Thursday, 31 May 2018

Another Public Holiday In Burgenland.

And a hot one to boot.

A Thursday lends itself perfectly for a public holiday. Long weekends are taken, moods have lifted and outdoor life embraced to the fullest. It helps that today is another marvelous Summer's day. In fact the whole week has been blessed with temperatures reaching close to thirty degrees which goes a long way to wipe out any lingering memories of those two weeks in Winter when we had minus fifteen.

Bob and I drove earlier on to pick up his company car and along the way I caught glimpses of a public holiday. Cyclists are ubiquitous and a tad dangerous to circumnavigate on the road but Sundays and public holidays are theirs and good luck to anyone trying to wrestle the streets from them...

Hedges around the villages are still on the ascent which caused me to see glimpses of men gardening in their Speedo's. Yikes, a Speedo at the best of times is mind blowing but seeing the over 50's take to gardening in them is a sight too much. Clearly no young gun worth his reputation would parade about in these tight small spandex undies let alone take to cycling in them. Somehow they don't look very comfortable but obviously they must be.

Bob and most of the boys of his generation are still scarred with the memories of having to don these less than flattering spandex undies for swimming galas whilst at school. Obviously the odd one thought to parade about like the proverbial feathered bird little knowing that we gals in the stands were giggling and far from impressed.

Fashion has a terrible habit of boomeranging and I fervently hope that the tight small Speedos aren't part of on earth will I get Bob to go against the fashion then?


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A Wednesday' s Walk.

Unexpected sights and memories.

Time has sprouted wings. Today was bin collection day and better than any calendar it highlights another month flitted away. Taking the heavily loaded garbage bin down the driveway to the predestined collection spot ( even putting the handles in the right way ) made it seem like only yesterday that I placed the last one. A month can feel as long as an eternity but also as short as a flick of the wrist.

It being Wednesday meant a walk with the gals. We start earlier now and at a quarter to seven I left to head to the fire station which is about five hundred meters down the road. Along the walk there I saw a man going to his postbox and I don't know who was more surprised...him or I? Clearly he didn't expect anyone to be afoot as he was sporting the strangest pair of pyjamas indeed. It took all my might not to stare but only to guffaw a greeting.

The donkey residing at the back of one of the houses was braying quite forcefully, a selection of dog toys were littered along the street and an open window made me be fleetingly privy to someone's mobile soliloquy. The illusion of privacy has fooled many a mobile user.

Why do we tend to shout so loudly whilst answering these darn phones? An eon of working in a hair salon has cured me of any thoughts of privacy. Sound waves carry and carry the sound of secrets to many an open albeit unwilling ear.

Discussing private affairs in a public place should be a no-go; contrary to popular belief, sitting having your hair blow waved does not mask any tidbits you share with your stylist and believe me, people do. A stylist's chair seems to morph into a confessional. Sitting at the reception desk I could always tell if salacious tidbits were told as the stylist would quickly switch off the hairdryer and lean closer to the client's ear for more privacy.

Ah, the good old days of working at The Salon. Never dull, never the same and and a great education...


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A Rosy Tuesday.

The romance of roses...

These pale pink beauties are gracing my parent's garden. What was a mere stem a year ago has transformed into an arch of scented pink.
Not quite a rose but striking nonetheless. Strong colours are wonderfully visceral.
Last year, or it might have been the year before, my mum gave me their rose plant as they had put a new one in. Again, from a little stem with roots a colourful vista has made itself at home in front of our ' pigsty '.
A red siren enjoying a morning's breeze among the blades of grass.
A shadowy stage presence!
A yellow rose at start of a row of vine is more than a symbol of beauty...the wine farmers use the health of the roses as an indicator for the health of the soil...


Monday, 28 May 2018

My Own Little Welcoming Committee.

A welcome sight in front of our gate.

I was walking down the road and musing about the vagaries of life and how serendipity plays a major role in it. A visit with a neighbour brought it to mind. Luckily I went to see her today, ringing her doorbell which didn't work as it turned out that her electricity had tripped which only could be repaired by a professional. Most of us would take that in our stride but when one is an elderly lady living alone, these excitements tend to cause heart palpitations. But, all's well I think as the electrician had arrived when I took my leave.

