Thursday, 11 February 2016

A Midnight Performance Of David & Goliath.

Our lounge gets de-bugged.

I was settling in, reading my book and waiting for Morpheus to descend on me when I heard a strange noise. Her ladyship's basket ( the luxuriously parental outfitted one ) was rocking from side to side and a shape was wriggling either inside it or under the blanket.

Watching her change between jumping into the basket and biting the edge and being outside it while using her paw to give it nudges, made me wonder whether she had picked up a neurosis or two? Nurture versus nature indeed. This whole in & out of the basket affair while biting at its side carried on for at least fifteen minutes.

My novel was engrossing but when I happened to look her way, I was a tad bit grossed out. Our lovely little darling, she who as we speak is slumbering on my lap or who at times snuggles next to me all night, was toying with a tiny little bug. Oh yes, a bug the size of a fly. The proverbial David next to her Goliath stature.

On the one hand I was jolly glad to see that she was sans neurosis but on the other hand I saw a cat toying with a living thing. Even in her slumber state she must have heard this bug meandering about in the inside of her wicker basket. Her ears are bat like and this little tiny bug was what she had been trying to get at. Successfully I might add.

For about five minutes, she flicked the poor bug with her paw so that it flew alarming high only to have it drop back at her side. A bit of a pretending to eat it but the fun for her was too great because she spat it out and threw this indestructible bug all over our lounge floor. At one stage she got alarming close to my perch and it made me get ready to duck a bug.

I felt a bit bad for it and decided to rescue it but by then she had made a late night snack out of it. Well, I must admit, that I was a bit disconcerted by her sheer joy of toying with a live bug but then I remembered that she was just being herself and I should count my lucky stars that I didn't see a performance of a mouse being flung about. Of course, I know that at some stage we will awaken to a dead mouse being gifted to us by our cat...


..." Where are you, you little bug? "...

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A Buschenschank Is One Of Burgenland's & Austria's Treasures.

In a world where authenticity is scarce, a Buschenschank is an authentic marvel

A Buschenschank is a fabulous thing. It is a brush with a way of life that seems to have been shunted to the back benches of society. Yet, a Buschenschank is a symbol of that Nirvana we all search for. Simplicity, companionship, honesty and a place to recharge the soul and if not at least your well being.

By the virtue of their decree, a Buschenschank can only be opened for a few weeks per year and in order to run one, you need to have your own vineyard too. That alone guarantees you a zero carbon footprint wine.

Did I mention that some of them have an internationally award winning array of wines?
The food served in them runs along similar lines yet each one has its own distinctive way of serving and arranging. Most of it is and should be made on the premises and only family members do help out. Serving and preparing the food etc. Often it is held in the adjacent wine cellar with solid wooden tables and benches. A fabulous experience in itself. Anyone can drink a glass of wine but not everyone can drink it where it was made.

A Buschenschank isn't run to make a huge profit but to showcase the local wines and to keep up a tradition that dates back to the good old days.

During the winter months, we villagers have a glass of wine and some local fare at the various establishments open, but in the summer months, most Buschenschanks are filled with eager tourists, and I include the Viennese and the odd Londoner in them!

As soon as you see the prices charged you can somehow relate to the happy smiles settling on many a tourist's face. When a glass of quality wine, wine that you know has only traveled a few yards and not across the oceans, only costs on average 1.40 Euros, you'd also be in ecstasy. Of course there are more expensive wines on the menu such as those that have won Best red in Austria.

The draw to tourist from near and far is to my mind underestimated by the political powers that be and it almost seems that they want to put their signature on it via making an establishment jump through bureaucratic hoops

instead of congratulating them on making our province full of wonderful tourists destinations & marvels.

Nowadays, most travelers have seen the world five times over. A world where in each city, the restaurants are superb, but all similar. No more individuality and in most restaurants you would be hard pressed to name the country you are in.

Instead of always extolling the virtue of the Heidi-like mountains in Austria why not promote one of the real treasures of Austria and Burgenland? A day, weekend or holiday spent in the marvel that is Burgenland, will refresh even the most jaded traveler.

Why not book a stay at another Burgenland, A Kellerstöckl, while sampling the various Buschenschanks?