Friday, 6 March 2015

The Darling Buds Of March Are A Sight For Winter Weary Eyes!

Goodbye dear Winter...

These beautiful harbingers of Spring are in my parent's garden and are aptly called Snow Bells. Don't they look like little bells of happiness?
Remember those posters in the 1990's, where you had to stare at it, in order to see something else? Well, look and tell me if anything pops out for you - if not, simply enjoy the farmlands.
These do remind me of Easter and the Easter Egg hunt to come. Chocolate surprises all over the garden...
Our part of Südburgenland is the proverbial paradise for walkers and wine lovers alike...most of these routes do pass by and end at our area's treasures:Buschenschanks
A pop star on his soon as the sun's up, tweets and chirps are heard.
Another perfect day in the Weinberg...vintners were out and about pruning their vines.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Modern Toilet Is Just A Longdrop To A Toxic River.

Our obsession with aromatic cleanliness might just be the downfall of us all.

I love German documentary programs. Nothing is too taboo and they ask questions no one else dares to...( An expose a la 60 minutes or Carte Blanche). As you might have guessed, I was witness to a toilet saga.

The program itself was about a woman who was obsessed with neatness and cleanliness ( oh, in case you wondered, not Me ) and went so far as to scold her husband if he walked into the house with his shoes still attached. Mind you, on those odd days that I do swing a wet cloth over our floors, I have been known to utter a shrill comment or two at Le Bob!

Why do men need to sit down in the lounge or bedroom, to take off or put on their ( at times mudddy ) shoes?

But, back to the story. They sent in a microbiologist to take samples of this woman's pristine house. We saw how obsessively and diligently she scrubbed every surface, aided by the usual detergents available in any supermarket. A few days later she got the results and even with her excessive scrubbing, with her arsenal of chemical cleaners, she had the same amount of bacteria in her house as the average Jane. A Jane who didn't spend all day cleaning....

Repeatedly, during the program we could see this woman cleaning her toilet with different cleaning sprays.

By the way, have you noticed how toxic these cleaning materials are? There is always the sanguine advice to phone a poison hot line, should you swallow a bit!
Anyway, for impact they showed how she flushed her loo ( together with the foaming cleansers ) and then cut to a scene below her house. Actually, they showed where the flushed contents drop into a common canal. No, it doesn't magically disappear into thin air, but there is a river of " loo " stuff flowing underneath all of our houses. Fair enough.

The councils do employ sanitation workers, whose job it is to wade around this river of excrement in order to unblock any buildup that might dam up the river.

They of course interviewed the workers and some of them have worked there for years. They didn't wear face masks because they were used to the stench. One even said, that once or twice he had slipped and had inadvertently swallowed some of this eh, sludge. Apart from tasting foul, he never had a health problem from it. In fact, he and his colleagues were hardly ever sick!

One thing did however scare him and his colleagues terribly:

All those toxic cleaning materials that we use to clean our toilets because he could see the damage they had done to the walls of the canal.
As much as I can, I only use "green" cleaning detergents ( some of those have the toxic symbol on the label ), even for the loo. Yet, maybe it is time that we all return to the days of our Grandparents time. They kept their homes clean without chemicals and didn't need an arsenal of medication to keep healthy.

Contrary to popular belief, germs and bacteria in moderation are good for us. In fact, we need them to keep healthy and maybe our constant cleaning with chemical assistance has lead to our being more sick...