Friday, 24 October 2014

Warmth In Winter Is Not Always A Given.

The first cold front before Winter is giving us a hint of what might come...

Bob and I usually wait until icicles form on our noses before we put our oven to use. No, not quite as bad as that, but also not like a lot of our friends here. Gosh, anything below 15 degrees will have them rush to start their heaters.

As you know, we came from South Africa, a place where it does get freezing in Winter but for only a few times during a 3 month segment, so hardly anyone has an oven. Getting an oven for a few occasions per year was silly. We improvised with loads of blankets, socks, jerseys and what one would call Passion Killers but these did the trick. In fact, it was rather romantic and dare I say cozy.

Well, fast forward to Burgenland, and there are a few things I have noticed:

  1. The ovens get fired up long before it hits freezing.
  2. People run around in t-shirts and shorts in their homes which they heat constantly...
  3. In fact during Winter I put on a lot of layers, because I know when I visit somewhere it will be hot as blazes and it is necessary to de-robe. In fact, sometimes I sweat because it is so hot. ( Stuffy too as nobody wants to let the heat out.. )

Here is a thought...put on socks and a jersey inside your home and you will cut your heating costs a bit. Anyway, each to his own. Yesterday it was bitterly cold and the wind was howling non stop. Yuckie indeed but again rather romantic. Tim Burton could have used our area as a perfect setting for one of his interesting stories.

As we have had a leak in the roof, we both decided to put on the oven to help dry out that spot a bit. Gosh, I must say that it felt rather nice to be warm and cozy. Don't worry, we do heat throughout the cold season but we do it more carefully to save a buck and help the environment.

Driving home yesterday afternoon, they mentioned on the news that the conflict in Syria was entering its 4th year and that a huge amount of people are basically homeless. Imagine, not having a home and only if you are lucky, sleeping in a tent. Being out in the cold without extra layers of clothing or bedding is just plain awful. This shouldn't be happening in our times.

Our village and so far most other villages that I have seen in Burgenland as well, have a big container where we can donate our old clothing or blankets. What is collected gets put to good use and might help keep a few more people warm in winter.

Just about everyone of us has stuff in our cupboards that we never wear, use or look at. Let's take that and donate it to someone. They will be ever so grateful and warm.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Nature Rears Her Not So Nice Side.

Floods in Burg again.

After the stint of fabulous weather we have had, one tends to forget that a spate of bad weather could be around the corner. With this modern technology we are usually a step ahead. Yes, the dreaded sms arrived from the insurance company.

Rain and heavy loads of it predicted. Well, somehow they needn't have bothered as we saw the sheets of rain belt down almost non stop. Followed by a thunderstorm of note that seemed to hover right on top of us and had me running to unplug the television and computer. Gosh, Bob and I were lying in bed counting the seconds between lightning and one does in bed!

Our trusty roof has a slight bit missing and that small gap gives us a rendering of water inside our home. Oh yes, our chimney has a leak. But, Bob has temporarily sorted it out with spit and polish or rather glue, slate and a prayer.

As our area has had more rainfall than usual ( or ever ), the ground is still saturated with water and only a few inches might have dried out with the week of sunshine. But for some areas the floods are here again.

Burg or rather one part of it at the bottom of the hill is flooded again. And not in small measures either. I tend to think that they have built a row of holiday houses ( at the lake's edge ) on a flood plane. Since we have been here, this stretch of land has been flooded a few times.

Driving passed the Badesee Burg ( Lake ), which sadly has morphed in size. Just awful.
You can see the holiday houses surrounded by water.
The tennis court and parking lot.
How terrible for the local farmers. A whole crop wasted. With global warming starting to take effect, the future is glaringly obvious. Nature's bounty might not be so prolific.
Bob asked me to take a photo of this stream. Gosh, I didn't realize there was one before. You could never see it because it was so low. Look now and it is a torrent.
I do hope that those that are flooded will be sorted out soon and not loose too much...