As I mentioned in my last post, written after a surfeit of wrapping paper, free calendars and tweaked while watching a Christmas Day double bill of Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple dubbed into German (Joan Hickson is my Miss Marple of choice, preferably in the original language), my final post of the year is a Nachlese, a brief digest of my blogging of the events of late 2017, since I started blogging as a way to adjust to the post-working world. Fortunately, I have been quite busy, and blogging has not taken over my life. For those who might not have read from the start (shame on you, but hope you’ll stick with me), I have done a digest of the last few months in my life, as the Curmudgeon in the Cottage. I’ve linked to the posts, so hope you might dip into them. Apologies for my ironically mocking the style of “round robin” Christmas letters.
In September, with my wife embarking on another school year, I decided to start a blog to publish my musings about my life in Vienna’s Cottageviertel. I started off by exploring the U1 underground line extension and learning the German for whale tail, and mocking Kirtag. I also started my crusade to find a comfortable local bolt-hole, but to date am still struggling to find my go-to bar. And of course, the election campaigns were ramped up a notch. September is a great month for walking, unless you are blown over by strong winds. A nearby social housing flat, formerly home to a little old man I used to see out and about, was renovated, while closer to home, the litter was dealt with as I got gardening. I’ve also spent a lot of time on the Schnellbahn, the unofficial alternative to the U-Bahn. And last but not least, my brother came for a visit. We may not have been entirely moderate in our consumption of alcohol.
In October, Vienna again topped a survey about the best places to live. It’s getting tedious, please stop it. I watched international rugby with a friend after Sebastian Kurz’s sweeping to power. Austria’s Nationalfeiertag and associated panic buying began an obsession of mine with consumerism. The month also had a Fenstertag, a phenomenon I still have mixed feelings about. And there was another blast about consumerism and the importance of shopping locally.
November began with a critique of halloween and death weighing heavily on the psyche of the Viennese. I managed to find an envelope full of Schilling – and cash them in. I went over to England to see Elderly Aunt and realised quite how different life is over there in rural and coastal Lincolnshire. I returned somewhat fazed by the experience, brandishng a biscuit tin, before an attack of nostalgia, in response to yet another short-termist list. And last but not least, I had to dress up for lunch in the third district.
December saw Nephewgate – the scandal that rocks my Viennese family break. We had guests to lunch – my style. Nephew kept me busy – including all sorts of trips around town. As Christmas came, I was also blighted by freebie pocket calendars and last but not least I have mused about going out in Vienna.
And once the firework carcasses have been cleared away, I will see you all in 2018!