After seeing my friend's blog, I decided it would be nice to share our lives in Austria with family and friends. Whether or not I have the motivation to do this is another question.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I am alive!

Firstly apologies for not blogging for 7 months…..I blame it
on the winter hibernation that we always tend to do!
So to sum up the last few months, I thought photos may be better
(although I only have my phone with me today – so whatever is on there goes

A trip to the Zoo with Mollie and Vinnie
Elephants at the side of the road in the Czech Republic

Retz wine festival in September

Trip to the UK in October
Mollie’s new houseUnimportant news from the past few months:

Winter is over and spring is here
I applied for a new job (no news yet)
Ian got a good pay rise and bonus
The house is for sale on my work’s online bulletin board
We go on holiday soon
The car windscreen cracked again
I broke the passenger door window by touching it
I broke the oven by touching it
Waiting for the third item to break from my touch
I am now 35 (OMG)
Ian has received a speeding fine every month so far this
Ian has grown his hair (side parting now)
I just read the Hunger Games Trilogy (very good)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Only in Austria

On our drive to Vienna we spotted a rather funny advert on a van.

Without us..... It would be dark????

Our house is a seductive blue!

August was a beautiful, sunny month, with temperatures averaging in the late 30’s. We managed to do various jobs and relaxing. Over a few weekends, we painted the outside of the house. This led to Ian balancing on a ladder trying to reach the top of the house (with a worried wife moaning at him). But after much hard work, with Ian up the ladder and myself painting the lower half, the house looks a‘seductive blue’ (the name of the paint).
We still have the white around the windows to finish, but we plan on doing that this weekend as, fingers crossed, the weather will still be hot and sunny.
We had people from the Caritas (home for the disabled) watching us work, tourists asking where the windmill, Retz centre, and various villages were, and our noisy new neighbours working hard on their house opposite us.

We also managed to take a couple of bike rides. I decided that it was far too hot to be cycling, and waited for a Saturday afternoon when the temperature suddenly dropped 15c…trainers on and bikes out. Little did I know it was the build up to a storm, and by the time we decided to turn back the wind was howling and it took us ages to get home cycling into the wind.

The fields are now starting to look sparse, with all the crops harvested. The grapes are now being driven around in tractors and delivered to the ‘squashing places’ ready for the 2011 wine. Even the pumpkins are starting to disappear. We were very shocked at the size of the pumpkin below.
After another drive to the Czech Republic, we purchased some more M&S bread mix, and attempted to produce Tiger bread. It was semi-successful, as you can see in the photo, but still not right.

We managed to take a walk in the sun and fly Ian’s helicopters, much to the amusement of some kids, who couldn’t quite work out what nationality we were. We could hear them discussing us, and then speaking German, Czech and English to see if they got a response from us. So we decided to ignore them and keep them guessing.

Morpheus also had a hairdressing appointment, where upon we decided he would look so much better with a Mohawk!
So September has arrived and work is busy leading up to the big general conference week, where I am arranging two large exhibitions. The free pens and post it notes have yet to arrive, and I still haven’t checked the newly printed exhibition…but hey a couple of days remain before panic sets in

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Neo is a conehead!

Well August also started as a tired and lazy month; although we have been doing jobs on the house…..Ian tried his hand at plastering outside – which worked out wonderfully. We therefore need to paint the front of the house. We are hoping to paint only the bottom ½ of the house, so there is no need for scaffolding.

Neo went back to vets for another check-up, and unfortunately the herpes on his eye has not cleared up, so back to the vets for another operation. This time some of his cornea was removed and then his inner eye lid was sewn shut so it could heal…urghhhh. He also has to wear a cone round his neck to stop him attempting to scratch his eye for 2 weeks…..poor guy doesn’t like his cone head! He tends to just sleep, and moan! I swear he even plays dead...I woke in the night and thought he was dead. I prodded him, lifted him, tickled him and no responce...panic was setting in...I starred into his eyes and they were open (well one of them) looking at me..still no responce. Finally his tail moved slightly...OMG. Anyway he was alive when I awoke in the morning.
So after a weekend mainly spent asleep (we even didn’t get out of bed on Saturday), we are going to try and get our energy back and sell the house, book various appointments, ring our family and stop being lazy….I’m still going to test the house for carbon monoxide poisoning…..Trying to think of an excuse for our extreme laziness!

