Saturday, 27 May 2017

A Picturesque Saturday In Burgenland.

It's summer despite not being summer yet.

Red roses dotted beautifully around the emerald green rows of vines. A visual feast.
Not to be outdone, these yellow roses almost steal the scene.
Doesn't this image make you want to walk in a field, sit under a tree, pick a bunch of flowers or just imbibe the magic of nature?
A red poppy gracing the view toward a Deutsch Schützen vineyards.
Gosh, a mere ten meters further I heard the most delightful tweeting from this blackbird. Amazingly enough he stayed to pose. He knew I wouldn't climb this tree.
There is one special soul keeping this war memorial beautiful. Each time I walk or drive past it catches my attention.
Eisenberg...tickles me pink!
A yellow diva holding the stage...an epitome of summer, don't you think?

Biggi

Friday, 26 May 2017

A Public Holiday On A Thursday Can Only Mean A Long Weekend.

Are companies still open?

Schools are closed today and even though the shops are open, I won't speculate on the state of offices and official places. I wouldn't have wanted to be on the road out of Vienna on Wednesday afternoon, as it must have been chaotic. On most normal weekends, a lot of commuters return home ( eg. Burgenland ) and one can imagine how crowded the roads leading out of Vienna must be at the start of a four day long weekend.

Most of our villagers also do a weekly commute and only get to spend weekdays ( Monday to Friday ) at home whilst on holiday or on a public holiday. It boggles the mind to think that often over a work life spanning 40 odd years, most have never spent a week at home apart from the above exceptions. A foot in both worlds and a case of never the twain shall meet as life is always lived for the other place.

The weather is gorgeous today and many holiday makers can be spotted around our village. It's the mode of transport that helps one distinguish. Cars with foreign number plates ( foreign such as Vienna W, Linz L or Graz G ), bikes or running shoes. Coming here for a short holiday is refreshing for city folk...the wine is fabulous, plentiful and affordable, the roads are bereft of traffic, opportunities to exercise ubiquitous, locals are laid back and the complexities of big city life are nowhere in sight.

Often a few days of living la dolce vita in Eisenberg is enough to unwind, relax, unload and for some lucky ones also enough time to realize that this lifestyle should and more importantly, could be permanent.

Biggi

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A Bit Of A Safari This Morning.

The usual suspects.

With the sun already up and beaming there was little choice but to walk early. No, it is a privilege to go for a walk and the earlier the better. Apart from wildlife not much is astir at this hour ( just after six ) and the divine solitude of walking is exponentially so.

As a creature of habit I tend to choose the same route and yet each time I do I see something new. Walking the same route takes the brakes off thoughts and lets them fly to the proverbial moon and back. No need to mind your step nor the P's & Q's. Just divine.

Around the corner from the Schützenhof is a small stretch of trees complete with bushes, undergrowth and wildlife. Once I saw a little kitten scanter out of it but until today not much else. I heard it first and in fact the sound made me stop and for a moment contemplate turning back. A buck was roaring like a lion. Well, at least like an angry hound. Loud, ugly and never ending.

Clearly he was angry or perhaps randy. Both sides of the road are forested and as I quickly walked on, I heard rustling on the other side. Oh dear, a deer was listening, and goodness me, responding. When the buck heard my footsteps, he jumped out from the cover of the forest and luckily for me, not toward me. I must say, the braying of a donkey sounds nicer than a buck's roar.

People pay a lot of money to see wildlife and here I can simply stumble over it at my leisure. Life has an adventurous side attached to it, when one takes the time to be a part of it. As for the safari, hopefully the next animal I see will be a little lamb being born into the flock of sheep that mow some of the vineyards.

You can just see the buck hopping there in front of the house.

Biggi

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

And Then The Rain Came.

Two mornings in a row when the clouds burst.

Firstly, nobody is complaining about this big amount of rain. Rain has been rather scarce recently and if the weather forecast predicted rain for our region, the celestial umbrellas were opened over our area. Everywhere but here seemed to be the credo.

Well, yesterday it rained so much that by nine o'clock in the morning the roads were awash. Driving back from St. Kathrein the car dispersed many puddles and almost aquaplaned on the road. The rain kept falling and it felt more like autumn than summer. Perfect reading weather indeed one would think...