So there I was thinking it through when I turned the corner to our house only see on the outer edge of the lawn next to the road our grey tomcat idling the time away, obviously waiting for me to return. He must have taken note when I left earlier because normally he sits under the window waiting to be fed. How cute that he is waiting for mummy to return.
In movie parlance....The return of the Mummy!

Despite him skittering away if I come closer than a meter, I do always speak to him in a motherly way;

" Hallo my boy, are you waiting for me? "
he was facing the other way but as soon as he heard me talk to him he turned and gave me a grin or grimace as it was after five already.

Where there's one, there's another...the white and grey speckled tomcat is usually two steps behind him often resulting in a vicious vocal cat fight over the order of feeding. Sometimes they hiss for hours not letting each other eat at all and other times they casually and peacefully eat side by side from the two bowls alternating between lapping up milk and chewing dry cubes. Life with animals is never dull and always heart warming.

There's my boy waiting patiently for me.
The two of them getting along just fine whilst eating our delightful food.


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Nice To See Charlene Unwind.

A fabulous Monaco Grand Prix.

I don't know what is more exciting, the actual race or the build up before it. We are fortunate enough to have Nico Rosberg be one of the commentators for RTL. Funny insights and tips are extremely entertaining although, whilst he was standing in front of Lewis's car, no nod of recognition was seen. Perhaps after the race.

The race itself was great even though yours truly did drop in and out sleep during the middle of the race. Needn't necessarily have been the race...reclining on the couch is dangerous at the best of times. Bob's voice would drag me out of my dreamy state by asking me questions which I even managed to answer. A talented napper it seems.

Red Bull drove a fantastic race and Daniel deserves his win. It is easy to win when the car is in top shape but it transpired that Daniel had to deal with several problems at the same time for most of the race. A true champion. Isn't it nice to see him always so happy? As for the Shoey affair, now that was super exciting. Will he or won't he let his Royal Highness have a taste of his shoe was the question on everyone's lips.

Despite calls from the crowd he diplomatically solved the etiquette dilemma. How brilliant to see Charlene take a sip from the big champagne bottle...although, it suspiciously looked like she didn't so perhaps a little prince or princess is on the way!

This was the first time I saw her happily and publicly hold her husband's hand, exchange a few loving glances with him and laugh naturally. How utterly divine to see her this happy.

Sport does bring out the best in people...


Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Enchanting Morning Dew.

The early bird has an advantage.

As you can see the sun was awake but a slight chill was in the air. A chill that made some light a fire...
Dew, the beautiful dew of an early morning enhances even ordinary green stalks into objects of admiration.
A few flowers have decided to brave the elements.
Funny how colours enhance and recall memories. This particular ensemble reminds me of Princess Diana posing in front of the Taj Mahal.
Daisies, unforgettable daisies enjoying the first kiss of sunlight on their petals. Plain old daisies, simple but delightfully enchanting to look at.


Friday, 25 May 2018

A Day Fit For Flowers.

The flowery abundance of Eisenberg.

An early morning camera catch. I had forgotten how peaceful and fabulous an early walk can be. Apart from tractors, hares and birds I had nature to myself.
The other day while spending time sorting out our hedge I noticed these beauties. Despite there being an abundance of poppies scattered about, each bunch has a unique attraction. Glad I took the time to photograph them as that evening they fell prey to one of our neighbour's weed eater.
A slight dusting of rain early this morning enhanced the vibrancy of grass and flowers early.
Most meadows filled with wildflowers seem to have an artistic director...
It broke my heart to walk past the next day and only see bits and pieces of red pieces scattered about with bits of grass. This dreadful obsession with neat and tidy lawns!


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Our Smoothie Blender Unfolds Another Feature.

A welcome addition to our homemade staples.

Maybe it is because The Bob and I have been watching a lot of cooking shows lately or it is because we've evolved in the culinary department. Just the other night Bob made, no created would be a better description, a bean curry that was out of this world. He ate three plates of it and I a humble two.

As we've discovered our love for lentils, chickpeas and co, we have become more inventive and creative. The cooking department ( staffed by one staff member during the week! ) has embraced a schedule of sorts. A pot of lentils, chickpeas, runner beans, rice or bulgur wheat is cooked every night and put aside for lunches or snacks.

