Monday, August 31, 2009

English Lessons, Anyone?

interesting MJ t-shirt (onemorehandbag) Unless there is a place called "Soon" and German influence on the English language has resulted in "will" now being written with a "v", I'd say this t-shirt was printed too soon, i.e. before the "author" had endured the lesson on adverbs and reached the letter "w" in the English alphabet...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bring on the Gingerbread

August 29 and my local BILLA has already put up the gingerbread displays in preparation for Christmas. My calendar tries to make me believe that by popular request Christmas Eve will be on December 24 again this year, but perhaps the REWE corporation has vetoed that and managed to prepone the holiday.


Yesterday, I enjoyed the last sun-rays of the day (and the week, as it seems today) at Tel Aviv Beach with Mademoiselle, who had an incredibly pretty gift for me: soaps from Fragonard. They look so delicious and edible, I could just about convince my brain they're not, in fact, macarons.
fragonard soaps (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 28, 2009


I'm usually more than opposed to sticking the label "psychosomatic" on every ailment and turn my eyes heavenwards should someone dare to suggest it to me, but I have to say I'm beginning to ask myself if this Monster Cold is trying to tell me something. It's getting slightly better, but I can't remember having ever produced snot (there's no nice way of putting it...nasal secretions?) in such gigantic quantities for such a long period of time. Then again, this could be my ticket for a second (!) mention in the Guinness World Records.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Not for the first time, I am reminded of the drawbacks of writing a semi-private, pseudo-anonymous blog. Sometimes you are just itching you allude to something, thinking you will feel better afterwards and hoping that the person you are addressing will read it and know she's being addressed. The assumption is of course that it spares you the emotional, potentially friendship-ending confrontation. I've given in to the itch before and it turned out to be a bad idea, plus the alluding inevitably results in all the other people asking you what it was all about when you really don't want to discuss it with them. The only solution - wait for an opportune "offline" moment to address the issue (possibly never) and until then continue writing about the more mundane things of life while you edit that little speech in your head. Nice weather, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Captain Corelli's British Cousin

During my week in KLU, I finished a really good book with a really long title, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is an epistolary novel set on the island of Guernsey at the time of the German occupation. Admittedly, it took me a while to get drawn into it and the ending is predictable, but for someone who not only is a member of a book club, but has had the Channel Islands on their list of top ten must-see destinations for years, it is the perfect holiday read:
on books and potato peel pies (onemorehandbag)

Monday, August 24, 2009

If the KGB ever has a shortage of staff, I'd have some referrals

After having observed my self-imposed vow of silence on Saturday, I felt considerably better yesterday and undertook my Grand Tour de Burgenland (visiting first my relatives and then Amica and family in their new weekend house in opposite parts of the provice) according to plan.
At Amica's, I had just got the imperial tour of garden and house and handed over my offerings to the kids, and was now sitting in the kitchen, watching her cut a zucchini cake into slices. On the opposite side of the kitchen table, the Kindergarten Inquisition had taken their seats. "Do you have children?", Twin A asked me. "No", I replied truthfully. "Do you have a husband?" When I answered in the negative again, his elder brother casually remarked, that C., a mutual friend did not have a wife, either, I tried to cloak my personal view that this was not without a reason in a child-friendly reply. "Do you have a coffee machine?", Twin B piped in and I was glad that there was one question could reply "yes"to.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Swine Flu

hankie-panky (onemorehandbag) ... is what I'd like to call this cold 'cause it sure is a swine. Seriously, I can't remember having EVER had such a horrible cold in my life. On Thursday, I actually thought I was on the road to recovery, but apparently talking for hours chez Mademoiselle on Thursday night followed by soliloquising for the greater part of 1.5 hours at a client meeting on Friday morning followed by a lunch-date was not a good idea as far as my vocal cords and throat were concerned. Worse even than the prospect of losing my voice as I had this May was my runny nose which had me go through tissues in record speed and a constant feeling someone had lined the insides of my nostrils with a potent blend of wasabi and dijon mustard. Mid-afternoon I could not stand it any longer and dragged the sweaty sneezing mess that was me home to continue filling wastebins with snot-sogged in the privacy of my bedroom.

People who know me well can confirm that whereas I have no reservations at all about playing drama queen and holding endless pity-parties when heart-ache is the reason, I like to play tough and hardly ever complain about physical ailments. On the contrary, I'm a firm believer that going to work (unless you have a contagious illness or are projectile vomiting) is preferable to being officially sick at home as it takes your mind off your ailments and speeds up recovery.

As I was lying on the sofa, tears streaming down my cheeks from the sheer force of my sneezes, the summer sun blazing outside I vowed to do anything in my power to make this the last cold of this year - fingers crossed.

