As an early teen, I went through a very special phase… writing dirty poems. I don’t know why… I guess that’s just how things manifested when I got curious about things like boys and sex. Now, maybe some 13/14 year olds know a lot about sex… but I certainly was not one of them. My dirty poetry was written with next to no knowledge on the topic, other than what I’d read or seen on television – which was not a large pool to draw from.Continue reading
Pre-Christmas excitement… or not?
Before Christmas, someone asked me if I was excited… and I had to admit… I wasn’t really. I mean, it’s not like I was big into Christmas before we had a child – with a relatively small family it’s really just another day… with presents. But with Sam too young to understand the concept, combined with my stay at home role, it just didn’t hold a lot of focus.Continue reading
Look, winter isn’t all bad, but I’m a summer girl at heart. And growing up in Australia, I got used to the hot summers. Sure, Melbourne winters do get cold, especially on a freezing day, with Arctic winds spiralling in, but it’s short-lived, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. So the move to Austrian winter was a shock, and though I’ve somewhat gotten used to it, I’m not going to grow to like it.Continue reading
Advent… time to light the candles
I’d never really thought about the word Advent before I moved to Austria. Apart from the good old Advent calendar, it never occurred to me this was anything more than a commercialisation of the lead up to Christmas. Which, it kind of is, but as it turns out, starting on the Sunday nearest to the 30th of November, Advent signifies the beginning of spiritual preparation for Christmas.Continue reading
Gruß vom Krampus
I’ve written about Krampus before, Austria’s Christmas Devil who terrifies children into behaving. Another thing I’ve learnt more recently is that on this day (December 5th), it used to be common to post a secret card to someone you admired… kind of like an unofficial Valentine. In fact, the cards were free to send, with the recipient paying postage when it arrived.
This tradition was known as a Gruß vom Krampus (Greetings from Krampus) and was often humerous. Now… from what I can tell the Krampus was a bit of a dirty old man. And the older cards seem a lot darker with more sexual overtones (just my opinion). Now, I know that Google is not the best translator, and when it comes to sayings, even worse, but when I plugged in some Krampus greetings I found online, I came up with hilarious translations. Note of course that the correct translations could be quite different.Continue reading
Working from home
I’m not really sure where we’re at on the working from home debate these days. Earlier there was uproar about having to return to the office, but it seems to have died down a bit now. Some people have grudgingly accepted the return, some have purposefully quit and found work that suited them better, while others are more than happy that things are somewhat back to normal.
I’m a huge fan of working from home. My job requires me to be at a computer with an internet connection – that’s all. And with my boss based in the UK, and most of my meetings online anyway, there is little point in me travelling an hour to get to an office. Prior to the pandemic I was quite often not doing it.Continue reading
Raw chicken – yes please!
I was brought up under the ‘if you don’t eat your main you won’t get dessert’ regime. I have to say, it worked quite well for me, because I love a bit of dessert, even if, for the most part growing up it wasn’t very exciting. Stewed fruit, for example, or bread jam and cream. But I got used to eating up my plate, even if I didn’t really like it. And because of this, I think, even to this day, I tend to eat the bad stuff on the plate first. I’ll eat the vegetables I am less keen on, and save the bite of lasagna for the end.
Generally, if I am eating something I am not familiar with, I taste a bit of everything and then almost subconsciously eat the thing I like least first, or at least most of it.
But this is not without its problems.Continue reading
Sneak attack home sickness
“Sometimes homesickness feels like getting stabbed in the chest.”
That’s a direct quote from me. But let me be very clear – I wrote this in a highly emotional moment when I was throwing the dark thoughts out of my head so I could rid myself of them. I’ve also never been stabbed in the chest and in reality, can’t imagine it would feel similar.
What I was referring to is the homesickness surprise attack. Because when I return to Austria after a few weeks in Oz, or when I wave goodbye to my parents at Vienna airport, or when I get off the phone from a friend enjoying their warm summer on the other side of the world, I expect the homesickness. And because I’m expecting it, and I’m ready for it, it doesn’t seem to hit as hard. I can have a cry, I can get a hug from hubby, or I can sniffle a bit and remind myself that this was my decision.
‘Sneak attack’ home sickness is the one that stabs you out of the blue.Continue reading
Christmas 1998… bank balance… zero
Coming up to Christmas the year I finished high school, I was met with a shocking revelation – I had no money to buy presents for friends and family. My once-weekly evening job saw me earning more than enough to get by, in a time where my parents were still paying for my essentials, but the office closed over Christmas… and my pay checks would dry up. I had been thoughtless with my money. It’s not that I spent a lot – but I sure spent a lot on things I didn’t need.
I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I did not want to admit that despite pocket money and a job, come Christmas, I would be broke. In that moment I vowed that never again would I put myself in such a position. And I did what anyone would do… I concocted a lavish internet scam.
Just kidding… the internet was barely a thing back then…Continue reading
We’re all doing great, but it’s still been a long four months
The first weeks with a newborn are brutal – exactly like they say. Brutal in ways not even thought possible. It’s just everything rolled up together – emotion, hormones, recovery from birth, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, learning to keep a small creature alive, him learning how to be alive, and just coming to terms with the fact that you’re now stuck with this guy forever.
When Sam was between 2-3 months, it got a little easier. There was a noticeable shift. And again it was a combination of a lot of stuff; both of us were better and faster at feeding, so despite the 2 hour nightly wakings, there was more time between to sleep; we were both learning how to survive so could just cope better; he was still sleeping a lot during the day, so I had more time and flexibility to myself.Continue reading