Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My new chucks have just arrived:
converse sneakers (onemorehandbag) I was already very tempted last year to buy some, but then thought it was trying too hard to look young, i.e. somewhat embarrassing for someone aged 30+. However, our summer intern argued that even his mum (50+) wore them, so I was convinced, if annoyed that grey chucks only came in men's sizes. I had almost forgotten the project.
This pair turned out to be a rather beige tint of grey in real life, but I like it all the same.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I just got an automated e-mail from Blogger informing me that my blog has been marked as "spam" and unless I request a review (which I just have) will be deleted within 20 days. Gulp. I prefer not to take that as a comment on the quality of my writing...

The F Word

It seems I am a citizen of the tiny Gallic village refusing to open a facebook account. Refusing because I prefer to communicate with my friends via e-mail or IM rather than fancy status messages and holiday snapshots from exotic locations. Also because I know who's my friend (and foe) without a programme to blackmail all my acquaintances and business contacts to become best friends with me. Never mind inviting recruiters and HR departments to have a field day when they find "funny" photos online. The only social network I am a member of is XING, to which I got invited by Novala when it was still called Open BC. I am definitely a more passive than active member of that "exclusive" circle, mostly accepting new (business) contacts and refusing to upgrade to the premium membership.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is this the Road to Dunlopillo?

Yesterday, I got my much awaited new mattresses. Reasoning that the other side of my bed did not exactly get much mileage this days, I had bought 2 different ones, one super quality, the other (=mine) superduper quality. Both of them are of the spine-friendly 7 zones ergonomic variety, only with a EUR 200 price difference. This morning, I woke up relaxed and with my back happy enough, but somewhat paranoid that the contours of my body would remain indented into the foam after a single night, leaving a crime scene imprint. I wistfully detected bounciness in the other, cheaper, mattress that mine was sorely lacking and contemplated swapping them. Then again, Rome wasn't built in a day and my old IKEA ones (a coir/latex combo) were not exactly bouncy either, so I suppose I'll give it a chance.
The most comfortable bed I have ever slept in, by the way, was in Hamburg's SIDE hotel. I should have asked them where they got their mattresses.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fond(ue) Memories

chocolate fondue (onemorehandbag) Last night, MM dropped by to return something I had lent her. I did not want her to treat me to dinner (again) so suggested I cook something for her. I made chocolate fondue for dessert (yep, a very light dessert for 9 p.m.), complete with squares of freshly baked sponge cake. Chocolate fondue was the staple and highlight of my birthdays when I was a kid. My mum always made a wicked chocolate sauce and knew to cover the table with a disposable cloth. Predictably enough, after 6 - 8 kids had feasted on chocolate fondue, the tablecloth was a mess. I have tried it in restaurants, but it is not the same as a home-made one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shopping Misc.

This morning, ice was on the streets when I went to work. Never mind, my colourul Boden delivery instantly put me in a summery mood.
spring has arrived in the mail (onemorehandbag) (sadly, this is only part of the booty, ahem)
In my lunch hour I went to Laura Ashley, planning to buy a tin of white paint. I had not been in the shop since before Christmas and had to discover that it had become a shabby "outlet" selling their fabrics (great bargains if any of you reading this live in Vienna and currently has a decorating project going on!) plus leftovers from KA International. Hm. They had discontinued the paints and when I asked the shop assistant whether they would get clothes again, she said that all continental shops will be closed (just as they had done with Marks&Spencer a decade or so ago). I will treasure my favourite "princess dress" (a summer wedding staple) all the more now.
After stocking up on my Stella potion at Marionnaud, I went to the Body Shop to buy my secret weapon (Touche Eclat eat your heart out!). At the cash desk the young shop assistant tried to get me to buy their charity lip balm (passionfruit, yikes!), the proceeds of which go to some HIV project. Towards the end of her monologue about the rising number of young people catching the infection (admittedly, very sad) she told me about the Body Shop's co-operation with MTV, adding "the music channel" for my benefit. I was not sure whether to her I looked way too ancient to have come across MTV in my live (or, possibly even own a tv) or whether it was just part of her sermon. I didn't want to take any chances, though and refused to buy the vile-smelling lip balm, telling her I preferred to sponsor charities without buying merchandise I didn't want in the first place.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evening Sky in Vienna

after rain (as first spotted by MC).
Vienna at dawn (onemorehandbag)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Quickies

