Thursday, 14 November 2019

Feeling Grateful.

A feeling of gratitude for the small things.

A moment ago I was wondering what to make for dinner and had the fortune to look at the various choices on offer in either fridge, freezer or cupboard. With so many option waiting to be picked I couldn't help but feel grateful.

Not so long ago we didn't have the luxury of choosing what to cook but had to cook what was there. Often just pasta and a can of tomatoes. Food which was filling but how much nicer to be able to enrich those dishes with other ingredients and perhaps even a starter too? How many take food for granted and never give it another thought apart from whether they liked it or not?

We have so many things to be grateful for, yet we tend to want what we don't have and shrug off what we have. Having more than a change of clothing is a luxury, having a roof over one's head is too. Does it have to be bigger and better than the infamous Jones' thereby leading us down a path of unhappiness and discontent with the perfectly adequate house we have?

Feeling grateful for what we have and being happy with it takes a whole lot of worry, stress and discontent out of our lives. More time can be spent with those things that are really important, such as family and friends. In our present climate of instant everything, it makes rather a refreshing change to be content with one's lot and not to have to compete with what is considered the latest must have, must visit and must be...


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A Missed Call.

The imagination abounds.

My old, let's call it analogue ( pre smartphone a.k.a. texting and phoning device ) phone has many uses. Pocket warmer, time keeper, alarm clock and occasional telephone. Like last night for example. I had been out in the afternoon and had taken my cell phone with me, like one should. But herein lies the problem. When I got home I left the phone in my bag which in turn was left in the front bedroom. Out of sight and out of mind.

Hours later, when we turned in for bed I took my phone out in order to set the alarm. Oh dear, a missed call. A local lass had phoned early evening and of course I didn't hear it ring. As I only noticed this missed call at ten o'clock, I couldn't return it until today.

Early this morning I told Bob about missing this lass's call and both of us started on a train of thought with three different options in regards for her reason for phoning us.

  1. She wants me to help with the Christmas bazaar as she is one of the organizers.
  2. She needs some help with computer stuff.
  3. She wants us to help her cook vegan. Her husband was talking to us about it a while ago.
So there we were, speculating on why she phoned. Bob tended to go for option 1 while I was giddy with excitement about option 3. Off to work Bob went but it was still to early to return her call. When nine o 'clock beckoned I deemed it a polite time ( have you noticed how most people don't care what time of day or night they phone ) to phone her. Which I did, albeit with a bit of nervousness about perhaps being roped into lengthy craft preparations.

Weeeellll, how about that. When she answered my call and after I had explained to her my tardy return call and also asked her how I could be of help, she started to laugh ( with some embarrassment ) while telling me;

" Oh hi Biggi. Thanks for phoning back, but sorry, I pressed the wrong name in my address book. I hope you are well though? "
Oh, doesn't that just highlight both of our very lively, active and elaborate imaginations...


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Walking In The Rain.

Autumn pleasures.

The rain has shown a very tenacious streak lately. Rain and more of it has changed our rather dried out landscape into a moist and glistening one. Puddles are appearing, roads are topped by a layer of water and roofs have turned into water slides. The sound of water being turfed off the tarmac by wheels is omnipresent and rather nice to hear.

Walking when it rains isn't for everybody but that makes it all the more enjoyable to have roads, paths and byways to oneself. Blissful solitude only interrupted by a woodpecker knocking away, sheep noisily grazing in vineyards and the odd dog unfortunate enough to have been turfed out of a warm house doing a mediocre job at barking for protection.

The local geese have taken to huddling together outside on their meadow yet dwindling in numbers daily. Why can't they just flap their wings a bit harder and make a run for it? I can't tell you how often I have been tempted to cut a whole into the fence...

This latest bout of rain has tucked itself in for the next few days and why shouldn't it. It is a rite of the weather passage after all and many places in the world would be thrilled to have a week of rain.

The best part of a rainy week is of course the pleasure of witnessing it whilst looking up from reading a book...


Monday, 11 November 2019

A Bit Of Humour To Start The Week Off.

For a bit of a laugh...

" If you think that women are the weaker sex, try pulling the blanket back to your side. "
Stuart Turner
" I tell you what always catches my eye. Short people with an umbrella. "
Gary Delaney
" I grew up with six brothers. That's how I learned to dance - waiting for the bathroom. "
Bob Hope
" Honolulu - it's got everything. Sand for the children, sun for the wife, sharks for the wife's mother. "
Ken Dodd
" I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder. "
Steven Wright
" I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes - and six months later you have to start all over again. "
Joan Rivers
" In those days the best painkiller was ice; it wasn't addictive and it was particularly effective if you poured some whiskey over it. "
George Burns
" Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness. "
Mark Twain
" The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in the dark. "


Sunday, 10 November 2019

Gentle Sunday.

A bit more food for the soul...

" I love you the more in that I believe you had liked me for my own sake
and nothing else. "

John Keats
" There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart. "
Jane Austen
" The only journey is the one within. "
Rainer Maria Rilke
" There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle
or the mirror that reflects it. "

Edith Wharton
" Very little is needed to make a happy life;
it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. "

Marcus Aurelius
" When we are no longer able to change a situation -
we are challenged to change ourselves. "

Viktor E. Frankl
" If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you. "
A.A. Milne
" Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy.
Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before. "

William Butler Yeats


Saturday, 9 November 2019

Feline Telepathy.

The mental word has spread.

If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it. Only a few moments ago I happened to glance out the kitchen window expecting to see our feral boy sitting patiently underneath our car awaiting mummy to bring him food. Well, he was near the car but in a stance that clearly meant business. A defensive stance as only a feral boy could pull off.

Knowing that something must have upset him enough to strike the pose, I peeped out the lounge window expecting to find a big crow or some such sticking out their tongue at him. But no. Far from it. Another cat almost identical to him was in our yard, clearly on the hunt for the now infamous spread we provide.

Where do these cats find out about us? Clearly they must communicate in some way to help each other out. Winter is coming and I suspect that nature's buffet for felines has also dwindled. Birds are dwindling, mice are somehow outnumbered and with that the chances for feral cats to survive the upcoming winter are not that great unless they find their way into our yard!

As all the feral trespassers seem to have been male, it could perhaps have more to do with catching the eye of our Mausi sitting pretty in the window casting enticing glances at passing males...A sort of Dinner and a glance!

Most of us don't give animals enough credit for having feelings and intellect but the more time I spend with cats, the more in awe I am of them and animals as a whole.


Friday, 8 November 2019

The Yearned For End Of The Week.

