Saturday, July 31, 2010

Visitor, Working Title "Cat"

Usually, I avoid KLU like the plague when the annual Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Event takes place at the Wörther See (and it IS worse than ever, think Spring Break Europe on speed...), but I a) seized the opportunity of a lift by the Mermaid and b) was dead curious to meet the new (temporary?) addition to the household, a tiny kitten.

After the Beast's death last December, my parents didn't - and allegedly don't - want a new cat, but this one sort of chose my Mum. On Wednesday morning, she went for a walk/hike with a friend near Villach when the friend suddenly spotted a tiny cat in the middle of the forest. The cat remained glued to their heels for the whole duration of the walk and didn't heed their attempts to shoo it away, telling it to go back to where it had come from. The friend was hysterical that they couldn't just leave such a tiny cat to its very likely fate, i.e. being torn apart by animals of the forest. My Mum looked for houses where it could belong to, but those they passed were deserted at that time of the day so she couldn't ask anyone if it was their cat. In any case, the cat followed them all the way to my Granny's house, where they stopped for coffee and patiently waited for them until they got back from lunch at a restaurant in the village. When a neighbour passed by, he said one of them should take the kitten with her and give it to an animal shelter rather than leave it behind. As my Mum's friend lives in a cat-unfriendly penthouse flat, the task fell to my Mum. Although she is going to return to the neighbourhood where the cat found them in the evening when people will be home, trying to find out if some kids have been missing their little pet and my parents try not to get too attached, it's hard to resist her charms. She's very cuddly and well-behaved. When I arrived last night, I put her into the kitchen scales: 600 grammes:
600 grams of cat (onemorehandbag)I've already taken dozens of pictures of the little fluffball, but my Dad shot the cutest portrait of the as-yet unnamed cat:
cute cat (onemorehandbag)
Click to enlarge and see the different colours of "eyeliner". I'd take her to Vienna, but I don't really believe in keeping cats in flats, unless there's more than one.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Au Revoir

This is the final post of "French Weeks chez Onemorehandbag". As you might have gathered from my rambles so far, la Mademoiselle and I had a great time (and I envy her the extra week she got to stay on in Nice).
me on the left with the camera

Although my luggage was full to the brim and I ended up taking my beach bag as extra cabin baggage, I certainly appreciated la Mademoiselle's generous parting gift: 12 macarons from LAC. Drool! They tasted even better than they looked:
macaronsFor a second I thought I might risk OD-ing on macarons, but let me tell you, you can never have too many GOOD macarons. Not mentioning the Bratislava mishap here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I was reminded of the poor crocodile in the rubbish I saw in Vienna earlier this year, when I saw a huge foot stick out of a dumpster in Cannes:

Bigfoot (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Supersize me à la française

In the U.S. (well, also in rural Austria), they might have huuuge portions of food that give you a stomach ache just from looking. In France, they have plants in XXL, such as oleander that Central Europeans know as measly potted plants, but which thrive like veritable trees in the Mediterranean climate:
oleander (onemorehandbag)Exhibit A
oleander (onemorehandbag)Exhibit B


In all fairness, some of the fast food is of gigantic proportions, too
sandwich (onemorehandbag)Goat cheese sandwich in Cannes

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


baguette (onemorehandbag)To you this might look like an innocent piece of white bread. Wrong. It is EVIL! In the course of a week, both the Mademoiselle and yours truly managed to break a tip of a tooth after biting into a (different) baguette with a very crisp crust. In my case, it was a filling rather than an acutal bit of tooth that broke off, but as it is a front tooth, the disfigurement feels worse. It might be a sign of old age and our decrepit bodies and a similar thing has happened to me at home with a good old Kürbiskernweckerl, but the accumulation of toothy disasters was quite impressive, statistics wise. If we were American, we'd seriously consider class action against the respective boulangeries...

