Thursday, 28 February 2019

A New Taste Sensation For Me.

Coffee with a twist.

As you know Bob and I have been spicing up our cooking with various curry powders en masse or solo which makes our spice rack exotic and responsible for a pleasant aroma wafting about all day long.

A few days ago I happened across a tidbit about spices. Especially cardamom, which rang a distant bell in my mind about a health tip my cousin ( a qualified doctor of eastern and western medicine ) had mentioned in passing. Adding a dash of cardamom on your daily cappuccino froth. She had just given us a manual milk frother, so that made sense...but only since last week.

Luckily we've discovered a plant based oat & soy milk that whips up into a perfect barista foam. A foam that makes a perfect bed for me to sprinkle cardamom on top. To be honest, the first time I was not quite convinced as it has a sharpish bitter taste but after seeing my skin with a dash more peachy-ness the following morning, I have become inseparable from my new morning coffee duo.

The internet is rife with coffee and cardamom recipes which I can't wait to try out tomorrow. Brewing the powder with the coffee instead of drizzling it on top. Bob is not on board yet but perhaps my new way of coffee enjoyment might rub off on him.

The health benefits are of course the is an antioxidant, might lower blood pressure, has diuretic tendencies, is anti-inflammatory and may help with digestive problems. Life is about being open to try out new things, get new ideas and to have the gumption to veer off the tried and tested tastes of the past.


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Something A Bit Different.

Thoughts on age.

" As we grow older our capacity for enjoyment shrinks, but not our appetite for it. "
Mignon McLaughlin
" As a man grows older it gets harder and harder to frighten him. "
Jean Paul Richter
" Some folks as they grow older grow wise but most folks simple grow more stubborner. "
Josh Billings
" One of the good things about getting older is you find you're more interesting than most of the people you meet. "
Lee Marvin
" Growing older is not upsetting; but being perceived as old is. "
Kenny Rogers
" Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough. "
Groucho Marx
" The dreadful thing about getting older is that you cry at the drop of a hat. "
Eric Idle


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Golden Oldies.

It's all in the wisdom...

" Beware of the barrenness of a busy life. "
" He is the richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. "
" By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy;
if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. "

" Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. "
" An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out ? "
Rene Descartes
" Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high
that the offense cannot reach it. "

Rene Descartes
" If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past. "
Baruch Spinoza
" Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. "
" Mind moves matter. "
" I prefer a pleasant vice to an annoying virtue. "


Monday, 25 February 2019

The Versatile Sweet Potato.

Old and delicious.

When my generation sees the word potato, never mind sweet potato, our mind collectively moves into diet mode and casts it out of our thoughts for fear of weight gain. Year after year of diet misinformation, cover after cover of the newest and rather oxymoronish - only diet that works - does take some mental work to forget, undo and reprogram. Only now we are slowly waking up to that pack of lies the diet industry dished us up in order to sell us their products.

Well, it turns out that any sort of potato is good for us and contrary to popular belief, doesn't make us gain weight. That is on the plant based way of life. The more of the starchy tuber the better. Rather liberating to be able to eat without counting calories while slowly loosing weight.

Sweet potatoes have so many ways to complement a dish even being the star of it. Saturday I baked a big sweet one ( along with mere potatoes in order not to waste electricity ) so that I would have the basis of a burger pattie. I mixed the baked goods with oats, chick peas and a whole slew of spices to make four of the most delectable burger patties. Yummy indeed.

While the burger was getting baked, Bob and I snacked on the smaller baked potatoes and couldn't get over how good and different they taste cooked in this way. Cooking doesn't have to be difficult and, in fact often the simpler the food, the better the taste...


Sunday, 24 February 2019

Meditating In Nature.

A Sunday morning walk in Eisenberg.

Mental yoga indeed.
The road seems littered with bits of shiny gold.
Doesn't this remind you a little bit of Spain or Tuscany?
The tree in the middle of a field, seemingly out of place yet rather calming to behold.
It was rather cold this morning which brought the curling smoke into relief.
We tend to forget to herald our thoughts into greener pastures although it is vital for living a good life. My daily walk is a mixture of mental yoga, meditation and fortunate I am to be able to experience it.


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Images Of A Walk.

Birds and more.