Just like that Friday is here again.

Do you also find that the minute you've acknowledged a Monday and having navigated it with aplomb, Friday is here. The magical three days in between are strewn upon the altar of everydayness. I call them magical as they are at times difficult to recall and at other times gone before we've snapped our fingers.

Monday's and Friday's activities are almost imprinted on our memories with of course Friday taking the top prize. Fridays are the last hurdle before two fabulous rest days. Fridays are mini vacations from the norm. Suppers are so contrary to our usual norm that by itself they've created a new predictable routine.

Friday and supper evoke a return to childhood and happy-go-lucky attitude that goes along with it. All cares are thrown out the window and replaced with youthful favourites of either pizza, burgers or decadent pastas. As long as it's cloaked in nostalgic feelings of fun and enjoyment along with a cold beer or two. What better way to ring in two days of leisure.

Naturally Friday evenings are ideal for movie viewing. Not being restricted with getting up early one can go wild watching movies back to back...truthfully though, most movies are snored through elegantly whilst reclining on couches. Never mind because with the beauty of Netflix, movies can be rewound at one's leisure.

Thank goodness for Netflix which is an upgraded version of the old video shop of yore. Remember scouring the isle trying to still get hold of a newish movie to rent out only to land up with old has beens? Or trying to fight another customer for a movie tape? Or having to be told that one has taken a particular movie ( Die Hard comes to mind!!! ) out several times before?

I read a while ago that we should be happy with normal-ness instead of always striving for an unattainable lifestyle and its inherent feeling of disappointment . Isn't it great to be happy with the ordinary, happy with the normality of life and let's face it, is there anything more fabulous or normal than a Friday night spent at home?


Thursday, 7 November 2019

Some More About Happiness.

Again, learning from history.

" For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson ( 1803-1882 )
" It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living. "
F. Scott Fitzgerald ( 1896-1940 )
" Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "
Guillaume Apollinaire ( 1880-1918 )
" There are two ways to get enough.
One is to continue to accumulate more and more.
The other is to desire less. "

G.K. Chesterton ( 1874-1936 )
" Happiness is not a's a by-product of a life well lived. "
Eleanor Roosevelt ( 1884-1962 )
" The greater part of our happiness or misery
depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. "

Martha Washington ( 1731-1802 )
" Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one. "
Edmund Burke (1729-1797 )
" Why should we build our happiness on the opinions of others,
when we can find it in our own hearts? "

Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( 1712-1778 )
" He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. "
William Blake ( 1757-1827 )
" Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it,
but to delight in it when it comes. "

Charles Dickens ( 1812-1870 ), Nicolas Nickleby


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Some More Quotes.

Aren't they rather comforting?

" An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind. "
Mahatma Gandhi
" Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade
since it consists principally of dealings with men. "

Joseph Conrad, Chance
" If you don't know where you're going,
any road'll take you there. "

George Harrison
" I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success,
but I can give you a formula for failure;
Try to please everybody all the time. "

Herbert Bayard Swope
" Never memorize something that you can look up. "
Albert Einstein
" You have enemies? Good.
That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. "

Winston Churchill
" In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. "
George Orwell
" Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value. "
Albert Einstein


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Our Local...

Catching up on life and those living it.

Tuesday afternoon is a great time to get prescriptions refilled at our local doctor. Usually it isn't that busy and waiting times are slashed accordingly. Even today when I took the chance to get Bob's eye-drops, I thought I would be the only one there as it was raining buckets outside and we all know that doctor's visits are in cahoots with the weather. Who wants to sit in a waiting room when the weather makes it uncomfortable to step outside one's own house?

Not today. It was so busy that I only just happened to squeeze inside the waiting room. The door was awfully close! The next person would have to wait outside in the freezing cold. Well, I thought that this might translate into a long wait ( and it was ) but honestly, today there were such nice villagers waiting alongside me that it was a pleasure to spend time in the queue.

We joked, asked about each other's work and exchanged those easy pleasantries which grease any conversation and are rather nice to bandy forth. Nothing more fun than an easy conversation that flows wherever it goes. Sadly the art of conversation has been swiped away by that darn smartphone. Emoticons and abbreviations aren't comparable to the real deal, are they?

Time became unimportant and I couldn't tell you if I stood in line for ten minutes or half and hour as it was an enjoyable sojourn from the usual daily grind. Hearing the odd tidbit about this one or that one doesn't go amiss either. Oh the joy of living in a small community...


Monday, 4 November 2019

Knitting A Baby Blanket For An Appreciative Being.

A change of plans...

It was meant to be what its name says, a baby's blanket but as I took rather long to finish it, the plan changed. Or it was changed for me. Knitting anything in a household with a cat is far from easy dare I say at times, impossible.

Miss Maus happened to believe that the act of pulling a thread continuously through my fingers was purely designed to keep her entertained and enthralled. I cannot tell you how often I had to use parental strictures on her;

" No biting the wool. This isn't for you but for the little baby next door. "
Well, so much for that.

A few days ago I actually took note how much she loved this blanket being created. If she could have she would have rolled in it, slept on it and cherished it. Well, not so much cherished as I have no illusions on that subject and the length of this little blanket will stay in one piece. But, regardless I told Bob and of course Mausi that this was going to be her little blanket for the winter. Her security blanket so to say.

As soon as I had set this intention, she made a point of sitting on my lap while I was crocheting the squares together and cuddling underneath the budding blanket. Oh yes, right decision.

Today proved to be the day that it was finally ready. I put it onto her favourite chair and before I could invite her onto it, there she was making herself comfortable on her new blanket. I don't care what people say or what they think about the fact that we talk to and with our cat, as she is extremely intelligent and takes in more than we might think thus proving her intelligence and establishing her deserved place in our family.

Our happy cat!


Sunday, 3 November 2019

A Beautiful And Mysterious Start To The Day.

Eisenberg cloaked in misty robes.

Scenes like this makes me glad to have hopped out of bed that early. The fog kept circling about casting a spell over Eisenberg.
Wherever one turns a church is there. The spire does seem to have orientation abilities and perhaps has been used as such throughout time...
A quick step outside the grey zone to lighten the mood...the last few days of gorgeous autumn weather.
A delightful find this morning in one of Eisenberg's gardens. Bright, refreshing and soothing they stand for all to notice and take in. How many will though?
I love those days when nature imitates a film noir letting one's imagination run wild with ideas, plots and history. The magic about those foggy days is that within couple of hours more often than not the fog lifts to reveal a most stunning day in Eisenberg...


