Wednesday, October 31, 2007

earlier every year...

Vienna (Graben), October 30, 2007

Sorry for the blurred picture. Let's pretend it was done on purpose, ok?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

male qualities

Undoubtedly, my boss is a man of many talents. Nothing, however, has impressed us as much as his DIY qualities. Not once, but twice he has repaired a broken metal rod of our soccer table (yes, we are a brutal bunch) with remarkable skill. Even the men were in awe, mumbling comments along the line of "Who'd have thought!" and when a "Geez, the man is wasting his talents in his day job" escaped me, the others nodded approvingly.
as good as new (onemorehandbag)I don't know whether it's to do with the fact that my Dad is a DIY hero and has thus to answer for my high expectations, but for me, men who know how to wield a drill definitely have added sex appeal. I hasten to add that this is not because I am your archetypal bimbo who doesn't know how to drive a nail into a wall, quite the opposite. My tool box is fully equipped with screws, nails, pliers, screwdrivers - the lot - in all sizes and I own both an electrical and a battery-charged drill.

The way to my heart is lined with nails, apparently.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flocki gets his winter shoes - A "tyresome" project.

tyre-some queue (onemorehandbag)Yesterday, I joined the queue of hopefuls at the tyre shop/service station near my parents'. As I store my tyres in their garage and usually seize bank holiday weekends like this one for a mini break down South, I always end up changing my tyres when half of KLU also has time. Equipped with book (the brilliant and highly recommendable A Complicated Kindness which I finished yesterday, having deliberately read it "slowly") and iPod I spent almost 2 hrs there, every 15 minutes or so advancing the equivalent of one car length.
The bi-annual tyre-changing is a ritual as well as conversation starter in Austria. A lot of consideration about the most opportune moment (Will it snow next week or won't it?) accompanies the whole opperation and in March and April and October and November respectively car-owners have an additional small talk topic - "I really must have my tyres changed this weekend before the snow comes. Have you changed yours yet? Did you have them balanced or just mounted?". To change them yourself or have them changed by specialists is an almost religious decision.
Until some years ago when a foreign friend marvelled at the profile of Flocki's winter tyres it never occured to me that in a lot of countries cars have all-weather tyres. How boring. What on earth do motorists in those deprived countries talk about in spring and autumn?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Annual Navy Tights Conspiracy

I have a nerdy habit. I always choose the outfit for the following day after checking ORF Teletext page 602 (weather forecast for Vienna) last thing at night. Not because I'm particularly anal and like to plan everything down to the last detail, but simply because I know that deciding what to wear first thing in the morning would be way to stressful and mean that I'd have to get up half an hour or so earlier to allow extra time for hovering in front of the wardrobe(s).

As I tend to go to sleep when it's dark outside I have to do my wardrobe selection in artificial lighting, i.e. by the light of my bedroom lamp. So far, so good.

Every and I mean every autumn when it's tights-season again I end up laying out a pair of supposedly black tights that turns out to be navy when I'm on my way to the bus the next morning and can't be bothered to turn round and go back to the flat to change.

The ironic thing is that I don't even own any navy clothes and those pairs of navy tights (sturdy, opaque tights of 60 DEN and over, too indistructible to throw away without a bad conscience) which are a relic from a Sock Shop phase in the early 90s when I did wear navy. Last year I decided to put an end to the annual navy-tights-crisis and put them *all* into a plastic bag to take home to my Mum who's not adverse to the colour.

One candidate must have escaped my notice and so we did it again last night. I thanked the fact that there were only about 10 cms between my boots and coat to draw attention to the fashion offense. Thank God for the fact that the DM on my way to work opens before 9. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fast Forward

I've been thinking a lot about aging recently. Not so much because of the lines in my face that are becoming more pronounced at an hourly rate and the grey hairs that seem to sprout out of my head overnight, but because of aging relatives all around me.

My middle name being Procrastination (that would be the my other middle name, after Cellulite), I tend to push unpleasant subjects to a very far corner of my mind, determined to tackle the problem when it becomes urgent². "Saving" is one of those concepts, or "Doing - Something-for-My-Back", never mind "Doing - Something-I'm-Really-Passionate-About".

Planning what my life will be like when I'm old and decrepit is definitely not high on the agenda as, surely, something, will turn up. Or will it?

My Mum's patience is currently being tried by with my granny who is no longer capable of living on her own, yet refuses to acklowledge the fact and is determined that she will manage somehow, first demanding to go to hospital, then refusing to finish her treatments, adamant that "at home" everything will work out fine.

