Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Welcome to the steaming ruin

Poor Fernando. I went to Tennis and he fell asleep under the new Minibake Wonder Sun Oven. But still – it’s not all bad – Mel Gibson has offered him a part in his new movie 'Geronimo'.

Sissi was sick today. I am not sure why but she eats almost everything she sees so could have devoured something that disagreed with her.

Anyway – the distressing part is that she had four vomits – the main one, the first supplementary and then two minor ones – and one of the latter missed the rug entirely and went onto the polished wooden floor.

I have told her that the ‘cat rules’ are that all vomit must be placed on something furry. i.e. the same place where she drags her dinner to eat it. She listened carefully and I am sure we will not have any more problems.

I have asked her Auntie Muffin to keep and eye on her. It is 10 years since Muffin missed a rug or Doona with one of her vomits.

Today Cate has gone to Geneva for a day – she will be back tomorrow night. On Friday she goes to Moscow – also for a day. I don't know what she does on these trips but I am sure it is essential - and what do I care as long as the cats and I are kept in luxury.

I suspect she carries out executions because sometimes she is muttering something about ‘dickheads’ when she leaves the apartment and is always happier when she gets back.

She has of course left me with a list of things to do – which include cleaning her boots. Not that I need instruction – I am very organized and plan my days carefully to ensure that I cram as much in as possible – including an afternoon nap.

So late on Tuesday evening I rode up to the Wein & Co store near Stephansdom to stock up. I just got my annual bonus Gutschein together with a 20% off everything voucher. Fantastic stuff. I bought whole bunch of Austrian Whites and also some very nice Austrian reds that we have discovered.

We used to think that the Austrians did not do red wine very well – but we had never tried the right stuff.

I just love cycling in Wien and never cease to be amazed by the beauty of the city. It started to snow when I was riding home so I broke the law and rode through Stadtpark (Verboten!) to check on the ducks.

The ice breaking man was there together with one of the duck feeders. The man breaks the edges of the ice with a stick so that the whole pond does not become frozen solid. Not that the ducks seem to mind sitting on the ice. They would probably make good Lugers.

See Kristin's Blog on this subject

And incidentally – there must be an ideal body type for Lugers – and it clearly includes having a large bum. I guess you have to have your centre of gravity just right so that if you do sail over the side of the Luge run at 145 kilometers an hour you land in the snow bum first – rather than head first - some hundreds of meters away.

But – I can understand people having enough of winter and snow. I was having a Zahnpflege (teeth clean) and the young lady was telling me that she is well and truly over Austrian winters. When you ask them – most Austrians want to live in Australia – or at least somewhere warm.

Of course she would probably feel better about life if she didn't clean other people's teeth all day.

I can understand why snow would make William and other people depressed if it goes on too long. But this is only our second winter and every day with snow is magic for us – and indeed for Sissi who has more fun than you could imagine.

I checked the Olympics last night and saw something I really like. It’s called Snowboard Cross and the best part is that four Snowboarders barrel out of the gates at the same time and hurtle down the track - all competing for the same space. This is more like it – none of this beating the other person’s time rubbish.

They rules say they are not allowed to make contact with each other but these seem to be loosely applied. It seems to be a bit like Roller Derby on snow – and is great fun because lots of people fall over at high speed and somersault off into the wilderness - and don’t seem to mind at all.

I think if you are a Snowboarder it’s about Snowboarding – not winning. Whoever wins there is lots of laughter and hugging at the end of each race.

Of course they Snowboard in Austria and practice on the slopes here by cannoning into pensioners at high speed – killing them outright or send them sailing off the sides of mountains.

They appear to do more damage that all other types of skiers combined - but what the hell – they are young and carefree and pensioners are old and shouldn’t be tottering about out there anyway. They should be home in front of the fire with their cats.

The world belongs to young people. Which is bad news for most of us. Still – on the bright side – we have nearly fucked the planet completely so they are pretty much welcome to the smoking and steaming ruin that we have left for them.


