Of Friends and Places…

I’m late, but a lot’s been going on, and I confess I’ve been hanging out on Twitter and Instagram, as you can see from the bottom of this page. Another confession I have to make is that I am a bad tourist. It’s the people I want to see first. They heighten my appreciation of the places.

Jet d'Eau Geneva
Jet d’Eau Geneva

Early August a childhood friend visited, and we took the night train to Geneva, spent a couple of days there before going our separate ways, she hiking around Chamonix, and me catching up with friends in Lausanne and Lucerne before taking the night train back to Vienna.

Mid September saw Dr Gugu and myself in Aberdour near Edinburgh. We toured a bit and the good doctor played golf with a Geneva mate while I hung out with a writer friend in town.

At the end of September friends from Australia came to visit us in Vienna. We took them up to the Schneeberg where we lunched in the sun. 

And then still in September, the Austrian elections. Today coalition negotiations have started between Turkis (Turquoise) and the Greens. Political chameleons are trying out different shades of their own truths. How green can turquoise go? Will there be a point tipping towards blue again? Is pink the new black? And red? Where is red?

Turkis (Turquoise) – ex Black conservative people´s party focussing on migration so as to secure right-wing votes; claiming to be Centre Right; still hankering after deeper shades of blue;

Blue – right-wing Freedom party, tending towards a badly digested past;

Pink – Neos, now taking on the former industry agenda;

Red – Social Democrats in need of rejuvenation and impact for social issues;

Green – surprise pretenders, strong on ecology, migration –resembling a Centre-Left approach.

Yes, yes. No more politics. But even breathing is political. And it´s the politicians raking it in and letting the people down. Nero fiddles while Australia burns.

Am enjoying my pro bono English coaching on Tuesdays with my two young Afghani Sikhs and on Thursdays with two young Austrians. Each time only for an hour, but when their eyes light up and they understand, all my aches and pains disappear for a while.

Chapbook from the Museum of Walking

And my writing? Two stories will be out in separate anthologies next year. A tiny piece appears in a chapbook commemorating the Moon Landing in 1969, which will be launched in the UK on 20 November.

Thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and I´m almost done with a novella in flash that has been nagging me. Another one is in the wings vying for my attention. And there is other news, but that is not ripe yet.

So now I must attend to some decluttering to take my mind off the fires raging near where I grew up. I think of friends in the various places listed as danger spots. I rage inside at the climate change deniers holding the purse strings. People and places, breaking my heart. Yet, I must onwards!