Sunday, 30 September 2018

A Lazy Sunday Indeed.

A wonderful way to recharge...

Today was the sort of morning where getting up and going out for a walk seemed a bit over-the-top and anyway, by the time daylight decided to appear ( later and later due to the nearness of Christmas & co. ) it was too late to head out. The lure of breakfast, Sunday breakfast, was too powerful to resist.

Despite what many assume we consume, eating the vegan way affords us many scrumptious feasts and our Sunday breakfasts slot right in. We have a new favourite; Toasted grilled cheese and honestly, we love it. A stunning combination of bread ( rye, wholewheat or like today, bread rolls ) vegan butter, finely sliced onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, salt and pepper and slices of vegan cheese all grilled to perfection. Yum yum and worth delaying my walk for a day.

Taking the time to be lazy on a Sunday is a learned experience as so many are constantly on the go, feeling guilty even taking an hour to sit and relax. Weekends are aptly named as they should put a stop to our workweek.

We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves trying to have the perfect job, family, house, household and not forgetting the eternal quest for being in tune with the perfection-perception that advertisers like to sell us as the magic key to love, success and happiness. Isn't it obvious that we need to take time out and scale back on our irrational quest to comply with advertisers' idea of perfection?

As for our grilled cheese...unfortunately they disappeared before I had a chance to take a photograph. Next Sunday I'll try and remedy that little mishap!


Saturday, 29 September 2018

An Awesome Autumn Day.

A stormy background.

The sky had taken on a Shakespearian quality, the wind was howling and the stage was set for a strange day.
A tree house made to order...imagine a childhood spent in and around it?
Nature again assembled a perfect scene and setting for another day in paradise.
Mausi's doppelgänger hiding amid the maize field. When I first noticed this kitten, my heart dropped thinking that it was her and she'd somehow done a runner from home and was taunting me along the way.
Rather fitting seeing this street sign as behind me the sun was winning the day...
A mere roof with a chimney, but for me this embodies what Autumn is all about...stormy weather changing the hue of summer brightness to a more sedate Autumn mellowness.


Friday, 28 September 2018

A Bit Of Humour.

Laughter is the best medicine.

" Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off. "
Bill Murray
" I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. "
Fred Allen
" If you think nobody cares for you, try missing a few payments. "
Steven Wright
" The best way to teach your kids about taxes is to eat 30 % of their ice cream. "
Bill Murray
" There cannot be a crises next week. My schedule is already full. "
Henry Kissinger
" The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. "
Oscar Wilde
" If you had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
Henry Ford
" When your children are teenagers, it is important to have a dog so that somebody in the house is happy to see you. "
Norah Ephron
" My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. "
Rodney Dangerfield
" Marry a man your own age, as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight. "
Phyllis Diller
" Weather forecast for tonight: Dark. "
George Carlin


Thursday, 27 September 2018

For Want Of A Shoe Or Two.

The art of collecting...

First off, I do it too. Collect stuff needlessly. This morning I drove a widow around the village to do the normal things like going to the bank and district office but also at the same time my car was laden with three huge black bin bags filled to capacity destined for the recycling container.

Her husband passed away not so long ago and she has been sorting out his clothes and shoes in order to donate them to the less fortunate. All well and good, but when I saw how many shoes were in those bags, I couldn't help but say:

" Gosh, he had so many shoes but I only ever saw him in his favourite pair! "
Yes, he was a hoarder keeping things for a rainy day. Don't we all do that resulting in our cupboards, cabinets, wardrobes and houses bursting at the seams? With stuff we never get a chance to use in any case?

Good for her to clear out the wardrobe as a person isn't remembered by his things as much as by his spirit, soul or character. How often are we irritated by the lack of space from our incessant need to keep clothes from decades ago. Clothes that used to fit us when we were thinner and honestly, if we should ever manage our way back to fitting into them, don't you think they might be a tad bit passe on an older person?

Fighting words indeed but at the end of the day I have a sneaking suspicion that next year my wardrobe will be just as stuffed with clothes I haven't worn in at least five years as it is today. Maybe I'll ask Bob to do it for me, but then again, Bob treasures a moth-eaten t-shirt he bought in the early 90's and I suspect he will treasure it for many decades more.


