Spring has finally sprung in the Enns Valley and not a moment too soon! Spring break began on April 4, when I traveled to beautiful Stift Göttweig for Literatur und Wein (Literature and Wine). For two evenings, my friends and I listened to contemporary authors read from their works, interspersed with musical interludes. Each author was sponsored by a different vineyard and there was wine tasting throughout the evening. On Saturday afternoon we toured the Wachau Valley, with vineyards lining the Danube River.
I spent a few days in Vienna with my friends Kurt and Annemarie. We played lots of games and spent hours on the terrace enjoying the spring weather. We also went out to dinner with friends Gaby, Artur and Kathi whom I hadn't seen in ages!
When I returned to the Enns Valley, Easter week was in full swing. On Saturday I ate two traditional Easter dinners. By traditional, I mean laden with cholesterol (mine is currently 258...)! It is traditional to go to church on Saturday morning and have meat blessed by the priest. This meat (various ham, smoked pork, and tongue) is then served with slightly sweet Easter bread and generous amounts of horseradish. There are also radishes and colored eggs... girls are supposed to give a red egg to the boy they like! That night, we had an Easter bonfire in Irene's Garden. On Easter Sunday, we repeated the process. The Easter Bunny had visited overnight and brought me a bicycle (I am one of the few people who actually forgot how to ride a bike... last year, I forgot to pedal and slowed down to the point that I just toppled over like Arte Johnson's old man character on Laugh-In!). But I've relearned the basics, and I have a helmet just in case. Now I'm a little more mobile!
A couple of weeks ago I spent a beautiful spring day in the south of Styria. I visited a colleague on his farm, then met up with friends in Leibnitz for the Austrian Blues Masters concert, headlined by "Sir" Oliver Mally. You know he's one of my favorites, and he didn't disappoint! I even got my picture taken with him before the show began (thanks!).
So what else has been keeping me busy? Last week, my students at Stainach and I presented an evening of theater, poetry, satire and lectures about women's status throughout the world. Entitled Pandora's Legacy, the program was was quite well attended and the students did a marvelous job! The people who attended said that they really enjoyed the topics and the high level of English that the students presented. I am so proud of everyone who pitched in to help make the evening a success!
This past weekend was May Day in Austria. For more, please see my Kleine Zeitung blog at www.meinekleine.at/gastspiel.