Saturday, 2 November 2019

South Africa, Rugby World Champions Of 2019

What a brilliant achievement.

We have been watching from the fringes and the other side of Japan and South Africa yet, we couldn't have been more excited, supportive and proud of how this tournament has turned out.

The game still holds moments of mystery for me but the net result is what counts and today, the champions proved to be just so. A pleasure to watch and honestly, a pleasure to watch accompanied by German commentators. They called a spade a spade but gave liberal praise wherever and whenever it was due. Nice. Even Bob has taken to this particular channel and quite likes listening to his rugby in German.

The South African Captain's acceptance speech was amazing and awe inspiring. It wouldn't surprise me if he were to enter politics after his playing career is over. For today at least, his words of wisdom have pulled a nation closer together.

Rugby is a game of strength and at times brute force but somehow, it also sparkles with manners and a gentlemen's code of conduct and behaviour. A place where a handshake still counts for something and where friendships are forged. Refreshing and important in these times.

It will be another four years before the next World Championship but I am hoping that we will get to see many more matches in between, as I think that Europe has caught the Rugby fever...

Well done South Africa for winning yet again!


Friday, 1 November 2019

My Husband Bakes A Batch Of Vegan Biscuits.

The smell of baking fills the air.

Cunningly I stocked up on all those yummy ingredients needed for making a batch of biscuits. Vegan ones which for the last few weeks both of us were yearning for. Every morning with our first cup of coffee we almost simultaneously mumble about how nice it would taste accompanied by a morsel of sweetness.

This morning before I set off for my walk, Bob said he would make a batch while I was walking and would I show him where the coconut flakes and co were. Ooh, how divine I thought until I realized that we were out of baking paper which I could only buy on my way home from walking. Which meant that Bob didn't start making the biscuits until I got back.

On Bob's previous and frequent forays into our larder and fridge on his hunt for contraband crisps, he has become well acquainted with what is on our shelves waiting to be used. One would think...

" Honey, where's the vegan butter?
" Honey, I can't find the sugar. "
" Where's cinnamon? "
" Is this oven hot enough? "
...saw me hovering about the kitchen being roped into the making of these mouthwatering morsels while I know for a fact that Bob is more than able to make them without any help from me. In fact he is much better than me. Just more convenient to have a sous chef at hand.

Even before they were done, the aroma wafting about our house was too wonderful. Bob is great at baking and I have decided to make him the official baker in our family...oh, and to try and be out of hearing reach when he does bake...

Men can create the most fabulous culinary creations but they need to be given the encouragement by us women to do so. Better to leave them in peace instead of our usual tendency to offer irritating advice and shortcuts. I can't wait for Bob's next batch of baking...


Thursday, 31 October 2019

A Stray Cat's Final Journey.

Long and yet rather quick.

That delightful cat who two weeks ago had chosen us as her new parents, has moved on to happier and higher hunting ground. Yes, we had to put him down as he was in just too much pain and had difficulty to walk.

Even though he ( funny, I thought it was a she but the vet soon set me straight in that regard ) only chose us a few weeks ago he did manage to find a place in our hearts. One never talks about those rather taboo subjects involving death and the help of it but despite feeling sad, I am happy that he doesn't have to suffer anymore.

This morning we realized that the time had come and as Bob had to be at work, I organized this particular journey. All the way to Oberwart, the cat meowed soulfully despite being brilliantly calm in his carry case, I kept on speaking to him to tell him that soon he'd be reunited with his family and rid of his pain while in a rather surreal fashion the hectic every-day-ness of life continued all around us. Honestly, I made a point of going fast enough but it seems that there are always a few luxury car owners who need to display their wealth and stupidity by overtaking at the tightest of opportunities.

The vet and his whole team were amazing. We had only been there once to purchase some muti for Mausi but regardless, they helped me through this horrid and painful process with never a mention that I might have jumped the gun. Actually the opposite. The vet took one look at our cat and told me that it was the right decision. The cat was very old and in a lot of pain.

Of course I had ruminated on whether we should have tried to treat him and keep him but hearing it straight from the vet made me feel at ease. Even though the clinic was full of patients ( a cacophonous mingling of cats and dogs ) they were ever so kind to our cat. He did look rather scraggly and unkempt! The assistant cuddled him straightaway and thus both of us made his final moments one of feeling loved. Poignant how fast those were...

Having pets means facing up to that side of things and when the time comes, it makes a world of difference to have a Veterinary team that cares but also knows what to do...


Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Reading, What Else?

A most wonderful habit to have.

" Reading a good book in silence is like eating chocolates for the rest of your life and never getting fat. "
Becca Fitzpatrick
" I declare there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book. "
Jane Austen
" Let's be reasonable and add an eight day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading. "
Lena Dunham
" Read the best books first,or you may not have a chance to read them at all. "
Henry David Thoreau
" Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. "
Emilie Buchwald
" There's no frigate like a book to take us lands away. "
Emily Dickinson
" What better occupation, really, then to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright. "
Gustav Flaubert
" Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? "
Henry Ward Beecher
" Reading is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. "
Harold Bloom
" It's one of the greatest gifts that reading can give a person; easy access to peace inside, even when the world outside is in shambles. "
Jennifer Williamson


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

A Sort Of Dress Code For Visiting Old Age Homes.

My little blunder.

A stint in Rechnitz again this morning meant that I took the time to visit a former Deutsch Schützner who has moved to the old age home there. A rainy, miserable and cold day it was.

Timing still has to be fine tuned while visiting there because I was a tad bit too early, interrupting the morning routine but nonetheless she ( and her nurse ) were so happy to see a visitor that they fast tracked her morning routine. Felt quite bad for changing the routine as I understand what a vital and integral part of the day routine is. Set your watch by it!

Eventually my ' lady ' was ready and we wheeled a short way to a visitor's lounge. Quite nice this one was. Loads of books and I couldn't believe seeing the whole series of Angeliques there. Gosh, what a find. Sad how hardly anyone reads despite having oodles of time to spare

Anyway, we had a nice visit chatting about this that and yesteryear, which I find very interesting and informative. Many a local tidbit of knowledge is buried in those older minds and one never knows when it gets dislodged and shared...

Eventually I had to get up to leave and as I was putting my jacket on, the lady looked at me closely and then said:

" Oh, why are you wearing black? "
I had on my black jeans and a dark blue jersey, which I suppose could be mistaken for typical funeral wear and rather a bad omen in heaven's waiting room;
" Gosh, all my other jeans are in the wash. These black ones were the only ones clean! "
She turned her head towards me, looked into my eyes and then packed up laughing. In fact she was gurgling with mirth and I could see that her doldrums had shifted for the day...