To set the's excursion took place amid the splendorous Deutsch Schützen vineyard. Nature does make some inventive frames.
Part of a flock of birds defying the blowing wind and my footsteps coming toward them.
Budding beauties are awaking from their longish winter rest. Stunning to come upon a blast of yellow amid the grays of winter.
Forbidden fruit high up in a tree. Too pretty to eat or so pretty they have to grow high up in a tree?
The local introvert enjoying a moment's respite from all his twittering pals.
A strong support for birds, bees and leaves. The old man of the forest needs to be treated with respect...


Friday, 22 February 2019

Rainbows And Strong Winds.

A different but stunning day.

I saw a rainbow. Not just any rainbow but one that covered all of Rechnitz. Heartwarming and speech rendering stuff. A simple deed of nature cast such a divine aura over a town. It was a privilege to see it.

The weather has been undecided today alternating between spots of rain, bursts of strong winds and sunny blue skies. When I glance out of our kitchen window the blue couldn't be more so but one peep out the back loo's window brings to mind movies of doom and gloom. A darkish blue and gray sky that reminded me of African hail bursts.

The wind was so strong in Rechnitz that the car bucked to stay on the straight and narrow. Adventure driving coupled with adventure hairstyle. My hair was defying the elastic band and bits were whipping in every direction possible. A quick glance in the shop window thought me save and hairstyle sound but oh, when I got home earlier on, I had to laugh at myself and the unruly wildness atop my head. No wonder folks were grinning at me.

The rainbow had cast its spell over Rechnitz and at one of the local shops folks were joking with each other whilst waiting in the queue which hardly ever happens. Sometimes we need a celestial reminder to slow down and smell the roses...

A darkening sky had settled itself over Eisenberg this morning. Lovely walk indeed.


Thursday, 21 February 2019

Living Life With A Head Warmer.

Better than legwarmers...

I am thankful at least for the fact that her royal highness, Miss Mausi changes her favourite abodes every few weeks and thus my current trial will not be forever...hopefully.

It started about a week ago when she decided to sleep right above my head on the top left hand side of my pillow. A pillow which I have trouble grabbing the major share of. In the beginning I thought it was tres cute to have my own little head warmer and also felt pleased that she chose mine and not Bob's. More hair could be the trump card!

It isn't as though I notice when she curls up above me. It is only when I wake up in the middle of the night that I become aware of her due to her ( or Bob's ) snoring like a trooper. It is uncanny how she found a place on the pillow without me noticing which makes me believe that she cunningly awaits my departure to dreamworld before striking out on her favourite spot.

Once I am awake though, sleep is out of the question and our trek to the living room ensues, quiet as mice so as not to wake Bob. Mausi unceremoniously gets hauled over my shoulder with one hand and all our duvets and pillows are hauled with the other. A routine indeed and one she might even look forward to.

After a few minutes I usually get settled on the couch and it isn't more than a minute later that she curls up atop my head. All well and good until I hear and feel her scratching. Then of course all bets and thoughts are off as I can literally picture a great osmosis trek by little creatures. True or not doesn't matter. She gets the boot or rather a weak arm over my head trying to shoo her off. Goodness, she is a stubborn gal. Last night we did the routine three times before I fell asleep which of course was game over for me. When the alarm buzzed she lazily stretched and yawned atop my head waiting for me to switch the blasted thing off.

The other day I mentioned it to mum and she of course laughed and asked why I didn't just kick her out of the bed...ha, little does she know about living with a cat, especially one that we love to bits...


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Clear Signals Of Spring.

It's all about the colours, isn't it?

Midway up this tree trunk a whole new ecosystem is starting to make itself at home. A clear signal of life left in the old tree...
A different place to greet another stunning morning complete with splendid colours making one feel content and safe. A mere two hundred meters as the crow flies between the first photo and this one.
A nice little hoola-hoop indeed. Rather intriguing how the new branches start so far up the tree, but great to behold.
A place for one's soul to get lost in...A particular spectacular Eisenberg morning...
Plain, simple yet powerful. Nature can give us so much in return, that is if we let it be.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

For Love Of Curry.

Learning as we cook along...

Bob and I both like a good curry and in the past there was a prefix of Lamb, Beef, Chicken or Prawn dangling in front of it. Growing up in Natal one can't help but fall in love with spicy curries, chillie bites and samoosas. Even now, writing about them makes my mouth water.

