's claws.

Admonishing my little one to stop it only made her more determined to carry on in a game of catch the buzzer. Once or twice she misjudged my hair and I felt a narrow escape from her claws but only by a few centimeters. A new conundrum opened up for me...if I went back to sleep the chances that I would wake up with the odd scratch on my face were high. This fly loved my hair and Mausi didn't care...

Eventually I fell asleep with both my arms over my face and luckily awoke with only two arms painfully asleep but no lasting damage. I just know that this fly is keen to start again tomorrow morning and I' ll have to find a way to make our house a no-fly-zone.

I have to say that live with a cat is never boring...


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Close To Midnight Is The Least Wanted Time For An Unexpected Power Cut.

Amid a raging storm as well...

As you know it's been and actually still is extremely hot and humid. Temperatures at night are still hot and the bit of cool air from the open bedroom window first brushed Bob and seemed to have stayed there. My side of the bed was akin to a sauna and definitely not fun.

At about ten I migrated to the lounge and made my bed under the open window. At least some respite but the air was far from cool. Accepting a long night ahead of me, I turned on the inevitable thriller, Tatort, and settled down to work out who'd done it.

When all of a sudden, the television went black, pitch black, followed by all the dots of light on other appliances, I got scared. Window open, murder plot on mind and due to the storm outside coupled with the strange noises mingled with odd streaks of lightning. Isn't that when in the movies the murderer gets illuminated with an ax in hand?

Of course after having calmed down a tad bit I started to wonder whether we'd paid the electricity bill but remembering that we had, I got up to go to the front room to see if the street lights were in order. Perhaps it was just us...Not at all as the street lights were out and the lane was in utter darkness.

What to do...Mausi, busy going through the terrible two's had made herself scarce, not wanting anything to do with me and Bob was audibly sleeping through this power cut.

I lay on the couch and got to thinking about the many power cuts Bob and I lived through in South Africa the last few years we were there and how quickly I had forgotten them. How quickly one takes anything for granted. Electricity is precious and shouldn't be a given. This morning I have renewed respect for it and have been heard to say:

" Lights Bob, lights Bob! "
to which the outraged reply was instant:
" That's rich coming from you!!!!


Friday, 4 August 2017

This Incessant Heat Makes Me Rethink Next Year's Decorative Flowers.

Heat hotter than February in Durban.

It's been so hot that we don't know how and where to sleep at night. Oh sure, the temperature cools down at night but a reduction of 10 degrees still brings us to around 30 degrees without a breeze. Sleeping outside on a sun-lounger has been scrapped after seeing the fox use our garden as its living room.

The lawns are browning ( that is those whose owners have buckled to the neighbourhood eh, watch ) and the flowers are wilting dreadfully. Ours are at least due to the lack of an outside tap and the resulting manual filling of watering cans from the bathroom makes one less than generous with the watering. Walking in the morning I see lots of hose pipes being pulled about green gardens, but as nice as they look one tends to wander if it isn't a waste of a precious resource?

Don't get me wrong, I love coming home to the cheerful red window boxes and the odd planted gardenias but in these hot conditions they perhaps shouldn't have been planted.

Next year our windows will be a treasure trove of herbs and heat resistant plants. In fact the more I think of it, having a window sill filled with the purple splendour of a lavender bush seems heavenly. One window lavender, the next thyme interspersed with rosemary and sage.

Reading up on it, I have now learned that they don't need as much water as those decorative beauties seen all over the village but they will be a delightfully aromatic addition to any home. Imagine, planting only lavender in the boxes on the ledge outside our bedroom windows...the whiff of aroma alone will ensure I'll have a restful sleep. New adventures ahead!


Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Sinfully Divine Brioche.

Some of you might remember it as a Chelsea bun.

Memories are tied irrevocably to food or at least mine are and trussed up at that. Against my better judgement I saddled the chariot with a cooler box inclusive of ice blocks on the back seat and was on my way to Oberwart before eight this morning. Already it was warm and getting warmer with a predicted 40 plus this afternoon. Not the type of weather to be out and about but our larder is bare and the fridge tends to mirror our disappointed faces from its empty glass shelves.

