Friday, October 31, 2008

Done by noon!

TGIF! Although I don't usually work on Fridays, I went to Liezen today and discussed American religion and Halloween in two consecutive lessons with class 4a. The past few weeks have been occupied with discussions of the election, Halloween, native Americans and a play by the Vienna English Theater entitled "Virgins." (the theme of the play actually figures into the Republican campaign!) If nothing else, this election is the most entertaining in my lifetime. Next Wednesday we're having an Election Returns party at my school in Stainach.

A week ago today I attended one of the best concerts since I've been in the Enns Valley. It was billed as "Ireland in Steiermark" and featured Irish musician/singer/composer Bob Bales with the Hackbrett virtuoso of Austria, Sigi Lemmerer. You can get an idea of what it was like here on YouTube and here and here. They were phenomenal, and the venue was a room at Schloss Trautenfels Museum, decorated with mythological frescos from the 17th century. Irene and I got to talk to Sigi during the break and after the concert. You meet such fascinating people in Austria!

After a rather chilly start to my stay in September, the past couple of weeks have been very nice with temperatures in the 60-70 degree range and more sun than rain. Winter is coming though -- most of the leaves have fallen in Wörschach, apples have been harvested and the sickly sweet smell of those that have fallen to the ground combines with Landluft (the unmistakable smell of the country) and wood smoke. Orion can be seen peeking over the eastern horizon most nights.

Today is indeed Halloween, and I am heading to a party this evening. But it's not a Halloween party -- a British chef (no jokes!) is cooking a meal for his friends, and I've been invited by the friend of a friend of a friend. It should be fun, and maybe I'll meet more fascinating people! But at midnight, I turn back into a pumpkin and begin writing for National Novel Writing Month.

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