Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another day - another cockup!

It is the hottest I have ever known it in Vienna. Birds are falling from the sky and the tiles are sizzling on the rooftops. Little old ladies totter along the streets of Wien with their knickers hanging limply around their knees.

Everyone you see is hot and flustered.

The cats seem unconcerned by this and spend most of their days lying on the terrace – where – if you had a mind to do so - you could fry eggs. It is too hot to actually sit out there except in the cool of the very early morning.

But amazingly – our air conditioning is working better than it ever has. Whatever Frau Katzenjammer did when she spoke to the air con people apparently worked - because it now pumps out cool air at a tremendous rate. 

Perhaps the sight of Frau Katzenjammer – who when I saw her looked like one of Jamie Oliver’s pot roasts – and looked like she had been done for at least 90 minutes at 180° - was enough to convince them they had a serious problem and that an inquest for the death of a mother and child would tie them up for weeks.

Anyway it is quite delicious.

So today I went to the supermarket and lost a key. The first key I have lost in three years which - in itself is miraculous. I know I had it when I left because I put some rubbish into the M├╝llraum on the way – and I needed a key for that.

But when I got back I had no key. This is not so amazing because as each day goes by I become more stupid and the key could be anywhere from the cat food section to the frozen peas – and it was not a problem because people come in and out all the time and as it happens Frau Flapovic the building super was coming out just as I arrived so I could get up to the apartment.

Once there I have a spare key secreted in a well – secret - hiding place – except that it was – GASP – not there! WTF? How could it not be there?

Now this was my lucky day because Cate was working from home. I was even luckier because normally – even though she was home – she does not answer the door – but this time she figured it might be me. So then I was in the house – trying to work out WTF that key is.

Now the thing is – if Cate forgets her key she will use the spare key but will just tear it off the secret hiding hole tape and then throw it into the key bowl in the apartment – or indeed anywhere. I will always put it back immediately. There will always be a residue of tape – it is not possible to pull the key off and take all the tape off with it.

This time the tape had been removed completely. This was not a hurried – tear it off to get into the apartment job. It was a clean, professional job, carefully and painstakingly peeled away. 

I am guessing that the parcel stealers have stolen our key – but why have they not used it? The house is full of priceless paintings and antiques (joke) and Macs. Not to mention the finest specimens of felines this side of the Danube.

Maybe they are after my original blogs – recently printed! Maybe it is the man from the mountains of France! 

Anyway - we have been very bloody lucky. The Foo Fairy smiled on me today by making me lose my key because otherwise I would not have noticed that one of our keys had gone rogue.

And how long has it been out there? Shriek!

At any time footpads and/or cutthroats could have raided our house – murdered us in our beds and made off with all our mangy and moth eaten possessions. 

The Locksmith came and gave us an interim lock. He will come in 10 days to give us a permanent lock. 10 days? It must be a ball tearer! It will keep out bull elephants. 

I am an endless source of dismay to Rozalin who unfortunately has to get involved in all these housekeeping issues. Fortunately she is made of stern stuff and is not to bothered by my never ending stupidity.

Just as well because I cannot imagine it stopping any time soon. 

And if you have wondered why my proper nouns have stopped having their first letter capitalised it is because my fascist daughter/editor Molly has decided that we we will follow English not German conventions in this blog. After all - she is the editor. 


  1. perhaps they will come to steal the air conditioner? you know, it's probably only one of perhaps 4 total units in Vienna.

  2. Remember to be lying down when the Locksmith tells you the price of a new replacement lock, won't you?

  3. TNDW: Too big to steal! They are each the size of Cadillac Devilles

    Viennesewaltz: Oh yes - I am and old hand at this now!

  4. I am so glad your air conditioning units are working! With the currant temperatures hovering around 100°F you'd be a roasted Aussie by now.

    Just make sure that the locksmith understands you want a different new lock. Following a series of unfortunate events, we had to change our locks (somebody got ahold of our main key and to corresponding address). Well, after the 10 day waiting period (where we had to make sure somebody was in the house at all times, leaving a key in the lock from the inside), we were quite relieved when the new locks were finally installed. By sheer luck, serendipity really, I tried the old key before I throwing them away and, to my utter surprise and dismay, the old keys fit the new lock perfectly! Luckily, we had a copy of the written order for new locks, clearly stating that we needed to "change" the locks.

  5. One good thing in China, we always have key cards. One bad thing about China is they shut them off whenever they have a thought flitting through their brains.

    One good thing about the Crowne Plaza, they told hubs that if the wife was going to drink all the wine in the hotel he needed to put more money on the hotel bill so I would not get my card shut off.

  6. Great that the air-conditioning is working. And this unobservant person failed to not the change in capitalisation. And I sort of like it both ways.

  7. Merisi: I had a long conversation with our locksmith - but we were speaking different languages - but I think it will be Ok.

    ANGIV: the trees are dropping their leaves in the Prater - it won't be long now my dear and you will be cool again.

    fmcgmcclic: I will look on that kindly and assume there is not much wine in the hotel - not that you drink so much.

    Merricks: It is a great relief no to worry about upper case for proper nouns in Deutsche. (but I did that one)