By lunchtime the blue peeped through and at two o'clock we had perfect summer weather again. Apart from the barrels of rainwater in our garden, nothing gave witness to it having rained. One day split into two different halves. Sadly, the sunny weather was detrimental to the bees as the lawnmowers could be heard in the neighbourhood, lawns being manicured for the weekend tourists.

Does anyone ever consider that tourists might actually enjoy seeing a normal, wild flower populated lawn? Let's be honest, those don't exist in urban suburbs anymore. A rural safari, just like when we were children... sounds rather enticing.

Early this morning the day hadn't made up its mind as to what it would do. The pendulum could have easily gone to sunny and nice but rather chose the rainy and miserable side. Perhaps it will be a repeat of yesterday but if not, a day of rain is not bad either. If I don't have to be outside in it, the sound of heavy raindrops falling on the roof is extremely soothing and much better than the raindrops falling on my head...

Biggi

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Who Needs A Rolex When You Have A Cat?

Cats do surprise one constantly.

As you know we've, while intoxicated with the new-kitten-parent syndrome, mistakenly set the feeding time for our princess at six bells. Morning and evening. Madness in winter for sure when it's still dark outside.

Recently, Bob has taken to also giving our Tigger ( who is permanently out on our ledge ) a serving of extra food at the same time. Rather funny to see the two cats colluding on the issue of time keeping or rather the issue of reminding Bob about it.

For good measure our Mausi reclines regally on the couch facing Bob ( he who is glued to his computer at that time ) and doing her best to catch his eye. Well, should that fail she lets out a series of heart wrenching meouws, feigning hunger. Usually the computer wins and that means a different tactic...she gets up, and jumps gracefully on the back of my couch and walks onto the computer desk, specifically the keyboard ( not stupid is she? )

" Oh hello love! Gosh is it so late already?
this morning she timed this interlude to the second. The news was counting down and as six struck so did she.

Yesterday I saw another amazing cat awaiting the arrival of his mummy, a school girl who more or less comes home at the same time each day. I was waiting to do an extra lesson when I saw him sprint across the road, meouwing with happiness and resembling more a canine than a feline. Too cute indeed and it goes to show that cats do make fabulous pets.

Forget about buying a fancy watch...just go to your local pound / SPCA and give a lonely cat a place in your heart and hearth.

Biggi

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Sunday Filled With Knives And Forks.

...only in Eisenberg of course.

Luckily it only happens once a year and yesterday was it. The annual Frühschoppen of the local volunteer fire department was held and as a wife of one of these dashing firemen, I volunteered to help out. On the principal of last one in gets the yummy jobs, I was busy putting the shine back into the knives and forks. Or to put it more correctly, I was the designated dishwasher minus the dishes. Knives, forks and coffee cups were my metier.

It doesn't sound so bad on paper but when I turned around to purvey the field ( tables filled with hungry customers intend on eating with knives and fork! ) the numbers mount. To me it felt like I washed thousands but perhaps five hundred each is more like it. Roughly three hours non stop fun which I came prepared for like a pro. No, on the contrary, this was my third time...

Yellow washing up gloves which thankfully stopped me from morphing into an amphibious creature. Don't take my moaning too seriously as my little job made me part of the team and there were many team members who had to do worse jobs for the day.

The first hour of my shift was not very busy as the Schnitzels were still being ordered and so I could peruse the hall and the various groups in it. One man had the air of a politician about him. Perhaps it was his smart suit and tie where everyone else of import was dressed in the brown uniforms or it might have been his habit of walking through the isle waving a greeting left, right and center but not really stopping to chat. Quite an art form to please the masses and surely exhausting as well.

Again, standing there at my sink and at times looking at this never ending heap of cutlery blinking up at me through the break in the suds, it made me thankful that I don't have to do this full time.

Well, at the end of our shift, Bob and I sat and had a nice Schnitzel with potato salad, cabbage salad and tasty rice...of course eaten with a freshly washed set of knives and forks and complemented with a cold beer!

Biggi

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Delightful Nuances Of The English Language.

Fascinating beyond measure.

