Tuesday, October 31, 2006

damaged goods

Ever since I got Chiquita a George Gina & Lucy bag as a graduation present, I'd been pining after one for myself, but what with October having been a rather costly month and a wedding in Manchester on the horizon later this month, I told myself to economise (buying shoes instead, ahem). Well, anyway. Having recently discovered Ebay as yet another way of keeping myself entertained during office hours, I was determined to make a bargain there and buy a second handbag, so to speak. For weeks, I'd been poised to grab one only to realise that for some obscure reason they sell for almost the original retail price. The weekend before last I not only sold a MANGO leather jacket (hardly worn) for a staggering € 46 but made the highest bid on a GGL bag which for € 40.50 became mine. Oh, the joy and anticipation! This Monday, the parcel from Salzburg finally landed on my desk. I opened it, read the nice postcard by its sender with a 50 cent coin sellotaped on it as a refund for a too high postage quote. She'd even put some mini Haribo bags in the box. Very thoughtful. My ecstasy was cut short when I noticed that the left seam was gaping (already mended on the photo below). Had I missed something in the small print? No, it said "as good as new". Feeling somewhat verarscht , I wrote a cynical e-mail to the seller, telling her that my idea of "as good as new" did not stretch to undone seams. She was very contrite indeed and offered to take it back or to partially refund the amount paid. I did a good job mending it and did actually believe her that she put it into the washing machine (it does smell of detergent) and the tumble drier must have damaged it without her noticing. Being a nice person, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. I remembered Novala saying that Ebay spelt trouble, but then again I never had a problem selling any of my stuff and getting the money so I'll call it a small glitch.as good as new. or something (onemorehandbag) It is a nice bag, isn't it? It's considerably bigger than I thought it would be, though, more of a weekend-bag or, as we say in German, BUKO which is short for for Beischlaf-Utensilien-Koffer (literally cohabitation utensil suitcase)...



After our chat-cum-engagement-ring-admiration-session, B2 and I left the café for a little stroll through one of KLU's many pedestrian zones. She wanted to pop into Humanic to check out their range of boots, an idea I wasn't adverse to at all. After all we.were.just.going.to.have.a.look. Right. A mere ten minutes later we left the store with a pair of shoes each, none of them boots, by the way:maniacs (onemorehandbag) Those cute good-girl-shoes were beckoning me with a price tag saying € 19,90 (last pair). I wore them to the office yesterday and they're not only cute but dead comfortable too.


Monday, October 30, 2006

bird's eye view

My mini-break in KLU and environs was very nice indeed and I was more than compensated for the ghastly weather I had to endure in August. On the Thursday (our national holiday) I went hiking on Mount Dobratsch a.k.a. Villacher Alpe with my Mum. I had not been on a mountain that high without a pair of skis since the days of my bi-annual school hikes. To be honest, I'd almost forgotten just how beautiful the mountains of my (childhood) neighbourhood are and how great it feels to spend a couple of hours breathing in unpolluted air.pretty in pink (onemorehandbag) Not to forget the great views:
panoramic (onemorehandbag) (click to enlarge)

Other weekend-highlights: Getting a new set of winter-tyres sponsored by my family (ahem, the joys of being an only child...), a sight-seeing excursion to Italy (Cividale, Rocca Bernarda, Cormóns, Gorizia) in glorious sunshine, meeting B2 (complete with new engagement sparkler!), the PP with hubby and sis and of course spending time with my parents and my maternal granny.
Speaking of the PP who actually is more of a PPP (pregnant Pampered Princess) these days, when her sister was talking about her very stressful job, they asked me if I was still rather underworked at Coma HQ and if I still spent my days reading blogs (I'd mentioned that some time ago). "Do you have a blog as well?" the PP asked. "Yeees", I replied. "Oh, cool, what's it called?" the three of them unanimously shouted. "I'm not telling you", I said. Cue slightly uncomfortable silence. "I bet she's writing about us", the PP said. "Naaah", I said, "I'm not". White lies are allowed every now and then, aren't they? I dared them to find out my pseudonym and the blog's URL, feeling rather confident that both are well-disguised. Still, a bit of editing might be in order...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

homeward bound

Public service announcement: There will be no posts until Monday, October 30th as I'm leaving for KLU right after work tonight. Tomorrow's our national holiday and I've taken off the Friday as well in order to enjoy 4 full days of parental pampering.
Nothing noteworthy today apart from a rather unusual lunch-break purchase: an illuminated globe (something I've always wanted and which won't do me any harm given my notoriously sketchy knowledge of geography...) for a mere € 13,99 from Hofer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

diamonds are forever?

