Dark days

fog bubble

There’s been some dark days over the last few months. There’s been a few more tears than usual, a few more outbursts of Life’s not fair and why me? And I know that there are many people out there worse off than me, as I bask in the privileged position of having a steady job, living in my own house and enjoying Friday night date nights. 

But it’s like two years of Covid just came and bit me in the ass. I recently gave some very serious thought to trying to make it back to Oz. Why not skip over there, I thought, despite everything going on, because it is possible. Of course, for it really to be possible, a lot of aspects of my life had to line up perfectly. And when they didn’t, my world kind of crashed down.

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The downsides of snow

Snow walks

Where I live in Austria it snows in winter. Not just up in the distant mountains, but down on the ground, out in the streets, and along the Autobahn. The first few times it snowed I was in a winter wonderland of magical happiness. I skipped around the streets in my new boots, marvelled at the silence the blanket of snow created and drank hot tea while staring out onto pretty white fields.

And then it snowed again… and again. And then it melted… well, half melted. And that’s when I found out that sometimes snow is a big pain in the ass.

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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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