Now our curries carry a different prefix and postcode...Lentil, Chickpea and Bean and let me tell you, they are up there in the tasted department if not better tasting than meaty ones. Over the years, kind family and friends have blessed us with gifts of curry powders. Yes, plain old curry powders back in South Africa are exotic ware here. Already made up curry mixes bought locally lack the oompf to cause tears, choking and tongues going numb.

Our stash of South African curry mixes ran out a while ago so Bob and I went shopping for the individual spices for it. We had tried one ready made mix but it tended to remind more of a tepid stew. Bob got industrious and looked up all the spices needed and made up a batch. It tasted so nice that we can be forgiven to have used it up within two weeks. Yip, curries are our new staple. The other day we needed to replenish the spices and went to town.

Buying them separate proves jolly expensive and on a hunch I asked Bob to wait until we had a look at the Oriental Shop in Oberwart, one that my parents had discovered the week before. A real Asian shop where the aromas wafting about makes one want to start cooking right away. Some of the spices are in bulk, the dried beans too but of course for us the find of the decade were ready made curry mixes from India, imported for the Brits, who like a spicy curry just like the South Africans do. The prices were so reasonable that we bought an array of spices and mixtures.

So far we've tried the hot curry masala and have loved it. It took Bob back to his childhood when he was at his uncle's Friday nights curry cookout and I also wafted in memories of walking about the spice emporiums and restaurants back in Durban. For the love of curry, I hope that we won't tire of it too soon...


Monday, 18 February 2019

A Squirrel In My Path.

It is the small things that count.

The Monday morning rush was in full swing around me. Cars were chortling along, drivers were mostly giving over their attention to the ubiquitous smartphone glued to their face and even I was pacing myself in order to make my first appointment. A usual Monday morning but also a sad end to a few days of quiet, relaxation and fun.

That feeling of rush, rush, rush almost seems ingrained in most of us. Multitasking is akin to normal although the act of swiping away on one's phone can't be compared to multitasking because once the mind is centered on that little portal to the online netherworld, all else is forgotten.

As I was waiting for two cars to leave their driveway-they had their music blaring and engine revving to signal intent-I noticed a quick movement on my right side, across the road. There was a squirrel as cute as a button waltzing backwards and forwards as if waiting to cross the road. It allowed me to take a few photos before dashing up a tree.

A reminder of nature, an instant feeling of joy at such cuteness but the drivers of those two cars didn't even take note of this squirrel while they made their entry onto the road of haste. No, they didn't come close to hurting it but alas they missed an opportunity to have a lovely mental screensaver for their start of the week.

Sweetcheeks waiting to cross the road...


Sunday, 17 February 2019

A Village On The Move.

Who said that never the twain shall meet?

It was advertised ahead of time and just for good measure and to cut out any excuses, every villager received a gilded invitation in their postbox. A village walk through thick and thin...or rather through forest and uphill with generous breaks in between.

It wasn't a walk in the park as those from Eisenberg had approximately 10 km ahead of them and those unfortunates from Deutsch Schützen a dastardly 14 km. Meeting in the middle...not so much.

Bob and I had the easy 10 km leg of the walk and mum the 14 km, but neither posed any problem to us nor any of the other walkers. And plenty there were. At least fifty, which is a record for sure. The troupe was made up of nordic walkers, fast walkers, walkers, amblers and those counting the steps to the various watering holes. One would be mistaken for naming them after the infamous 19th hole of golf courses...let's just say that nobody was thirsty for long.

The weather was glorious and most of us couldn't believe that it was only the middle of February. As soon as the early morning chill had evaporated we mostly took off our jackets, scarves and caps. I remember the same walk last year was quite different with minus temperatures and heavy snow. Yet, walk we did!

The pit stops in between numbered two and gave everyone an opportunity to chill, relax and recharge as the uphill leg of the walk was sneakily left for the after lunch slot. Knowing that the only loo would be with an open view made me content with mere sips of water. Easy for the boys to take cover behind a tree ( although, many forgot their audience and merely used the first unoccupied tree. Eyes straight ahead was the name of the game for us gals ) to recycle their beer.

The walk was a success for the village and hopefully the word will spread so that next year even more will join in...


Saturday, 16 February 2019

For The Love Of Exercise. walk or not to walk...

" Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humour, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson
" Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional and mental states. "
Carol Welch
" We do not stop exercising because we grow old - we grow old because we stop exercising. "
Kenneth Cooper
" An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. "
Henry David Thoreau
" Exercise and temperance can preserve something of our early strength even in old age. "
" Great effort is required to arrest decay and restore vigor. One must exercise proper deliberations, plan carefully before making a move, and be alert in guarding against a relapse following a renaissance. "
" Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. "
Thomas Jefferson
" All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. "
Friedrich Nietzsche


Friday, 15 February 2019

The Funny Side Of Life.

A dose of laughter is really the best medicine.

Bob had the day off again today and we made the most of it in Oberwart. Ja, ja, big trip out but to us it actually is. Our favourite had to be included and this saw us squeeze into an empty two-seater table at the Chinese. Goodness, always packed to the rafters one would think that people don't know how to cook, us included!

Normally I don't enjoy being squeezed bookend style because there is no way one can tune out the next table's conversation never mind the one two down. At least we weren't sandwiched between anyone we know as that can get awkward. When does one stop making small talk with them and do stilted small talk of our own. When ears are prying, conversation stutters. Even our coded English isn't foolproof!

A single guy was on our left and an oldish married couple on our right. Not much chit chat between them... As the restaurant is buffet style, people take it in turns to get food. Leaving the table together means schlepping all and sundry stuff to the buffet counter. Much easier to go solo and anyway, everyone is doing it.

On our second course I noticed the lady on our right heading off for her mains and a few minutes later a woman suddenly sat down at the single guy's table. Odd, did he have a girlfriend after all? ( yes, I tend to imagine the how, where and when of arbitrary characters I encounter ) Being nosy, I had a quick squizz at the girlfriend and just as I did, she looked up at firstly me, then at the man across from her while simultaneously turning a shade of red.

She had sat down at the wrong table and I couldn't help but laugh loudly, the single guy managed a sheepish smile of mirth and Bob alternated between telling me to stop laughing and laughing himself. By now the whole row of tables along our wall was giggling and I have to say, she nonchalantly stood up and walked to her own table...of course her husband hadn't notice while he was dissembling the Chow Mein...


Thursday, 14 February 2019

A Feeling Of Spring Is In The Air.

The last of winter's downhill stretch...

The sun is out most days and the bitter cold is being warmed away bit by bit. Just for good measure the mornings and evenings still have a hint of wintry cold but even that wanes in intensity loosening the icy tentacles of winter one warm day at a time. The air seems spritzed by a special perfume that signals the start of spring albeit be it mixed in among the wafts of chimney smoke doing the rounds. Air pressure tends to dictate the severity of our local smog and of course coldness.

The buds are coming out of hibernation and it won't be long now before the forest comes alive again. A special time when colour is etcho-sketched almost overnight. The grass has had enough of slumbering lazily through the winter and is shaking off its muddy protective cover in order to get back the green hue of normality.

Spring has so many meanings to so many. To some it is a fresh start, for others a welcome end to winter and for some the opportunity to plant the next crop. From one week to the next the vineyards, fields and yards have become centers of activity with the various players planning their summer's crop. Gardens are sculpted, kitchen gardens planted and fields seeded all with a cheerful undertone because there is only one way for the weather to go...more pleasant.

The blue seems here to stay, hurray!


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Making A Difference.

Learning to ignore life's hecklers.

Politicians won't do it and thus neither will governments. They will try and table the issue until it is too late so they can then say, that they told us it wouldn't make a difference. What am I taking about? Well, climate change and the hope that in 10, 20 or 50 years time, earth is going to be more or less the same as is now. Oh, and of course that it is still there.

There are many ways to make a dent in it and contrary to what life's hecklers try and shout, each of us makes a difference. As you know, for almost a year now Bob and I have stopped consuming animal products and together we surely have saved some trees from being felled to make space for growing animal feed and most importantly, saved animals from a terrible life destined only for their death.

There is a Vegan calculator and according to it, each of us has saved in the last 11 months;
  • 1,374, 087 liters of water
  • 5973 kg of grain
  • 924 sq meters of forest
  • 3003 kg of co2
  • and 330 animal lives.
Even if only a quarter of it is true, I am a happy gal.

For some reason this method of ' doing one's bit for the planet ' meets up with staunch opposition, hatred and negativity. There are a few people I can tell my news, newly tried recipes and opinions regarding veganism but on the whole, I keep ( or try to ) keep stumm.

