That damn pandemic – it’s still going on

Egypt Pyramids

The pandemic has taken plenty away from me: general socialisation, the chance to see friends and family back home, the opportunity to travel, and so on. But I count myself lucky, because I’m surviving ok – I’m pretty happy in my bubble, I’ve been able to work without the hassle of the commute, and I’m in the wrong age group to constantly need to go out on the town.

But I can’t help thinking how it might have been, in another place, in another time.

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Adapting

driving wrong side of road

When you move to a new country there’s a huge element of adaption that takes place. You might have to speak in a different language, drive on the other side of the road, buy more suitable clothes, or get used to new foods. Change is hard, which I think is why so many of us who move to new countries take things with us and do things the way we used to – even if it makes life more difficult sometimes.

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Having a cellar – now I know what that’s all about!

Cellar wine

Before I moved to Austria I don’t think I’d ever been in a cellar. In Australia you build a shed. And when you run out of room you build a bigger shed. Or you store stuff in the roof space. When we started looking at houses in Austria I pointed out a nice, cute, one-story place to hubby. He was unimpressed – apparently the rule was no-cellar-no-buy.

I couldn’t understand it. But because everyone here grew up with a cellar, they class it as essential. In the same way that I had to have a hills hoist in the back garden, hubby had to have a cellar. And I must say, I have adapted to having a cellar. I couldn’t imagine life without it now. Why, you ask? Read on!

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The Veggie Garden 2021 – this year’s summary

Veggie garden

I was hopeful in early spring. It seemed like it was going to warm up nicely. And then… it didn’t. So even though I’d eagerly gotten the garden ready and planted… nothing grew.

But as always, I pressed on. This year we laid the garden with black cloth (thicker than previously so it didn’t blow all over the garden during storms), and this really cut back on the amount of weeding I had to do.

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Curing insomnia?

Ear accupucture

In February this year I tripped off for some acupuncture. There were multiple reasons for doing this, none of which involved my sleeping issues. I’ve suffered from insomnia off and on for over 15 years, and during that time I’ve tried everything, including acupuncture, to resolve it. If you’re a fellow sufferer you’ll be familiar with the myriad of options – vitamins, homeopathic remedies, drugs, baths, warm milk, meditation, counselling, sleep school, and so the list goes on. The thing about something like insomnia, is that once it’s manifested, I just got resigned to the fact that it was never going to go away. You discover ways to manage it. You find tricks that work for you some of the time and you make sure you’ve got a prescription on hand for those weeks when it all gets too much.

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Hang on… I’ve kind of forgotten about Covid

Summer in Italy

In the last two weeks in Austria we fell suddenly into autumn. Late summer was amazing and it almost feels like we’ve skipped autumn and gone straight to winter. Morning temperatures are very fresh and there’s snow on the nearby mountains. I had quite a bit of time off over the summer which was fantastic and now it’s time to knuckle down again – put the garden to bed, crank up the heater, get out the boots and coats and so on.

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Oz international borders opening… really?

On the beach in Safety beach, Australia

The world is abuzz with the news that it’s actually going to happen… Australia is finally talking about opening its international borders. I’ve been hearing murmurings for a while, but when it hit globally the other day, a number of people got in touch to spread the love. It even made it to Austrian news, so you know it’s big.

Except I can’t help but feel a little bit cynical about the whole thing.

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Oy – the robot lawnmower dog

Robot lawnmower

Last year we invested in a robot lawnmower. I have to admit I wasn’t initially certain that outsourcing the mowing to a robot was a wise investment, but then again, I am not the one who has to mow every week (back problems gets you out of that permanently).

We named him Oy, after the Billy Bumbler in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, because… well… he needed a name and he’s kind of like a dog. It’s almost like he craves human interaction.

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