Thursday, January 8, 2009

What is the point of a single bottle holder?

Frozen Duck Pond

I have been searching for a wine rack. We drink so much white wine now that we have to lay in serious stocks and have run out of capacity to store them. We are using some of the full cartons as tables and chairs but need more storage space.

The Austrians (or – for that matter – the Germans) do not seem to have storage racks of the type to which we are accustomed. You know – big wooden mothers that hold 90 bottles. They do however have an infinite variety of single bottle holders made into any form you could possible want – including cats and rats.

We have as much need for a single bottle holder as our neighbours Annie and Jim in Sydney. In fact I think Jim is trying to invent a corkscrew that opens two bottles at a time.
The best IKEA could do was a 6 bottle holder. 6 bottles? Give me a break!

After searching diligently through every local store website and scouring I gave up and ordered one from Amazon UK. The delivery costs are almost as much as the cost of the rack but hell – it’s still less than the cost of a bottle of Loibner Gruner Veltliner at Indochine 21. We owe Gwenyth big time for that one and will plan a suitable knees up when we come to Sydney. I am guessing the degustation menu at Bistro Ortolan with some Grange.

My experience so far is that the best place to buy books is They have a big English book section, delivery is very quick and the delivery costs are very low. It is a big change from Australia where the books were cheap from but the delivery costs were very high and it took weeks to get a book.

I have ordered a book called ‘The Care and Maintenance of Ducks in Cold Climates’ so that I can be sure the guys over the road are OK. I bet it says that I shouldn’t be giving them Rogan Josh. I hope it doesn’t talk about Beak Muffs because I can’t find these on Amazon either.

I have checked on the chaps today and they are all very well – at least the ones I spoke to were – the ones up the back were busy sticking their heads under their wings looking for something. (a flippant and gratuitously offensive remark about the current President of the United States would normally be inserted in a spot like this - but I am in remission).

Rozalin has found the place where I have to store the summer tires so I have to load them up and deliver them in Billy to Cate’s office where a kind man will take them away until the weather warms up. They are extraordinarily heavy and difficult to move.

We still haven’t had to drive on icy roads so have no idea what the experience is like. Let me guess. Terrifying? I thought so. Rozalin is arranging some snow and ice driver training. I imagine that this will include how to hit high C in unison as you slide off into a crevasse.

As we suspected, the changes to the smoking regulations have had almost no impact at all. I have seen only three places that have even bothered with signs. But Oberlaa has gone non smoking so we will go there for our coffee and cake until they change back in a month or so.

By some sort of miracle I dismantled the Christmas tree on the day I was supposed to so I hope that this will count in my favour at the trial later in the year when I am prosecuted for all the atrocities I have perpetrated upon the Austrian state and its people. It’s not much - but I have done so many bad things here that every little thing helps.

Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Austria and I am expecting to be nailed with that one as well.


  1. Ok First of all Ice driving including not using your breaks AT ALL! Also power steering into the slide works well also. I grew up in Northern Idaho and learned to drive in the SNOW.
    I am soo glad your keeping up with the ducks.. please keep up the good work. Yes is great isn't it?

  2. Why do you think we have such a large shed in our backyard? Some of the space is reserved for our homemade wines - apricot, lemon and wallop!

    Of course you need a double corkscrew - one for red and one for white! Mind you, these days corks are rare in the wine we drink.

    In terms of the absence of decent-sized bottle racks:
    Do the Austrians not drink much?
    Not drink much at home?
    Go to the bottle-o daily?
    Have no wine worth putting away to age?
    Pay for storage?

    BTW, Jim reckons he's more difficult to deal with than the Austrian Government - but I'm not so sure.

    Long live the ducks!

  3. Driving on snow is THE BEST!!!

    Go to a big open space (like a parking lot on Sunday), when fresh snow has fallen and try to make your first "Donuts"... :-)... This does involve the use of the hand brake though :-)... trust me, it's truly awesome...

  4. I think Austrians may be too unhappy to drink - but gollee they make some fine wine.

    They probably all have cellars where they keep the wine (and the girls in chains).

    We have a cellar but it is too far away. A bloke could die of thirst!

    Jim is much easier than the Austrian government. A bottle of good red and you can have anything you want - without paperwork.