Jaqui's Daily Blog

Photographs, Emails and Cousins Called Colin

Mr B is transferring all our holiday photographs onto the computer. This may take some time....

 

Mr B is not a man who does things by halves. Every photograph must be enhanced, cropped, examined for imperfections, checked for camera wobble (that’s only on the photographs I have taken, obviously) and carefully filed under “AUSTRIAN HOLIDAY 2013”.  Meanwhile I am ironing all the clothes which I had previously unpacked, washed and dried.  I somehow think Mr B has the better end of the deal...

 

It’s a sad fact that, where magnificent scenery is concerned, photographs never really do it justice.  Here is the amazing Grossglockner pass, starring the highest mountain in the Austrian Alps, a stunning glacier – and some cheeky marmots. Marmots are a cross between a chipmunk and a meerkat.  There you are, gazing out at the mountain tops, transfixed by their beauty, when you become aware of an insistent squeaky sound somewhere nearby.  It’s the marmots, basking in the sunshine and desperate to attract our attention. They just love tourists, those marmots. In fact, when it came to buying a postcard to send to my Little Welsh Boys, the marmots won the day. Magnificent though those mountains were, I just knew the boys would prefer the marmots.

 

We don’t seem to have many photographs of the two of us together, either. Usually we follow a cunning plan which consists of asking other couples if they would like one of us (usually Mr B as he doesn’t suffer from camera wobble) to take a photograph of them together. Almost always this results in them offering to repay the favour.  I don’t know what went wrong this time but the only photograph of the two of us together appears to be one on the little land train in Mondsee. No towering Alps in the background to give a sense of place. No pretty Austrian village. Not even a stuffed animal peering over our shoulders.

 

Nevertheless we have, between us, taken some lovely photographs of other people which means we can email them and thank them for their company. Hopefully they will remember us...

 

The vegetables have grown well in our absence though all of the runner bean plants have wound themselves around the same stake and become hopelessly tangled up. Mr B says this is All My Fault for creating a kind of wig-wam shaped structure for them to climb up instead of opting for simple, straight, (boring)beanpoles.  Also, someone or something has been chomping away at the cos lettuce.  The birds have completely emptied every feeder in the garden and someone or something (possibly the same someone or something that attacked the lettuce) has even made off with the empty coconut shell.  But the tomato plants are thriving and, by and large, everything in the garden is perfectly lovely.

 

Hey but here’s another thing about returning from holiday – there are all those TV programmes, recorded in our absence and which now have to be watched, in order, before the next instalment hits the screen. How will we ever find the time, with Wimbledon to watch? We make a start with The Apprentice (alas, poor Jason!) and I weep my way (it’s that Usher gene again) through a recorded episode of Long Lost Family.

 

In the past returning from holiday has meant the dread expectation of literally thousands of emails to deal with.  Retirement has many benefits, one of them being that after this holiday I returned to just 57 emails. What is more, they were a fascinating bunch of messages.  One informs me that our new slats on Littlehampton’s Longest Bench have been installed, recording the names of our two youngest grandchildren for posterity. Brilliant!

 

Another is from someone who saw the photograph of my great-grandmother Fanny Coney on this website (see My Family Tree) and unbelievably recognised her as being her great grandmother too. This means I have “discovered” another second cousin and, for once, this one isn’t called Colin. There is nothing wrong with being called Colin, you understand, but isn’t it quite a coincidence that the other three second cousins I have tracked down, each from a different branch of my family tree, are all called Colin?

 

So, all in all, it’s good to be home. Especially as there is such a lot to look forward to – catching up with my brother and sister tomorrow and my first Baby-Sitting Session with Young Faris on Friday night. 

 

Austria is quite, quite beautiful – but there is no place like home

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Latest comments

15.10 | 11:13

I don't remember seeing this first time round.... but thank you for sharing with me. You write beautifully, and brought a tear to my eyes. Lots of love xx

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10.10 | 21:37

Jaqui I think your grandchildren are very lucky. You have spurred me on to write a letter to Amelia who like Hazel is away from home for the first time. 💕

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03.07 | 22:43

Wouldn't have missed it for the world. xx

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12.06 | 02:31

I love that you talk to your plants ... I used to on my allotment ... seemed perfectly rational !

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