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A Bit Of Cheerfulness.

Flowers and cats, of course.

One of my favourite creepers...purple delight in the neighbourhood.
A bit of street art. Often the most incidental plants turn out to be the most stunning to behold.
Ah, the rose atop Casablanca...spotted whilst working in the wine cellar. A reward of sorts.
Some more flower power on a sunny Wednesday.
As I drove up the driveway this afternoon I couldn't help but notice a new transplant in our high-bed. What's good for the tomatoes is good for the cat...
Tigger, old but gorgeous...


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The End Of Harvesting Is Near.

An abundance of grapes.

The air and chardonnay seem to have the same temperature. Crisp, cold but surprisingly bright. Most of the vineyards have been picked by the various troupes of pickers. Faster by the ' pros ' and more sedately by the amateurs, into which category yours truly falls. Thank goodness we picked on Friday as this week it would have been outrageously cold.

Rows upon rows have been harvested with the odd sporadic few rows still bending under the weight of an abundance of grapes. The tractors bearing green vats filled with grapes are ubiquitous on the byways and honestly, driving fast should be scraped during harvest. Overtaking tractors on curvy roads is a no no for me and driving more sedately suits me just fine.

Harvesting means long days but everybody enjoys these times despite being tired. Grapes translate into wine which is what provides either a livelihood, salary or drinks at home. After a few horrid seasons in regards to weather, each and every vintage picked however long it takes is a blessing and everyone sees it as one.

Wine farmers the world over are a rare breed of passionate and ardent viticulturists who put their life and soul into each and every vintage and I think if you have the opportunity to meet a vintner, please take the time to thank them for it. Imagine a world without them? Horrible thought indeed...

When this year's harvest is all over though, I am certain that many will take the time to sit and relax while sipping on last year's spoils...


Monday, 24 September 2018

A Beautiful Autumn Afternoon In The Vineyards.

Blue sky and white clouds.

A view of Deutsch Schützen on a chilly afternoon is still extremely divine.
Nature's bounty on the side of the road. Hibiscus surely, but mind you the brighter and nicer the colour the more poisonous it tends to be.
The clouds were chasing each other across their playground but still managed to look stylish dangling in the sky.
A quintessential vineyard scene...if only you could have heard the industrious harvesters picking the grapes. Actually, the only sound apart from the odd conversation was the sound of a bunch of grapes hitting the bottom of a bucket.
A bit more in focus.
I took this photo this morning as I was dropping Bob off at his work. It was a stormy and rainy start to the day and hardly anyone thought that the sun would make an appearance later on.


Sunday, 23 September 2018

A Chill Has Settled In.

Eisenberg seems to be afoot.

This morning a drizzle looked like it would settle in for the day but luckily, it changed its mind and by lunchtime the sun had won the day. Albeit a slightly chillier version of a day and it almost seems unreal to think that three days ago we had temperatures of over thirty degrees.

Thanks to a trendy array of raincoats in bright mauve and red respectively, I was ready to brave the rain. In fact, I love it when I can walk in the rain as otherwise my raincoat are mere spots of colour in our vestibule. Saturdays and Sundays I try and wear something bright in case the weekend hunters aim a bit of course. Raincoats are perfect for it.

This afternoon the skies were blue and the sun was out which caused many an Eisenberg family to be out and about. Rather nice that such an outdated trend has kept up here. I say outdated because x-box, phone and co have become the new adventures of families. Each in their own room, stagnant in front of those modern devices and oblivious to the real world around them.

Driving back from the vineyards this afternoon I was happy to drive past at least three families going for an afternoon's walk. Kids on tricycles, bicycles or foot, parents dressed in their Sunday best with all of them smiling and enjoying the time together. Fabulous.

In the heat of this year's hot summer Bob and I were yearning for chillier times and honestly, now that it is here we both fear an extremely cold winter ahead. Let's hope the next few months are going to be average in temperature as those extremes are anything but fun.


Saturday, 22 September 2018

Memorizing Specials At The Supermarket Makes For An Embarrassed Spouse.

Bob beats a hasty retreat.

Picture it; a rainy Saturday morning at a big supermarket in Oberwart, hordes of irate shoppers filling the aisles and a wife who suddenly remembers numbers. One has got to feel sorry for Bob!

