Friday, July 27, 2007

This Week...

...I inaugurated our new piece of office furniture. And lost miserably.
...visited yet another urban sand pit, Sand in the City, right behind (or in front, depending) the Vienna Interconti, the very same place where I went ice-skating in winter.

...had a lunch that reminded me of my childhood days. The spinach was as stodgy as it looks:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday: Swimming in Mineral Water

After a little detour to a deservedly lesser-known designer outlet , I decided to counter the still unbearable heat with my favourite brand of mineral water both from the inside and outside.

Thanks to FCN who told me about it first and who was there yesterday as well, I recently discovered the outdoor pools of Bad Vöslau, less than 40 kms south of Vienna. There are 2 pools, one of the more conventional (aquatic blue, moderately chlorinated) kind, the other a murky green unclorinated pool filled with mineral water. The architecture is rather grand and imperial, columns, water spouting nymphs and all. Grand with a charming air of decadence and ever so slight decay. FMC, who lives more or less round the corner, joined us as well and confirmed what we'd suspected all along - that the venue had hardly changed for decades. I particularly like the little rented appartments overlooking the eco pool which are handed down from generation to generation and remniscent of allotment plots. The only thing missing were garden gnomes, really.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

outdoor pleasures

Having reached melting point after a day at the Oven, I try to make the best of what Vienna has to offer by way of open-air pleasures.

Tuesday night and tonight, MQ. Check out the cat on a leash in the second photo from top!
Last night, Strandbar Herrmann complete with light show courtesy of the Uniqua insurance HQ:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I work in an oven. No, really. It just masquerades as a Regus rented office, but the thermometer has recorded more than 40°. No joke. One colleague is working at home. Myself, I seized the opportunity to flee to an oasis of conditioned air yesterday - Coma HQ, where I worked in the library, thanks to mobile broadband, before I returned to the oven to leave my notebook to rest, or rather roast for the night.

The boss sent a Mayday-Mail to HQ in California, telling them about our very own special edition of global warming. Being Americans, they had mercy on us and there's hope we'll get a working ac before the heatwave is over.
Tonight, we're all headed there and later there to chill out.
I'm melting!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mandarina, the Third

A hot Saturday in town. A sale sign. The sudden *need* for another black bag...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

from a distance

This weekend involved lots of panoramic views, if of a completely different variety. Yesterday I visited my 90-year-old great-aunt in her old people's residence, where we sat on the deserted rooftop-terrace, enjoying the breeze and the view. Today, I went on a little hike a little further afield. I sometimes wish weekends lasted 5 days like the working week instead of a meagre two. Don't you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

VIE-MUC-VIE in a day

We decided to be good and not to further contribute to global warming by unneccessary cerosene emissions. Almost 9 hrs. total on the train for a 1.5 hr meeting. It felt a bit like a school trip, with the only difference that back then we didn't have laptops and mobile broadband with us.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Magic Date: 07/07/07

here comes the bride (onemorehandbag)Like several celebrities who wanted to seize the (hopefully) auspicious date, B2 got married on Saturday at the picturesque monastic church of Ossiach, followed by a lovely reception in Velden. It was a gloriously sunny day but the bride outshone the sun by far, looking absolutely radiant, happy and beautiful. I have to admit that I left the party at a ridiculously early time, in fact just as the music was getting decidedly more to my liking (I'm an 80ies chick, me) as I wasn't feeling too great that night. Well, having committed the cardinal sin of wearing brand new shoes I had the mother(s) of all blisters anyway and wouldn't have been able to dance with my usual un-coordinated gusto, missing out on the perfect opportunity to sing out of tune and play the air-guitar with Amica's hubby, my usual partner in crime for sing-alongs at weddings and anniversaries.
For the first time in ...years(?) the whole book club was united.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Day Tripper

Grado (onemorehandbag)Hungry for sunshine, Mum and I escaped to Grado yesterday. When we were finished fighting over who'd get to chat up Mr. Sexy Bum (see above) we headed back home.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

she couldn't resist...

when she saw the "sale" sign at the Swarovski store yesterday. bling! (onemorehandbag)In case you're interested, I like to think my cheeks and my neck are not halfway as parched and wrinkled looking in real life. Attempting to take your picture while checking the camera's display in a mirror puts quite some strain on your facial muscles. Ok, ok, send me the phone-numbers of your plastic surgeons - facelift, here I come.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

holiday lit

summer books (onemorehandbag)A significant drop in temperature and torrential rain (sounds familiar...) punctured my happy-holiday-vision of yours truly laying at the lakeside, reading. Ah well, indoor reading it shall be. I'm flexible, me. I'm halfway through Girls of Riyadh and gradually getting used to the unusual language and style of writing. I wish I knew Arabic as I'm sure it has lost some of its charm and shock-value in translation, even if the author translated it into English herself.