A healthy and cheap way of making lunches. A 500 g bag of dried chickpeas costs less than two euros and makes many a delicious meal. These cold beans tend to make the base of the salads I compose for Bob's lunch bag. Add onions, garlic and vegetables and a big meal is made. Not that I am comparing notes, but I am pretty sure that among his co-workers yours truly has left the other wives in the dust when it comes to homemade lunches.

Last night was the chickpeas' turn and this morning I was wondering how to make hummus. Bob looked up a recipe but it needed tahini which we don't have nor have a chance to buy locally. When I returned from an errand, I again looked up recipes and one of them said to substitute peanut butter in lieu of tahini.

Our blender has a small container that lends itself perfectly for making pesto, hummus and peanut butter. With increasing exuberance I put the cooked lentils, juice of a lemon, generous helping of garlic, a teaspoon of peanut butter, oil, spicy paprika power and salt before putting the blender to the test. My gosh, it is delicious. Looks and tastes much better than store bought hummus and I have to stop eating it as I still want there to be a taste left over for my honey once he returns from work.

Isn't it silly how we tend to rather buy ready made stuff deeming it too difficult to emulate ourselves when it is often just the opposite. The hummus deli has opened...

Rather proud of my first attempt...needs a bit more oil perhaps for smoothness but the flavour is great.
Bob had better be home soon...!


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Power Of Suggestion.

Our hedge gets a trim.

Late yesterday afternoon I noticed ( heard really ) a flurry of traffic in our road and when I chanced to glance outside our window I saw the mayor's car parked outside it. Oh my gosh, what was going on?

Typically for a procrastinator I rushed about for sixty seconds flat picking up errant socks from the floor, straightening rugs ruffled by Mausi's youthful exuberance and a quick check if the loo was clean.

On the way through to the lounge I told Bob about this parked car and he mumbled something about having seen several guys including our mayor inspecting a garden up the road. The only non conformist garden apart from ours in a road of neat as a pin gardens.

" Schatzi, I fear we are going to get a rebuke about our hedge's joy of growing however it wants."
" Of course not, why would you even think that? "
but I could tell that he was wondering...

This morning during my walk with the Eisenberg gals I found out the real reason for the high and mighty visit of our street and it had nothing to do with our garden, yet to be on the safe side I geared up after my walk to tackle at least part of our hedge. An endless task but rather satisfying afterwards when there is a bit more neatness to it...but not pin neat as I still sort out the hedge the old fashioned way with big gardening shears, a wheelbarrow and a rake.


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Oblivious To The World Around Me.

A nice way to spend part of a Tuesday.

Where was I? Well, I motored through to Güssing at lunchtime in order to get our larders filled once more. Where does all the food go is what I tend to ask myself each and every time we come home from a weekly shop. Do we eat that much? Yikes, so it seems and one can't forget the trio of feline lodgers who eat us out of house and home.

My final stop was at the local Hofer branch and as it was humid and hot outside it was a sheer pleasure to enter the hallowed portals of commerce. Air conditioned, familiar to the last shelf and a bit like home. Recently, their rival- Lidl chose to upgrade and change their store around, which does put me a bit on edge.

Even though I know what I am going to put into my trolley, the mind still meanders around the various option of perhaps a special treat of Avocados, runner beans grown organically in Neusiedel or a ready made smoothie teasing me with its promise of goodness and more importantly something cold to drink.

Early afternoon is a fabulous time to wheel the trolley about a supermarket as it is full of happy people. Pensioners have all the time in the world, smile when their path is crossed and offer to do the check out tango;

" Look, I've only got a few items, you go ahead of me. "
which doesn't happen too often in the cut throat shopping arena called to life after five.

Eventually I managed to wheel the trolley outside in a familiar sideways slant and was most surprised to see a dark sky, wet tarmac and drops of rain falling around me. Where had the time gone and why hadn't I noticed these weather changes?

Could it be that shopping in familiar surroundings is therapeutic? As I let the lady with a few items go ahead of me, she thanked me in Hungarian and for a fleeting moment I thought I might be at a Hofer in Szombathely. Grocery shopping, one of the last places to unwind and relax...


Monday, 21 May 2018

A Spot Of Rural Colour.

