Monday, October 03, 2022

Stinky Tamagotchi

We left for our honeymoon (yaaay!) on Saturday and in addition to watering the plants and doing all the other pre-vacation chores, I also made sure to "activate" my sourdough and bake bread before we left. Like a tamagotchi (gen x-ers or older millennials will remember those) with a pungent smell my sourdough starter demands to be fed every few weeks. I've had it for over two years now, since when I started baking sourdough bread during lockdown like the rest of the world. It's so perfect now that I experimented by halving my usual recipe (i.e. only using 250g of flour instead of 500) which yields almost the same size bread that I used to get with double the ingredients before. My sourdough starter also travelled to Carinthia with me in August as it did on previous longer holidays. It's like a pet at this stage, but I did stop at taking it along on honeymoon. ;-)

Monday, September 26, 2022


What with my big project that consumed a lot of my spare time (and budget) for the past two years successfully ticked off, I'm now itching to focus my energy and pocket money on some home improvement ideas I've had for the "country house", in particular the hallway. Half of that area was already successfully beautified last year, the other half still features the nondescript and cheap-looking wardrobes from the previous owners. Highflyer does not mind them. I find them super ugly. I ordered a new wardrobe with mirror that will make much better use of the space, and surprisingly, it arrived within a few days, before we found a new owner for the old furniture. I'm also looking forward to some new DIY projects with some my favourite gadgets, i.e. my sewing machine and plotter.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Modern Man

By far the most frequently asked question I get by colleagues who find out I recently got married is "So what's your new name now"?. When I tell them they don't need to remember a new one because I kept my "old" one, the general follow-up question is "Oh, so you each kept your surnames?". When I then tell them that Highflyer took on mine, women in general are impressed and many tell me (unprompted) that they wish their husband had done the same for them as they preferred theirs or are not that happy with the hyphenated combination of both. The assumption here is that I had somehow "made him" or "got him to" take on my name. The truth is that he did it entirely voluntarily. I told him right from the beginning that I planned to keep my name, but I would not have had a problem whatsoever if he had kept his. Five of my friends have done that and I always thought it was what I would end up doing as well, assuming that few men would be willing to let go of their name for whatever reason. In Highflyer's case I almost talked him out of it as he definitely had to apply for many more new documents (as for example his pilot's licence) immediately after getting married than I would have had to and I didn't expect him to be keen on all that extra admin. As it is, he didn't complain and stoically bore the shock (!) by his favourite sister who could not wrap her head around this unusual behaviour. 
As it is, I just love that we both have the same name now and appreciate his gesture, but at the same time I find it funny that in this day this is seen as a pretty "revolutionary" thing and a feminist success on my part. In fact I don't know a single person in my circle of friends where the husband took on the wive's surname. I guess we're just a bit different from the average newlyweds anyway by also not sharing the same primary place of residence and I have no intention of giving up or selling my place in Vienna anytime soon.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Biz Tripper


For me, the biggest perk of my last 2 roles at the Firm was the frequent travelling. I frickin' loved it and dearly missed it once I had started at Household Name and it dawned on me that the days of collecting hotel reward points and racking up miles on company time were over. Well, I now have a few business trips (national ones where I travel by car or train) coming up and a tiny bit of that old excitement is coming back. At least I get to write hotel reviews on TripAdvisor (a little "hobby" of mine) regardless of how exotic the location might be, righ? In this post (?) Pandemic world Spring and Summer have become the peak seasons for team offsites and as I frequently facilitate or speak at such events it means that I get to travel a bit. Meanwhile, I am also counting the days to our honeymoon proper that will involve flights and a ferry-ride...