Monday, July 26, 2010


Expect to be entertained/tortured with lots of Côte d’Azur-related posts for a while yet, but as a soft intro after my return, I've uploaded a video of the Italian contribution to this year's international fireworks festival in Monaco onto my YouTube channel:

It was pretty impressive although I'd have preferred more Italian music than the mainstream pop-medley the group (Società Panzera) had chosen. Last year, we happened to watch the Austrian entry, which was good, too. Apparently, the Ukrainian act earlier this month was rather underwhelming, with the fireworks not being synchronised to the music at all.

There was a lady in front of us who was talking to a friend on her mobile phone, trying to describe her whereabouts. Looking around herself, she decided to describe it as "I'm right in front of the moon". Hmmm. The person on the other hand probably replied that that wasn't exactly a precise description, because then she added "I'm right in front of the Valentino store".

Afterwards, our landlady's (who's a friend of Mademoiselle) parents asked if we needed to go to the ladies' and Madame led us to the elegant toilet in the building that houses the famous casino and also the opera. Last year, we had ended up in a public toilet as it would never have occurred to us to nonchalantly walk into the casino foyer with the sole mission to relieve our bladders. Turns out that is a perfectly normal thing to do. So now I can say that I've been "to the casino".

Friday, July 23, 2010


I had planned to show some pictures of our little exursions here - working titles "Tuesday: Cannes and Antibes", "Wednesday: Beaulieu-sur-Mer", "Thursday Night: Monaco" - but frankly, editing pictures on my netbook is work and I don't feel in work-mode when on vacation, so sorry, MC, this is going to be the last post while I'm in Nice. On Thursday morning, we went downtown and I bought some tidbits at La Droguerie, a lovely shop la Mademoiselle already took me to last year. I bought 2 different fabrics, some bands for jewellery-making and a pair of leather handbag handles.
Knowing myself, there's no telling when and IF I'll actually make something out of these raw materials, but right now, I'm excited and feeling very "arts-and-crafty".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

French Chic

...also applies to such mundane things as mineral water:
Looks very grown-up and decadent for bubbly water, don't you agree?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday: Villefranche

On Sunday afternoon, we took the train to Villefranche-sur-Mer. After a 3-minute journey, we arrived at a cute little town, famous for its Rue Oscure, a passageway from the 13th century.
We arrived with all our swimming paraphernalia.

Typical Côte d'Azur view: blue sea and skies, lush vegetation and lots of boats.

Ans scooters everywhere...

There was also a flea-market near St. Peter's Chapel with Jean Cocteau's famous murals. I was temped to buy a cool bracelet, but didn't in the end.

If we don't succeed in picking up a yacht-owning bachelor, we could try our luck with a fisherman instead.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Now THAT Didn't Take Long...

How predictable. Two days sans shopping, sale at Galeries Lafayette, a brand I can't get at home at 40% off. Meet the latest addition to the bag museum:
Lamarthe bag (onemorehandbag)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Even If I Don't Speak French

French Marie Claire (onemorehandbag)...I like to buy French magazines (which I can take home for my Mum to read) as some of them come with gifts, such as Marie Claire which give you a See by Chloé top for only € 3,50, including the magazine itself. Yay!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Best Buddies

In German, there is this saying that people who don't get on with one another are "like dog and cat". Hmmm, these French (?) animals have obviously never hard the proverb as they are obviously perfectly comfortable snuggling up. I took the picture in a pedestrian zone in downtown Nice this morning (and of course gave the person holding the leash some change for the photo).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Certainly Won't Starve Here...

Perfectly prepared for the heat thanks to the recent tropical temperatures in Vienna, la Mademoiselle and I arrive in Nice this morning. Just as well, Patisserie LAC right opposite our appartment was closed for its afternoon break when we passed or I'd have raided its macarons stock on my very first day. Drool... Instead, we pigged out on salade composée and the yummiest goat's cheese ever.
When we returned from the beach tonight, I wanted to charge my mobile phone,only to discovered I'd packed the charger of its predecessor which I'd been using while my Nexus was at the "doctor's" in the U.K. (needless to say its a different USB type). The next discovery when I switched it on - hello boot menu and "safe mode". Well, just as well I have my ASUS Eee PC with me for skyping the parents and writing disgruntled e-mails to HTC.