And it isn't even summer yet.

A delicate balance between the sturdiness of permanence and the fleeting bloom of a forest blossom.
A darling bud of May?
This old Kellerstock has had roots atop the Eisenberg for many generations and thus has mingled with nature.
The belles of the ball caught waltzing gaily along the beat of the early morning breeze.
These mauve mavens are rather reticent, mysterious although conveying a certain degree of romance.
One never knows when one encounters the divine sight of the roaming flock of sheep grazing contently on a steep hill, between vines or along the side of the road. Aren't they spectacular and a great reminder of how quaint and soothing nature can be?


Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Sunday Before A Public Holiday Monday.

The only way is to spend it in a leisurely way.

Most evenings Bob and I settle down on our perspective couches in order to watch a movie, series or cooking show. Straight after supper which tends to translate itself to one of us nodding off and missing a vital part of a series. A case of out of sync which isn't much fun if Bob has to re-watch episodes his darling was asleep for...

After watching our new favourite show ( episode 1 ) at six o'clock this morning, both of us were on the same level of series information as there is nothing worse than constantly being asked:

" Eh? What happened / Who is that character / What's this all about? "
So, both of us are now in the grips of Safe fever and despite wanting to watch the next episode straight away, I decided to circumvent the Eisenberg mountain range. My Sunday treat and as Bob promised not to binge watch while I was gone, all was well.

Remember, it was still early, especially considering that it is a long weekend but for some reason all and Sundry were about. It started off once I got atop the mountain range, well the upper Weinberg really, when I noticed two locals standing at the crossroads obviously waiting for something or someone. As I had to go that way and being a friendly sort, we had a wee chat.

Halfway through it dawned on me why they were standing about. A few of the Eisenberg firemen were walking to Burg on foot in order to attend their Frühschoppen. A yearly event which means walking via or through the forest to Burg. Schoo, lucky escape as encountering a posse of firemen ( pride of lions ) is not for the faint of heart. Teasing galore might have been in store. Yes, I put foot and luckily was one step beyond! Madness, I tell you!

Well, by now they should be on their return trip...I would hate to walk through the forest at night what with foxes and co. roaming about. Many a wife will be phoned for taxi service now in order to spare a tipsy march in the wilds of Eisenberg. I would have done it for Bob had he gone!

Most Sundays will see me walk that particular route around the Eisenberg mainly due to the lack of traffic once I get to the main road. At most two or three cars normally drive past me but this morning it was a constant bit of dodging traffic. At least ten cars dashed past me and I can only deduce that they are going to Burg albeit by car. Next year I will be more traffic savvy.


Saturday, 19 May 2018

My Fourth Royal Wedding.

Weddings spanning a few decades.

For a moment I thought that I'd only been privy to three of these divine royal spectacles but then I spotted the second bride ( Duchess of York ) strut proudly down the aisle to find her seat. Strange, wasn't it to see the star of one of these weddings castigated to the part of a small bit player. I did find it rather rude, short sighted and bad mannered to not let her sit with her daughters. Honestly, let bygones be bygones.

Most, if not all of us were enthralled by Diana & Charles's wedding back in 1981 even though, seeing modern weddings in such splendorous colour makes me wonder how we saw anything by sitting in front of a small TV put on the teacher's desk at the front of our class? I do recall that our headmistress decided to let all of us watch the wedding at school, as she had realized that many of us might have been stricken by some mysterious illness. I was a part of it and with it, history.

Royalty, love them or hate them, but deep down most of us girls grew up dreaming of marrying a prince and perhaps this keeps the tradition going. A royal lotto of sorts. Only a handful of princes and billions of gals.

Today's royal wedding was stunning, nice and what a privilege to again have seen it unfold live on television. Bob ( yes, he was glued to it too ) and I have had the television on CNN or BBC since four this morning because the build up is part and parcel and if I would have lived in London, I would have stood along the route.

What both Bob and I relish apart from anything else is the dearth of political drama, sorry, soap opera that usually graces the news from morning to night. Here's hoping that this trend will continue as it was good to be reminded of the goodness in the world.


Friday, 18 May 2018

Recognizing And Being In The Moment.

Never mind waking up to smell the roses, how about this bevy of wild beauties?

