Thursday, April 9, 2009

Niki would be better off with a kitten

Views from the Terrace

We are driving to Ljubljana tomorrow. The first thing I am going to do when I get there is ask someone how to pronounce it.

According to the Austrian Times:

“The Easter weekend is one of the most dangerous times to drive in Austria, new research has shown.The Austrian Traffic Club said today its analysis of accident data over the past six Easter weekends had revealed there had been a serious accident every 18 minutes and a fatality every nine hours.The highest number of Easter traffic deaths, 17, occurred in 2004, and the lowest, six, occurred in 2006, the club said”.

By new research I assume that someone counted the number of fatalities and worked out that more people die at Easter than at any other time. This is the type of research Muffin could do.

It is interesting that there is in fact a more dangerous place in Austria than the ski slopes.

The problem with Austrians is that the don’t have any dangerous critters to contend with so become complacent. If they – like their counterparts in Australia – were engaged on a daily basis in hand to hand combat with deadly crocodiles, snakes, spiders, sea wasps, sharks and blue ringed octopi then they would value life more and ski and drive more carefully.

So we are approaching the trip with some trepidation – give our knowledge of the way some Austrians drive when they see empty space in front of them.

‘I see a speck in the distance – it might be a town – I wonder how fast I can get there – I wonder if this car really can do 240 like it says on the speedometer – yes I see it all now – I really am Niki Lauda - I wish my wife and children would stop screaming it is giving me a headache -why is there blue smoke coming from the back of the car -can I get there before the engine blows up?’

We hear that Slovenia is quite beautiful. The communists weren’t there so that is an excellent start.

It is astonishing how the communists could take perfectly good cities and turn them into trash heaps in what was really a relatively short time.

There must surely have been a special department for this – sort of the opposite of ‘City Beautification’. The slogan would be ‘Let’s make every city look like Irkutsk Circa 1898 – just after the earthquake and the great fire’.

I wonder if Lenin had any idea what would happen to architecture (and indeed almost everything else) under communism. Perhaps if he had some inkling he might have thought that it was not such a good idea after all.

Anyway – news day and I have to report that Niki Lauda (60) and his wife (30) have just produced a very small child. The report of their wedding last September said:

“Formula 1 racing legend Niki Lauda has married the woman who saved his life in a wedding that lasted just four minutes.”

Well – my question is – how can you nearly die in a wedding that lasts only four minutes – unless you go into it in a very wobbly condition indeed – and how did she save his life – the Heimlich Manoeuvre? More information is required.

Anyway I wish them all the best but I really think they would have been better off with a kitten.


  1. Niki Lauda would have not been better off with a kitten: he desperately needed a kidney, which his then girl-friend donated.

    Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia, a communist dictatorship, from 1945 until 1991.

  2. Love your views over Vienna and the setting sun and the rising moon!