Friday, October 31, 2008

Very Grown-Up

Yesterday, I registered my first ever domain! It took a bit of fiddling around and lots of error 404sfor the redirect to actually work, but now is being directed to my ta-dah
new domain:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sounds familiar?

At first I thought it was just me, or rather my Mum, but then I found out that my friends, like the Mermaid, for example, experienced the same.

The scenario: a house somewhere in the provinces of Austria. The protagonists: a mother (M) and a daughter (D). The day: Sunday.

M: There's XY in the fridge/garden/larder. Don't you want to take some to Vienna?
D: No, thanks.
M: But you'll have to buy it in Vienna.
D: Well, I don't actually need XY, so I won't have to buy it. Thanks, though.
M: It's really good for making Z with, you know...
D: I believe you, but then I hardly ever make Z.
M: It also keeps well in the freezer.
D: I still don't need it.
M: I've packed you three, if that's ok.
D: ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

If you lived in Turkey

...your access to Blogger would be blocked by the State and you'd see a friendly error message instead.
sorry, no access (onemorehandbag)As TD put it when he called me on Friday "YouTube has got a brother now".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I arrived in KLU with 2 bags of clothes and bags for storage

...and will be returning to VIE tonight with a new coat and handbag. Ah well... The road to hell is paved with good intentions (of decluttering) as they say, but the coat was a bargain (bought at Promod) and the bag a present from my Mum. So there.
new coat and bag (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Decluttering, the next stage

Apart from the 2 big bags of clothes and shoes I recently gave to charity and the 3 suitcases of clothes for "interim storage" I will be taking to KLU this weekend, I have raided my bathroom cabinet and put the greater part of my nail polish collection on eBay . As I couldn't just dump them into the bin (biohazard!) I decided to try my luck online. I have no idea if there are people out there who actually buy those kind of things, we'll see. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crash Test Cake

Today is my boss's birthday and I decided to bring in a cake ("Suck-up!", the Empress remarked). I baked a super-easy-to-make gateau au chocolat (Coco's Au-Pair Mum's recipe) last night after swimming. On the bus this morning, I squeezed past all the school-kids with bulky backpacks to the middle of the articulated bus, carefully placing the paper bag containing the cake on a pedestal-like contraption. We had not even reached the next stop when the driver slammed on the brakes like a madman, causing me to loose grip of the handle and fall on my back like a beetle. In slow motion, the bag also slid to the floor, aluminium foil flying off the pyrex pan. Oh-oh, I thought, fully prepared to see bits of broken glass and cake crumbs in the bag (luckily, the cake hadn't slid out of the bag), but no such thing. I managed to bring it to the office in one piece:
gateau au chocolat (onemorehandbag)death by chocolate (onemorehandbag)
So just in case you ever want to take a cake on a roller-coaster or, alternatively, are looking for a simple recipe (you only need one bowl and a whisk, no mixer, no dishes to wash up other than that) for an incredibly rich chocolate cake, here's the recipe:

Gateau au chocolat 

200 g (dark) chocolate - the better the chocolate, the better the cake
125 g diced butter 
100g sugar 
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of plain flour

Put the (broken up) chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and dissolve over a pot of boiling water
Add the butter cubes and let them dissolve in the liquid chocolate
Fold in the sugar and eggs, stir until smooth
Add the flour

Transfer to buttered and floured baking pan (flat). Bake for 15-20 mins with 200° (preheated oven). The cake should be solid on the outside and soft-ish on the inside. Tastes great with vanilla ice-cream.

Serve in small slices as it is very rich indeed.

Bon appétit! 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lapping it up

When S2's party last night had reached the dancing stage I took a peek at the iTunes library responsible for our dance grooves and decided to set it from "shuffle" to manual when I spotted YMCA. Right enough, my contemporaries were just as childish as I am and happy to jump about producing the requisite letters of the alphabet with their arms. After that, I clicked on ABBA's Dancing Queen, prompting S2's best friend, who was peeking over my shoulders to raise her eyebrows and ask me "Aren't you too young to know all these songs?".

Mental note: henceforth only accept invitations when you know the venue is as dimly lit as last night!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Comfort Food for the Working Girl

When it gets colder, I really crave porridge for breakfast. I used to follow an old-skool Irish recipe which used a large quantity of oats and a whole pint of water/milk and demanded a lot of stirring. Not exactly your quick breakfast option. I would prepare the porridge according to the recipe on weekends and then refrigerate it, only heating two or three spoonfuls in the microwave every morning. The thing is, I can't really eat much first thing in the morning so a small serving suffices. Thanks to the fact that our new office kitchenette boasts a microwave, I "developed" the ultimate super-quick office-porridge:
looks like puke but actually tastes great (onemorehandbag)
If you're a porridge afficionado as well, this is my tried-and-tested method, which takes all of 2 minutes, really:

2-3 tablespoons porridge oats (I use what is called Hafermark here, a more finely shredded variety) Feel free to use more if you're hungrier as this is really a very small serving.
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey

Put the kettle on and boil water. Put the above ingredients in a small heat-proof bowl and add just enough hot water to make it look like a thick pulp when you have blended it in. Add a bit of milk (cold from the fridge) and pop the bowl into your microwave. No need for stirring, just let the milk sit on top. Set the microwave to the highest temperature and (important!) don't go away but watch out for the milk to start bubbling up, making the whole porridge "rise". Switch off immediately unless you want to have to clean up an unsavoury mess in your microwave and stir again. Attention: piping hot.