As per spousal request we went to shop in Oberwart at this specific supermarket mainly because they carry a brand of Bob's favourite chips not stocked anywhere else. In fact, Mausi loves them too since a broken piece landed next to her on the floor. Often the two of them crunch in tandem.

For some reason there where oodles of special offers today mostly with the dreaded fine print really unreadable unless one brings a magnifying glass along which, should I be so brave might make me wheel my trolley alone. Specials always sound so tempting and since the advent of our newer bigger fridge, I can partake in those buy two and pay for only one deals.

Vegan margarine was one of those today and would you believe that there were four different vegan types on offer? Of course I partook and naturally I remembered the specific amount to be charged. A fact that proved too much for Bob's promise of for better and for worse.

The tills were all operating, about ten of them, and had queues behind each one of them. We put our groceries through with Bob standing next to the trolley packing them and I keeping an eye on the display screen for any abnormalities not in our favour. You'd be surprised how often the price tags on the shelves don't correspond with the computer at the checkout.

The last items to go through were the two tubs of margarine and as I was chuffed at the deal I kept vigil at the till. Just as well as they registered with their normal price. When I started to ask the cashier, Bob grew pale and when I nicely inquired after the promised discount, Bob took one look behind us at the irate looking crowd and said:

" Jeez, just leave it. It's only a few cents after all. "
As the cashier couldn't find any notice of the deal on her computer she chose to get up to look at the fridge herself. Bob's hasty retreat saved me a reply and as you know, the milk, butter and joghurt shelves are usually at the opposite side of the check out which made for a very long wait for me.

I studiously ignored the woman giving me silent castigating looks and studied my surroundings. Honestly, I had misgivings about my interpretation of the price tag but in for a penny, in for a pound. When the cashier finally returned she apologized and told me I was right. Apologizing for the long wait to the crowd behind me, I went outside to the car and flashed our saved euro at my husband...


Friday, 21 September 2018

A Newfound Respect And Admiration For Those Who Were Vegans Decades Ago.

Changing times.

I've been a vegan for about a millisecond compared to those vegans who started when it was solely associated with hippies and tree huggers. Little did anyone know back then that they were heaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us. Honestly, I wish I had stumbled onto this way of life years ago.

Today we harvested the red grapes and it took us the whole day culminating in a Buschenschank meal at Bruni's. There were seven of us and apart from mum, everyone ordered Kümmelbraten Brot. Mum and I ate bread topped with sliced onions, pumpkin seed oil and salt. Delicious if a bit sparse visually compared to the others.

Straight off people assume that this is what I eat all the time. Bread and onions. Poor me. I have learnt to interpret the looks ( or even comments ) and explain that I cook and eat scrumptious vegan creations at home. In fact, my cooking has improved and I eat much more albeit the healthier foods. By the way, I love eating bread topped with sliced onions, pumpkin seed oil and salt!

You know, if you can find something vegan to eat at a Buschenschank then you can eat vegan anywhere. Buschenschanks are meat lovers' paradise and admittedly, I loved it too before I changed my way of eating, thinking and being. How did vegans find food options twenty, thirty or forty years ago when they went out to restaurants? Never mind having to verbally defend their lifestyle to non-vegans most of the time.

Like I always say, it isn't the restaurant's fault that they don't serve proper vegan is my choice to eat like that and if it means a plate of cooked carrots, bread with onions or plate of chips, that is perfectly long as they serve it with wine!


Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Little Village Shop.

A great way to catch up.

I had just finished a lesson and was on my way home but decided to stop at the shop for some bananas and of course a lotto ticket ( tomorrow's Jackpot is 130 million euros after all ). Bananas were sold out which left me the lotto ticket at least. P/S, I might let you know tomorrow!

There was only one other client shopping, surrounded by the owners helping her put things into the basket. The lady in question is a newly minted ninety years old and that does deserve personalized attention.

Winter, summer or in between she goes on foot to our village shop, wheeling her shopping trolley behind her. Today was a scorcher of a day and the car's temperature gauge read 31 degrees. Yes, boiling hot and after I had greeted her I offered to driver her home. It wasn't out of my way, but we all had to persuade her to take up my offer. There was no way I could let her walk and pull that heavy trolley all the way home.