I've heard that Special Topics in Calamity Physics was supposed to be brilliant, so that one's next in line. Judging from the sheer bulk (736 pp) of it, I doubt I'll be able to finish it this week, but never mind.

This afternoon I bought "literature" of the self-improving kind - a manual (of the for-dummies kind) for Excel with lots of diagrams and pictures. It's probably super-embarrassing to admit this, but I'm pretty Excel-illiterate, having more or less only used it as an address database before. Now, I pretty much have to work with this wretched programme every day and keep driving my colleague mad with shouts along the lines of "Look! The engtire column has just dissapeared! I didn't do anything, honestly. How can I get it back?". Not that I'm really the handbook-reading type of learner, but I thought it was, erm...good to have at home.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

the kind of training we like

Last week, our office had a mysterious "training" date looming in our calendar. A training on a wishy-washy topic, allegedly to be held by our boss himself. Hmmmm. Interesting. One colleague who's been with the company longest immediately suspected it was a pretext and was actually going to be a surprise team event. The fact that it was scheduled from 3-9 p.m. supported her theory. In the days running up to the training, however, big boss managed to convince us that it was indeed going to be your usual Powerpoint-Powernap followed by dinner. Hmmm. I duly put on a nice skirt in case he intended to take us to a fancy restaurant. The skirt didn't really do me a service (nor did the tights, see photo) when we were all bundled into a taxi at 3 sharp and taken to the Prater where we spent the afternoon trying out every single attraction, not to mention the group-portrait in sepia and historical costumes I insisted we take. Guess who looks so incredibly horrible in it she regretted making the suggestion, even more so as this portrait, framed, now decorates the office. The afternoon started with a ride in a private cabin of the Giant Wheel, champagne and all and ended with a pork-overdose at Schweizerhaus restaurant. It was great fun and once more convinced me that my superior is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Last Wednesday, he was definitely Dr. Jekyll. Phew!
a day in the Prater (onemorehandbag)

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Godmother reloaded or: A Baptism and a Wedding

festive (onemorehandbag)At last a friend (Frida) deemed me (trust)worthy enough to become godomother of one of their children! Well, I'm joking but part of me was always a teeeeny bit disappointed and jealous in the past when I found out someone else had been favoured for this prestigious job. Again. Anyway, after having practised at two confirmations which I admit was quite an honour, too, I had the added challenge of holding a squirming 3-months-old. My Mum helpfully shouted "Just try not to drop the baby" after me when I left yesterday morning. I'm proud to report that I didn't. It was an interesting experience altogether and I disvovered a whole new genre of shopping out there. Did you know a baptism candle can cost a whopping €55? I didn't either until I bought one.

As B2 is getting married next Sat. and both the christening and the wedding were/are in Carinthia, I asked my boss to get a week off in order to avoid being stuck in traffic jams and motorway roadworks on two consecutive weekends. Grudgingly, he grated me the favour and here I am in KLU, hoping the weather-gods will be nicer to me than last summer when I spent a truly miserable week home.

Thankfully, that particular cloud of self-pity and overall misery has drifted away since then and chooses to pay only occasional visits now and again, but for the first time, I know what people are on about who claim to want nothing more than peace and quiet in their holiday and the time to finish a book. To think there were times when I read several books a week. At work. Hah, fucking hah! If have a serious decline in revenue this year, you know who's accountable for it.

As every summer, I seized the opportunity to have Flocki, my car, serviced. This turned out to be cheaper than anticipated and the surplus banknotes I had withdrawn from the cashpoint were burning a hole in my pocket so I decided to boost the Carinthian economy a bit. The damage: a pair of black sandals, some knickers, cosmetics and hair stuff and a gorgeous wrap(ish) dress. I wasn't sure whether the clingy material would make my bum look illegal but the shop assistant had obviously been trained well. "Oh no", she purred, "you can afford to wear this dress." Can I have some ego-boos with my dress, please? If anyone was in doubt why this is called retail therapy...

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