This week the report that insects are dying out has had many put up their hands in horror at this but at the same time, the bit about industrial scale intensive ( for animal ) agriculture being the main culprit of deforestation which causes the insects to become extinct, is convenantly falling on deaf ears. Being horrified of the future seems fine, but making an individual stand by changing eating behaviours is out of the question.

Only this morning I was audibly told;

" Why should I do something when governments don't. Not my problem anyway. "
As you can imagine I was left speechless and steaming. But on further thought it has dawned on me that I mustn't hold the world to the hecklers' standards ...there are millions of people out there who have shifted wholeheartedly in their behaviour on many different fronts to help save our environment.


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Health And Well-being, Forgotten Until It Is Gone.

The treasure of health...

" When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. "

Ayurvedic proverb
" My soul is dark with stormy riot, directly traceable to diet. "
Samuel Hoffenstein
" A good digestion turneth all to health. "
George Herbert ( 1633 )
" I am convinced that digestion is the great secret to life. "
Sidney Smith
" The longer I live the less confidence I have in drugs and the greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen. "
John Redman Coxe ( 1800 )
" Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food. "
" The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause of the disease. "
Thomas Edison
" No medicine can compensate for un-healthy living. "
Renu Chaudhary


Monday, 11 February 2019

Grays And Whites.

The last bite of winter before spring.

The road to Deutsch Schützen is enveloped by shades of gray, white and slight pink. Enticing to walk upon.
Poison berries turn to frozen berries and dot the icy landscape with colour.
A sunrise always becomes more beautiful when framed by trees, forests or undulating fields.
The usual suspects taking the safe road just in case I would have been able to catch up to them...
The yellow strips attracted my attention. A dash of flashiness amid a slightly gray morning made walking on it sheer joy. Colours have such a powerful impact on our mood and this golden yellow brightened my whole day a bit more.


Sunday, 10 February 2019

Living Time.

Setting markers throughout the day.

Doesn't it feel as though time is slipping through our fingers? Turn around once and it is the end of a day, week or even month never mind year. It was not that long ago that the promise of a Friday night was on the horizon and now, Sunday is past its infancy. Strange indeed.

As much as I love Friday evenings and our laissez-faire attitude to them, I do also know that Friday evenings are there for Bob to enjoy watching his genre of movies. Sci-fi and comics such as Spiderman, which I must say I actually enjoyed. Netflix is a blessing and a curse because watching originals and their sequels is as easy as pressing the remote. Sequels hardly ever pass the muster set by the original.

Most evenings or actually all of them I am deep into my first REM cycle in front of the telly by eight o'clock so Bob has free reign on choosing movies at his leisure. Mostly I put up a token fight just for the fun of it and by now Bob has learned to nod sagely while prizing the remote out of my hand.

Sundays are great reminders of living our lives to the fullest as the frequency with which they appear is dizzying if nothing else. Perhaps if and when we find a way to relax and live authentically the concept of time passing might slow down. Living in the moment is more than a buzz word, in fact it might just be the road less traveled leading to inner peace and happiness that is what most of us are yearning for...


Saturday, 9 February 2019

Driving To Stock Up For An Saturday Afternoon Pig-Out!

The vegan revenge!

A sedate afternoon watching skiing on the telly brought forth my better half's statement:

" Honey, let's drive to Kohfidisch Spar to buy some pig-out stuff. "
Honestly, it didn't take me long to get behind my husband. As one does...Images of ice cream, chips and biscuits floated in both of our minds as we drove hastily to the shop.

In anticipation we already wore comfy clothes but as the first bit of the store is the veg aisle, we got a slight bit side tracked! Both of us did our best to peruse in leisure the various offerings banded about. And there lay the rub...independently we both read ingredients and decided against most things.

Our bodies and taste buds must have adjusted to healthy living because as hard as we tried we couldn't come up with more than a bag of crisps, oven chips and pulled ' vegan pork ' for dinner. As we were laying the various items out to be scanned, I couldn't help but notice how our lifestyle has changed. For the better of course. All the usual suspects of previous pig-out festivals were glaringly absent which pleased me to no end.

At one point I even thought of adding a packet of expensive vegan creamed spinach ( I have been eyeing it at every shop ) into my pig-out stash but reason prevailed. Bob weakened at his favourite crisps ( vegan of course ) but crisps are still not everyday food which made it quite a conundrum as they had a special of buy 3 and get one free and who doesn't like a bargain? Bob heroically told me that he would only eat one packet a week but then again my husband is rather adapt at cramming three weeks into a weekend.