Rare word endings...-gry
can you believe that there are only two? hungry and angry.
Counterfeit
once meant a legitimate copy.
Manufacture
once donated something made by hand, derived from the Latin root of hand.
Asparagus
a term created due to mishearing and thus spelling it wrong roughly 200 years ago. It was meant to be sparrow-grass.
Bolted
two meanings: bolted a door / the horse has bolted
R.S.V.P.
lent from the French language and not even used there anymore. If like me you forgot what it really stands for...repondez s'il vous plait.
Mayday
adapted from the French cry of " m'aider " , meaning " help me "
Exception proves the rule
only makes sense when you realize that the earlier meaning of prove was to test.
Many
always a plural except when followed by an a...Many people were there but many a man was there.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

Biggi

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Too Good To Pass Up Nature.

Another gentle Saturday in Burgenland.

Romance, mystery and simplicity. An image to spurn most imaginations.
A red rose cloaked in leaves. At the moment our bit of paradise could double as a florist's.
This rabbit ( or hare? ) posed too beautifully for me..." I hope she gets my good side! "
Amazingly these rabbits often only notice me when I am almost upon them. This one finally did a runner, and I wish I could look as graceful running.
Another house among vines. Just imagine how divine that first cup of coffee would taste, sitting and overlooking the vineyards.
Sad to think that in a few weeks the petals will have dropped.

Biggi

Friday, 19 May 2017

Distinct Sounds Of A Village Afternoon Heading Towards Evening.

Pair them with summer, and they become a sheer pleasure.

When Bob went to mow the lawn, I decided to join him and keep him a bit of company. Many repeated offers or should I call them requests to show me how to mow the various lawns seem to keep on falling on deaf ears. Goodness, how hard can it be when I see many a grandmother pushing the mower gracefully about? I've come to the conclusion that Bob loves to do the mowing business, as it does entail a symmetry which appeals to my man. Truth be told, it's much more fun for me to sit and read my book and wave at Bob when he passes me by.

Anyway, there I was sitting reading outside on a picture perfect end of a day. Blue skies with a few white vapour trails, green trees, ripening cherries, birds exchanging the news of the day and the distinct motor of a lawnmower. The perfume that permeated all around me had a magic all of its own. Cut grass, is there anything nicer? ( Even the Bodyshop used to have a similar scent on offer ).

Once or twice I went to stand closer to Bob when he stopped the mower to empty the grass container and that's when I heard the cheerful sound a bus load of tourists made while visiting a local Buschenschank. For some reason I think that they were Bavarians... I could hear someone singing beer tent ditties with gusto, happy conviction and slightly off key.

A big party was on the go and about half an hour later I noticed a local car circling ever so carefully until a parking space was found. Of course everyone knows everyone else's car and the guy in question is a ubiquitous party goer...I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was invited.

That is the beauty of small village life, one gets the time to sit and enjoy life, spending time with family and learn to appreciate something as simple as a late summer's afternoon for what it is....a present.

Simplicity can be beautiful.

Biggi

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Poppy-lar Thursday In Eisenberg.

Don't they look amazing?

I wish you could have heard the buzzing going on. Bees as far as the eye could see. A most relaxing spot atop the vineyards.
Depth and perception on so many levels. Simplicity is beauty.
Mustn't forget the daisies alongside the row of poppies. A whole bank in fact and the perfect spot to recharge the mind and soul.
A happy mingling of wildflowers. While I was taking these photos, the chortling of a tractor was the on the periphery, and somehow it enhanced the whole experience of standing amid this splendour.
There is always the one...a daisy pretending to do a selfie...
A cloak of mystery around the local poppies...

Biggi

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Beautiful Nature.

The essential to life...

This one is for the wonderful colour combination and good for my soul.
This stately bird of prey was almost waiting for me to take a few snaps, as when I had finished the second photo, it took off to loftier heights...or to catch a mouse or two.
Gosh, you almost want to tie a yellow ribbon around this tree....
A seemingly wild rose growing on the edge of a vineyard. I love walking and seeing the various elements that make up our area. Vines, Kellerstöckls, flowers and many paths.
We met a dog and his owner along the way and it afforded me the time to take in the view and to show it to you. Green pastures covered in wildflowers, forests as far as the eye can see and of course the blue sky.
Another favourite of mine. The distinct barns scattered about the neighbourhood. This one is unused, but has seen many episodes of someone's life. If only walls could talk.

Biggi

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A Nice And Typical Tuesday In The Village.

Tuesdays and Fridays are Vampire days.