Typing on the doll-sized keyboard is a bit of a challenge, but another blogpost might come up. If only to keep M.C. entertained while I'm away.

Just in Time

yellow Wolford bikini (onemorehandbag)When you are reading this, I will hopefully already have arrived in sunny Nice where I'm staying until next Saturday. In my suitcase is a bright yellow bikini I've been drooling over for months and which I finally got this week for 50%. Perfect for the Côte d’Azur, n'est-ce pas?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Aphorism of the Day

Earlier this week, I saw an interesting grafitti near Kunsthalle:
stupidness (onemorehandbag)
And here I was thinking it was "stupidity". Ah well, LEO tells me "stupidness" also exists. In any case, I definitely agree.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Occupational Therapy in the Tropics

Subtle and not-so-subtle comments by 2 of my regular readers, i.e. the Empress and M.C. requested a new post, but with this heat, my brain has long since gone into estivation. Alright, I admit it, I had to look up the antonym of hibernation as well. On Monday night, temperatures in my flat were still bearable:
In fact, I was brave enough to turn on the oven and make 18 blueberry muffins.
Tonight, however, it was closer to 28° when I came home. On a whim, I had decided to go to the cinema to see Tutta la Vita Davanti at good old Admiral Kino in my neighbourhood.
The theatre was just as deserted as the foyer - the audience consisted of 3 people. Mind you, it was quite cool in there, even without air conditioning. Oh, and the guy having a smoke outside the entrance in the picture above is the person who tells you the ticket and snacks, opens the door and turns on the projector. Mr. One-Man-Show, if you please.
If you haven't seen the film, you should. Here's the trailer (without subtitles, sorry):

The other highlight of my day: a DHL delivery: my repaired Nexus One - yay! I had missed reading my favourite blogs while waiting for the tram.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You Know It's Time to Get a Life

Vienna power outage (onemorehandbag)
...when a power outage is a source of excitement for you. Yesterday afternoon shortly before 5 the lights and airconditioning suddenly went out in the office, as did our internet and telephone connection. It turned out that not only our office, but the whole building, and indeed the majority of our street and adjacent ones were affected (see picture of Louis Vuitton's notice on its closed front door) and there was no knowing how long it would take. Well, perfect excuse to leave for the MQ for a bit of erm...strategic planning.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Much as I love Flocki, my vintage Toyota, the fact that he does not have air-condition makes driving around in 30+° temperatures quite a sticky challenge. I like cycling to swimming pools in Vienna, but let's face it, there are much better places for swimming available than chlorinated pools. Such as the beautiful Thermalbad in Bad Vöslau, a 30-minute-drive from Vienna, which I have raved about here before.

Last weekend,  I combined visits to my great-aunts in their respective nursing homes with a visit to said swimming dorado in order to minimize sweaty car-excursions.

As could be expected, other people had had the same idea and the lawn around the mineral-water-pool was very crowded:

The cool natural pool was comparatively crowded, too. 

naturbecken (bad vöslau)
But nowhere near as much as the (chlorinated) sports pool. 
sportbecken, bad vöslau (onemorehandbag)
Nonetheless, I managed to spend a peaceful afternoon in the shade with plenty of space around me, simply by walking up the staircase to the pine forest.

There, I did not even feel the heat and only realised how hot it was when I walked down to the pool. 