Two people (MC and Mr. TD) sweetly offered to run errands for me or bring me drugs, should I be bedridden. I was duly touched!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


In KLU, or rather nearby, I saw an exhibition right to my taste:
bags by Dietmar Franz (onemorehandbag) Art (drawn, etched and printed) on wooden bags of identical size. I found it quite original and was - am - actually tempted to buy an affordable screenprint inspired by Vienna's "Haus des Meeres".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Every Year

...I fall victim to viscious airconditioning. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh. I've found out, though, that it is only those ACs mounted on the ceiling that slowly kill me by blowing icy wind on my neck and shoulders, not the radiator-like units like the one I used to sit right next to at Coma HQ. First day back in the office yesterday and I could already feel it coming by lunchtime: the congested nose, the pressure on my forehead, the sore throat. Nonetheless, I did not object to the AC being on in my room. Today, I have a mean cold and there's few things I hate more than HAVING A COLD IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER. As I'm writing this, I'm sipping a hot "Cold and Flu Relief" drink, sweating somewhat brutally. I've offered to move to another room should the colleagues want to continue to work in a fridge, but today at least, they valued my company more than chilled air.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whoops, when did THAT happen?

When opened my Inbox this morning, the following subject caught my attention: "Wir haben ein Geschenk für Ihr Kind reserviert" (We have reserved a gift for your child). My child? When did that happen? So far, I'd only heard of men finding out years later that they have fathered a child. Surely, I would have noticed pregnancy and giving birth, no?
free kids (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 14, 2009

(Not) Giving Mozartkugeln a Run for Their Money

Lindwurmkugeln (onemorehandbag)Today I discovered that there is such a thing called Lindwurmkugel, made by and available from a Carinthian confectionery. Before I bought a box to take away, I wanted to sample one. The somewhat squashed specimen I received was not particularly impressive and although with a similar filling, it was nowhere near as delicious as Mozartkugeln, with the ones made by Fürst (drool!) in particular.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Me and Mrs. Jones

You didn't think I'd return to Vienna with no purchases whatsoever, now did you?
long cardigan from Jones (onemorehandbag)On Monday, I went into a Jones store. Now this is a brand I'm not too enthusiastic about because most collections are a bit boring and shout "business-woman-who-wants-to-show-she-reads-fashion-magazines-too" to me. Then again, it's quite an Austrian success story and since there was an "up to 70% off" sign in the window, I walked in. As I perused what little was left from the merchandise on sale, a rasperry red long cardigan (or, arguably, knitted coat) caught my attention as this is a colour I really like. They only had size 34 (I'm a 36 usually) left which fit perfectly from my waist upwards, but made me look like a sausage bum-downwards if I closed all the buttons and wore it over jeans, which I intended to do. The shop assistant advised to try their other branch in the mall. As I had nothing urgent to do I strolled over to City Arkaden and went on the search for the Jones branch which had until then completely escaped my attention. Bingo, they had a cardigan left in 38. This time, the fit was perfect from the waist down but I'd prefer it a bit tighter around the shoulders. Ah well, for such an irresistable price (25 instead of 109 EUR) it was a great deal nonetheless. The shop assistant saw my critical eye and plucking of the fabric and decided I needed some expert advice: "This is supposed to be a little loose here - it's the boyfriend look, you know." Hm, as far as I know the boyfriend look is supposed to be loose all over, not just in certain spots, but I didn't want to question her insider's knowledge.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Senior Catizen

the Beast (onemorehandbag) While my parents are away, I'm looking after house and garden, but more importantly, after the Beast, who will be 15 (human) years of age next month. He still looks pretty impressive because of the amount of fur, but when I picked him up, I felt he was weighing half what he did last summer. So far, he's shown few signs of old age apart from missing teeth and is as agile as ever in between long phases of beauty sleep/meditation (see picture). He still climbs up a tree every night and from there jumps on the balcony where he then proceeds to scratch on my balcony parents' bedroom door (or mine, if I am at home) until the person who hears him is annoyed enough to let him in and, preferably, feed him. Some weeks ago my parents had a scare when the Beast was apathetic and did not make an appearance in the morning. The found him right outside my Dad's study, not moving. After two infusions (I had no idea those were even available for our four-legged friends) from the vet he's fit again, but my Dad who loves the cat more than my Mum and me put together is worried. The first question he asked when he called to say they'd arrived safely at their first hotel was "has he eaten?" Well, I'm happy to report that the Beast is enjoying a hearty appetite and is as annoying (in a good way) as ever, but I can't help wondering if it will just be house-sitting next year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


tote bag from BREE (onemorehandbag)
Today, I visited B2 from the Book Club and her cute 10-months-old son in Villach. B2 is famous for her gorgeous surprise presents and so I left with a cool transparent chocolate brown tote bag from BREE. How did she guess I like bags, I wonder?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ghost Street