Monday, 28 October 2019

A Bit Of South African Slang.

English, yet not quite.

  • Fundi - expert or teacher.
  • Howzit - how is it going?
  • Padkos - food for the journey.
  • Babelaas - a hangover.
  • " Don't get your broekies in a knot. " - calm down!
  • Jislaaik! - expression of either positive or negative surprise.
  • Lighty - a younger person, especially a younger male.
  • Loskop - airhead.
  • Sommer - just because.
  • Tekkies - running shoes.
  • Tickey box - payphone.
  • Gatvol- annoyed enough to the point of getting angry.
  • Mielie - maize
  • Ou toppie - old man.
  • Sakkie-sakkie - a style of sensual ballroom dancing.
  • My China - my mate.
  • Just now - sometime soon.


Sunday, 27 October 2019

A Bit Of Rugby.

Again, we are in the final.

Rugby is akin to religion back in South Africa and I suppose any other ex-colonial countries feel it too. Rugby mania, rugby obsession and a love of rugby that one can only equate to the love that Europeans feel for soccer. Bob too likes his rugby but since we hardly ever see any of it here in Austria, it has fluttered to the edge of his mind, gently hibernating until last Saturday.

For some odd and rather welcome reason one of the German TV channels has been covering the rugby world cup being held in Japan with a full set of matches and superb commentators. Sadly we only stumbled across this channel last weekend, but never mind, the most exciting match is still to come.

I had warned Bob to be prepared to hear his favourite sport being commentated on
in German ( A try-Ein Versuch ) but he was just so thrilled to watch a whole match without having to go to some questionable and intricate bit of online streaming, that he didn't even notice the language difference or more to the point, he is happy to listen to German and understands it perfectly.

South Africa was in the semi-final match this morning and it was a cracker of a match more so from the spectating gallery than from the pitch. Bob got so excited when finally a Versuch was had that he literally screamed the house down while jumping up and down with great gusto. Mausi, who was slumbering away on her chair got such a fright that she actually fell to the floor and cowered under the desk, eventually choosing caution and slinking off to another room.

It was great to watch a match again although the technicalities had to be explained to me by Bob. One does wonder why they don't pick up the ball when it invitingly sits there between the ankles of a player in the scrum! After the final whistle went, South Africa had won the match, semi-final and the adoration of many millions of fans all over the world.

Next weekend will see the final between England and South Africa, which will be a hard fought battle and which we thankfully are able to watch comfortably from our couches...


Saturday, 26 October 2019

A Beautiful Day In Eisenberg.

Fog, sunshine and flowers.

Atop of Eisenberg the view was breathtaking albeit a bit poetically obscured by a blanket of fog mingled with smog.
Slowly the fog was moving outwards thereby revealing the beauty of our region.
I am always amazed at how much these fogged over scenes make Eisenberg look as if it was a village next to a lake or sea.
A mingling of old and new. The deep farrows left by a tractor lend themselves perfectly as artistic backgrounds.
A stunning and one might say, sturdy lot of daisies defying season and logic by delighting us with exuberance and joyousness so late in the year. Perhaps the last bit of nourishment before this bee settles down for the winter...


Friday, 25 October 2019

A Day To Remember.

Another public holiday is had.

One feels kind of cheated when a public holiday falls on a Saturday, but we shouldn't complain as five out of seven is fine and the other two ( Saturday & Sunday ) can be fattened up by sandwiching them between two days of leave. Tomorrow is Nationalfeiertag, which is yet another chance to be thankful for living in a peaceful and functioning democracy. Not everyone has that privilege.

Driving through to Rechnitz this morning I couldn't help but notice a whole fleet of flags at full mast outside the local fire station and tomorrow on the day itself, many private homes will have hoisted their red and white flag.

While I was feeding our cat contingency outside ( unfortunately I have to supervise and stand guard as one is more than greedy and sharing is not on its menu ) I could hear that easy going banter of friends getting together on the eve of a longish weekend. Some have been given today off and as it coincided with yet another unseasonable warm day, the charcoal of many a Weber will be fired up.

The shops of course were filled with must-have food to survive the weekend without being able to shop during it, and obligingly many shoppers were making use of it just in case they might be confronted with starvation in the next couple of days. Even I hastened to a shop conditioned over the years to heed the shopping-drill of an impending long weekend, but soon realized that we have everything we need at home. Of course the genre of food we live on, fresh produce, was marked down drastically and I took advantage of it.

As much as we take public holidays for granted and a chance to do nothing, we shouldn't forget to reflect on their importance and meaning. Luckily most of us have an encyclopedia inside our pockets and hopefully we'll make use of forgets that a mere thirty years ago we had to leg it to a library to find out stuff like that. Now that is something else to be thankful for!


Thursday, 24 October 2019

A Picturesque Review Of The Week.

Autumn is in full swing.

Only last Friday we had the pleasure of attending a groundbreaking vegan Buschenschank in Eisenberg. It can be done and judging by the onslaught of happy people, it might not be amiss to have it more often.
I had the ' Xavar-Brot ' and I have to confess it was so delicious that I only remembered to take a photo halfway through. Yes, the portions were huge and the wine was good.
All over the vineyards the tone de jour is a mellow yellow and its lovely cousin, orange. Despite the fog on this particular morning, the depth of color is unwavering. A treat to walk past it.
A rose awakening from a rather cold slumber with pink cheeks and glistening dew.
As vibrant as a red rose can be, I must admit that I prefer the pink beauty as it shows elegance, style and class.
Some of the corn fields have not been chopped yet and at least the local deer will be able to feed themselves for a little while longer and fatten up for the winter to come...


Wednesday, 23 October 2019

A Pause For Thought,

A bit of philosophy.

" If good things last forever, would we appreciate how precious they are? "
Bill Watterson
" Be wise today so you don't cry tomorrow. "
E.A. Bucchianeri
" May you live every day of your life. "
Jonathan Swift
" Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. "
Frank Zappa
" Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion,
for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. "

Bertrand Russel
"If you place your head in a lion's mouth,
then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off "

Agatha Christie
" The day the power of love overrules the love of power,
the world will know peace. "

Mahatma Gandhi
" A great many people think they are thinking
when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. "

William James
" He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior. "
" What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create. "



Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The 'Fad' Has Taken Roots In Suedburgenland.