Friday, 8 February 2019

Will The Pope Become Vegan For Lent And 1 Million Dollars?

Ah, just imagine!

I have seen a video clip about this young vegan activist who is now twelve years old. Twelve years old and already a vegan for six of them. Brilliant and what is more, she has the backbone to make people aware of the cruelty of animal agriculture to the planet and the animals.

She has now thrown a gauntlet at The Pope's feet and asked him to become vegan for the 40 days of lent in order to set an example to all his followers. He being a scientist knows ( or should know ) what destructive impact animal agriculture has on our planet. Through donations there is a prize at the end of it, should he go vegan, which will go to a charity of his choice. How can he say no?

The plot will really thicken when he does pick up the challenge and start an odyssey that will make a tremendous positive impact on our climate, animals and of course, our health. In fact, with the busy schedule he keeps as the leader of the Catholic Church he should already be on a plant-based diet to have enough strength for those long working hours.

How would or will this strike our local congregation I wonder? Most of the villagers are staunch Catholics who attend mass Sundays and often have the Catholic Cable Network as their default setting on tv. His appeal for a vegan lent would make many forgo their Schnitzel & co.

Oh, how great it would be if we weren't the only vegans in our village and oh how marvelous it would be to witness the penny drop...eating plant-based doesn't mean carrots and cabbages but a whole variety of delicious foods which when eaten for at least two weeks will have such a positive impact on health and well being ( not to mention the holy grail of loosing weight ) that many might stick to it after lent, even if just for a few days each week.


Thursday, 7 February 2019

For The Love Of Colours.

My Eisenberg magic...

A few crisp mornings yet again but aren't they worth it? Wonderful colour schemes that make winter real.
A winter's morning that sort of reminds me of South African winter days. Early frost and then glorious days of sunshine and pleasant temperatures.
I've yet to see anyone in those hunter's lookouts...they blend rather well into the surroundings that it makes one forget their true purpose.
One of the steepest vineyards in Eisenberg encircling parts of our village.
Another gem of or in the vineyards. Imagine living in this romantic cottage, book and wine in hand? Magical Burgenland.
An empty cottage standing lonely among the splendour of the Eisenberg vines. If it were mine I would make the glass room my reading cave...Sad that such a divine place isn't used to replenish one's soul...


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Rubbish Collection Day Today.

January's rubbish done and dusted!

As you know we only have rubbish ( what remains once the the plastics, cans, papers, vegetable peels and bottles are filtered out ) collection more or less every five weeks. Fine in winter and slightly aroma-esque in summer. Imagine all of your waste being collected in one black rubbish bin. Not that easy but one adapts.

It took us a bit of time to understand the rubbish system not to mention the collection schedule. Well, the schedule is as easy as noting the dates in our calendar with the hard part being the act of looking at the calendar. There have been occasions where Bob had to run after the rubbish truck with bin in tow. Now that was a sight for sore eyes. Bob doing a hundred meter dash in shorts, slops and t-shirt while a ungainly rubbish bin was teetering behind him on two little wheels.

A few of the local weekly commuters are our lifesavers. They already put out their rubbish bins on the appropriate Sunday, thus reminding us of that Wednesday's collection. The same of course applies to the paper bin but that one is not as bad to forget. No iffy aromas lingering in it. It amazes me how much paper we tend to collect though. Packaging, envelopes and advertising paraphernalia fill a big rubbish bin to the brim.

Bob has the mistaken belief that I have a tendency to forget important dates and has been known to phone me on his way to work.

" Honey, don't forget today is rubbish day. "
Of course he only remembered due to seeing each and every neigbhour's black bin standing neatly at the curbside. Somehow the two of us have established a great routine and teamwork when it comes to rubbish collection and it is those little dots on the calendar that make for a rich, enjoyable and laughter filled life.

A blast from the past. August 2012 was the month where Bob took the rubbish bin for a walk to catch up with the departing rubbish truck...


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

A Few Thoughts On Being Vegan.

Don't forget the positive environmental impact being plant-based has.