It wasn't me that coined the phrase but one of the men who I at times ferry about. Each Tuesday and Friday the local doctor's rooms are packed to the rafters as blood tests are done. Or rather blood is taken to ensure that the chronic medication given is properly dosed. Another reason why our two doctors are revered by their peers all over Burgenland and beyond. They are so thorough and meticulous in solving the body's mysteries.

This morning I had an appointment to fetch a couple in order to drive them to the doctor's. Their appointment was for 8 am and I was there at 7.55 sharp...shoddy timekeeping is a red flag to most retired folks. Once, a few years back I was two minutes late and the lady in question phoned my cellphone three times and gave me a blasting when I got there literally a few minutes late. Lesson learned.

We were there at eight sharp and as it turns out so where many others and he had to wait a bit for his turn. By now most villagers know my car and me in it while I sit in front of the doctor's rooms waiting. Today was special because one of the local lasses ( who had wheeled her own mum there to participate in vampire day ) spotted me and came out to chat for a minute. Village life is priceless.

After I had dropped the husband off for his appointment, his wife and carer asked me to drive them to the local village shop. Shopping instead of waiting wasn't a bad idea and when they went into Wachter's, I ran across the road to see my folks for a few minutes.

Eventually I had collected everyone from the various village institutions and driven them back home. They invited me in for a coffee and a chat. As with most conversations, it turned to food or maybe that is just our family's main interest! They told me of a nice restaurant in Deutsch Tschantschendorf which serves a divine buffet most Sundays. When they started to list the individual dishes there, I started to get hungry.

Hungry enough to stop at Wachter's on my way home to buy some freshly baked rolls. Even that was enjoyable as it gave me a chance to greet a few villagers and shoot the breeze with them. You know, meeting people in a village is not that difficult yet, surprisingly, everyone keeps to themselves.

Biggi

Monday, 15 May 2017

Happiness, Don't Underestimate It.

A nice way to start the week.

" Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. "
Jim Rohn
" The secret to happiness is freedom...And the secret to freedom is courage..."
Thucydides
" Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. "
Nathaniel Hawthorne
" If you want to be happy, be. "
Leo Tolstoy
" The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts: therefore guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. "
Marcus Aurelius
" Happiness depends upon ourselves. "
Aristotle
" Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. "
Democritus
" Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. "
Abraham Lincoln
" There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. "
Epictetus

Biggi

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Vagaries Of Rural Bliss.

A high-bed fit for felines.

Bob and his dad laboured for days to create the perfect high bed in our front yard. Even as we speak there are the green shoots of future one pot wonders popping through the soil in the various green shapes. Both Bob and I are equally nebulous on final outcomes.

" Schatzi, what is this going to be? "
" Eh, let's be surprised. "
at least we are sure the many shoots aren't weeds.

Yesterday we braved the garden center and I purposely used the word braved, as the signs of irritation were there before the start...no parking, all the shopping trolleys in use and barely room to move around the spacious isles. But, Bob wanted tomatoes and I couldn't believe it when he queued up as gentle as a lamb even eschewing my offer to ditch the trolley and come back some other time. Just goes to show that when men want something, patience becomes their virtue.

We finally purchased a whole selection of tomatoes, chillies and herbs which has my taste buds watering already thinking of the many colourful salads I'll be making. Well, there is just a little fly in the ointment or rather a stubborn member of our family!

Divine Tiggi ( our first introduction to the wonderful feline world ) might look demure when sitting there with her tongue between her fangs, but she has developed taste and style.

Tiggi has had a front row seat watching the two men create this strange contraption in her garden. With each progressive day she must have thought herself more and more regal. A throne was being built right in front of her eyes and the fact that it was being built atop her former loo, didn't worry her overly much. Why should it when our garden, her realm is trump, oh sorry, huge.

Cunningly, she only perches on or rather in this throne, a.k.a, a high bed, when Bob's not looking. Glancing out the window yesterday afternoon I almost burst out laughing. There she was, reclining comfortably amid the mystery vegetation, soaking up the sunshine and being happy with the world. Bob, when I told him, nearly had a hernia and tasked me with " de-throning" our feline queen.

Easier said than done...it must be the most comfortable place to view the world with one eye open while a meter off the ground, closer to the tweeting birds and right bang in the middle of a smorgasbord of delectables.