I end with a photo of a local co-op in the Czech Republic....not quite the same as the UK!

July went so fast

Apologies for not blogging last month. July seems to have passed in a blur. Ian and I have been super busy at work, and we have tended to sleep a lot…not sure if it is the weather or lack of it. Most of July turned out to be like the UK….raining and cold, well I mean 18-22c (which is cold for Austria). We did manage to have the odd BBQ. The first with Mollie, Andraz and Vinnie. Vinnie was introduced to our cats, and he couldn’t stop giggling and grabbing their fur…..obviously the cats then realised it was best to hide.

The second was with Brigitte, Gunther and Denise (our adoptive Austrian family). Let’s just say the jumpers came out as we sat outside eating sausages. We also managed to squeeze one in another weekend.
As I mentioned work has been crazy, and unfortunately we do not have a proper holiday until October, where we have taken 2 weeks off (some of this will be visiting the UK and the rest relaxing). For the first time in history I have managed to build up 18 hours in overtime in July, so finished early last week to visit Mollie at home, where we had a quick chat and a quick fix of playing with cute Vinnie.

I nearly forgot, a little bit of news - Ian received an award from work, for being fabulous (although I am not sure that was the exact term used). He received a pat on the back and a voucher to spend (or forhis wife to spend).
Oh yeah...forgot to mention, we finished the patio...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Limp Bizkit rock!

After much moaning (it was a school night), we went to see Limp Bizkit in Vienna. It was slightly annoying at first with a 2 hour wait after the warm up band finished....but it was worth it in the end....They were fantastic. We positioned ourselves near the front on the right side, as Ian wanted a good view of Wes (his hero). During the concert Fred decided to jump down and climb on top of the bar to sing, which was right next to us. There was much jumping, waving (keep rolLin' rollin') and singing!

Catch up time.....

Yes it is true; I had another 4 day weekend a couple of weeks ago.
To start the holidays we drove home to the find the following storms hanging over Retz.

The Thursday was an Austrian national holiday, so I took the day off from the UN to join Ian at home (The UN has its own set dates – doesn’t follow Austrian holidays). As it was a lovely day, we decided to cycle up to the windmill and beyond. It turned out to be a very sweaty, uphill battle with the bikes. I obviously complained a lot, stopped a lot, and moaned, but had the fun of gliding back down the hills later.
When we got home we found Neo sheltering from the imaginary rain. Poor guy must be confused and think he is outside.

I was also at home on Friday, so after watching many episodes of Masterchef Australia, I made some fresh homemade pitta breads and humus…..and they were lush.
Saturday, still in Masterchef mode, I also made a baby strawberry pavalova, but forgot to buy some cream, so it was basically meringue and strawberries. I also made homemade minestrone soup and marks and spencer’s fresh bread (just add water), and my goodness it was lovely to have soft fresh white bread, and not Austrian nutty dense brown bread.

Sunday was mountain biking part 2. This time we ventured through the Vineyards and fields for about an hour over farmers tracks and cycle paths, much nicer than struggling up big hills. Still energetic from the bike ride, I made Ian walk around Retz with a 10 minute stop at the Retz wine week festival, where we had one quick glass of wine, before going home to bed.
Monday was the start of a busy week for both Ian and I. Ian had 2 training events at the local Hilton to organise and attend, so basically we would set off every morning at 6am and return late at night. Luckily for me he had to attend a dinner on Monday and Thursday, so I could catch the train home a bit earlier.
I got a tad bit excited at work on Monday with the arrival of some British frozen food in our commissary…..frozen pies, toad in the hole and desserts.
So with Ian eating out, I had a frozen toad in the hole with marks and spencer’s lemonade….ok so the toad in the hole was pretty bad, but the lemonade was lovely.

This weekend was spent recovering from the week at work. Saturday we ventured back to Vienna to meet up with friends from the VSCR (in fact none of them work there anymore). We had a 3 hour brunch catching up and meeting Ben the 6 month old. The remainder of the weekend was spent sleeping, with Ian working and we didn’t get chance to the go to the wine festival due to the crappy weather.

This week, we will be re-living our youth and going to see Limp Bizkit in Vienna.