And a pleasure it was to shop at the Spar in Kohfidisch

In this past year and a half I have learnt a great deal about supermarkets and their wares. One has to when turning vegan in a predominantly carnivore area. Look, it isn't as though we buy many processed vegan goodies but now and again they are nice...if they are available.

In the beginning they had soy-milk and tofu which considering their customer base, wasn't that bad. Vegetables, beans and fruit were always on hand ensuring that we never felt deprived.

Well, every few months a new vegan morsel appeared on their shelves and often stayed there. Not every vegan wants to eat vegan schnitzel and such, but their vegan grill sausages were great lifesaver over the BBQ season.

My Schatzi had run out of beer over the weekend and thus I hastened to get some more at the Spar in Kohfidisch along with the odd potato, tofu and soy sauce. Of course I perused each aisle with precision and I was flabbergasted to see that they have upped their vegan ante a whole lot.

Three types of vegan schnitzels, three types of vegan cheese, a vegan feta, vegan Activa yoghurt, vegan ice cream, vegan range of cookies and two types of big frozen pizzas to name but a few.

Wow, what happened? Naturally I am thrilled to bits though that our little Spar has found the initiative to stock so many options for us to have. Obviously there must be more than the four of us in our area adhering to a vegan lifestyle and when I told the cashier how thrilled I was she confirmed it by telling me that vegan products had taken off like crazy and that everyone was buying them...


Monday, 21 October 2019

A Bit Of A Monday Giggle.

What's life without a bit of laughter?

" Facebook just sounds like a drag, in my day seeing pictures of peoples vacations was considered a punishment. "
Betty White
" If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. "
Dalai Lama
" Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy. "
Francois de la Rouchefoucauld
" Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife. "
Groucho Marx
" Before marriage, a man declares that he would lay down his life to serve you; after marriage, he won't even lay down his newspaper to talk to you. "
Helen Rowland
" My wife Mary and I have been married for forty-seven years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes but divorce, never."
Jack Benny
" Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back. "
Oscar Wilde
" The trouble with telling a good story is that it invariably reminds the other fellow of a dull one. "
Sid Caesar


Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Proverbial Sunday Afternoon.

The wisdom of ages.

" After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile. "
" All is fish that comes to the net. "
" Fish and guests stink after three days. "
" A liar ought to have a good memory. "
" A little pot is soon hot. "
" Marry in haste repent at leisure. "
" Never choose your women or linen by candlelight."
" September blow soft till the fruit's in the loft. "
" The tongue always returns to the sore tooth. "
" Young folks think old folks to be fools, but old folks know young folks to be fools. "
" Listeners never hear any good of themselves. "
" Talk of the Devil and he is bound to appear. "
" Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap? "


Saturday, 19 October 2019

Oh Beautiful Vines.

The stuff of legends...

Elegantly floating in midair it almost reflects what happens when we taste the fruit of vines once changed into precious liquid. Marvelous, isn't it when one considers that wine is a natural derivative of fruit. How healthy can one get?
Not to forget the fruit that supposedly launched old D himself...The last two resisters to gravity create a welcome bit of liveliness on a tree heading for hibernation.
The other afternoon I was reclining in the lounger outside surrounded by felines and this divine stock of vine. The sun's angle couldn't have been more perfect to showcase the intricacies of each vein inside the vine...
Odd how some are still a healthy and youthful green!
This particular vine is two years old and has surpassed Bob's expectations. At one stage he thought it had withered but thankfully not. Next year there surely will be some grapes on them?
The nerve endings seem to fizzle with energy when held up against the light. Nature is genius. Just think that each and every year leaves get created from tiny shoots in the stem. Brilliant and rather awe inspiring.


Friday, 18 October 2019

Oven Prep.

And you thought one only has to turn it on?

Winter is approaching and with it the need to warm one's house. Blankets, woolen socks and jerseys although lovely and comfortable when paired with a book, won't do to keep the chill away. Heavy duty ovens are needed.

For our pellet oven the prep work starts already in June, at the height of summer and a great time to do the yearly service. The next hurdle are the pellets without which our oven is just an ugly piece of steel artwork in our living room. Pellets come in packets weighing 15 kg each and therein lies the challenge.

Getting them from the shop to our house. The last few years as our funds have increased we have opted to buy whole pallets of pellets. Before we'd buy five bags for each week as and when we had the money for it. The need for food trumps the need for warmth every time.

Tomorrow we had planned on driving early on to Deutsch Schützen to purchase said pallet from the Lagerhaus. A laborious affair indeed as it entails fetching and carrying 66 packets of 15 kg pellets twice; once into the trailer and once out of it into the storeroom.

Bob is clearly the stronger one of us but as he has been working so hard lately, I thought I would surprise him and do the pellet run this morning. My major hurdle was getting the trailer onto the tow hook but I am thrilled to say that today I managed it three times. Two trips to the Lagerhaus and since I am not good at reversing with it, I had to unhook it in our driveway in order to turn the chariot around. Yes, you guessed it; most women haven't got any affinity with parallel parking or reversing with a trailer.

At first the thought of having to lift 66 bags out of a trailer and log them ten meters to our store room was daunting to say the least, but I so wanted to give Bob a surprise and a break. Funnily enough, it was easily done and really, the hardest bit proved to be the placing of my order at the Lagerhaus. You try saying;

" I'd like to buy a pallet of pellets. "
and not say it the wrong way around. Oh well, at least I got a nice smile from the otherwise taciturn staff there...


Thursday, 17 October 2019

Well, The Cat's Out Of The Bag.

Ah, the kitchen is shown appreciation!

The grass root network, bush telegraph or just mere word of mouth have worked its magic. A new player's in town. Well, it all happened two nights ago.

Mausi and I were dozing in front of an open lounge window when the noise of the rubbish being dealt with penetrated both of our minds. She wanted to go and investigate whilst I sagely closed the window, not knowing who or what had caused this ruckus. Eventually I forgot about it and prepared to face another great day in Eisenberg.

Feeding time for our outside Mr had dawned or rather I couldn't without guilt watch his parading up and down outside the window thus I went outside equipped with a can of his favourite. He was ecstatic to see me but when I happened to first go and throw some rubbish in our bin, I couldn't help but notice another pair of eyes following my every move from within an upturned cardboard box.

Jikes, at first I got a huge fright not knowing what it was. Fox, martin or cat? But, it was an elderly cat, on apparently her first visit to cat haven. Her pitiful glance was enough to touch my heart yet, despite my enticements she didn't want to come out of hiding although when eventually she did amid a flurry of deep meows, I took flight not wanting to accidentally be bitten.