  1. Yes, I had wondered too how a bloke is supposed to reply to his Luger-sheila who asks: "Does my bum look big in this?".

  2. Hmmmm, I see I may have misjudged snowboarding. It appears to share similar origins with the luge (picking off the slow and extraneous among us).

    It may be a good thing (for you) William is giving up on blog commenting. Wonder how he feels about Fernando?

  3. Austria produces a lot of excellent wine, unfairly still the butt of tiresome Ausländer winesnob jokes thanks to the stupid Burgenländer and their stupid antifreeze scam. Thick-headed Burgenländer have a reputation for acts of extreme idiocy, and excelled themselves on this occasion - the chemical they were polluting the wine with was near impossible to detect were it not for some IQ-deficient winemaker who tried to offset the industrial quantities he'd been buying against his tax liability! It's still possible to go zum Beisl and hear the words 'Glykol' and 'Steuer' following by ten minutes of uproarious laughter, such is the mileage on this tale.

    One good thing about the scandal was that Austrian winemakers (of the non-stupid variety) thought the only way to bounce back would be to produce wines of stupendous quality, which they do now, and it's great that you've discovered that the reds can be as good as the whites. My only problem is that truly excellent Austrian wine is often twice the price of truly excellent French or Italian wine. But on occasions when I'm able to restrain my inner tightarse (showing off my Australian slang now!) I do buy the odd bottle.

  4. 'following by ten minutes of uproarious laughter': sorry to pollute your blog with Denglish; for some unknown reason I've been uncontrollably spouting it all day. I don't really find it charming like other expats do, and normally manage to restrain myself. In conversation with a Austrian earlier today: I forget to withbring something and then asked 'confirm us next week the similar time?'. He looked at me like a Burgenländer let loose from the asylum and asked if I was playing a 'not so fänny choke', which upset me considerably because German-speakers get enough stick from unfunny Brits putting on crappy Allo Allo Hitler accents. 'Two world wars and a world cup' isn't an attitude I wish to be associated with.

  5. Kristin: It's true that I described myself as "an asymmetrical and antisocial old bugger" (or something like that). But I still reserve the right to comment upon Badger's interesting outpourings. I'm not trying to pull anybody's legs when I declare that Fernando's face reminds me of my famous celebrity friend Inuk the Eskimo. I'm pondering the idea (I ponder a lot) of writing a movie script about Inuk, his earwax and his "shovel-graded" front teeth (which is an expression that apparently offended many people throughout the world, far beyond the repercussions of my own humble blog). Fernando, with a wig, might be the ideal actor. But you must understand that I'm not particularly "pipole" (as they say in France, when they try to pronounce the word people. Once again, at the risk of giving Bedger's readers the impression that I'm pulling their legs, I have to admit that I don't have the faintest idea of the identity of this guy named Fernando. Badger is surely far more "pipole" than me. The only reason I ever intervened concerning Herr Karl is that we see him all the time on French TV. Concerning Karl, this great old video says it all...

  6. Maalie: While refusing to believe for an instant that Austrian winemakers might have ever stooped to putting chemical shit into their production (what shameful nonsense), and while continuing to detest all kinds of global sporting spectacles, I prefer to make it clear—for the blog records and for Kristin—that I'm resolutely pro-snowboarder and anti-luge. Observing male sexuality, a great scientist once declared (if I recall the exact terms of his newly-discovered law) that "The angle of the dangle is proportional to the heat of the meat". Observing champion female lugers, I would conclude that "The balance of the bum is proportional to the velocity of the vagina". But I must check my data.

  7. Is it politically correct to say that I love Burgenländers, their country and their wines?

  8. I think it's far more politically incorrect for me to say that I have never met a Burgenländer endowed with brain, but I'm sure there must be a couple out there...

  9. I am prompted to add that every Burgenländer that I have had the pleasure of meeting has treated me with the highest degree of kindness and friendship and stimulating conversation.

  10. Perhaps best then if you didn't hear my views on Kärntnern...