" We are quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet-for the sake of hamburgers. "
Peter Singer
" Some people think the plant-based, whole food diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sown into their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme. "
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
" The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest. "
Dr. Micheal Greger
" I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can extend your life length and make you an all-round happier person. It is tricky dining out, but I just stick to what I know - veggies, fruit and salad - then when I get home I'll have something else. "
Ariana Grande
" I don't understand why asking people to eat a well balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives. "
Dean Ornish
" You can't be an environmentalist, you can't be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk and you can't walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet. "
James Cameron
" A plant-based diet is like a one-top shop against chronic diseases. "
Dr. Micheal Greger


Monday, 4 February 2019

A Delightful Monday In Eisenberg.

Characters abound.

Often I only decide at the last minute which route to walk and today saw me march behind the Eisenberg church towards the Pinka. One of my favourite routes as it abounds with soul refreshing sights. A constant are the family of deer grazing to keep the hunger at bay yet keeping an eye out for passing tourists like myself. After so many safe passages they still hop and skip away when they catch sight of me.

This route is also preferred by an older gentleman and his little dog. They are a perfect pair and the bond between them is amazing. Every time I meet up with them, I am one step closer to adopting a dog. His companion was chosen at the local pound. A dog nobody else wanted is now his best friend and won't leave his side.

A while ago it was murmured that one was old when the local doc prescribed a dog. A threshold of sorts but I tend to think it a brilliant idea and prescription. A dog means going for daily walks, organizing its food and generally taking care of it.

Of course owning a dog is one of the best antidotes to loneliness and helps one focus the mind on someone else and lends structure to the day while rescuing a little soul from an overcrowded pound who will shower you with unconditional love. Sometimes good old fashioned common sense is the best medicine...

The local gang blending in nicely to their surroundings.


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Old Fashioned Proverbs.

Kind of comforting, don't you think?

" If in February there be no rain, 'tis neither good for hay nor grain. "
" Distance lends enchantment to the view. "
" A creaking door hangs longest. "
" What can you expect from a pig but a grunt. "
" No man is a hero to his valet. "
" Any port in a storm. "
" Procrastination is the thief of time. "
" A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse. "
" United we stand, divided we fall. "
" Talk of the devil and he is bound to appear. "
" Please your eye and plague your heart. "
" If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. "
" Good fences make good neighbours. "
" Go abroad and you will hear news from home. "


Saturday, 2 February 2019

To Drone Or Not To Drone...

Curtailing our privacy.

The other day Bob showed me a short clip on Facebook. A video taken by a local drone enthusiast. Eisenberg from above seemed to have everyone in a frenzy of excitement and importance.

One can only assume that people had a squiz through our now virtual neigbhourhood because Bob and I did. A bit of oohs and aahs ensued but changed to, mmphs when we realized the detail revealed. In the flyover of our property, I can clearly be seen hanging up the washing and also how I parked our car skew in our driveway.

Imagine, each piece of laundry visible? At the moment I make sure that lingerie is cleverly hidden from passing eyes but how was I to know the danger from the eagle eye above? Look, it is just a bunch of laundry, but what about those folks who like to suntan in the nude or do other stuff in the safety of their garden? Never mind the added pressure to clean up the outside of one's house as now all and sundry can see it and in terrific detail too. So much for a good old garden fence...

This afternoon was the start of a new wine event in our village and we had fun but left early. As we walked back to our car to go home, we happened to see the drone expert getting his aircraft ready. Just as well we went home because the eagle eye sees all... can't wait to see the results tomorrow.


Friday, 1 February 2019

The Few Questions A Husband Shouldn't Answer...Ever..

Ignorance is bliss.

Now and again I put Bob through the question circuit and by and large he is rather surefooted and adroit at deflecting and handling the impossible ones. But today, he fell into my verbal trap.

" Schatzi, do I look as old as her? "
Naturally, ' her ' was chosen with great care and I hoped her decades of smoking and partying would make my question purely rhetorical...well, how wrong was I!
" Oh, ja ah well I am not sure. "
My heart dropped and I went silent ( serves me right for asking in the first place ) starting to wonder if I had developed myopic bathroom vision? Weak lighting perhaps? Good grief, had I become one of those women who have forgotten a decade or two and still think they are young and with-it? Was I becoming a version of mutton dressed as lamb?

About thirty seconds later, Bob ( bless his heart ) went into damage control confessing that his thoughts had been elsewhere and he only realized the import of my question now. And no he said, she looked much older, almost another generation...! What a sweetheart, my Pinocchio!