Last night I saw a documentary on Netflix about a Buddhist chef from South Korea and it inspired me to be more aware of the moment and of how nature is full of abundant beauty, calmness and peacefulness.
I do realize that these photos are more or less of the same spot of wildflowers I encountered this morning but that is the point. In our insane haste to constantly see new, different and more we tend to loose our ability to be, just to be...
Taking photos helps me appreciate the moment and object in question. It helps me discover those divine aspects of ordinary bordering on divine, which keeps me a bit more grounded.
Even in our area these patches of wildflowers are becoming rare. Most are obsessed with neatness and deem a meadow filled with wildflowers a challenge to be met with a tractor.
If I am not mistaken, this is wild sorrel and from what some of the older ladies have told me, they go and pick sorrel to make salads. Don't worry, as I am not quite sure if it is sorrel I won't make a salad from it. Aren't they fabulous?


Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Smorgasbord Of Weather.

A few rainy days sprinkled amid a flurry of sunny days.

Taken this morning amid stellar sunshine although a few hours on and the clouds have gathered for an afternoon's christening.
Having a front row seat to an impending storm...lovely contrast with our newly done walls.
Even clad in a perspicuous mantle of rain drops, these poppies shine.
Again, a spot of sunny weather earlier today made my favourite bench shine. The pond chaperons it to perfection.
A silky carpet of wheat magnificently colouring in the picture book of Burgenland's attractions.
The cluster of daisies turning an ordinary walk into a feast for the senses.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Devil Is In The Detail.

It seems to be a common bathroom affair...

It struck me just now that we are mostly the same. Different in so many ways yet essentially still the same. I went to visit a lady of the older generation and we were chatting as one does about this and that, which is when the topic came up.

Gosh how I laughed when she mentioned her bathroom nemisis...the scale.

" I wanted to throw stones at it it made me so cross! How dare it say what it did. "
it had made her so irate that she swore to forgo it for a week at least.
" It's like a devil in our bathroom, isn't it? We know we are going to singe our happiness away by a sheer number, yet, diabolically it baits us to stand on it."
Who loves standing on that hideous machine after all. At times a thought of donating it had crossed my mind, but how could I do that to someone else? Where would the kindness be...

A little contraption like that can have devilishly outrageous effects on our day, week and even life. The other day I made a promise to myself to only grace it with more than a big toe ( needed to switch on that electronic beast ) once a week as otherwise it would be too unsettling for me.

Those days where one ( I hope it isn't only me ) feels as light as a feather and deems it risk free to step on the scale, all mental hell breaks loose because that dreadful contraption starts showing hideous falsehoods. If ever there was a case for Fake News, this would qualify and stubbornly it sticks to it despite many re-tries. You know, those where we move the scale to the left, then stand on it a bit more forward and finally, resignation lets us start the day with a self flagellating piece of dry toast.

Yes, the devil is in the detail...


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Big Skip At The End Of A Life.

A herd or hoard mentality?

Now and again you see those huge empty skips stationed outside newly purchased homes. Homes that someone else lived their whole life in until the bitter end. Having seen the flip side of real estate selling back in South Africa, it does take some adjusting to see houses for sale still being full of the previous owners furniture, clothes and all those things that constitute a life. Here in Burgenland or at least in our area, houses are sold as is. No coffee on the go, biscuits baking in the oven or bare wardrobe shelves.

I shouldn't really complain as it often lowers the asking price but one needs more than a linear imagination to envisage the redone version. Another house was sold not long ago, although it was more than a year since the lady of the manor passed away, and predictably the skip has made an appearance.

We spend a lifetime collecting and at times hoarding the oddest things, be they clothes, cups or old linen covers. Hoarding to an extent that our whole house seems to be filled to the rafters with stuff we never actually get to use. How silly is that and how many of us are guilty of it. I know I am.

When I went to chat to the new owner of this house, I couldn't help but see the previous owner's life broken down into heaps and bags to be thrown over the edge of the skip. Old clothes never worn, sofas and chairs kept for visitors who never showed or if they did, they sat in the kitchen like everyone else.

Collecting stuff isn't that hard nowadays. Apart from anything else most of us are too ashamed of polluting the earth with further discards that we take to hiding the rubbish in the attic, cellars or barns.