Biggi

The colours would lure me too.
They've really done a fabulous job with this high bed. Can't wait to grow our vegetables....
The top right hand corner is favoured by Princess Tiggi.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Confirmation Everywhere...

A rather industrious undertaking.

Wherever I look these days, somebody is getting confirmed. A big deal to the kids and often a bigger deal to the parents. Not so much the spiritual aspect but rather the logistical and aesthetic one.

Either way one approaches it, a confirmation is a big party. A party planned months in advance and rather reminiscent of a curtain call for a future wedding. Gosh, has it always been so intricate, showy and expensive?

A lot of the local children or should one call them young adults are being confirmed in May. Teachers have even changed the date of exams in order for the students to prepare for confirmation. Parents are organizing the difficult part of inviting people. Won't do to forget aunt Dotty or a neighbour as it could raise that green eyed monster tout de suite. Table arrangements, catering and special outfits do remind one of weddings.

Why does one confirms? Confirmation is a final step to belong to the faith your church provides. Suddenly teenagers are fully fledged member of their congregation and it is a good thing to belong somewhere in this uncertain world.

Apart from the ten commandments there are also a few common sense ideas that should be part of life after the confirmation. Things like being kind, being respectful of parents, being forgiving, being thoughtful, being helpful to those who are less fortunate and trying to be a good person.

Somehow I do fear that all those sentiments being rehearsed and learned in order to get confirmed might fall by the wayside rather quickly. The actual party will be immortalized with the help of Facebook, the presents will be enjoyed, counted and spent but only a few young adults will apply those pointers from the clergy and alas, the rest will resume life as before...

Biggi

Friday, 12 May 2017

A Few Quotes.

...someone else said it first...

" Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind. "
William Shakespeare
" Give thy thoughts no tongue. "
William Shakespeare
" Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. "
Albert Einstein
" Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. "
Oscar Wilde
" If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. "
Oscar Wilde
" My wife can't cook at all. She made a chocolate mousse. An antler got stuck in my throat. "
Rodney Dangerfield
" Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults. "
Mitch Hedberg
" If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. "
Mark Twain
" Cricket is basically baseball on valium. "
Robin Williams

Biggi

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Walking, A Frivolous Pastime?

Living in a village does require a strong backbone...

Everyone in our village knows that I walk at the drop of a hat, snowflake or raindrop and they've somehow written me off as a bit batty. Fair enough yet I do see the envious glances of those who perhaps would like to join me on my meanderings.

For a while now, I have been walking with a friend to help her overcome a bout malaise due to various stresses ( happily sanctioned by her doctor ) and even I am surprised at how she has taken to walking. When I first suggested for her to come along for a walk to banish the odd doldrums, I thought she'd chicken out but she has taken to walking like a duck to water. More importantly, she is feeling better in body and mind.

On Tuesday we ran into an elderly and dare I say, slightly cantankerous villager who demanded to know;

" Don't you have any work to do?
as he views walking as a frivolous activity which should be stopped to work on house and home. Well used to these sarcastic conversation stoppers ( no fun sticking around for a chat, is there? ), I forgot his comment the minute he'd uttered it.

As they say, the plot thickened because yesterday my friend told me how she'd done a thorough spring clean the minute she got home from our walk and when I asked her if it had anything to do with the former exchange, she guiltily nodded her head.

Isn't it amazing how we gear our lives to the odd hecklers even though we know we are living our life in a genuine way? In my friend's case, walking is for medicinal reasons with the added bonus of enjoying it thrown in yet she still felt she had to justify her going for walks.

The irony of it all is that today there will be a talk given in the village hall by a nutritionist on the ever popular and perennial topic of losing weight...! The hall will be packed but the roads will be devoid of walkers regardless...

Biggi

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Handwriting Experts.

A spark of interest is lit.

A few of the kids that I help with English happened to have been in the same class at the local village school. In fact, they've been together since Kindergarten days and tend to know each other jolly well.

This year they've gone their separate ways depending on which school their parents have chosen for them. The first few years of the English language ( or as they call it, the torture ) is the same in most schools and thus I have study aids that I use for all of them. Sometimes they write in the book itself and sometimes not.

Vocabulary test involve a lot of writing on their part as I make them write an unknown verb at least three times. Moans galore I tell you and in the beginning I tended to fall for that old excuse of:

" I know the verb and don't need to write it down. "
No more!