Vienna's municipal burial service, Wien Bestattung have introduced a new service. You can have the ashes of your dear departed pressed into a diamond for less than € 5,000 if you feel so inclined according to this article (in German).
My morbid and filthy imagination is running wild: I envisage plots where men get rid of their cantankerous old wives, have the remains of the missus made into a sparkler and use the selfsame ring to propose to their barely legal new plaything. Genius!


Monday, October 23, 2006

these crocodiles are made for walking

Yesterday I test-drove or rather broke in the new Lacoste trainers I had bought on Friday. Verdict: very comfortable indeed. By the way, I just love forests in autumn:
autumn walk (onemorehandbag)
Lunch-break purchase: a new scent, Stella McCartney's In Two Peony. I had tried it in the duty free at Schiphol airport and really liked it, as did the Mermaid and Coco. I have to admit though that when I'm sniffing my wrists now it's a bit *pungent* and the two colleagues (one male, one female) I subjected to it when I returned to the office were not terribly impressed so I'm sort of getting second thoughts now...

Friday, October 20, 2006

so many shoes

...so little time. But enough to grab a pair of trainers (Lacoste, "fresher suede", to be precise) in my lunch-break. I'm not sure I have anything (yet) in the exact shade, but that's not exactly a problem that can't be solved, is it now? Besides, I have a hunch the high-security cashmere jumper might be the perfect match. Aren't they pretty? (No eggplant-jokes allowed, we're sensitive)
Weekend, I am ready for you!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

THIS devil wears H&M

Last night, I finally went to see The Devil Wears Prada. I readily admit that I devoured the book despite its weak sub-plots and even weaker (happy) ending. When your own work environment is the polar opposite of an adrenaline-loaded glamorous magazine HQ, you're positively lapping it up, I can tell you. Not that I'd mind having access to the famous "Closet" (provided they had something my "normal" European size 36/38) and getting FREE.HANDBAGS, either. I'd probably sell my soul to the devil and worse for that. Or maybe not.
The film was o.k. and entertaining enough but not that exciting. The best things by far were the outfits. Meryl Streep's performance was as good as all the reviews I'd read said it was (I just loved the way she flings her bag and fur coat on Andie's desk every day) and Anne Hathaway sort of grew on me, too in spite of the fact that she didn't look anything like (blonde) Weisberger.

Here @ Coma HQ freebies come in the guise of Japanese rice crackers and, admittedly, there IS the odd olfactory hazard , but on the whole you've got to appreciate the fact that the risk of a heart-attack is quite...um...manageable.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

cinammon snail

cinammon everything(onemorehandbag)At the last bookclub meeting, K.'s boyfriend surprised us with decorated gingerbread hearts from the Oktoberfest in Munich. I chose one saying "Zimtschnecke" which literally means "cinammon snail" and is the name for a popular kind of pastry, but is also a term of endearment for females which I personally like a lot, not least because I passionately love cinnamon. Zimtschnecke, c'est so moi!

I regularly visit Müller's just because they sell Wrigley's Big Red chewing gum.

Apart from their Kürbiskernweckerln (pumpkinseed rolls), Zimtkrusterln are the only thing I ever buy at Anker, an otherwise rather boring bakery-chain which can be found at every street corner in Vienna. Their Zimtkrusterln (see photo) are absolutely divine. They consist of a yeasty dough interspersed with cinammon "spots" (think straciatella ice-cream) and a crunchy sugar crust. They're only moderately sweet and my idea of the perfect office breakfast. What makes them all the more precious is that a) not all Anker branches sell them and b) that they're seasonal, i.e. you can only buy them in autumn and winter. I spied the first Zimtkrusterl of the season in an Anker near Coma HQ about 2 weeks ago and immediately bought one. Bliss! And all the sweeter after long months of cold turkey.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

te huur

Have I mentioned before that it doesn't take much to make me and my (girl) friends disslove into giggles? When we were strolling around in Amsterdam's red-light district on Friday night, the Mermaid launched into a little speech about how that must be what she had read about in her guide-book, an agency advising sex-workers free of charge. Coco and I exchanged puzzled looks and didn't know what the f she was on about until we realised she was pointing to a sign reading "te huur" which means "for rent" in Dutch but sounds remarkably similar to what would translate to "the whore" in Austrian dialect. Needless to say, we relentlessly slagged her off all weekend when we kept seeing "te huur" signs at every street corner. The last straw was when we checked out from our hotel and the word "kamerhuur" (which I'm guessing means "roomrate") appeared on the bill. Admittedly, the joke did get a bit lame but we could happily have carried on in this manner for weeks, no prob.
impressions (onemorehandbag)

