Monday, September 20, 2021

Walls...

 

Back in May, when I still had no appointment for my first Covid jab I was very impatient and did not really believe all the experts who promised that very soon, there would be more supply than demand. Needless to say, they were right and vaccination rates have stagnated for weeks at a very frustrating level. It honestly makes me mad that I live in a country with an excellent and reliable healthcare system and still people choose to trust "good sources" from the internet that tell them they should not use the free opportunity to contribute to ending this pandemic earlier rather than...never? The fact that a certain political party blatantly supports anti-vaxxers is as sad as it was predictable in hindsight. The media talk about the divide in society between the two camps and it is true of course that there seems to be this impenetrable wall that no good argument can dismantle. I am very grateful that at least I don't have to argue with any friends or relatives as I would really struggle to totally avoid this topic. I recently saw a flyer outside a supermarket with the date of an anti-vaxxer protest march and a URL. Back home, I googled it out of curiosity and was utterly disgusted by the content on the landing page. Freedom of speech is great and all that, but sometimes!...sigh.

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Little Things

This past weekend we had planned to go away somewhere, preferably redeeming a hotel voucher I allegedly have for the hotel (prepaid) in Budapest my mother and I had planned to stay in May 2020. Well, 3 in-vain long phone calls to Hotels.com later that plan didn't work out and we briefly considered an alternative weekend trip abroad before I thought, hey, the weather will be lovely, we don't have to go anywhere. We ended up spending Saturday at blissfully empty-ish Therme Wien, followed by an ice-cream at Tichy and a lazy Sunday at home, enjoying the beautiful weather in Highflyer's garden and on a short bike-tour through the neighbouring fields. Old Me would have itched to go abroad or at least somewhere, making the most of the fact that Highflyer didn't have work duty, nor father duties. but New Me is like most people these days and enjoys the little things way more than she used to, less eager for an "exotic" change of scenery or some kind of action. It does not help that trips abroad involve filling out of forms and the chance that you might get a phone-call informing you that you were sitting near a person on the plane or train who later tested positive for Covid. For now, a weekend at home is not the worst that can happen. Still, one and a half year since Lockdown 1, the OG edition.
 

Monday, September 06, 2021

Round the Corner


On Saturday was Highflyer's and my second anniversary and I decided to treat ourselves to a night in a nice hotel. It was actually less than 20 km away from his house and I had found it by googling "hotel with pool in lower austria". We also explored the surroundings there and I showed him some places ont the way he had never been to so we spent a lovely 24 hours literally close to home, but somehow in another world and on vacation mode. Sometimes, the best things are nearby and not that hard to obtain, but our minds work in a way too complicated fashion and we think that in order to do something special, it has to be rare and somehow hard to get. Well, I have made it my mission to discover treasures round the corner and fully appreciate them.

Monday, August 30, 2021

THAT Kind of Person

When I look back at my early sourdough days back in Lockdown Nr. 1 (or was it 2?) last year I would not actually call the result seriously good bread. Now I feel I have perfected the recipe and my starter has also reached ideal maturity and I consider my bread better than what most bakeries sell. Whereas I had no gardening ambitions when I first (more or less) moved in with Highflyer, I went all out this spring after he dedicated a small strip of garden for my experiments by moving the guide cable for "Robbie", the lawnmower robot accordingly. Well, I got a bit carried away and sowed so many different seeds in way too large quantities that some herbs and vegetables were more or less suffocated by the close proximity of their neighbours. It might also have helped to mark somehow what I sowed where as unless it looks extremely familiar I don't recognise half of the things that come out of the soil and am often unsure of the green leaves belong to what later will later become a flower or are something edible like a type of herb or salad. Some of the plants died for different reasons and rocket salad has once more proved its superior resilience. I did not have much faith in the cheep oxblood tomato seedling I bought at a supermarket, but now that it's actually carrying tomatoes that are slowly beginning to blush I feel like a proud parent and realised that I have become THAT type of person who gets mildly excited about home-grown vegetables. What next?!
 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Reality Check

While Highflyer has always been nothing but appreciative of my cooking and baking, it's a very different story with his teenage sons. I don't see them very often as they don't live in Austria, but when they visit I rarely volunteer to cook as I already know their reaction, which is "mehp" at best. Both are picky eaters and my waffles and smoothies are pretty much the only things they truly like (the elder also loves my chocolate pudding). The rest rarely evokes anything remotely resembling enthusiasm so I just let them cook themselves if they are so inclined or agree to ordering a pizza (fine with me, too) or eating out as their father's culinary endeavours are about as welcome as mine. I would definitely not have proclaimed a plain (lightly salted) basmati rice as "tasting of absolutely nothing" when I was their age. Well, you could say it is is a reality check...that mothers whose children live in the same household get every single day, no doubt.

 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Summer

 

When I was a child, those 2 months of summer vacation seemed endless and I loved every minute of it. By the time school started again, my hair was sun-bleached, I could see tan lines where from my watch and bikini and I had done exciting things, such as travelled abroad with my parents, read a pile of books and learned some new skill like jumping into the water or perfecting a "circus number" of some sorts with my younger cousin. Those were carefree happy times and I often long for a longer time off during the summer. Back in 2015 I took July to September off work and I am thinking of taking a month off next year too.
I have just enjoyed 2 weeks of annual leave and in a way these were reminiscent of those childhood times even if I did not travel apart, but divided my time between Innsbruck and Klagenfurt, something I would have found too boring and uneventful a few years ago. I am once more extremely grateful to have the privilege of free (!) vacation accommodation in popular tourist areas that also allowed me to experience almost "normal" ski days this past winter.
What else is comparable? Tan-lines: check. Pile of books read: check. New skill? Well, after reading so much about the revival of hoola-hooping seemingly everywhere, I got curious and decided to give this a go in the hope of finding an effortless method of exercise to counteract all the negative effects of endless hours sitting in front of my laptop. It was no easy start as I ordered a hoop that was too small and too heavy for a beginner (hello, bruises and sore muscles) but thanks to a larger and lighter model (pictured above) and after watching some helpful YouTube tutorials I am happy to report that I no longer flail my arms but have activated the proper muscles to do what they are supposed to do in order to make it look like the real thing. Not lying, I am a little proud.

Monday, August 09, 2021

The More the Merrier

In the 1980s there was a popular German TV production that I loved to watch. Its title translates to "I'm marrying a family". It was about a patchwork family, which back then was a rather novel concept. I now find myself in exactly that scenario. I am an only child, Highflyer has 8 (!) older siblings. It took me a while to remember all their names and who lives where and has what profession. Well, most of them are my parents' generation and retired now, anyway. I don't have any children myself, he has a total of three.  I often get asked how this feels for me and if it isn't overwhelming. Well, apart from the fact that most of his siblings live in Tyrol and his sons don't live in Austria at all and I don't get to see either of them all that often, they have been a lovely addition to my own very small family and I have felt welcomed. I used joke that I'd love to be able to order children from a catalogue when they are already at that age where they can walk and articulate themselves and now it feels like I have actually got that. Well-behaved kids in small, manageable doses I can more than handle and well-meaning relatives who don't live "on the farm" are okay, too. 
 

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