Also for a chance to buy a pair of shoes after being terribly disappointed at the various sports shops in regard to finding a new pair of running shoes either because they don't have any in my size or because nobody thought it necessary to help never mind greet me. Last Friday I found out via the postman that Hofer ( Aldi ) had a pair of running shoes in stock today. Pamphlets somehow having been mysteriously stuffed into our postbox!

Before you shake your head at me, I have to say that those shoes were tested at a renowned sports university, are waterproof, padded for the heavy footed and don't look too bad for their price ( 1/3 of the name brand shoes ).

Each year when I buy a new pair of running shoes at astronomical prices ( for me ) I tend to wonder why, at those prices they still carry the Made in China label. Every time ( rightly or wrongly ) I see the sticker Made in China all those documentaries viewed jump to the forefront of my mind.

At least I'm going to give the Hofer shoes a try and see. It was rather surreal to see so many bargain hunters fighting over products before eight in the morning. Yours truly came prepared with a pair of socks in her purse!

All the other shops I needed to frequent only open at nine and so I went to InterSpar to while away the time in air-conditioned comfort. Just like all roads lead to Rome so do all lanes lead to the bakery department. Yum, yum, I had to try out their brioche just because it looked so inviting and fresh.

Well, I took it home to have after lunch and the first bite I took transported me back to the campus of Durban University and the little tearoom on it. They served the most divine Chelsea buns, huge, fresh and glazed with iced sugar. Healthy, perhaps not but tasty for sure.

Through the years I've partaken in this bakery item in its various shapes, conditions and sizes and even now, I can recall the places I bought most of them and how much fun it was to eat them...


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

" Oh What A Cute New Cat. "

Gosh, wildlife galore...

On the way home after dropping Bob off at work I took the first turn into Gartengasse instead of my usual Dorfstrasse and only because on the way earlier the road was almost blocked by two huge trucks and a crane. A new floor ( ! ) is put on top of an existing two storey house and might end up the tallest building in the road.

As it was still a bit cooler ( 20 degrees at 5.45 am ) I drove with the windows open and casually slow too. You know, the other morning we only avoided an accident because of Bob's quick reflexes. A deer had jumped across the road a meter in front of us and since then I reign in my speed just in case...unless a BeeGee song is played on the radio. We all have our foibles after all.

Almost at home, in fact on the fence side of our house I noticed a rather skinny ginger cat in the middle of the road. Gosh, whose kitty might that be? It halted for a second to weigh the dangers of our chariot and then proceeded to run into the meadow next to the road. Only the size of its tail gave it away.

Suddenly my brain and eyes coordinated and realized that a skinny fox had meandered out of our garden and gone across the road. Yikes, a fox my mind screamed. First I pressed both buttons to whirl the windows up and then idled to where this wild animal had cut a path through those tall blades of grass. Didn't want it to jump through my window!

Somehow I shouldn't be surprised to see a fox so close as we live a stone's throw away from a forest but even the mere word, fox, demands one's attention and respect. The fact that it had slinked out of our yard made me wary to drive up the driveway in case I saw our Tigger lying there injured or worse. Foxes have been accredited to slaying many a chicken in the village and why stop at those...

I needn't have worried. Tigger was patiently awaiting my return on the windowsill, Mausi was safely protected by the mosquito netting and the only iffy part was walking to the washing line to get the laundry down which I left it there last night by mistake. Believe me, I did plenty of back exercises by repeatedly twisting left and right to see.

Of course for the rest of the day I will tread with caution and perhaps take one of those pesky walking sticks along with my camera...


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Graceful Storks And A Pair Of Juvenile Buck.

Often seen and encountered in Südburgenland.