Scrap paper to write on is often not there so I have an exercise block that I take along. Whilst looking for an unused page the kids often see each other's handwriting and of course instantly want to know how so and so is doing...

Not wanting to divulge anyone's business I have to side step many a youthful demand of:

" Is he / she better than me? / Does he / she have to learn the same stuff? / How can you read that handwriting ? "
The last one is a bit rich indeed, as the only reason they mention it, is the fact that they can't copy the answers from the study aids. Don't worry, I do make them use either a humble pencil
( which is so old fashioned they don't like to use it ) or a space age pen. To my mind at least, as it writes like a ball point pen yet it can be rubbed out like a pencil. Rather expensive yet, to keep up with the Jones' I splashed out and bought three of these pens.

The only problem is that it takes double the time to rub out the answers from the study aids and often the feint outline is visible...luckily for me only of the unreadable handwriting.

Biggi

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Colourful Eisenberg.

A brightness that even transcends an overcast day.

Ironic how these flowers only bloom once a year and with pulchritude yet when they don't, they are just a bunch of long blades of grass wilting in the hot sun.
A weed to some, a beautiful flower to me.
All that's needed is a glass of wine to sit and imbibe the view. Let's not forget to enjoy life...we only have the one.
It's poppy time again. Lovely to see the side of the lanes spotted with these red sirens.
I did say that Eisenberg is steeped in colour...the man of the yard.
What a fantastic silken looking petal. Nature, awesome and amazing.
Last but not least...we are getting new neighbours and seeing the red arm of a crane frame the view was to good not to record.

Biggi

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Simple Things In Life Tend To Be The Nicest.

Our long walk.

As you saw in yesterday's blog post, the Bobster and I went on a mammoth walk. Well, for us at least. With cunning and ingenuity he planned every step ahead of time and luckily I only became aware of his route along it, as there were rather a lot of uphills back to back. Even he got wary of them.

Walking, one of life's pleasures is so easy and cost nothing except the will to get out of bed. Sunday mornings don't see many villagers out and about, unless they are returning from the joys of Saturday night. The whole time of our walk we weren't met by any other walker, runner or cyclist. Where were they?

We did encounter the odd car and managed to jump to the correct side of the road. Oncoming traffic and so on yet, one woman gave us the evil eye while skimming past us at great speed. Either for daring to be in the road or for daring to make her feel guilty for not walking herself.

Walking together is a nice way to catch up as there aren't any distractions about. It gave us a chance to reflect on the history of our area and at times we both wondered if and who has walked this way before. Romans, soldiers, farmers or children on their way to school back in the days when there wasn't public transport.

How often does one get a chance to actually look at the path we tread? Aren't we usually so busy engaging with folks on all corners of the world ( despite knowing we might never meet them we put all our effort in to try and impress them...a touch of insanity? ) Bob and I noticed the leaves of the trees, the rustling of the leaves, the slightly hidden pond along a road we've driven on many a time, the sound of chickens and how nice some of the gardens looked.

I'll add the link of a video the Südburgenland tourism office took of this wonderful part of the world and then you will understand why I am so addicted to walking in and among it...

Biggi

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Eisenberg-2-Eisenberg Via Badersdorf, Kohfidisch & Csaterberg.

A delightful walk in rural bliss.

A mere two weeks ago we took the folks for a drive and while we were sightseeing from the comfort of our car, Bob announced his plan to walk this route. Well, today was the day and we set off at 6.30 am.
Bob hasn't walked for a while and I honestly thought he wouldn't do it, but I stand corrected.

Aren't they cute? Just outside of Badersdorf is a deer sanctuary and they were the only witnesses to our long walk.
Next village and we weren't even halfway. We walked from our house past Eisenberg Weinberg, took the Badersdorf road through the forest and the little lane alongside the forest to Kohfidisch. Wonderful scenery.
Fast forward a few hills and suddenly we were in Csaterberg. A magical place filled with Kellerstöckls.
Bob knew our route perfectly but just in case I took the phone with us...although, I am not so sure that anyone would have been happy to fetch us this early on a Sunday morning.
Nice, isn't it? Almost like a little gingerbread house.
The latter part of our walk was through the forest. About 3-4 kilometers in fact. Definitely the road less traveled. At the moment the forests are abundant in green hues, clean air and plenty of wildlife.
I was thankful to see this bit of emerald green peeping through at the top of the picture. Our house is a mere 800 meters away.
Bob had planned this route carefully and measured it beforehand on Google...15,5 km and it took us 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Biggi

Saturday, 6 May 2017

A Typical Saturday In Eisenberg.