Funny how a lot of people her generation don't want to put us to any trouble and thank goodness I asked / told her that I would give her a lift home.

" Oh, but I couldn't make you drive out of your way. "
" But Mrs...., that's no problem as I go the same way as you. "
She was pleased as punch to be driven home and along the minute and a half drive we chatted about this and that.

Although, as she told me that her body is acting its age, her mind is as sharp as a tack...

" Give my regards to Bob. "
even though we hadn't even mentioned him during our conversation, she remembered his name. Bob, being the gentleman that he is, has once or twice driven her home when he had met her at the shop and he always takes the time to greet her by name and ask how she is whenever he sees her.


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Mushrooms And Nature.

Spots of colour amid the brown bed of the forest.

As much as the forest was devoid of mushrooms, those not edible were a delight to behold.
A tall weed looking ever so pretty.
Funny how so many mushrooms make their home on top of tree stumps. These slender mushrooms almost resemble coral in the sea.
Vine leaves creeping up our barn wall make a soothing portrait.
It is a miracle that this mushroom hasn't been eaten or picked, as its beautiful colouring shines like a beacon in the muted colours of the forest floor.


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Some Have Happy Hour, We Have Cat Hour.

Cats abound all around.

It starts roughly at about three in the afternoon. The great invasion of the two feral tomcats. One creeps with stealth up the driveway and the other seems to pop up from nowhere and just be there. Today they have called a truce on hissing over the vittles and appear to be best of friends, although I realize that sooner rather than later their opera " The duet over who gets the spoils " will begin.

My five o'clock routine involves tripping over Mausi who has planted herself next to the front door trying to walk herself and making it jolly difficult for me to go outside with all the other cats' food. Tiggi is at that stage beside herself on the sill as she knows a long cuddle is on the cards. The five minutes of stroking and cuddling are her highlight until I dish her food.

All the while the other two are hovering around their feeding bowl as they know my routine. I give them milk ( don't ask...they won't touch water nor fat free milk ), wet food combined with dry food. Ah yes, feeding those sweethearts takes quite some time but I love it. Cats have the most amazing energy and tend to find ways to put a smile on one's face...

The stealth creeper! He is rather gorgeous, isn't he?
The other one has taken up station underneath our car. He is Mausi's heartthrob...she makes googly eyes at him through the window and he, typically male, stretches himself out fetchingly under the window.


Monday, 17 September 2018

Dear Patience, Where Have You Gone?

A people in a rush.

We had good friends to stay with us over the weekend and of course we traversed the culinary map of our area. Friday evening at our local across the border in Hungary and Saturday at a Buschenschank in Csaterberg culminating in finger food supper on our veranda last night.

Saturday was rather usual for a Buschenschank trip...only one was open in our area whereas the previous weekend all and sundry shared their wine. As you can imagine, the place was overflowing with people and tempers were on the rise. All in all, there were two waiters ( owner and son perhaps ), a bar lady and a person to carry the food out from the kitchen. Yes, they were run off their feet.

With luck on our side, we managed to find a table amid the frenzy and as we all are well versed in restaurant signals, we knew it would take some time to be served and didn't stress too much about it. Five minutes in we each had a glass of wine in front of us and were happy as can be. Food could wait and in any case, it is much nicer to sip and chat slowly before the food arrives.

I couldn't believe my ears when people around us were either whistling to, shouting at or making derogatory comments to the waiters. Everyone could see that they were running around like mad and couldn't do more than they already were. One group behind us got up and left while muttering sarcastic comments.

Would we have wanted to be served quicker? Of course, but we did actually enjoy the extra time to sip our wine and debate about the food each of us would order. Buschenschanks by their nature are casual, relaxing and homely places that have nothing in common with restaurants yet people expect to be served as if they were in a restaurant.

Why is everything associated with haste and urgency nowadays? Where have people's patience and ability to enjoy themselves gone? If eating out has a short time limit attached to it, then why bother at all?

As for the Buschenschanks in our area...I wish they would all sit down together and decide who opens when and to eliminate weekends where six are open at the same time or none at all. Surely that is economics 101...


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Unexpected Encounters.

My walk yields surprises.

