Puzzling away a Corona Crisis

jigsaw puzzle time

I am a keen puzzler. And for those of you unfamiliar with my terminology, that means that I like doing jigsaw puzzles… a lot. One of my standard winter activites is puzzling. Even though I also usually spend a chunk of this time travelling, I usually have time to do a couple of puzzles. Because what’s better than sitting inside on a cold day, with the winter sun (or heating) streaming in to keep you warm, and an Aperol at hand to imagine you’re somewhere else entirely. I think it’s a kind of meditation for me… I listen to music… and my mind wanders.

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Christmas in Lockdown – just lazy lazy lazy

Christmas Day in lockdown

I returned to work this week after more than three weeks off. I don’t think I’ve had this much time off with no ‘real goal’ in mind ever – except perhaps when I was unemployed. In the midst of lockdown (only essential shops open, restaurants takeaway only, restrictions on visiting people), there was nowhere to travel, no one to catch up with and being winter, very little to do.

I thought it would drag. But all of a sudden, it was over and I was back to work.

They allowed us out of lockdown for December 24 and 25 so Christmas could be celebrated in a semi-normal way. There were limitations on how many people you could see at one time, but since my family here is on the small side anyway, we spent Christmas pretty much in the same was as always: Covid test in the morning, gathering in the early afternoon, singing Silent Night, opening presents and eating together. Oh… wait… the Covid test, that was something new for this year.

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An Austrian Pork Roast – Schweinsbraten

Austrian roast pork - schwinsbratenAustrians love pork. They love it on the barbie, they love it in a pan and they love it in the oven. I waited 4 years for my first, traditional, Austrian, home-cooked pork roast, but it was well worth the wait.

Sure, I’ve had it in restaurants – it’s on every Gasthaus menu, right up there with schnitzel and Kärntner Nudeln. But somehow it’s different when it’s home cooked.

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Four seasons, four years, four photos – fawesome!

This is a photography project, four years in the making. Now, I’m no photographer, I have no patience – I stand and I shoot. With this project I exhibited persistence rather than skill. I went back to the same places, in the middle of each season, to see what the differences between the four seasons really were. The results, for all my amateur skills, are pretty cool. Have a look – Wolfsberg – four seasons – enjoy!

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I’ll be home for Christmas – and excel gets a work out

Austria Christmas cold

Well, after 4 years it’s finally happening – we’re going to Oz for Christmas.

Although I can’t say I absolutely hate the warm coziness of being inside on Christmas Day while the weather outside freezes the landscape white – somehow it seems much more like the movies – but damn I’m looking forward to going back to the Aussie traditions of a Christmas morning swim, and it being too hot to roast inside. Better do it on the Barbie!

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