Last night I felt like some comfort baking (plus I wanted to use the eggs and butter in my fridge). I adapted a recipe from Anne, always a good source for great recipes and made super-quick chocolate chip muffins.
chocolate chip muffins (onemorehandbag)Makes about 15 muffins


150 g butter
180 g sugar
3 eggs
180 g flour (I used 50 g rye and 120 g wheat flour for a pseudo-healthy alternative with the added bonus of making the dough heavier and less "porous")
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
chocolate chips (I cut a 100g bar of really good dark chocolate with a - natural - orange flavour into little chunks, but you can of course buy ready-made chips or drops)

Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add the melted butter. Mix flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder and chocolate chips in a separate bowl, and add to the other mixture. Pour into paper muffin cups and fill only to 2/4s in height. Bake in a 175°C (160° fan) hot oven for 20- 25 minutes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ah right. Beginning of Spring

Yesterday, I celebrated the first day of spring by taking the day off and beaming myself (in the green jacket and purple helmet) back into deep winter at the Stuhleck ski resort. There was no need for sun screen, but anti-freeze was good idea. I thought my cheeks would just break off in the cold wind as I prepared to get off the topmost chair lift! The snow was divine, though and after a pit stop at the chic Panorama-Restaurant (without brutal DJ Ötzi-style music, I want more of those places!) I had defrosted enough to feel my fingertips again.
skiing at Stuhleck (onemorehandbag)Contrary to my expectations there were quite a few other skiers on the slopes. Don't those people have work to do???

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feeding the Dinosaur

Last Thursday, Prefab Babe and I went to see The Reader (rather good, the only thing that annoyed me was Kate Winslet's fake German accent) at the little cinema in my neighbourhood that I have mentioned here before for its quaintness and one-man-show (or rather one woman) appeal. For the first time, there were two women on site, increasing the ratio visitor: staff to 3:1 or so. The foyer with its bookshelves and cinematic paraphernalia looks a movie fan's living room.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exclusive Circle

Last night, my new visa card was finally waiting in my postbox.

I had not been visa-less since the early 1990s and never thought about how apt the name was. Without a widely accepted credit card, you are refused by the gatekeepers of the Promised Online Shopping Realm. The other day a colleague recommended a book to me and my first reflex was to order it on Amazon. Not such a good idea when your visa card has been deactivated and your only other credit card (Diners) is not accepted by most international online stores.

the secret password (onemorehandbag)
I had to celebrate re-entry into the (not so) exclusive circle of plastic shoppers by helping the ailing British economy a bit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

For the Asphalt Cowboys

and cowgirls among you, I have an offer to make:

going,going, gone? (onemorehandbag)Strangely enough, nobody wanted to buy this off me on eBay so this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to get your hands on the gadget you have been waiting for...ta-dah! A thermal coffee mug for your car. Just plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and keep your cofee or tea nice and hot on the commute to work.

No? No. Well, I realise that it is a required taste but should you want it, do let me know (it's in mint condition) and I will ship it to you anywhere in the world as long as you pay for the postage.

PS: I am pretty sure the person who has a history of giving me original birthday presents still has not discovered this blog...

