Curmudgeon emerges from the Funk(stille)

The last few weeks of 2018 have not been plain sailing. There have been reheated family feuds, ongoing worries about the welfare of my nephew on the high seas, the loss of a dear friend, and personal anxiety over B****t. The end of year quiz was a remarkably subdued affair as a result. Continue reading Curmudgeon emerges from the Funk(stille)

A swinging party in the Cottage

With a public holiday on 26th October to celebrate the anniversary of Austria’s independence-cum-neutrality in 1955 following the defeat of the Third Reich in the Second World War and subsequent occupation by the allied powers, we decided to take full advantage of the public holiday falling on a Friday to push the boat out at Curmudgeon Heights. Usually our parties are relatively staid affairs, with … Continue reading A swinging party in the Cottage

Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we didn’t go to Gamlitz…

As the heatwave continues, the Sommerloch is over due to a political wedding, the coalition extending the Austrian tradition of Proporz and the debris of another Kirtag, all taking place as the Curmudgeon flees the 19th district for the deep south. Continue reading Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we didn’t go to Gamlitz…

A comedy of errors

A tweet by the British Ambassador reminded me of a comedy of errors that happened when we holidayed in Tyrol in the 1990s.

Back then, we used to make accommodation reservations through the local tourist board. A phone call to them, back in the days when PTA (Post Telekom Austria) had a monopoly on voice services, was about ATS 7 a minute during the day (yes! Over EUR 0.50 a minute!) so it was no wonder that we would confirm by writing a letter and receive a letter back with a Zahlschein.

Continue reading “A comedy of errors”

A crash course in Austrian sandwiches and rolls

As I rode the 10a bus through the outer districts to see “the nephew”, I overheard two British lads, probably in their early 20s, talking about football and garage sandwiches. The former subject has been pretty wall-to-wall for the last month with the World Cup taking place in Russia, but the latter was a slightly surprising one. One of the two passengers was lamenting his recent purchase from a BP garage, which was very bland and unsatisfying and his companion chipped in with “Austrians just don’t get proper sandwiches”. Continue reading “A crash course in Austrian sandwiches and rolls”

Curmudgeon heads to the hills.

As the school year drew to an end, my wife bade a retiring colleague farewell at the end of a long teaching career, and so our thoughts turned to holidays. We’d decided to go for getting some down time, with fresh air, walks and scenery and decided to explore the Pinzgau and then come back through the Murtal. Continue reading “Curmudgeon heads to the hills.”

One week until the summer holidays

Being married to a teacher, we have just got to the point of the school year where even the most well prepared, conscientious and experienced teacher have started their own mental countdown until the end of the school year. Some years are harder than others, especially if you have been devoting every last ounce of energy towards getting your form through the Matura and out into the big wide world. My saying “we” was deliberate, because the end of the school year seems to have become a joint planning effort in recent years. Continue reading “One week until the summer holidays”

Tourism with a hermit of the expat scene.

As I remarked yesterday on a tweet after putting my visitors onto the train bound for the airport, it is always good to catch up with old friends. The best thing about such old friendships, where the passing of time does little to dim the memory, tarnish the friendship, or even better allows the friendship to be renewed as though no time had passed is that they also serve as a reminder to think about things have changed.

Continue reading “Tourism with a hermit of the expat scene.”