Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Get the Rat Hat ready

We walked past a little shop near the Hofburg and admired their candlesticks. Cate has a thing about candles and candlesticks so we had to examine them all in detail.

We spotted a couple of unobtrusive bedside lamps that we thought would be ideal for the guest bedroom – not that we care whether guests can read in bed or not – but we want it to look nice.

As we know how things work in Vienna I summoned up all my strength and looked at the price tag on one of the lamps.


This – I thought - is a bit excessive for a light bulb on a stick – even in Wien – so confident that there had been an error (I am thinking €89) I asked the owner to confirm the price.

‘Ah yes’ she said ‘that is for the pair’

She could see that I remained unconvinced so reassured me with ‘it is very old wood’.

This is ridiculous for old wood. I could get a piece of the True Cross in Ljubljana for less than €100 (€120 for a piece autographed by John the Baptist – but I did get Jesus’ original Bunny Rug for €35).

You see the problem is that the wood may be old – and could well be from Noah’s Ark – but it just looks like – well – old wood. Old cheap wood. So we could put these horrendously expensive lamps in the guest room and the guests would think ‘is this really the best they could do for the guest bedroom – old cheap wood?’

The only way around this is to attach large signs to the lamps saying ‘these lamps look cheap but cost €890 for the pair and the wood is very old’ but this is going to look really stupid.

Or we could make a point of saying to every guest

‘this will make you laugh – these lamps cost us €890. Ridiculous isn’t it?’

And of course they will laugh out loud with us – and when they are lying in bed will think (or say if there is someone with them) ‘did those Pelicans really pay that much for these cheap old wooden lamps? Boy are they stupid!’

So It’s a no win situation really. What we really need is some old, cheap looking wooden lamps for €10 the pair. Cate saw a nice one with a wooden Duck on it – but we need two.

So we are still looking. But we did buy two wooden candlesticks to add the vast collection we have already.

It is finally starting to get cold and I have dragged out my extra warm jacket. I am preparing my Hungarian Woodsman’s hat for the ordeal ahead (this is the one made out of rats). I had some proper scarves but can’t find them so Cate is going to buy me one on the weekend (as long as we don’t pass any candlestick shops because then it will be all over).

Newsday and there is not really much happening in Vienna. There have not – as far as I can see – been any really gruesome deaths for two weeks and apparently it has been too cold for the pensioners to clean out their gutters or try to sharpen the teeth of the tree mulcher with the engine running.

About the best I can do is ‘Couple caught stealing old fruit’.

Which reminds me – the West African man monstered me in Salesianergasse this week and before he could speak I said:

‘I can read minds’

‘Excuse me?’

‘I said I can read minds. I think you are from West African and you are unemployed and have two starving children and are desperate for some money to feed them. I think…yes it’s coming to me….. they are a boy and a girl and you have pictures in your wallet’.

‘Have I spoken to you before?’

‘Yes – last week in Beatrixgasse’

‘Did you give me money?’


‘Very much?’

‘Yes – a massive amount’

‘Do you want to give me some more?’

‘Not really.’

‘OK – bye’

Oh – and I had this terrible nightmare – The Mad Monk snuck into the graveyard and exhumed the rotting corpses of three long dead politicians, added at least one lunatic - and put them on his front bench.

This is a wind up right?

As John McEnroe would shout “You cannot be serious!”

And then I wake up next to Spaghetti Cat who is singing in my ear – except it’s Muffin dribbling. Terrific.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Here are some lamps for you. although your guests may steal them they are that good.

  3. Very funny Blog today !!! LOL

  4. You're right about there being no news. We didn't get our SMH until 8.45 am today! So you can see that nothing has changed in Lilyfield.

    You will, however, be missed at the White Street Christmas Party on Saturday week

  5. Fabulous lamps folks. Fortunately I have in the basement an unassembled IKEA squirrell hutch together with some old magical accoutrements from my time on the stage. I will whip something up this weekend.

    Annie and Jim. Don't forget to have a glass of red for me.