Big cities are a different kettle of fish compared to small village life. Even the straight forward plastic rubbish collection can be fraught with guilt and subterfuge. Take Sunday for example. Mother's day breakfast at our house and as Monday was the plastics rubbish collection day, Bob put all of our see through yellow bags on the curb albeit a day early. What a day to be organized...

Like a good daughter, I stood at door to welcome my folks and that gave me a chance to observe them giving the contents of our rubbish discards a quick once over. These yellow bags are no place to hide the remnants of an ice cream tub, packet of crisps or chocolate wrapper. Gosh, even I do a quick scan of my neighbours' lifestyle choices as I walk past their yellow bags awaiting collection.

Of course it is easier said than done as there's always that one time down the road we might be of need of that old and surprisingly unfashionable pair of jeans, skirt that will definitely fit us again in our thinner ( or should I just call it Utopian ) phase, glass ware we could use to host a banquet and furniture that takes far less effort to hoard than it does to toss it...


Monday, 14 May 2018

Walnuts And Port.

A new tipple in the making?

I was with a friend this morning and she showed me an article about the many uses of walnuts. That is if one has a walnut tree which we do. Two in fact but who is counting. The recipe had a surefire way to emulate Port.

Alas, I am quite versed in normal wines but Port has me lacking in knowledge and stupidly I asked if Port wasn't another name for brandy. Well, far from it and just to prove a point she fetched a small bottle of the real stuff ( the really real one from Portugal ) and poured a bit for me to taste.

Yikes, ten in the morning was a touch early but I couldn't be rude and thus sipped a small amount of Port. Good gracious me, it was sweet and strong. Even a glass of water didn't hinder the lingering effects of that teaspoon full.

The mere word Port has a touch of nostalgia hinged to it. It reminds me of Georgette Heyer novels, Downton Abby and the English channel. Port had its rise to power & fame in the 17th century due to England having imposed high levels of taxation on French wines. Ah, where there is a will there is a way...

The recipe in question calls for fifty green walnuts cut into four pieces ( skin and all ), eight liters of red wine, a half liter of schnapps and some sugar. Of course I forgot to listen to the amount of sugar needed but less is more! I will keep you informed about all and any libations created by us.


Sunday, 13 May 2018

A Boot That Bucks The Trend.

Locked and empty.

After all a car is a car, a functioning car is all one needs and if there are a few minor cosmetic wrinkles, so be it as the alternative would be to walk, take a bus or ride a bicycle.

Our car is and has been super to us and is still going to be and if the only flaw is a boot that refused to open then we don't have a problem. Apart from looking a bit comical at times. Remember, our car is a hatch back (!) with ample boot space to transport goods... or not!

I've got used to it and don't even think about it anymore. Loading stuff into the boot merely means flopping one or both backseats down for a while. That is if the backseat is not occupied.

Of course we've received plenty of sage advice;

" Just go and have it fixed at the garage. "
but our car is nudging towards being an oldie and spending unnecessary money on fixing a problem of convenience is just not worth it.

Saturday morning the husband and I did a shopping excursion to Rechnitz and apart from groceries, my husband bought eight bags of 40 l flowerbed earth. The mink of the manure set...fair enough and we do need it but the logistics only crossed his mind when he had to double park at the store entrance as all those bags are stacked there.

Bob's an optimist because he valiantly tried to open the boot and naturally straight away turned pessimist;

" Oh jeez. This #$%T%RY car!!! "
It having been Saturday morning, a morning before Mother's Day, meant that many were out shopping including the trendy hip Vienna set busy buying the staples of an impending Mother's day breakfast. Bob hated that he had to slink and wangle each and every bag past a collection of groceries on our backseat, while parked right at the entrance for all to see. I sagely stayed silent but helped carry a lot of the bags to him. After a few grouchy comments regarding the rebellious boot hatch, he saw the funny side of it and the fact that our car makes us unique and rather hip ourselves...


Saturday, 12 May 2018

A Sad Reality Of Life.

An injured deer lay down to rest.

Bob saw it first as we drove past our hedge. A deer was lying down in our meadow and clearly had been injured. Bob stopped the car, I got out to go and see while my heart was sad as can be. A deer still staying supine while I approached didn't bode well.