Sun's out again as ordered.

Time has its own pace and I cannot believe that it was already a week ago that the four of us were getting ready to meander in our local vineyards equipped with wine glass and great expectations while feeling sanguine about the weekend ahead. Great weekend it turned out to be.

The last few weekends have thankfully been sunny and warmish after days of cold and rain. Again, this week we've had rain ( wonderful, as we need it ) and this morning the celestial switch turned to sunny with blue skies. As we speak, a load of clean washing is dangling on the line with a soundtrack of birds chatting to each other with great gusto and that's fine as long as they find a different drop off point for their lucky excretions.

Yes, of course I went for an early walk and as today is deemed to be the day to visit hell, oh, sorry Höll, the roads were teeming with tractors and trailers of all sorts. The first Saturday of every month is the day to get rid of any rubbish big and small free of charge. Bob and I did many a stint in the less than celestial surrounds when we first got here and had a little giggle each time we saw the Village sign.

On those Saturdays I tend to usually walk along the main road and am privy to the amount of rubbish people get rid of. Those trailers usually filled with earth are bursting with odds and ends being thrown out. Rather indicative of our collective addiction to shopping and somehow I fear that this mania will get worse with the ease and addiction to shopping from the palm of one's hand.

The lounge window is open and the distinct and wonderful sounds of village life are filling the air. Lawnmowers providing the perfect foil for the birds exchanging their news or perhaps pointing out the danger of a cat on the prowl. Mausi is lazily reclining on the windowsill and just the thought of it being Saturday is rather nice. Makes me feel very grateful to experience it.

Biggi

Friday, 5 May 2017

Making Pizza.

Almost as easy as pie...

Bob is a huge fan of pizza and since we make it from scratch ( is there any other way or rather how can those disciples of supermarket frozen pizzas eat them? ) I choose my moments wisely. Although after making the dough for the base I am usually surprised at how quick it goes.

Through the years we have honed our pizza base to our taste perfection. No more yeast and with it the deep dish base. Somehow the thin base is nicer and most of the time we use wholewheat flour due to Bob's diabetes and honestly, it tastes better.

The clump of dough needs to be rolled out on the tray and last night while improvising my utensils, I thought of how often we over-buy kitchen ware when simple things suffice. Most of us have an empty wine or beer bottle standing about waiting to go to the glass resting place. Dusted with a bit of flour it becomes an ideal rolling pin. Yes, why spend more money and waste more kitchen storage space when a simple bottle works just as well.

Even kitchens can be over done. Spending a fortune on a kitchen that will be outdated a few years down the road seems a tad bit silly. At the end of the day, we only use a small part of it and why not create your kitchen with only those few things and counters?

This week I've been creating lunch boxes ( or rather the fillings ) for Bob and have made bread too. Making our own bread is firstly simple as can be, secondly costs 60 cents as opposed to 3,5 euros and thirdly, it tastes better. Oh, I've made horrible bread too which even a toaster won't save. I don't make bread all the time but it makes a nice change from the sour dough breads.

Often it is thought to be nigh - on - impossible to make your own bread and thus the fable continues. Our generation should take up the art of making breads, jams or anything else that has been cleverly replaced by a series of numbered ingredients. Just take a look at the back of a bought pizza package, toast bread or even ice cream.

Biggi

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Oldies Have It...

Back when life was dare I say nicer?

At the moment I am listening to my favourite online radio station, KABL San Francisco, and am feeling fabulous. There is just this magic about music from the 50's 60's and 70's that makes one sway in the chair while listening. Bob still cringes when I listen to it but it kind of refreshes my soul.

Even though I wasn't around when most of these songs were released, I tend to know most words to them. Great, isn't it? Of course I seem to remember a time as a teenager where I was putting the needle back to start again and again with Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and the Beatles. One did need a steady hand to put the needle in the correct groove on those records.

The other day while our family was here for their stay, we put on an episode of Columbo ( we brought it over from S.A. ) and everyone was glued to the screen with my father in law even going so far as to ask us to keep quiet as he didn't want to miss out on any scene that might reveal yet another clue. Divine. We've got the first season of Columbo and as it started in 1971 the times were different.