Breathing in the lush pine scent and more or less successfully blending out conversations in German, it was easy to tell myself I was in Italy or France rather than not far from Vienna. The climate along the so-called "thermal line" south of Vienna is beneficial for several types of mediterranean plants, by the way and I have even seen almond trees grow there.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Summer is here at last and I'm loving every sweaty minute of it. Midday shadows look like surrealist paintings... 
shade (onemorehandbag)
Fields of wheat look "blonder" than any colour you could ever buy in a bottle... 
wheat (onemorehandbag)
Salads are fresh and tasty like no other time of the year and you can pretty much add any seasonal fruit with great results... 
summer salad (onemorehandbag)
Not forgetting the best thing about summer: outdoor swimming. More about that tomorrow.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Must Be the Y Chromosome

Earlier this week, I hosted a (very nice) colleague from the Firm's US headquarters for a night. He currently is on a 3-weeks-trip through Europe and arrived with a small carry-on suitcase. Hello? I was very impressed indeed. I mean, this was the size of your average Austrian high school kid's rucksack whereas I take a suitcase 3 times the size  of that with me when I just go to my parents' for the weekend and it's not as if I don't have clothes at my disposal there. Men...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Like, Totally Unexpected

I mean, who could have predicted that I'll return with a bag if I head for Steffl's accessories department when their 50% sale is on? I know, I was almost as surprised as you are when I suddenly had this pink Furla beauty in my hands and was heading for the cash desk. Ahem. 
Furla bag (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Particuliere dupe (onemorehandbag)I've told you about the cheap Particulière dupe I recently bought, but without the original next to it, I had to trust my (good, even if I say so myself) memory of colours. Turns out it really IS an exact dupe of the Chanel nail polish as you can see on the picture above which shows my fingers with cheap nailpolish in the front, and the Empress's Particulière-coated ones in the background. And yes, we do have 5 fingers on each hand, in case you were wondering.

More about the pink leather underneath our hands soon...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Getting Carried Away. A Bit

Sometimes, only sometimes, do I realise my online-shopping "habit" is getting out of control. This is mainly when I see the sheer size of things arriving at the office, where I have everything sent to. Such as the stylish WESCO waste bin that arrived today (bargain from BuyVIP). 
waste bin (onemorehandbag)Unlike the Kitchen Aid it is just bulky and not heavy as well, i.e. won't necessitate a taxi ride home. Phew!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Stuffy Office or Lake? Hmmm, Tough Decision.

After a long weekend in KLU which included 3 short visits to the lake, I so wished I was still there when my body temperature was close to meltdown level at work today. And, yes, we do have airconditioning, but I'm not particularly fond of the a.c. unit in my room which is mounted on the ceiling and tends to blow cold air right onto my shoulders and neck.

I should use this picture as a screensaver. Or maybe not as it could prove detrimental to morale.
Despite 7/8 of the carpark having been blocked because of the anual Ironman contest that took place on Sunday (why, oh why do my visits to KLU always coincide with some kind of event that causes major disruptions and obstacles around the lake?), we managed to park our car within walking distance and to reach Strandbad before it closed for the day - yay!
One of Wörther See's claims to fame is that it is of drinking water quality, not that I'd actually want to bottle the water and guzzle it, but still...
I'll definitely be back for other (long) weekends this summer, to be "booked" at short notice to make sure it (probably) won't rain.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Squatter Update

Remember the wild sunflower sprouting out of an apple tree in my parents' garden? Well, there's been impressive progress:
sunflower 1 (onemorehandbag)Despite the lice on its stalk, it will soon be in bloom:
sunflower 2 (onemorehandbag)Summer has arrived at last and nature is at the luscious phase before watering becomes a chore and the sun threatens to scorch every growing thing to within an inch of its life. Cue bonus picture of pretty wild flowers taken in the garden of my grandmother's new nursing home:

wild flowers (onemorehandbag)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Oh, Baby, It's a Wild World

Bisamberg (onemorehandbag)On Tuesday, 6 people of our office spent the day doing physical instead of "brain" work. It was a sunny day and we had such fun uprooting bushes with the help of a cable winch and tractor and preparing firewood with a huge scary wood splitter. Afterwards, we had a barbecue and despite scratches on our arms (I had an appointment with the dermatologist on Wed. morning to have my moles checked and she asked me if I had a cat), mosquito bites and t-shirts that were so sweaty they could almost stand on their own, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to next year. Judging from my tiredness I probably wouldn't be able to do it every day, but it is incredibly satisfying to immediately see the results of your labour and to breathe fresh air while you work. Not mentioning the tan.
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