Monthly Archives: June 2011


There are definitely a larger number of dragonfly’s visiting the pond this year. Really like these pictures, I snapped this week, of one of the wee beasties:

Leave a comment

Filed under Environment, Garden Pond, Vienna Life

Romanesque setting for Doomsdays

Sunday evening combined two of my favourite experiences – on this occasion I’m not referring to either Football or Austrian Wine. No, in this instance it was the chance to see a live performance and to have an excuse to wander around another interesting old building.

We were in the Ruprechtskirche one of the oldest (if not the oldest) church in central Vienna. The reason for our visit was a performance of Doomsdays by Konrad Rennert and Boris Hauf. Sitting in the pews of this small church provided a wonderfully intimate setting for the mix of readings and music that kept the audience absorbed throughout. Like the rest of the audience, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and was for much of the time lost in the sounds and feel of the intertwined speech and music. This was despite the fact that Doomsdays was performed in German and I managed to glean only every third or fourth word. However, the rest of the audience did not face my linguistic shortcomings (most people seem to be happy to communicate in German or English, no matter what their mother tongue, and as ever put me to shame for my mono-linguistic limitations) and it was clear from the post performance conversations that those able to gather the deeper meanings of the piece were
full of praise.

The Ruprechtskirche is of Romanesque design and as such an unusual building in Vienna. R commented on the simplicity of the interior and how the church reminded her of churches in England. As the conversations about the performance moved from English to German I switched my attention to enjoying the architecture of this lovely building.

Leave a comment

Filed under City Centre, Live performances, Music, Religon, Vienna Life

Village life in the Waldviertel

Images of life in three villages in Lower Austria’s Waldviertel:

Farming country….during an early morning walk through the local countryside I caught regular glimpses of numerous deer and hares as they would dart across open fields or became momentarily visible as they moved through the talk crops. Alas all too fast for me to capture with the camera. Above in the distant sky soared an eagle and closer by hunted the villages’ resident kestrel:

Castles and snakes….a visit to this village’s pond produced some excitement as we encountered a number of local snakes. In my
efforts to get a picture, without alarming the snakes unduly, I very nearly joined them for a swim:

At the third stop on our journey, the centre of the village had been closed off for a market and festivities:

Leave a comment

Filed under Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life

Another of great wine to recommend

Blauer Zweigelt – Maletschenberg 2007

I was ntroduced to this wine earlier in the year and C brought a few bottles back for me from a recent trip to the Steiermark.

To quote rom their website (Google translated)

In the nose, this powerful Zweigelt dark berries and a hint of bitter chocolate. Aged in small oak barrels, this wine scores with a full body, powerful tannins and brings with potential for long life.

I can think of at least one Austrian Wine convert in Lincolnshire, England, who is going to become a fan of this particular wine 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Vienna Life, Wine, Beer & Food

The theatre, the breakfast, the museum, and the coffeehouse

Last Sunday, some friends and I took a stroll from the English Theatre round to the Museum Quarter. Zigzagging through the quiet
streets gave us a chance to enjoy some of the local architecture, as well as building up an appetite before settling down to a rather relaxing breakfast in the Museums Quarter (MQ). After which we intended taking a look at the works of some of
Austria’s most famous artists at the Leopold Museum before returning in the theatre in the afternoon.

Having dropped H off at the English Theatre, for the dress rehearsal of the English Youth Theatres musical production of the Wizard of Oz, we set off taking a roundabout route  through the 8th and into the 7th District with the promise of a late breakfast at one of the MQ’s restaurants:

Halle at the MQ:

The MQ and the Leopold Museum:

After Klimt and Schiele at the Leopold we returned to our walk:

And finally ….coffee at Elles Coffeehouse


Leave a comment

Filed under Coffee in Vienna, Environment, Museums Quarter, Theatre, Vienna Life, Wine, Beer & Food

Doomsday – Sunday 19th June at 8pm

I’m currently listening to the DOOMSDAYS album by Konrad Rennert and Boris Hauf.

Planning to go to their public performance tomorrow evening (Sonntag 19 Juni, 20.00 Uhr) at the Ruprechtskirche, Ruprechtsplatz 1, 1010 Wien. