Monday, November 24, 2008

A visit by the snow fairy

Christmas markets at the Rathaus

Katzengrass and FrozenPhillip

We had snow on Saturday and it was very exciting. Cate and I went out and played in it in the streets of Wien.

We found Katzengrass for Bill and Muffin - and Muffin was very pleased indeed to get some greenery into her diet. She starting munching as soon as we go home and had two really good vomits by the end of the weekend.

We went to Diglas in the Wollzeile which is one of our favourite coffee houses – mainly because of the size of their slices of cake.

Cate bought two very stylish hats and a pair of gloves and now looks almost Viennese.

In the evening we went to the Christmas markets outside the Rathaus. Cate had a Gluhwein and a Punch which warmed her up nicely. The markets have to be seen to be believed and are full of every type of thing a person could possibly want to use as Christmas decorations. They also sell the most amazing piles of crap that one sees in every market in the world. They even have fairy floss – which they call Zuckerwatte (a much more practical name) and charge a truly staggering sum for this pink fluff on a stick. I mean – come on – they charge the same for Zuckerwatte as they do for Gluhwein. There are no prizes for guessing where the big crowds are.

We staggered off to a delightful restaurant called Ellas in Judenplatz where they fleeced us comprehensively and sent us out into the snow again.

The first snow we had was lumpy and we thought it was a piece of Austrian trickery – and was really just white rain. But later in the evening we had the proper fluffy stuff. The cats had a really quick look at it on the terrace but decided that it was too cold and too wet – so took up their accustomed positions in front of the fire.

The Austrians are cunning and know when it is going to snow. The night before snow the kitty litter fairy goes around the streets scattering gravel on all the footpaths. Then when the snow fairy arrives there are no quite so many accidents – except on the roads of course where car drivers seem to think that that ice and snow are agents to help you stop more quickly.

The wood that was to last us until he end of winter may get us into December – but it will be close. One of our problems is that we have discovered since the cold weather arrived that our air conditioners in the living rooms downstairs only operate on cool. This will require the services of an Austrian mechanic and I have started the process.

Mr Begelpuscher down the road has a son who has just started school and I have put my name down with him for a service call in case he decides to do engineering at university.

On Sunday we went to the Sissi museum which is as exciting as every other museum I have ever been to – but Cate can’t get enough of this stuff so I am happy to trail along as long is the trips are punctuated by bouts of coffee.

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