It's tough when you watch your elders being stubborn and unreasonable and you have to remind yourself that one of the casualties of getting older seems to be the ability to judge what you're still capable of and what is beyond your powers. It seems a good idea to organise a nursing home or make your home handicap-proof while you're still of sound mind, but the problem is that when you're young and active it's hard to imagine yourself as dependant on others and the transition of managing fine on your own to being weak and confused can be an abrupt one at times.

The fact that I am an only child and live more than 300 kms away from my parents could become an issue, sooner or later, not that siblings are a safety-net, really.

Since chances are slim I'll ever have offspring to annoy the hell out of when I'm old and cranky the best solution would probably be to start looking for a swanky OAP residence at the age of 60 or so, registering myself with like-minded friends, signing a pact we'll have a wild time there, dentures, nappies and all. The issue of "Savings" (see above) could pose an obstacle to this plan, but I'm getting there...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do you still write your blog?

The Mermaid asked last night as we were swimming alongside in the murky waters of Stadthallenbad. "Yup", I replied, "I do actually".

Now that adrenaline levels have long sinced reached manageable levels at work and the colleague sitting right next to me is away on vacation, I might just as well revert to my good (?) old ways and write the odd midweek-post.

Provided I can think of anything remotely intelligent. That's the catch. And that's where holiday photos come in, like, SO, handy...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wadi Rum. Not bad, either...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Petra. She's a Beauty.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


When the flight attendant asked if a doctor or nurse was on board (privately, I'd always thought they only did that in films) because a man had fainted on his way to the toilets, my first thought was "Gee, that could have been you."

A mere 48 hours before, I had been horribly sick myself. I don't know WHAT kind of killer bug, virus or bacteria had got me, but it certainly cought me unawares and was quite a humbling experience for someone like me who had arrogantly assumed she'd have a lifelong guarantee for health, minor colds aside. After all, I survived a trip to India withouth the slightest gastric or other problems (mind you, I AM super careful when on vacation and obviously avoid all the potential health hazards like drinks on ice, lettuce, fruit-you-can't-peel, etc.), the strongest potions my medicine cabinet contains are LemSip and throat lozenges and I don't even have a GP in Vienna where I've lived for 17 years.
It all began on Monday night in Amman when I decided I'd rather skip dinner as I felt oddly cold and queasy when we returned from a day of sight-seeing. I put it down to the merciless air-conditioning on the bus, sent my Mum to dinner with the rest of the group, asking her to put the spare blanket on top of mine. A good night's sleep will do the trick, I thought. Little did I know that a night of shivering like mad (the borrowed thermometer revealed a temperature of 39.9°), blood-streaked diarrhea (yum!), vomiting and finally waking up my Mum by fainting in the bathroom with a loud thud was to follow.
The following day I stayed on the bus which thankfully had a toilet, vegetating with closed eyes while the group tool pictures of all the sights on the way from Amman to Petra. I felt incredibly miserable, but well enough to snap at Mum to stop feeling my forehead every 10 minutes...I did not want to attract more attention and compassion of fellow travellers than I already had. What better occasion to swap stories of travel sickness in graphic details ("Honey, do you remember Thailand where you were up all night puking your heart out? I'm sure it was that soup!") and offer theories on what might have caused my condition. I pretended to be asleep, randomly popping in the drugs I was offered.
The next moring, I decided stomach cramps had lower priority than what Petra had to offer. It was, after all, the highlight of this trip to Jordan. What can I say - I'm glad willpower won over killer bug and even if I felt somewhat light-headed and zombified from having eaten very little on two days running (no pun intended...) I'd not have missed the 5 hours' walk for anything.
the Nabatheans had good taste (onemorehandbag) Peta was breathtakingly beautiful and gastric nightmare aside, I really liked Jordan. More pics to follow.
Until last week, I had never been able to swallow pills, regardless of their size. The only way to get them down was with a little manual help which had me retch. When I was sick as a kid, my parents tried to trick me by stuffing them into bread rolls, plunging them in yoghurt, you name it. In the end, they always had to ask the doctor whether the medicine came as fizzy tablet or suppository as well. My father used to get quite angry at my hystherics, telling me that "you'll see, one day you'll have no choice, then you'll just have to learn to swallow them". He was right and it was surprisingly easy.
So. Here I am again. Alive and kicking and ready to bore you with photos for the posts coming. Hah!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Out of Office Reply

image source: On holiday from October 4 -12.

Monday, October 01, 2007

when doves cry

Vienna wildlife (onemorehandbag)Hmmmm - most people in Vienna use nets and spikes to keep out pigeons from their balconies and rooftop terraces, but on Saturday I saw an example of caging in 2 sky rats deliberately. Then again, it was in the 10th district...
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