It's eyes were glazed with endured pain, the ears twitched slightly as it saw me and the stomach was moving in tandem with the slow breaths taken. This deer was pregnant but was beyond pain and help. What to do? I phoned a friend of mine whose husband is a hunter and she must have heard my sadness because they quickly drove over to see what could be done.

The whole time I stayed not more than a meter from this exhausted animal and talked to it. My friends came but soon established that this deer was beyond help and I needed to phone the local hunter, who would have to come and put it down.

My heart was heavy with sadness at witnessing this animal's pain. The hunter came equipped for the deed that had to be done and as much as I wanted to walk away, I thought I owed it to this deer to stay all the way. The shot when it thundered next to me was unexpected and horrid but it had to be done as the animal needed to have an end to its suffering.

The hunter later told me that he'd had phone calls of an injured deer close to our house yesterday afternoon, but when he looked for it he couldn't find it which only meant that this poor animal had been in pain all night long. I know that this is what happens in nature and especially in a heavily wooded area but it still is a sad part of life to witness.

All along I felt like a huge heart bled for this deer yet my whole life I thought and felt nothing for all those animals who lost their lives because I felt like having a steak, sausage or ham sandwich.


Friday, 11 May 2018

Tigger Has Turned Into A Carbon Copy Of Mausi, The Primadonna.

Bad habits and so forth.

Where do I start in regards to our little Mausi? Cute as she is, she can lead us a merry dance and have us jump however high she wants us to. Bob more so than I! Food is our Achilles heel and her pea. If she doesn't like the first whiff of a dish, she'd rather starve than eat it. There have been times when I've mumbled something about money not growing on trees but she merely puts her nose in the air, flicks her tail and stomps off.

Bob tends to fall for her theatrics and gives her something else but lately on the sly as I am more old school.

" Eat what's on your plate. There are cats starving in Africa. "
...wonder where I've heard this before?

Those times when Mausi decided to throw meal tantrum, I would pick up her plate and take it outside to a deserving audience. Remember, Tigger our almost domesticated feral cat lives permanently on our lounge's window sill. She thinks it's Christmas when she can have those unwanted vittles, especially when she notices Mausi standing there with jealousy written all over her.

Well, as they say, the plot thickens...the other day, when I put out the vittles for Tigger and the other two feral lodgers ( naturally it is the cheaper kind and all due respect to them, but they are able to hunt for mice at their leisure, which Mausi isn't able to ) Tigger did a Mausi and decided to forgo her meal in order to wait for something more appealing. What had gotten into her? Normally she'll eat anything and everything but now she has gone upmarket in her tastes...

As you can imagine, Bob instead of giving her a lecture has turned the tables on me and admonished me for buying such cheap food. Well, I stuck to my guns for a day but when I heard her painful wheezing, my heart melted and along with it my principles. She is very old, has supported herself and more than likely a dozen litters for many years through the depth of Winter and the furnace of Summer so that now she deserves to live the rest of her live in culinary heaven...

Tigger's abode on the outside of our lounge's window sill. Glad she's taking life a bit easier...
Bob designed and made this cat's castle outside of our lounge window just before last Winter.


Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Allure Of Humble Poppies.

The red sirens of nature.

Although I have the privilege of seeing them every year, each and every time I am rendered speechless by their beauty.
A poppy oasis atop the Eisenberg sets the scene for a wonderful summer up ahead.
A flower of such delicate beauty and immense significance...
Now you can understand my love of walking in these fine parts.
A poppy with a different support team almost looks like it was superimposed into the image. Vibrant and fine as bone china makes it such a treat to meander the streets.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

English Words Maquerading As German Words Or Vica Verca?

The Germanic roots.

Trying to make English a bit more interesting I bragged about the German and English language deriving from a similar place. I should have known that boys don't take anything unless it's proven:

" Oh really? Great, then give me some examples of it. "
Not surprisingly I failed to come up with any apart from a rather weak Water and Wasser which hardly counts. Well, I turned to the trusty source of Google and found some examples which we all use most of the time without realizing their uniqueness to both languages. I've used capitals to denote the German side of them.
  • Bitter, Banal, Beige, Intelligent and Irrelevant.
  • Legal, Liberal and Loyal.
  • Rational, Relevant and Turbulent.
  • Hammer, Hunger and Olive.
  • Balance, Bank and Butter.
  • Macho, Minister and Museum.
  • Radio, Reflex and Religion.
  • Winter, Wolf and Zone.