I fed the boy and to my amazement he stood aside for this new cat to take first dips at the dinner bowl. No if buts or growls! Goodness, could this new cat be a relative of sorts or perhaps a spouse? Suffice to say that this cat ate most of the food and then disappeared before I could show him ( not sure if it is a male or female ) to Bob once he got home.

Earlier this afternoon I glanced outside the window and there he was. Almost an hour early for dinner time but sitting nicely with the aloof eccentricity of a house cat awaiting and wondering if yesterday was a figment of his imagination or the precursor to a life spent like Riley...


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

A True Game Changer.

Thank goodness for Netflix!

Honestly, Netflix has been our lifesaver. First it allowed us to watch What the Health which was what started us on this journey to a new way of life and now, it again let's us watch what appears to be the bestselling documentary of all times on i-tunes, The Game Changers.

Doctors plan to show patients the Game Changer documentary

In our journey through life we get given opportunities and chances that all we have to do is to grab them. Or rather acknowledge them. Change is hard for most people and changing one's eating choices even more so. But once done, the world opens up on another level entirely.

On a personal level, Bob and I have learnt to handle the ridicule and thoughtlessness about veganism, as somehow the concept of vegan / plant-based diet is too difficult to imagine for many people. Well, this movie goes a long way to explaining the many fold reasons why plant based is the way to go. But, perhaps you will see and get an epiphany yourself.

Having chosen the road less travelled ( or maybe the high road? ) through life has proved to be amazing, awesome and exciting as well as having broadened our horizon. As with any new experience, a slew of new ideas are had and thankfully they help sweep away old thought patterns and habits.

I take refuge in the thought that back in the days when the automobile had just been invented, most made fun of it and carried on using their four legged transport, even going so far as to ridicule those that jumped aboard the nascent automobile wave...


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Brilliant Positive Energy Of Animals.

We tend to forget how genuine they are.

It stands to reason that the princess is #1 in our lives but this morning I had an encounter with another amusing animal. A dog this time and we all know what mischief, pleasure and fun dogs can be.

Atop the Deutsch Schützen wineberg I heard him before I saw him. The first few barks were more of a ' take care, vicious dog here ' but once he realized that the sound of my feet and rustling of my wintry jacket weren't invented to hound him, his bark turned friendly with nosy enquiry intermingled with his owner's futile attempts to call his hound to heel.

Oh I thought, I haven't seen you before. A new canine to meet and greet. His owner's strictures of following orders went over the top of his two cute and floppy ears as he barreled towards me, feet hardly touching the ground and tongue lagging on the side. The sun glinted off the rhinestones on his collar-devilishly well clad dog indeed- while his owner shouted;

" Don't let him jump up. He'll just make you dirty but he won't hurt you. "
Well, I wasn't in any doubt to this hound's intention. In fact, I encouraged him along, and was rewarded with him enthusiastically bounding into my shins. Cunningly I had grabbed his collar so that he would stay earthbound. But, what a cutie pie. A long haired dachshund with the most mischievous eyes and straggly coat. He was thrilled to bits with my attention and his owner gave in gracefully, knowing that his darling wouldn't take in any of his commands whilst he was getting a cuddle from me.

The whole encounter didn't take more than perhaps three minutes but that was plenty of time for this pups joie de vivre to have rubbed off on me. How marvelous that we have the opportunity to converse with animals and to have their adoration given to us without any expectation apart from a cuddle. Dogs can teach us a thing or two about how to be better persons and to live in the here and now while being happy with our wonderfully ordinary lives.


Monday, 14 October 2019

A Happy And Colourful Monday To You!

Colours have the ability to shift our mood.

After doing a stint of cleaning I happened to catch sight of a patch where grapes were left to live their lives until the end ( although, after taking this shot I took the liberty to taste them. Delicious. ) A simple image of a vine with a bunch of grapes has the power to send our thoughts into happier territory.
Greens and blues, what more does one need?
Bare, detailed and yet magnetic with its ability to channel our thoughts to happier terrain.
A view of upper Eisenberg through the prism of vines...old and new architecture interspersed on the hill called Eisenberg.
The green guards of our treasured vines. Soon they will be a memory or more accurately, compost aiding and abetting in the annual magic that never fails to amaze me. Great salutations to those geniuses from long ago who morphed grapes into wine. Surely there should be a national wine day?
Some more gnarly vine shown off to perfection. I just love the impact of a bunch of almost purple grapes being protected by now pale yellow leaves. Last of the summer vines...


Sunday, 13 October 2019

A Slice Of Autumn.

Beautiful Burgenland doffing summer's stole and donning winter's tulle.

Chestnuts not quite roasting on the open fire a la Bing Crosby but gracing the verge and creating a nice little autumn assemble...
It feels rather strange to see the vines picked clean and lean. A month of harvest has started the countdown to the vines' winter hibernation and also set a example for all to see and notice the passing of summer...don't worry, we can feel it.
What would autumn be without a prolific sprouting of mushrooms? All along the forest's edge a selection of them are snuggling between rocks and foliage daring anyone to pick them. Far from brave am I...mushrooms, especially the self picked ones remind me a bit of Russian Roulette...not for me.
Another hidden fungi waiting to be picked. Aren't they amazing? The intricate details of of them and the fact that most of the time they sprout in groups is another one of nature's marvels.
The pink ' popcorn ' plant with the exotic sounding Latin name of:vaccinium corymbosum...a nice surprise at the end of my walk through our forest. Seeing such a brightly coloured plant amid the rather dull colours of a fading summer was a breath of fresh air and a reminder that despite the next few months being grey and bare, little treasures of beauty are everywhere.


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Being Ourselves.

Confidence, strength and wisdom.

" It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulties. "
Dalai Lama
" The sun shines not on us but in us. "
John Muir
" What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. "
Otto Rank
" The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself. "
Mark Twain
" The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. "
Micheal de Montaigne
" My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. "
Henry Ford
" Why should we worry what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinion than we do our own? "
Brigham Young
" Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. "
Louise L. Hay
" For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose. "
Marcus Aurelius
" God be praised, I had raised myself in my own estimation again! "
Knut Hamsun, Hunger


Friday, 11 October 2019

A Cacaphony Of Hoovering.

House Music.

I juxtaposed my walk with an early shift ferrying customers to our local practitioner. Friday being one of the popular days for medical visits. Honestly, I am much more comfortable with early morning walks and felt like a werewolf at no moon or a vampire at the beach. Just not right.