Eat and enjoy

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Old Year Resolutions

  • Curb magazine addiction and try to read more books again (only 21 this year so far - FCN's count is probably at 100+).
  • Get started on DIY Christmas presents soon. Don't try and act all surprised that Christmas is on December 24 this year. For a change.
  • Declutter! With two additional excamation marks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Autumn Pleasures in the City

On Saturday afternoon, I seized the sunshine to sit on my window sill and read the papers, admiring the Japanese ivy in beautiful autumn reds on the little house in our courtyard. On Sunday, I went for a walk on Baumgartner Höhe (half of Vienna seemed to have the same idea) and watched boys of all ages fly their kites:
autumn in Vienna (onemorehandbag)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Despite Everything

No matter whether you totally disagree with somebody's opinions, are annoyed that they give your whole country a bad rep and you always have to defend your own political sanity, find their rhetoric toe-nail-curlingly horrible - you certainly don't wish them a premature and cruel death.

It's like that guy who was famous for the most irritating commercials ever on Austrian TV. He probably had as many enemies in the economic arena as Haider did in the political. Every night, we switched channels when he came on and yet it was a shock when he died of cancer at the age of 56, letting his son continue in a similarly irritating manner.

Perhaps the punishment for making so many foes in your lifetime is their hypocritical obituaries upon your death. Then again, they hardly hurt you as much as your bereaved.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Three Things I Learnt This Week

1. Not only politicians say "no" to your face and actually mean "yes" (or vice versa).

2. The Economic Crisis is not as abstract a phenomenon as I used to think but has actually hit home,  i.e.  people and institutions I personally  know.

3. There actually IS a word called Pornobrille (porn glasses). And when you Google it, you should see an ad by who sell them.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Easy Prey

sticker album of sorts (onemorehandbag)My colleagues like to make fun of me in my capacity as a retail marketer's ideal audience. All it takes is a newsletter promising "no shipping fees" or "10% off this week only" in the subject line to make me order stuff immediately. It would be rude not to, no?

When MEXX sent yours truly, one of their loyalty card holders,  a set of stickers to use for a customised private sale (valid also on already discounted items - yeah!) I duly set out to check out their collection and returned with an elegant black top (with interesting folds) and a fuchsia-ish wrap cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves, purchased today in my lunch break. For a total of 40 Euros. Bar-gain!

Having taken 7 pairs of shoes to the used clothes collection container this morning I felt I had done my fair share of decluttering this week and was entitled to re-clutter a bit.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Or: My colleagues went to Munich and got me this heart:
gingerbread heart (onemorehandbag)It says: Mein Bärchen, my little bear. Aaaaaaaah!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Knight Clubbing

I had a lovely, relaxing, enjoyable holiday in/on Malta. I'd heard a lot of the island and totally agree with the enthusiastic reports. Although Malta's just off Sicily and many things are very familiar (lots of British shops like M&S, for example) indeed, I felt very far away and in a different time-zone altogether. Some towns seemed utterly deserted and the pace of life seemed very laid-back. Admittedly, there was no shortage of tourists, but there was a pleasant off-season feel to our holiday despite the peak season sunshine.

You can tell Malta is a popular destination for (English) language holidays both for children and adults from the fact that they teach you vocabulary on the Air Malta plane already:
planeEnglish (onemorehandbag)The streets in Valetta are like a small-scale version of San Francisco:steep street in Valetta (onemorehandbag)In the gardens and courtyards of all those knights' and inquisitors' palaces we visited, pomegranate and lime trees grew.Maltese pomegranate (onemorehandbag)
The view from the rooftop of our Sliema hotel was pretty impressive. And this was taken on a cloudy day:Sliema Strand panoroama (onemorehandbag)Living in a land-locked country, I just love boats and the seize the opportunity to take a ferry rather than a bus whenever possible:ferry to Gozo (onemorehandbag)These are the typical Maltese luzzo boats, gracing the cover of every single guide book:Maltese fishing boat (onemorehandbag)
...and this is one of the trusty old British buses that take you to the remotest parts of the island for a ridiculously cheap amount of money. I loved them. Their interior is decorated either with pictures of saints, rosaries or psalms or, should the driver's gods be of a more secular variety, sports carsWhere the streets are San Franciscan, the buses (not the private cars, these are mainly new or at least modern) are decidedly Cuban. Note to the ladies - make sure to wear a well-fitting (i.e. shock-absorbing) bra as the buses' suspension is of the bumpy fairground-attraction variety:

Speaking of transport - the Maltese are a very religious people with statues of saints adorning almost  every house. This explains why some motorists are more equal than others:
only for the Bishop's limo (onemorehandbag)

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