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Much as I love travelling for pleasure and business, I hate packing. Even though I don't visit my parents that often, I have gradually compiled a make-up stash in my room at their house that according to my Mum looks like the cosmetics corner of a department store. I won't even mention all the spare (read: currently not in favour) clothes I have in KLU. Until last year my ski gear was based in Carinthia as I mainly used it there. When an office ski trip or somesuch was planned, I would lug all the stuff eastwards, which did of course not really allow for spontaneous alpine activities, nor was it gratifying if the planned trips did not actually take place and you had to take everything back in your car. These days, I have everything twice, once in Vienna, once in KLU - skis, warm underwear, goggles, ski gloves, alpine sun screen, you name it. The only thing I only own one piece of is the new helmet my mum insisted on buying me and which contrary to my prejudices and reluctance really is very comfortable and warm. The luxury of this double equipment allowed me to hop on the train with light luggage yesterday and thus be spared the rather tiresome Friday night car journey. Seizing the time onboard for work (laptops are a compulsory accessory in first class compartments after all) and pleasure, I arrived relatively refreshed and in a good mood. Mind you, not that I would like to go on four-hours-long train journeys every weekend now, but it was a nice change and quite a novel sensation for me not to arrive with 3 suitcases and sports equipment.
Today, I went skiing on Dreiländereck in glorious sunshine, enjoying the sharp edges of my recently serviced Carinthian skis.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Carrier Pigeon

When I came home last night, I found a letter from my credit card company in the post box. They informed me that "for security reasons" my account had been deactivated and asked me to call them during their office hours. Which I did this morning. Apparently, they had received a long list of card numbers with which dodgy business could potentially be made and therefore decided to deactivate them all. Now I am thankful for their pre-emptive measures, but I am mildly surprised at their anachronistic form of communication. It's not that they don't have my phone number or e-mail address to which they send my monthly account statement, by the way. The lady on the phone informed me that a new card will be sent to me on Monday. I told her that I found their mode of communication somewhat unusual and would not have been pleased had I been on holiday and found out at the frontdesk of a hotel that my credit card didn't work. "I know, we should have called you," she said, "but so many people were affected we decided to send out letters." Right. She couldn't tell me where the potential abuse originated (such as online shops I could shun in the future) and just said they didn't know and it could be "from the internet or just from a salesperson who wrote down the number".

Thursday, March 12, 2009


MD trolley (onemorehandbag)

Returning customer that I am, I took my chance with the Italian ducklings again and ordered a suitcase (free standard delivery last week...) to match the briefcase that I had ordered. When I told MC that I was looking forward to my trolley, she replied "Well, or whatever it will be that they deliver you." No complaints, though, this time and it came with interesting extras such as a lock and a (sturdy) plastic trasparent liquids bag.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Déjà Wear

Now that shops and magazines have finally convinced me that Doc Martens boots have made their comeback, I got my Mum to excavate my old pair. Who would have thought that I will be able to say what used to annoy me no end when she said it "Oh, that was already in fashion when I was at university".
my old docs (onemorehandbag) These boots, they have a history. I bought them in Dublin the year after my ERASMUS stay there when I had already bought a not-so-cool ankle-high pair. Back in the mid-1990s everyone wore Docs in Ireland with students and unversity lecturers (!) in particular. Needless to say, Amica and I had to get a pair and suffer the ritual of breaking them in. Docs are excruciatingly uncomfortable when you first put them on but after having repeatedly worn them in rain (that's the Irish remedy) and/or treated with a hammer (I never tried that method) they become like a second skin. I loved them and wore them quite a lot until I met TD who found them highly unflattering and said they reminded him of footwear reserved for the severly club-footed. The things you do for love...
For over a decade, they were forgotten until I decided I should dust them off and give them an airing. Somehow, I feel like an impostor wearing them. It's a bit like the HelloKitty! stuff I loved until I found it looked ridiculous if worn by someone on the wrong side of thirty.
Or perhaps they just need to be broken in once more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mobile Phone Condom

I've made a case for my G1 phone by giving 2 old ties a new lease of life. Ideally, I'd just have recycled the ties but the G1 is too fat so I had to use bias binding for the corners. The velvet band is for attaching it to handbag handles should the need arise.
g1 case (onemorehandbag)

Monday, March 09, 2009


When I arrived at my relatives' in Styria yesterday, the sun was shining and the mountains were calling out to me "Come on, put on your skis!". I had actually contemplated packing my ski gear but then decided that what with a more than 2 hrs drive (one way) I would a) be too knackered to face the return journey after skiing and b) would not have enough time to talk to my granny whom I hadn't seen since Christmas. After lunch, my uncle, my Mum (my parents were visiting as well) and I went for a walk and got an even better view of the mountains:

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Pimp my Rain

I suffer from a severe condition called "Shoe Alzheimer's" which results in occasionally forgetting a pair of shoes I own until I stumble upon it in a shelf or cardbord box on top of my wardrobe. This might possibly have to do with the fact that I *do* own more than 2 pairs of shoes. Well, recently I re-discovered a pair of wellingtons with a Pucci-esque print that I bought 4 or 5 years ago when funky gumboots were all the rage. Back then, I made the mistake of wearing them with bare legs in summer. I'll only say one word: vacuum.
As it has been raining more or less non-stop since yesterday morning I decided to put them on today on top of skinny jeans. And socks. It was hard to restrict myself to only deliberately walk through every second puddle. Every time a child with similar footwear walked past me, I felt like giving it a high-five.
funky wellies (onemorehandbag) When the lady in the furniture store where I ordered new mattresses called me "Gnä' Frau", my illusion of youth was instantly shattered.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Beaver Beckons

Yawn.I'm tired today and won't over-exert the little percentage of grey matter that is working today. Time for a little commercial break instead. Fancy an original limited edition handbag (reversible!) by an Austrian designer? Look no further. This is Erna, for example:

Photo by biberbaubags

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Spring is in the Air

...and in the office courtesy of our weekly flower delivery. These gorgeous tulips are like sunshine in a vase, a welcome mood enhancer on rainy days.
sunshine in a vase (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Theory and Practice

Incidentally, it was only yesterday that Chiquita asked me if I had made any noteworthy purchases recently. No, I replied, telling her I'd been really good recently, with the exception of a little excursion to Parndorf on Saturday and the odd online order (and we all know that those don't really count, don't we?) Well, anyway, today I didn't feel like a sit-down lunch, telling my colleagues I was going for a little stroll in the spring(ish) sunshine. The little stroll took me to Steffl where a MAC shadestick (YouTube's cult make-up artist Lauren is a big fan of them) and an incredibly soft cashmere scarf (50% off the original price) brutally sprang themselves on me. I had no choice.
lunch-break friends (onemorehandbag)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Calendar Killed the Filo-Star

In the not so distant past, I was an ardent fan of pocket organisers, carrying my various filofaxes and most recently, a BREE diary everywhere I went. It was a yearly ritual to get a new calendar refill and to leaf through the old one to copy important dates. Back in the days when I did not own a smartphone which invites me to download fancy applications, I would get a kick out of buying overpriced "add-ons" for my filofax: a London map, transparent business-card holders, tiny sticky notes - you name it, I had it. My whole life was in my filofax - all addresses, PINs and passwords (well hidden and "encoded"), everyone's birthdays, the first ever euro banknote I got out of an ATM on January 1, 2002, photos with friends taken in photo booths. At every book club meeting, each and every one of us would get their respective organisers out of their handbags and decide on the dates for the following sessions. These days we use Doodle, a very handy online calendar/survey tool, by the way.
those were the days (onemorehandbag) Then I started working for the Firm where everyone used an electronic calendar and gradually became quite fond of that application (I've told you about my stalker tendencies before...). For some months, I continued to my organiser with me until it became too time-consuming to always make two entries, one electronic, one handwritten. Calendar won and I acknowledged its victory by not buying the 2009 filofax refill. Occasionally, my little green friend gives me a reproachful look from the shelf next to my desk, but I assure him that I won't puthim on eBay.

Monday, March 02, 2009

And While the Valley Was Cloaked in Fog

I was skiing in glorious sunshine yesterday. The ski "resort", Unterberg, was really retro with a total of 4 t-bar lifts, but as most of the people (and there were surprisingly many around) had opted for après ski in front of one of the huts, we had the slopes mostly to ourselves. Not that we (the Pampered Princess's sister) didn't get our fair share of après ourselves, mind you. As I was squinting into the sun, I wished Sunday would last forever. Or at least for another day.
Unterberg (onemorehanbdag)
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