Some of the words almost sound the same although they are spelled slightly different.

  • Tochter...daughter.
  • Pflaster...plaster.
  • Pfeffer....pepper.
  • Maus...mouse.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

For The Love Of A Chicken.

A new perspective.

This morning I went to visit a friend in Deutsch Schützen but not before quickly popping in at my parents', where I was hoping for a late breakfast Semmel with mum's homemade jam but alas, I was a tad too late. Que cera...

Without further delay I ventured a bit further to see my friend. Bell rung, dogs held in check ( no, not ferocious but rather playful little mites who would take any gap to gap it ) and finally we sat outside on her small veranda. She lives on the ground floor and has made her tiny garden into a haven for fowl and co. Delightful, tranquil and interesting.

Her chickens are rather posh ( Silkies I think ) or at least look to be...bloomers all the way down to their talons but deep down they were pecking and heckling just like the rest of their fowl cousins. Among the handful of chickens who by the way are ruled by his mightiness the rooster ( he is almost twice their size ), a merry band of guinea pigs gaily played in the hay bales strategically strewn about resembling a fun obstacle course. Oh, they were having the best of fun chasing each other ( fowl and pig ), nipping repeatedly for water in the garden watering can while being watched over by a pair of protective guards a.k.a. geese.

Partitioned off slightly from the veranda were another set of four legged friends. The two dogs just like us, seemed hypnotized by the play being enacted in front of us. After repeated daily practice, the troupe has perfected it. It was so tranquil merely sitting and watching the various antics in play, that it made me realize that there actually is no difference between a cat, dog, chicken, pig or cow...all have individual personalities and none deserve to meet their maker merely for us to eat their meat.


Monday, 7 May 2018

Our Cat's Playing Tit For Tat.

Cats and sleep...

Despite being asleep I was aware of turning over onto my side but not before encountering an obstacle next to my shins. Yes, La Princessa has taken to sleeping at the bottom end of my side of the bed and she must be quite adapt at ducking and diving around my ever moving feet. Who doesn't turn over in their sleep?

Anyway, there I was finally on my right side but through the mists of sleep I realized that my feet had kicked off an unsuspecting cat. The sound of her feet landing on the floor has become second nature to both Bob and I. We can distinguish her gallop when we feed her, her stealthy tread once she's got a spider, cricket or mouse in her vision and of course her nightly plop down onto the floor.

Well, early this morning her cup must have runneth over because as quick as a flash she hopped back onto the bed and proceeded to loudly make her way to my pillow and in the process purring like an idling truck. She took it upon herself to wake me up either as punishment or pure boredom.

Naturally the last bit of sleep was gone for good when she started to turn pirouettes next to my head instead of settling down to snooze a while longer next to me. Gosh, her tail was in and out of my face which prompted me to whisper a little rebuke. Never mind, she did the next best thing and jumped onto Bob's side of the bed with a mission.

Bob too has developed an intuition where she is concerned and thus quickly wrapped his arm around Maus and drew her into crook of his arm. Suddenly she was quiet and content while I was awake. Awake enough to take a look at the time which meant going through to the lounge. Half past three in the morning! Life with a cat has its own brand of allure and charm. Of course we wouldn't change it for the world.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Summer, Pure & Simple.

The colours of wholeness, goodness and of course, sunshine.

A meadow filled with happiness, abuzz with the happy swirl of bees nourishing and one can only imagine the life beneath it.
The blue irises have bloomed and soon will disappear to hibernate for another year. The vibrancy of their hue is a pleasure to absorb. As you can see, these are mingling with the common weeds but doesn't it make them more authentic?
Another purple beauty spotted early on the verge of a vineyard this morning.
There are no words ample enough to describe the feeling of walking past a meadow brimming with natural purity and vibrancy. Never mind the delectable aromas scenting the air.
A couple of deer heard me approach and gave me a measuring glance before deeming it better to hop off. Some folks run into dears and I run into deer...
One square of concentrated summer is the best screensaver.