The birds were more chirpy ( obviously they've had time to shake off early morning blues ), the fields were teeming with tractors and the traffic was horrendous. Well, for us that is. At least ten cars passed me! What is the world coming to...

So, I set out at bang on ten a.m. and braved a teeming village. Pretty sure folks thought their watches were broken! Walking down Dorfstrasse it started. A domestic concert of note. My gosh, if one could hear a hoover through those thick walls then it must have been a hardy week on the dust and dirt front.

Well, good for her I thought but then, the house two down on the left joined into the fray and emitted a slightly less shrill hoover ditty. She must be a lucky owner of one of these modern Dyson lookalikes which frankly I wouldn't mind having myself. Goodness me, when I heard it not mere seconds again in the very next house I realized that Friday must be designated Hoover day.

Obviously I can't say for sure if a cunning Hausfrau hasn't recorded a hoover session once and from then on awarded it hours of looping each and every Friday. Walls have ears and neighbours even more so. At times I try to picture these enthusiastically cleaned strong holds of village order and compare them to ours. At least any errant specks of dust and dirt get a warm welcome with us and are allowed to stay as long as they like.


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Living Next Door To MacGyver.

Never a dull moment.

The other day I heard banging and it felt as though it was awfully close. At first I wondered whether someone had taken pity on our slightly age weary barns to give them a breath of fresh air, or more accurately, stop the air from free flowing down the hard earned gaps in the roof that seems to be copyrighted by old buildings. Or perhaps an aesthetics enthusiast had taken it upon himself to make our buildings blend into the neighbourhood.

Thankfully none of the above. Would have surprised me anyway as when we had taken the step to re-patch our outside walls with a nice coat of paint not one of our neighbours took the time to comment on it or even to say; ' well done, that looks jolly nice '.

So I looked out of our lounge window and only saw an arm with a hammer attached to it swing back and forth atop the lofty height of the roof next door. Wondering what was going on, I moved through to our kitchen to have a more detailed look and lo and behold, our neighbour was atop his roof refitting a skylight with dexterity and youthful moves. Gosh, I was amazed considering that he is almost eighty.

Respect mingled with worry. What if he lost his footing? Would I be there fast enough to help him or was his wife keeping watch by the ladder? Each day this week he has been fixing his skylight and I think that is amazing and inspiring. Many others his age have difficulty finding the fridge on their own while he is up on roofs, down on his haunches fixing the driveway or even simply mowing his big garden. Murphy's law that he has us as neighbours, the least D.I.Y'ers that one could find.

Each day that he was hammering atop his roof I happened to hang up the washing outside but of course I made doubly sure not to attract his attention or greet him lest he lost his footing...


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Wednesday Blues.

This sky's the limit!

Early bird and such...a most spectacular sunrise and most spectacular vista this morning over Eisenberg and surrounds.
Blue magic. Blue background to a host of cotton wool cloud puffs. I wonder where these are floating off to?
If I could I would touch some of these tiny cloud puffs. Aren't they fabulous and don't they also set your mind adrift?
Even the wilted cornfields are spruced up with this limitless sky over it. I wish you could have been there first hand this morning. It was divine to be able to walk among this splendour. Soul food.
Slightly filtered through the lense of a puddle but still has the makings of pulchritude.
Finally, the road the Eisenberg has many hidden treasures and attractions. Picture perfect, don't you think?


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

The Cold Has Finally Moved In.

Much wished for and yet, once here we're not that thrilled either!

Bob left just after six this morning to drive to work. Harvesting a vineyard over an hour's drive away meant that he started out while it was still dark as blazes outside. It took him forever to drive off as today for the first time his windscreen was iced over and had to be scraped by hand. Note to self to organize a comfy windscreen scraper for tomorrow.

It doesn't make sense to think that a mere three weeks ago we were moaning about the excessive heat all day and every day and now, long-johns, scarves and heavy jackets are a must. Getting dressed suddenly takes that much longer. The joy of slipping on a pair of jeans and a simple t-shirt are mere glimmers of history.

It being Tuesday I had the opportunity to while the time away outside our local doctor's. One of my nonagenarians had to have a check-up and it took a bit of time which afforded me the chance to do some social studies. Yes, who would have guessed it but once the weather is cold, the sick stay home. Whereas summer often sees a queue outside the door, wintry climes make people think twice about whatever they thought ailed them. Makes one wonder...

After the doctor's we did a stop at our local shop and I walked around with him while he pushed the trolley. Men are much more apt at shopping quickly and sufficiently. Like most men he was given a shopping list by his wife and had me look for those items. No pondering over groceries for him apart from the fruit section. There he wavered from his list and bought a few of his favourites. Mandarins among them which brought the nearness of St. Nicolas to mind.

Growing up, we always had a bowl of mandarins and nuts on the table in the weeks leading up to St. Nicolas on the 6th of December. Strange how pavlovian memories are. A mere mandarin can transport me back in time to the bitter sweet St. Nicolas and Krampus parade where the sum total of a year's behaviour would determine who one would encounter...the good St. Nic and his bag of presents or the horrible Krampus with his scary mask and whip...


Monday, 7 October 2019

To Plastic Or Not To Plastic!

For the love of shopping.

Plastic is everywhere it seems and on everyone's lips. Yes, dreadful what we as humanity have done to our planet and sadly are still doing with the moral proviso of;

" If it was so bad, they wouldn't produce and use it "
anything to appease our conscious...

The obvious use of plastic as wrapping of goods is just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic happily resides in all those cheap clothes we are so wont to have every few months, in order not to be thought of as un-hip plus honestly, when a t-shirt costs less than a cup of take away coffee or a packet of cigarettes, there aren't many of us who can withstand the temptation.

In the back of our minds most of us do wonder at such a rock bottom price for something that was manufactured halfway across the world, still had to be shipped here and make a profit for the chain store. Yip, something's rotten in the state of cheap fashion.

Look, most of us are already doing a small bit each and every day in order to stop using so much plastics and that is fantastic. Those hidden plastics such as those in clothing are often forgotten about but should be our next collective project. Buying less cheap fashion and rather investing in good, solid real clothes once every year or so might be the way to go.

Bob and I were reminiscing about the way we were given a good pair of jeans, a nice solid jacket or sweater for our birthdays or at Christmas when we were kids. These clothes were pre-plastics and thus expensive and things to be treasured. I still remember a Scottish patterned skirt I got when I was little and Bob told me about an expensive pair of Pepe jeans he sported for years, as if it was a treasured friend.