Apart from a visit to the Van Gogh museum and an exhibition called "Fashion DNA" which I visited on my own, the girls having to hunt down an elusive pair of skinny jeans for the Mermaid, we restricted our programme to open-air activities like walking all over town, visiting various markets (including an impromptu cheese picnic), dodging bicycles coming from all directions and checking out interesting eateries. The first night, we had a somewhat greasy culinary experience at a Surinamese restaurant which was recommended in Coco's guidebook. After that, we decided to trust our eyes and stomachs instead. Our absolute favourite was a café called "De Taart van mijn Tante" where the décor was beyond cool. I wish there was a café like that in Vienna.

I resisted the temptation to buy a bag and thankfully got to live out my cravings via the Mermaid who bought a cool messenger bag with flowers and butterflies (v. top right photo below).

bags, bags (onemorehandbag)Thanks to a branch of Waterstone's I did actually get a free (shopping) bag which came with the November U.K. Marie Claire. It's the pink one on the left you can see in yesterday's post. Other purchases: a black sleeveless lambswool/angora tank top with detachable "necklace", an elastic hairband, a pair of *gasp* leggings (I hated them in the 80ies, but these are of a much thinner material), a calendar with glamorous 50ies fashion photos and lots of chocolate. Coco (2 pairs!) and the Mermaid boosted the local shoe retailers. Speaking of footwear: we noticed that skinny jeans and boots must be obligatory in the Netherlands right now. Most women were as skinny as their jeans which we attributed to all that cycling they do. Mind you, those who were not wearing boots braved the autumn winds in flip-flops or sandals, which was somewhat incongruous but not all that unusual for anyone who has ever been to England in winter and seen ladies wearing a woollen winter coat with bare legs sticking out underneath. Brrrr.

For some reason, we seem to attract marathons. When we were in Rome in March, there was a marathon and some "marathonistas" stayed at our hotel. Same in Amsterdam last Sunday. Any suggestions for a nice marathon venue in spring?

wildlife (onemorehandbag)Amsterdam wildlife...


Monday, October 16, 2006


bagged (onemorehandbag) This is just a quickie to let you know I arrived back in one piece and tried to boost the Dutch economy a bit. We landed in Bratislava at 22:20 last night and the Mermaid dropped me off at home at 00:10 so I'm not exactly in my most prolific travel-writer mode today. More tomorrow. Yawn.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Just as well we're not superstitious. Tomorrow on Friday 13, the Mermaid, Coco and yours truly will be off to a girly weekend in Amsterdam. Naaah, not to buy weed or to boost our meagre salaries by moonlighting in the red-light district. Rather to re-enact our giggly excursion earlier this year. I've already printed out tickets for the Van Gogh Museum but otherwise we're going to take it easy and split our time equally between strolling around, sitting in cafés and doing the odd bit of shopping, should the opportunity arise. As it probably will.
As our flight (from Bratislava...) is very early tomorrow morning, we're all sleeping at the Mermaid's (= our designated driver) tonight. Enthusiastic as I was about all those cheap flights to be had from Bratislava at first, I've OD'd on them this year and have decided to give it a break for a while and only fly from Vienna in the near future. Travelling time aside, I do miss airport shopping in "proper"duty free shops that cover more floor space than my bed.

Be that as it may - more on Monday. Be good.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

doggy bag

buy me or I'll bite(onemorehandbag)...spotted in a shop window on my way home from a Book Club meeting last night.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jigsaw Billy

jigsaw Billy (onemorehandbag)
Last Sunday, I "pimped" an old IKEA Billy cupboard, or rather shelf-with-doors. Over the years I'd accumulated an assortment of tiles like the one with the initial "M" which a colleague had brought back from a holiday in Italy, not knowing what to do with them. They were too small to be used as coasters and too pretty to be thrown away so I bought some additional mosaic tiles at a DIY store (about a year ago, ahem) and attempted my first ever small-scale tiling job. Ta-dah! Not that bad, considering I didn't think to measure out the space beforehand and try to figure out whether tiles would have to be cut or anything. Luckily, I managed to squeeze them all in and knew just whom to call on for an emergency loan of joint compound when I ran out of the goo halfway in. While I was at it, I replaced the original silvery door knobs with transparent ones.