Columbo episodes are a tad different to the normal murder plot films. It shows the murder taking place and who did it...the rest of the movie follows Detective Columbo stumbling bit by smokey bit on the truth. Great movies.

Phone booth abounded, everyone smoked where they liked and somehow life seemed more wholesome and much less stressful. The very reason I love listening to or watching those golden oldies is that they evoke a time where life wasn't this stressed out existence most of us have created for ourselves by being the lemmings following every trend there is.

Most of our free time is taken up with being online which begs the question what our parents did with their much more prolific free time back in the day. Makes me wonder, who will have the last laugh...and who will have had the best time?

Biggi

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

From The Vantage Point Of A Bus.

Cyclists and the funny side of life?

On Sunday, day two of wine tasting, we caught the early bus to Rechnitz. Early being relative as it was just gone on eleven o'clock. The bus was filled with fellow wine enthusiasts who ( and I really don't know why ), were dressed in similar fashion...wine glass dangling around their necks and dark sunglasses framing their pasty faces! A few were probably wondering why they signed up for day two and if they would use the spittoon rather than drink the wines.

When one is tired there is nothing nicer than to be swayed about in a cushy seat on a big bus. Bob wanted to sit right in the back perhaps reminding him of school days and how the cool dudes were always lounging haphazardly there, but he seemed to have forgotten the overly pronounced swaying the tail end does. Not that great after a day of wine tasting. Rest assured, on the return bus we all wisely chose the middle seats...

The bus was winding its way down the Eisenberg towards Burg, when the funniest thing happened and as these things go, out of the blue. In between talking I chose to look out the window at the passing scenery never in my wildest dreams expecting anything but the big three of our forests ( deer, rabbit & mouse ) when I noticed a bicycle standing sans rider on the edge of the road.

A second later, I found out why...the lady in question had yielded to her own call of the wild and squatted. Dear lady, next time choose a spot further in and not in line of a bus full of people equipped with cameras and smart phones. Good grief, did we have a chuckle. The irony of it was that those of us who saw her, also recognized her as a fellow wine taster. How could one forget when she and her husband were everywhere with their bikes in tow and sporting cycling gear that should really not be seen off a bike!

Biggi

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A Successful Long Weekend In Burgenland.

Another great Weinfrühling in our area.

It almost seems strange not to meander the vineyards with a glass of wine in hand. Yes, that is what most of us did this weekend and great fun it was. Note, I said meander not stumble! All good things must end and at least we are only 364 days away the next one. All in all, I imagine that the wine makers are happy and have sold a lot of their wine.

For Bob and I it is a return to a more quiet time as all of our family and friends have left. Our friends attended their second Weinfrühling in a row and I hope they enjoyed it. Overall it was their seventh visit to us and Eisenberg. It was fabulous to see how some of the locals came over to greet them and exchange news ( comical to hear an English & Burgenlandish conversation albeit finger language was included. )

In vino veritas is again proving its worth. Bob told me that when he and our friends from London
( they don't speak a word of German apart from " ein achtl wein bitte " ) were talking at the bar, one of the local ladies came over to greet them and proceeded to speak fluent English to them. Obviously with an accent, but she held a long conversation...the same lady who often is at the same functions as Bob and never ever has spoken a word of English with or to him in the last six years!!!

As we only spoke English it was nice to see how most of the local wine makers switched automatically into English in order to explain their wine and also to make our friends feel welcome. These little details are what is important, what is remembered and what makes people come back again and again...

Biggi

A bit of our Burgenland...

Monday, 1 May 2017

Who Said We're A One Horse Town?

The allure of horses never pales.

We were at our third wine tasting station in Rechnitz when the grazing horses in the paddock next to us went wild...a whole troop of horse riders were approaching and even though the horse were upset, it was spectacular to watch them race across the field.
They felt the troop of riders before we even saw them...
Gosh, I wish you could have seen it...a real wild west performance.
Lovely to see the Kellerstock in the background. I must say it was just too beautiful and everyone at the watering hole ( wine station ) went to watch the horses.
Still wondering if they wanted to join the riders or whether they were upset to see their compatriots being ridden?
They were running like crazy and at times it sounded like a stampede.
Isn't he stunning...

Biggi