As you know, Sundays are quiet on the walker's front. If I meet one other walker, that's a lot. Well, this morning I met a grey haired chap who was busy exercising his dog. Normally I only stumble upon the two of them during the week whilst walking with the Eisenberg ladies but today he wanted to give his dog enough space to tear about the countryside far off the beaten track.

On the surface it was an ordinary encounter, but last time we walked past him and his dog, a bit of the ' beneath the surface ' got revealed. This nice old man had gone to the pound, taken one look a puppy's eyes and the rest was history. Apparently, this cute little dog sleeps next to him, either on the couch or bed.

I realized again today, that one needs to take the time to look behind the mask that we all don for society's sake. Everyone has a wonderful part to them which most don't take the time to discover.

A bit further on, whilst walking past the maize field I was startled by a loud rustling sound. Aha, that could only be man, deer or cat. Quickly and quietly I turned on my camera and stood ready to see whoever would emerge. It didn't take long before I saw two young deer stop at the edge eyeing me rather intrepidly. Holding my breath and moving my camera ever so slowly into position, I managed to take a photo.

How darling do they look? The younger one seems to be hiding behind his bigger friend. Those are the moments that make my walk special and worthwhile. How often does one have the chance to be so close to nature? A fabulous start to my Sunday...


Saturday, 15 September 2018

A Misty Morning In Eisenberg.

Adding another layer of beauty.

After weeks of sunshine even early in the morning it was nice to be met with the makings of an overcast day.
When I started off the mist was hovering close to the ground and made everything look mysterious. This was halfway into my walk and as you can see, the mist was lifting and revealing the Burgenland splendour bathed in soft sunlight.
A maze of merry weeds that one could get lost in.
Rather rare to be there when the sun's rays wake up the landscape in bright luminous colours. Stunning and mesmerizing.
I often wonder if these two trees were planted or seeded by chance? However they came to be, they are a perfect fit for these fields.
A change is in the air and Autumn might not be far away.


Friday, 14 September 2018

Mausi Has Been Evicted From Her Favourite Bedroom.

She is quick as a flash, unless the door is closed.

When we have family or friends to stay we change bedrooms. A migration of sorts from the front part of the house to the back part. More privacy for us and them especially considering the fact that Bob and I are up ahead of dawn. At least then we can make coffee and ease into our day.

Mausi obviously copies her parents as she now only sleeps in beds. Floor mats or baskets won't do for her but at least with our ever changing sleeping arrangements her life is far from boring.

On Thursday I put on fresh linens and she and I had a game of let me hide underneath the fitted sheet which delayed my day for a good five minutes. Our bed is a king sized one which enabled her to just hide out of reach from my arms, resulting in me running around the bed to get her to come out of the round ' corners ' of the fitted sheet. Near impossible! To her it is the height of excitement to help me change the bedding.

Not to be outdone, Tiggi has taken it upon herself to act like a little batty old thing. The lovely wooden house Bob has built for her on our windowsill has now become an observation point...she suddenly decided to spend the night atop its roof. That caused us a few moments of worry as the roof hasn't been nailed down. So far so good and yes, both of us have told her to get down from it but cats are more stubborn than teenagers.

Mausi will have to adjust her lifestyle for a long weekend and be spoilt rotten by everyone what with extra cuddles and treats being the order of the day. Ah, a cat's life indeed.


Thursday, 13 September 2018

Wine Harvest Round Two.

Today it was the Uhudler's turn.

Funny how much easier the harvest seemed this time around. It has only been a week since we've successfully harvested all of the white grapes ( more than the year before ) and the adage of practice makes perfect holds true.

There were seven of us and somehow we all knew which grapes to snip, buckets to empty and crates to carry. Gosh, if I think back to our first time harvesting, all was blurred in a haze of mystique, even the rather easy part of cutting the bunch of grapes from the vines.

The weather gods were kind to Eisenberg. The sun was out all day, perfect harvesting conditions which most of Eisenberg's vintners took advantage of. Wine farmers do live at the mercy of the weather and every harvest successfully completed is a huge worry off their shoulders. Grapes in particular need every last ray of sunshine to ripen and often the longer they are left on the vine the better the taste down the line. But it takes strong nerves to play chicken with the weather.

