I hadn’t realised how small a population Austria has – far smaller than England (though about twice the size of Wales). They are both evidently proud to be Austrian and of their heritage. I was given a present of hazelnut wafer biscuits made in Vienna called ‘Manner – original Neapolitaner’ – which I might send back to Steve as I know he likes these.
After breakfast I looked at some of Martha’s art books – particularly on Paul Flora – who illustrated the “Good Soldier SveJc” and added favourites and patterns to my queue on Ravelry (particularly the “not a drop” shawl http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/not-a-drop). I was sad to move on, but, after painting the hosta and climbing plant on the balcony, while Martha did some Uni work, I packed up Rowenna (losing my keys and shampoo – which I didn’t realise until later – they [whoever ‘they’ are] say that you leave something behind because you don’t want to leave) to go off and sit in the park before meeting up with Martha (again) and Anna (another knitter who has offered to host me) at the knitting group in a LYS (Local Yarn Store) called Wollmeile. I had a lazy afternoon blogging (bit like this morning really) before setting out to cycle to the Wool Shop. Cycling in Vienna is a pleasure – there is often a purpose built cycle lane with a curb separating it from the main traffic.
The knitting group was smaller but as lively as our knitting group in Spin A Yarn – I showed them a photograph of the SAY group –and took theirs for posterity. They were interested in my knitting (English throwing style contrasting with their unanimous ‘continental’ style, of course) and in my trip. Several of the women reminded me, in appearance and demeanor, of the two Austrian women who used to come to the Hobbycraft knitting group in Kingsteignton – Eva and Agatha (not convinced Aggie is correct). These two women were best friends and had grown up in the same Austrian village, going to the same school. They had both met English soldiers and had married them, coming to live in Decoy, Newton Abbot – next door to each other. One of them had children and grandchildren, the other didn’t, and one of them had been widowed a few years before, but they remained close friends and did so much together – it was an amazing story I think. They both returned to Austria to visit family at least once a year (not necessarily together!).
I couldn’t understand much of what was said - though Martha and Anna did their best to translate the gist. Anna left early to buy a tap(!) but we arranged to meet in a café close to her apartment. Turns out the café was closed – but I went to the Beaver Brewing Company –just up the road – to email and had the best (read most British) beer I’ve had yet - mmm – and was soon joined by Anna, who had a glass of stout. We retired to her apartment in an old building (in complete contrast to Martha and Stefan’s!) with parquet flooring and high ceilings. Anna has two young boys – aged 7 and 9yrs – who were with their father for a couple of days, so we stayed up late exchanging stories. Anna has a Greek father and has inherited his Greek good looks – she’s very beautiful – but has separated from her ex only last Easter (as he found a blonde bimbo, by all accounts). I listened to her struggle to get a good job – she has one now, as the projects Manager of a translating team. I also heard her fabulous birth stories – she achieved a normal birth after a LSCS first time round – despite having gest. Diabetes. She’s a very determined woman. In the mean time, two young, black male cats danced around us – one called Chocolate ice-cream and the other Nightshade – that’s translated from the German and they look identical so the names are interchangeable I guess.
I slept in the top bunk (the younger boy’s bed – thanks Timon!) which was double sized and the highest bunk bed I’ve climbed up to. The two cats demonstrated climbing a ladder (a sight to behold) and came up and investigated me several times in the night.