This morning, I walked along Bahnhofstraße in downtown Klagenfurt and noticed that it really was a pitiful sight:Bahnhofstraße, Klagenfurt (onemorehandbag)I had heard people complain that the former shopping street was deserted because these days, everyone prefers to shop at the Mall. City Arkaden, the villainous shopping mall in question is actually my favourite Austrian shopping mall (good mix of shops and, equally importantly, good ventilation so you don't feel zombified after spending an hour there) so I can definitely understand the appeal:
City Arkaden, Klagenfurt (onemorehandbag) I'm in two minds about it. Admittedly, Bahnhofstraße's demise is linked to the magnetic appeal of the Mall and some of its shops have moved there, as has McDonald's which used to have its downtown branch on Bahnhofstr. On the other hand, City Arkaden has revived a formerly unattractive and deserted corner of town and no doubt boosted sales in surrounding streets as well. As I don't live in KLU, I can only comment on it from the smart-ass perspective of an occasional visitor who is apalled by the post-communist shabbiness of a formerly thriving street. My guess (smart-assing, I told you) is that instead of working out a strategy of counter-attack against Goliath (the Mall) and Globalisation (always the culprit), the shop-owners and/or the municipal authority in charge preferred to grab a space in the Mall (Plan A) and if that failed, play dead (Plan B). Then again: who knows.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cringing Never Loses Its Appeal...

I spent this afternoon with my Granny, who was in a talkative and reminiscing mood. Among other stories, she regaled me with an anecdote of my childhood which never fails to make me squirm. My other granny and my great-aunts have told me an almost identical story as well so I'm afraid I can't really attribute it to a failing memory. The moral of the story apparently is "what a clever child you were", but, personally, I could think of instances where my juvenile cleverness manifested itself in more flattering (to myself) ways. The story goes as follows: I was a fat child and my Mum who was not blind to this fact tried hard to stop relatives, including her own mother, from giving me sweet treats all the time. This of course never stopped me from asking them if they had brought me any sweets as soon as we were out of earshot of my mother. When they replied that they felt bad betraying my Mum who had explicitly instructed them not to give me any sweets I allegedly replied that I had found the solution to their dilemma: they just had to leave their (hand)bags in the hallway where I would help myself to the sweets. Thus, they would not have to lie to my Mum's face and I would get what I wanted.
Diplomacy at its best, eh?

Retail Therapy

S1 from the Book Club Gang thought of me when she saw an aptly named shop in Brighton, U.K., and took a picture:
my kind of shop (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 07, 2009

One More Boring Post About My Crafts Exploits

As Mademoiselle had complimented me on my crystal necklace when me met shortly before my trip to Nice, I decided to make her a similar one (top picture):

keeping bead shops in business...(onemorehandbag)In Nice, she took me to a shop where I could have spent the whole day: la Droguerie. I managed to restrain myself, however, and only bought 2 different Liberty fabrics (see below) which I intend to use for a bag project of some sort and buttons such as the white one I used for a bracelet.
la droguerie (onemorehandbag)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Arrested Development

Last month, I got a cute little gift: a paper bag of gerbera seeds with instructions on how to grow them in the bag. I followed the instructions, but the flowers-in-the-making have stubbornly remained "stuck" at the same height for the last 10 days or so. Hmmm.
to grow or not to grow, that is the question (onemorehandbag) I'm taking them to KLU with me this weekend, hoping a change of scenery, i.e. being replanted in my parents' garden will give them a boost.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Offerings from a Mermaid

The Mermaid, to be precise. She's back from her long California-Dreamin'-Holiday and came bearing wonderful gifts for me:
Mermaid Gifts (onemorehandbag)I love them all and was overjoyed to get things from two of my favourite brands, Banana Republic and Le Sportsac.
As our swimming pool is closed in the month of August and the weather wasn't nice enough for outdoor swimming activities last night, we swapped swimming for ...eating. One of our favourite restaurants and old haunts now seems to offer a permanent 50% discount on sushi and maki. This might sound dodgy and imply rotten fish, but is in fact only a desperate measure to lure people away from the cheap-ish eateries in the nearby Lugner City mall. Fine with me - the bill for two amounted to € 15.50.

Monday, August 03, 2009

One Day...

I'll take the Twin City Liner to Bratislava. I love boat trips.
Twin City Liner (onemorehandbag) I took the picture as I was sitting in a deckchair on the opposite bank of the Danube, my feet in the sand and a "Soda Zitron" in hand, talking about our - tadaaaah- upcoming trip to Japan with Chiquita. Yep, it's a hard life.

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