I can only say that these Uhudler grapes tasted as nice as they looked. It took us about four hours to harvest all the grapes with an additional two hours to start the first leg of their transformation. De-stemming and cleaning everything thoroughly afterwards.

A divine combination of viticulture and agriculture.

The chapel of Deutsch Schützen has been there for so many centuries and given refuge and faith to wine farmers of yore.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

To Be, What A Pleasure.

Life on the run...

The world is too big a place to see it all yet, as I was lying in the garden a short while ago I counted ten airplanes winging their way to somewhere. All day and night these planes criss cross their way across the sky filled mostly with people in search of an even more exciting destination where to while their leave away.

What happened to a time when being on holiday meant staying at home, unwinding and not doing much more strenuous than reading a novel? Most of our work life is spent travelling to and fro and yet, when we have the luxury to stay at home we do our utmost to find an exciting holiday destination. Two weeks of living out of a suitcase, complaining about the hotel, food or fellow travelers. Half of the holiday is often spent recuperating from the arduous journey. Airports aren't that much fun anymore after all.

Our home is or should be a sanctuary from the daily grind. It should be a place we love to stay in, a place we treasure and feel at home in. The skies bear witness to our collective urge to leave our nests with vapour trails mistaken for clouds.

Often the best part of a holiday is when we get home and are able to recapture it by telling friends and family. But even that little treat is no longer...thanks to social media, our holidays are shown off in real time, restaurant by restaurant, hotel room by hotel suite and tourist attraction by tourist attraction filled to capacity with other like minded tourists...


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Popeye Was Right About Spinach's Might.

A new elan discovered.

Cleaning was and never will be my strong suit but lately, I've have gone above and beyond. The extra mile or rather the extra window. Out of the blue a newfound enthusiasm takes hold and yours truly can be seen hanging out the window with cloth and sponge in hand. What gives? Even Mausi was shaken out of her leisurely slumber and took up station next to me on the sill.
I felt like giving her a headband and showing her how to wax on - wax off. Cute, my little karate-kid.

Mum has noticed that I do extra bits whilst we are cleaning the Kellerstocks. Unheard of really and it has given her renewed hope that I will follow in her precision footsteps. Eh, sorry mum!

When we started eating plant based foods, I read up a lot about it and one of the perks everyone mentioned was the extra energy one got. Naturally we could eat more greens like kale, spinach and broccoli ( I love those by the way ) but it is hard to get hold of them daily. Yes, yes, I should plant them in the garden. Next season for sure. Kale, which is touted as one of the super foods perfect for putting into the blender for smoothies, is not available here or if it is, I haven't seen it yet.

It isn't as though we only eat rabbit food. Far from it in fact. But we have increased our daily intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole wheat pastas, rice and potatoes among other foods. Well, all I can say is that along with Popeye, I will continue to eat my greens.


Monday, 10 September 2018

Just Wave.

A flurry of tractors chortling on the roads.

As you know our village luckily is as small and laid-back ( apart from a cleaning craze ) as one only reads about in Agatha Christie novels. That suits me perfectly. Small enough to recognize most if not by face than by their car. Yes, my brain registers the car first before it lets me find the name of its driver.

At times it is a bit of a guessing game as their is a plethora of black Audi's and VW's. A bit Fordian, if you ask me! A black car is akin to a sauna during summer and after the hot summers we've recently had I think a few will change their colour choice. Once the car is close enough for me to decipher the number plate, the automatic wave I give to most acquires meaning.

The harvest is in full swing and the vineyards are alive and teeming with ' pickers '. At times I can't see them but I can definitely hear them as they merrily chat away whilst enjoying a stint of outdoor activity. Apart from the full time wine- crew ( Bob for example ) those tasked with separating grapes from vines are often city folk, family or friends who have taken leave to be a part of tradition. Nice, isn't it?

Picking grapes in vineyards carries a lot of prestige. It isn't everybody who can casually swirl their wine glass at a dinner party and share their adventure of having been there at the wine's infancy. Anyone can study the wine guide but not everyone can help make wine.

Tractors of all ages, shapes and sizes are buzzing all over the vineyards carrying the picked grapes. The few tractors I normally encounter on my walk are easily recognized ( by the road they take, the pitch of gear and the elan of the driver ) but this morning there were so many different tractors buzzing past me that I chose to wave, just in case.