Monday, October 09, 2006


tagged (onemorehandbag)Has this ever happened to you? Well, this is the second time I only discovered when I got home that the security tag had been left on a piece of garment. The first time, I'd already thrown away the receipt and therefore didn't want to go back for fear of being thought a clepto. Instead, TD and I used brutal force and pliers to get it off a pair of undies. This time, I still had the receipt and decided better not to risk ruining a cashmere sweater so back I went to Peek & Cloppenburg to have it removed. Next time, I'll borrow someone's power tool as this seems to work best according to this site.

And no, there were no beeps as I walked out of/into the store.

Friday, October 06, 2006


architectural gem (onemorehandbag)Yesterday, I was all proud cousin and godmother and attended Chiquita's graduation ceremony. With its 22,000 students, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration allegedly is Europe's largest university of economics (I learnt that from the vice-rector's speech yesterday). Looking at the décor in the function room, you definitely wouldn't know it, least of all guess you were in the capital city of a country so proud of its art and culture. As the professor who led through the ceremony so aptly remarked, the pipes lining the ceiling would make you think you were attending the AGM of some plumbers' guild rather than an academic ceremony. The potted flowers and box trees were a desperate attempt of sprucing things up a bit I guess, but in my humble opinion it didn't really help matters much.

Mind you, my own ceremony at the University of Vienna might have had a much more tasteful backdrop and been more solemn and festive, but the speeches were infinitely more boring, too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

running in the family

nice cousin, me (onemorehandbag) I'll be leaving the office at 11 today in order to attend my little cousin Chiquita's graduation ceremony at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. You can tell she's related to me as she asked for a bag. I wouldn't mind one of those myself but with 5 birthdays and a graduation this month, plus a set of new winter tyres to be bought for my trusty Flocki, I'm afraid I 'll have to control my urge for a bit...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

a woman possessed

sampling (onemorehandbag) Everybody has their little obsessions, right? One of mine is zealously collecting those product samples that you find glued to magazine advertisements. Did I mention that I read quite a few of glossy women's mags?

I basically collect them for one purpose only: to condense the contents of my toiletry bag to the absolute minimum when going on holiday. What's even better - I get to throw away the empty sachets, thus creating valuable space in my suitcase for additional souvenir shopping. Well, theoretically, as (provided I stay in a fancy hotel) I usually return with soaps and little bottles of shampoo and shower gel to hoard for the next trip.
I also own miniature versions of mascara and doll-sized lipsticks, always transfer my current perfume into tiny atomisers, etc., etc.

Temperatures have dropped considerably compared to yesterday's heat wave, which brings me to today's
lunch-break purchases: a fitted black corduroy jacket and matching skirt, both from H&M. They'll probably get their first airing tomorrow for Chiquita's graduation ceremony.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

old hags' summer

blue sky (onemorehandbag)In German, "indian summer" is called Altweibersommer, literally "old hags' summer". No matter how you refer to it, I find it a mixed blessing. Nice and warm (25° today) around lunchtime, but too cold in the mornings to go to work without socks or tights and too chilly for nocturnal open-air activities. At this time of the year, you have to dress according to what my Mum likes to call the Zwiebeltechnik ("onion technique") meaning that you wear several layers which you then gradually peel off during the day. [No-ho, I was not thinking of certain lethal forms of Japanese martial arts].

Although it's a pain in the neck if you own a wardrobe of 1950s-Hollywood-diva-esque proportions, I'm itching to perform the annual clothes-shift. If I wanted summer all year round, I'd move to Florida, after all. I do not. So, up go the flimsy summer skirts and tops, down from the the very top of the wardrobe come the curduroy trousers and woollen jumpers. Every year I look at my dozens of jumpers, half of which I have forgotten during the summer, determined I won't buy any more. For, like, 2 days or so until the realisation hits me that there are shades of colour which nobody had thought of dyeing wool in until this season. I draw the line at shades of tallowy beige and pastel yellow as they make me look like puke. Other than that: ready to splurge when the old hags are gone for good.

Monday, October 02, 2006


chestnut (onemorehandbag) In my opinion, chestnuts are probably the most perfectly (I know that "perfect" cannot actually be quantified, but never mind) formed objects right after eggs. Smooth texture, beautiful warm shades of brown ... marvellously *autumnal*. I pick one up almost every morning on my way to work, feeling its sleek, cool surface in my pocket.
Lunch-break purchase: A 1 GB USB memory stick (special offer of the day at Niedermeyer) as I seem to have misplaced my old (128 MB) one.
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