The way this stork was slowly walking in front of me it felt as if it was waiting to have a word with me...
Eventually it felt that I was near enough and took to loftier heights. Stunning to see it cruise so gracefully.
It just shows you that change is as good as a holiday...I chose the road less traveled by me and was rewarded with a theatrical animal performance. These two buck still seem to be teenagers yet the one ran off the other.
Looking at their antlers perhaps they aren't as young as I thought...
I suppose you could call him the runner up as he sprinted across to the forest side to hide...
The champion took it easy and merely meandered to his realm...a field of cut wheat


Monday, 31 July 2017

Like A Typical Sunday Should Be.

The one day a week to do less than nothing.

Who made it fashionable and desirable to be in a constant state of doing. Doing to be more, have more and be thought of as more... a never ending story and one that leads most of us into that nebulous neighbourhood called stress.

Often, the doing part is more for the world outside our four walls than for ourselves, although nowadays the two worlds have merged and solidly intertwined to incorporate the non-stop adventure park called social media. How can we unwind and simply be?

Sundays spent lazying about, following no rules, no plan and no dress code. Sundays spent reconnecting with our family. Sundays spent grazing all day until the yummy morsels are gone and Sundays spent rediscovering the joys of reading.

A pot luck Sunday. Even yesterday, Bob decided on the spur of the moment to imbibe in a professional breakfast at Aloisia's and with such a great idea he didn't need to do a lot of cajoling. Off we went and had a nice breakfast together ( sans tv or computer ) amid the breathtaking view of Badersdorf and its many undulating hills.

Our home should be our refuge from the office and not our office. A home should be a place to recharge, relax and chill without constantly worrying about making it shine like a proverbial castle.

Well, fortified with a delightful Sunday breakfast, a day spent doing hardly anything more strenuous than turning the page of a Deon Meyer novel, playing with the cat and the occasional forays into the kitchen has made the advent of Monday a rather gentle and nice start to this week.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

A Friday Morning At Work...

The view from work...

Taking a breather but only for a second to take this photo, made me realize how fortunate I am. Being part of the executive cleaning team of the Adixl is rather fun...

Strong, bold and portending a good vintage...
On the left of the Adixl, far left, are a few apple trees and somehow apples are a piece of continuity to life...we've eaten them as kids, as teenagers and are still eating them. Things around might change, but the apple is the same every harvest.
The straw is being baled early it seems, or the time between seasons just passes too quickly.
The vines a mere meter from the front door of the cottage are just the beginning of a great view. Hungary in the background and fields that ignite dreams in between.
A lone weed providing a comforting and awesome contrast to the row of vines. Made in Südburgenland...


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Life With Mausi, A Continuous Adventure.

The joys of rearing a well adjusted cat.

It was hot as blazes again yesterday and when I got home at five, Bob and Mausi were catching twenty winks on the bed. As I do tend to make a bit of noise hanging up keys, taking off shoes and so forth, the two of them awoke.

Both had that sleep induced daze and Bob deserved this nap as he'd spent 8 hours mowing the vineyards in the blatant heat, but Mausi takes liberties and sleeps as she sees fit which in her case means all day long. I came and sat down on the bed to have a chat and with my two Schatzis and of course the minute I sat down the one got up, heading for the kitchen.

A few moments later I heard the distinct crunching noise of somebody eating a fresh crisp. Someone was having a blast munching audibly on a few crisps.

" Oh my god, she's eating my crisps!!"

Bob was outraged but too tired to get up to see and it fell to me to investigate. La Mausi was sitting ( at least elegantly ) on the kitchen table having a blast crunching her way through Bob's bowl of crisps.

" Mausi, get down now. Where are your manners? Tables are off limits for you! "
Honestly, withing seconds she was off the table and on the chair, sitting like any child looking at me with those innocent eyes..
" Mommy, why can't I eat crisps when Daddy can ? "
Bob of course had taken this one step further and tried to remember how many crisps were left in the bowl before he went to lie down...clearly the princess has developed a taste for crisps and the mere opening sound of a packet of crisps will have her at your feet within seconds.

...innocent until proven guilty...