Sunday, 9 September 2018

Another Bit Of Eisenberg.

The lofty side.

There is just something magical about walking early on a Sunday morning. A walk accompanied by birds, hares and blissful silence. The top of Eisenberg is still delightfully authentic without too many forays into modernity.
A derelict house standing proud. I love the old fashioned shutters and the hint of old age stenciled into the wall.
Imagine living in this delightful house and getting up in the mornings to slowly savour your first cup of coffee outside on the front step, letting your thoughts be calmed by the stunning vista.
A curvy road more apt for horse and carriage than motorcars. Once a year they host the Eisenberg Kellergassenfest along this meandering road.
Still in Eisenberg but rather down in the valley...Uhudler vines growing up the side of our barn.


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Buck, Pumpkin And A Big Tree.

The many beautiful facets of Burgenland.

Apart from the rustling preceding them, one could almost call them ninja-buck. I was merely walking my route when out of nowhere the buck family crossed the road in front of me. It took me a while to focus my camera which you can detect by the distance they are from me.
The straggler hopped alone a minute later. Must have been the young one.
The pumpkin are lined up to be harvested for pumpkin seed oil. Delicious green gold from our area.
My favourite old tree never disappoints. Winter, Autumn, Spring or Summer are the perfect backdrop for it. It must be at least over a hundred years old.
The date on this chapel's door reads 1908 which either means the tree was planted then or it already had looked so divine that it was chosen to overlook this chapel.
A more orderly layout of the pumpkins but nevertheless it was refreshing to see the spots of bright colour dotted on the field.


Friday, 7 September 2018

A Friday Afternoon In Burgenland.

The week, where has it gone?

I took my own advice and did a turn around the garden, pirouetting with the lawnmower while at the same time scattering a handful of cats. Gosh, they don't like the sound at all. Real lawnmower noise compared to the silent little ninja lawn-caddy that seems to be the latest yuppi must have. Not to mention that they cost an arm and a leg and don't make you loose any calories. The good old way of keeping the longer blades of grass in check happily melted 110 calories of my frame.

Cats are a funny lot. The two tomcats were keeping their eye on me the whole time and the moment I put the mower away, they ventured forth to the feeding trough. As if I would run over them...

Friday almost seems glued to the end of Monday. The first week of school is done and dusted and many a kid is treasuring the feeling of two whole days off school.

The commuters are back from their work week in Vienna and a few have been spotted attending to their gardens. In a way it might be an exercise in meditation after two hours of fighting the traffic columns of commuters leaving for the weekend. It has been estimated that more than a quarter of the people working in Vienna don't actually live there. Imagine the traffic on weekends out of Vienna? No wonder that gardening is the hobby of choice of commuters.

Fridays are always accompanied by a good feeling. Weekend has a draw all of its own. Two days to do nothing, unwind and catch up with friends and family. Happy Friday!


Thursday, 6 September 2018

A Day Of Harvesting The White Grapes.

Fun in the sun.

It is only a short four rows of vines and yet it took the whole day to pick and press them. We started at nine, five of us, and snipped the last bunch of grapes just before noon. Who would have thought it would take so long? The white vines were extremely abundant this year and when I happened to glance over to the reds, they looked even more plentiful. Ah, a good vintage ahead.

This time I was towing the precious grapes back to the cellar. Not as easy as Bob makes it look...driving with a full trailer of grapes is not for the faint of heart. Bob was at work of course, harvesting all over the various vineyards.

Vines are an object of beauty and when harvesting coincides with a warm and sunny day, work turns into meditation.

After de-stemming the bunches of grapes they were left for a couple of hours to settle and absorb the individual flavour from the skins. It gave us enough time to scoot over to Hungary to eat lunch at the " Yellow Hotel" in Grossdorf. Nice, and I wouldn't mind going there again.

After lunch we pressed the crushed grapes. Hard manual labour and it is a wonder wine is as cheap as it is. If only you knew how much work goes into making each and every bottle of wine, you'd never pour wine down the drain.

White wine is done and dusted which leaves the Uhubler grapes and of course the red ones. That might take longer than a day, but then again...Rome wasn't built in a day either.