Tuesday, February 26, 2013

iPhones are slippery little devils

Stadtpark on Friday

Rozalin has worked her magic and the microwave men turned up yesterday morning to examine the problem. There are always two to do these sorts of things – and sometimes if it is a particularly difficult problem they send three.

They were – somewhat to my embarrassment – able to find a model number without dismembering the kitchen - so took a photo and have gone off to do whatever they do next. I am not expecting quick results but my glass pot stand works just fine so I am not in a hurry.

My next problem is Billy’ electrical fault but Rozalin is hot on the trail of that one and I will be able to go to Mercedes next week and get it fixed.

The snow has finally left us and I think that should be the last of it. I must admit that this winter has seemed particularly long and dark and I will not be unhappy to see Spring arrive.

With a bit of luck we may get some in Rome on the weekend.

Cate is back in Johannesburg after her weekend trip – but we are communicating only by email because her BlackBerry is not working and she lost her iPhone.

I would tell you how many iPhones she has lost – but it would embarrass her. She just cannot keep hold of the slippery little devils.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Possum

It’s Cate’s birthday today but she had decided to celebrate it with one of her (female) work colleagues in Cape Town.

So she sent me this picture to let me know that she is alive and well.

But we will celebrate next weekend in Rome.

Happy Birthday Possum. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Big snow

We have had our heaviest snow so far this winter - and indeed since we arrived in Vienna. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

It worked

I am delighted to advise that my work around for the microwave was a triumph. I used a round glass pot stand and stuck this onto the widget with double-sided tape. It worked brilliantly so I do not have to concern myself with lack of porridge.   

Rozalin has given the problem to the Landlord who is pondering the way forward.

And to those who suggested that I just buy a new microwave – I would be happy to but I cannot get the old one out to replace it as it is built-in and I can see no way of extracting it – other than with an axe – which would create its own set of problems.

Yesterday I also managed to scrape Billy’s rear view mirror on the side of the garage again. This was the mirror that was replaced a few months ago.

Do not tell Rozalin because she will be so disappointed with me – but it’s not as though I do it on purpose – it’s just that the parking space is so damn small.

I am currently preoccupied with booking an apartment – and flights – for a trip to Rome next week. This should be easy but is not due to the vagaries of the accommodation and flight booking websites.

These are invariably so badly designed that it makes it a frustrating – if not impossible task – to use them.

Anyway – after a long hard struggle I have rented an apartment near the Spanish steps from Boris.

Molly and her boyfriend Gaston are coming from Paris so it will be a real family get together.

Oh – and it’s snowing again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today's thing

No golf today

This morning I broke the glass turntable in the Microwave – or rather it broke itself. I was collecting my porridge from the Microwave and the turntable hurled itself onto the kitchen floor and smashed to smithereens.

It scared the bejesus out of the cats – who at the time were quietly eating their breakfast – and didn’t do much for me either. By the time I had cleared up all the broken glass my porridge had congealed and had to be resuscitated.

I was quite distressed because I simply cannot start a winter’s day without porridge and I could see this daily essential disappearing before my very eyes.

I mean – how can you use a microwave without a turntable. They have this little widget in the middle that turns around – and on which the glass turntable fits and sits quite neatly.

My immediate thoughts were that I must order a new turntable but I knew that – things being the way they are – even with a following wind -  this would not arrive until next Christmas even if I could find a turntable  – and I just knew before looking that the model I have is obsolete – has not been made since 1979 – and that all the spare parts were lost in a warehouse fire in Potsdam in 1986.

So I needed a work-around – and have found a couple. ESB would find 50 but I have a limited capacity for these things.

I can actually balance a plate on the widget and this seems to be reasonably stable although I admit that I can see the dangers. But I have some kitchen implements and paint scrapers that I could use to get the porridge off the inside of the microwave.

 Or I can place a glass jar top over the widget and stand a plate on that. This would mean that the widget would turn underneath the glass top – out of harm’s way. This would also mean that the porridge would not turn when it was cooking so may end up a bit lumpy but it would – after a fashion – still be porridge. 

Having assuaged my immediate fears of being porridge-less I could turn my attention to ordering a new turntable and of course hit the blindingly obvious snag. This is known in the trade as Snag #1. You need the model number.

The microwave is fixed in position somehow and I cannot work out how to get it out to find the model number – knowing anyway that this will be a pointless exercise (see above).

So I had to do what I always do when I am stuck – contact Rozalin. She will arrange for a Siemens man to come and inspect the microwave – order a new part – and charge an extraordinary amount of money for the task.

This will include a call-out fee, a travel fee, a hourly fee and a fee for the bare-faced impertinence of bothering Siemens for something as trivial as a microwave turntable.  

Incidentally I settled down to watch the World Golf Championship in Arizona last night and after an hour it started to snow and play was cancelled. SNOW! Can’t believe it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


You would not think that someone with effectively nothing to do could be so busy - but I am easily distracted so find pleasure in even the smallest things. I can watch the snow for hours – for example. Which is just as well because that’s about all we get around here – not that I am complaining – but…..

Or – when I get really desperate – I can rub two cats to get warm. And yes I could get the air conditioning fixed – ESB could come and do this – but then it would be stuffed for Summer when we really need it – and I just know the cold weather cannot last too much longer.

There is in fact not a lot to do when Cate is way because when I am not looking after her – there are only the cats and they don’t really need much attention – although I do talk to them quite a bit.

There is breakfast – lunch for Sissi (yes she has lunch) and dinner for Monika (Sissi does not eat dinner and Monika does not eat lunch).

I don’t remember how the lunch routine started with Sissi but I was probably making something with mince and she always wants whatever I am preparing (She will eat almost anything and her very favorite is Parmesan cheese).

And ever since then she has demanded a little bit of fresh mince every day – which is OK because I am sure it keeps her healthy - and she is certainly glossy and sleek and seems to be fairly well adjusted.

But with one thing and another – mainly another – I have been really too busy to blog - and to read blogs. So today I am catching up.

And the sun is finally shining – even though it has been snowing this morning - so soon the Austrians will emerge shouting excitedly in the streets and start preparing for Spring.