Monday, September 05, 2022

Grand Finale

The last of my 5 weeks off provided all kinds of unexpected twists and surprises, but for illustration I am choosing a positive highlight, a pretty good shot I took of Frecce Tricolori's show at this year's Airpower event in Styria that I attended for the first time. As you can probably guess, this was not my idea, but I actually found it pretty cool (even though blasting out all that kerosin just for show is of course more than questionable).
On Wednesday I had planned to attend a networking event hosted by the institution that runs my MBA programme, but I never made it there because I was ESCORTED OUT OF THE HOUSE BY AN ARMED SPECIAL UNIT POLICEMAN and then had to wait outside for 2 hours before I was allowed back into the house.  Highflyer was at work at the time so he missed all the commotion, which was indeed something else. I won't go into detail, but ultimately it was a misunderstanding that the police to believe our immediate neighbour might take people hostage at gunpoint or something along those lines...
The other lowlight was discovering that the water leak from upstairs that had happed, or rather "escalated" as it must have been leaking for weeks, if not months before, a week before our wedding had left a beautiful souvenir of blooming mould in my hallway...very likely also behind the fitted floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. Not exactly the kind of surprise you want to come back to, but there we go and I am currently trying to figure out whose insurance (the owner's or the house's) covers that and a certainly not looking forward to a potential taking-the-whole-wardrobe-apart-scenario. 
I haven't lost my chill, however, and am grateful that I have a "country house" alternative, where I might discover two armed COBRA guys in the garden unexpectedly, but where I can escape from unsightly mould and dampness at least.
When this post goes live I will already have caught up on 5 weeks worth of work e-mail. Let's put it that way: I'm definitely not someone who will suffer an identity crisis when she retires: free time is just the best in my book and I won't get bored.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Project Management

For more than 2 years I had an additional job that I devoted quite a bit of time and energy to: that of wedding planner for my own wedding which took place recently. There were a lot of unknowns when we sent out the save-the-date e-mails a year in advance: Will there be a summer lockdown or limit on number of guests? Will those guests have to wear masks and sit 2 metres apart? Will our party trigger a "superspreader cluster"? Will our guests from abroad be able to travel to Austria at all? to name just a few. The ultimate question of "Will the weather play along for a waterfront wedding and outdoor dinner or will be be drenched/have to go for Plan B?" kept us on our toes until the very last moment. It was one of those things you could not influence any way and so, ultimately, I remained chilled when some people cancelled just as I had submitted the seating plan at the (what I assumed to be) very last moment or other minor alterations like the registrar who had assured us that he NEVER gets sick, injured his back shortly before our ceremony and sent a replacement. In the end, we had a truly wonderful day that absolutely surpassed our expectations. When I look at photos of the afternoon, evening and night I only see happy and elated faces and I almost feel our party (a combination of wedding and 2x 50th birthday party) was "public service" to friends and family to bring a much-needed distraction from nothing but sombre news and almost 3 years of a global pandemic. 
I had put a lot of thought into the event and paid a lot of attention to detail while still not turning into a stressed bridezilla at any time but enjoying the planning and prepping almost as much as the actual ceremony and party. We were super happy with all the vendors we worked with, who all rendered A+ service that were worth every cent. 
I had always planned to throw a BIG party with DJ for my 50th and when Highflyer proposed back in May 2020 he immediately suggested doing a combination of wedding and 100th birthday (he's two months younger than me). In the end the combined number of guests was pretty overwhelming and I could not invite some friends and colleagues I definitely would have invited to the originally planned birthday bash. Ultimately, a total of 110 people (including ourselves) attended and it would have been a good 300 if we had extended the guest list and also allowed people to bring along their children. Finding a suitable venue that fit our criteria (by the lake and dance music being allowed past midnight) was challenging enough as it was what with so many 2020 weddings being postponed, but in the end everything worked out and all the weather and pandemic Gods cooperated. I must have kissed a total of 400 cheeks including congratulations and goodbyes and smiled so much I actually felt a tension in my cheeks for 3 days afterwards...which was definitely a first.
So, if anyone needs a wedding planner any time soon, hit me up!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Brief "Service Disruption"

I guess life got in the way of regular programming here. In a good way! Stay tuned.

eXTReMe Tracker

words and photos (unless otherwise indicated) and banner-design by retailtherapist