Yes, these items carry a bigger ticket price but thus will be looked after much better, they also will last much longer and most importantly, they won't be bathed in harmful chemicals. We have all smelt that awful chemical smell that sticks to cheap jeans. I don't know about you, but I often wondered what toxins were morphing into my skin...


Sunday, 6 October 2019

A Little Bit More Of Eisenberg.

A gentle autumn Sunday morning in wine country .

Romance, nostalgia and stuff of dreams. A scene that launched many a dream of a life spent in country idyll...
Apples and grapes watched over by avid hunters it seems. This year's harvest of both has markings of a great one just gleaned by looking at the bending branches of this apple tree.
At the start of our Hummergarben reside a bunch of eye-catching pink daisy bushes. Every time I drive or walk past them I feel some more happiness at being able to call this my home.
A Kellerstock and its awesome window boxes which proved rather difficult to depict accurately in the budding sunlight.
A glance backwards revealed bits and pieces of one of Eisenberg's main vineyards and the lucky folks living there.
Finally, the vista that greets us locals several times a day whilst walking, driving or just looking out one's window happens also to be part of Bob's office...How marvelous to have an office with such an ambiance and four new wallpapers each year.


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Gentle Saturday Thoughts.

Some more inspirations and affirmations.

" Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about. "
John F. Demartini
" It gives me great comfort to realize that it's not my job to change for others. "
" The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time. "
Wayne Dyer
" Every day, in every way, I am thinking more and more good positive thoughts! And every day, in every way, I am feeling happier and happier! "
Rhonda Byrne
" At every moment, I have the choice of either feeling gratitude for what has been given to me, or grievance for what is missing . I choose gratitude. "
John Welwood
" People say to me that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. "
Zig Ziglar
" Today I choose the higher road - the path of charity, acceptance, love, selflessness, kindness. "
Johnathon Lockwood Huie
" Giving brings me happiness at every stage of its expression.
I experience joy in forming the intention to be generous.
I experience joy in the actual act of giving something.
And I experience joy in remembering the fact that I have been a giver."

" The images in my mind have creative power. They breathe existence into possibilities that never existed before. "
Deepak Chopra


Friday, 4 October 2019

After A Day Of Harvesting Grapes...

All about wine.

" Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, any other purely sensory thing. "
Ernest Hemingway
" I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine. "
Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield
" A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I never met a miserly wine lover. "
Clifton Fadiman
" The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams. "
Thomas Love Peacock, Melincourt; or Sir Oran Hautton
" Anyone can produce a blend full of complexity, but a monovarietal that exudes complex layers is a sign of a master winemaker. "
Tony Margiotta
" It is no coincidence that, on all four sides, in all four corners, the borders of the Roman Empire stopped where wine could no longer be made. "
Neel Burton
" Always carry a corkscrew and the wine shall present itself. "
Basil Bunting
" The simplest definition of a great bottle of wine is when you feel sad because the bottle is empty. "
Tony Margiotta


Thursday, 3 October 2019

Wherever I Eat My Grub I Call My Home?

Never mind a cat having nine lives...

Like so many interesting tidbits this one also started off by me visiting a friend. She doesn't live too far away but by Eisenberg standards it is. About a hundred meters down the road!

We were having a nice long chat over coffee and talked about this that and our cats. She has a most beloved cat and of course we have our princess and Mister, the former feral who one can set a clock by come feeding time. Get two cat lovers together and we exchange cat photos and cat stories.

Her front door is always ajar so that her cat can come in at her leisure but she never does when I am around. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of cat paws walking on wooden floor, followed by the sound of munching. Oh, I felt honoured that she would come inside with me there but was quickly put in the picture;

" This is my cat's new friend who comes in to eat every day. My cat sat next to her while she ate here for the first time to signal to me that she approves of this new addition to our household. "
I wanted to go and have a look, but my friend told me that this cat was particularly shy and would sprint away if she heard me. Luckily the lounge door has a glass portion and thus I got up quietly to have a look at this new cat.
" Oh, I don't believe it! Hey my boy, what are you doing here ? "
The cat looked up, my friend thought I had lost the plot and I almost doubled over in laughter. There was our formally feral cat having a leisurely lunch before obviously coming over to our house for dinner later on. Gosh, when he heard my voice he stopped eating, looked up and tried to put the situation into some semblance of order before doing his usual and scattering off.

We were laughing so much and even more so when I mentioned that contrary to what she thought, this cat was actually a tomcat.

" Ah, now I understand why my darling cat has been so happy lately and why she lets him share her food! "
Cats, couldn't live without them...


Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Fridays For Future Even Here In Our Neck Of The Woods.

Thrilled to hear it.

Finally, a ray of hope on the local horizon. Oberwart's newspaper reported on the various students manning their still rather lonely stations outside their schools. But, they said that each week more and more kids joined in. Fantastic.

Article in

As we have seen, one person does make a difference and we shouldn't give up. The young lady from Sweden has inspired so many others thus giving them the courage to stand up for their convictions. So often we are told not to bother because what difference can one voice, person or action make? Well, proof's in the pudding.

Climate strikes do strike fear in many parent's heart as they realize that once their child has made up his or her mind, life as they know it will change. It's not as though folks don't know what to do to counter the destruction of our climate, but they are mostly scared of having to change their ways, behaviours and diet.

The irony is that the change on the horizon will make a positive difference on a personal level even though it was meant for the global betterment. Any little change will show huge benefits be it from feeling better about oneself, or becoming healthier due to not eating meat or being a parent their kids look up to. Leaders by example.

I was positively surprised when I went grocery shopping today to see so many more grocery items marked with the divine yellow VEGAN label. Even the dreaded Christmas gingerbread biscuits are now made for vegans. That must mean that there are more and more of us out there. I live in hope that all those teenagers standing with their placards are already eating the vegan way.

Gosh, what a great inspiration these kids from our surrounding areas are...


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

A Bit More Eisenberg.

Early morning bliss.

Despite Eisenberg literally being a hundred meters behind me, this spot and view must be attributed to Deutsch Schützen even though I view both as one village.
A step above perchance? A ladder to infinity.
A true case of Morning Has Broken...
A bit of no-man's-land. Eisenberg is on the right of this picture and Deutsch Schützen to the left...and never the twain shall meet. Bob and I predict both villages joining as seamlessly as Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Finally in Eisenberg proper. The winding Hauptstrasse is bathed in that magical morning light that only a sun peeping through a cloudy sky can produce.
Autumn is on the way as you can see by some of the leaves deciding to drop green for yellow and thus emulating the canoe on the edge of our Eisenberg pond.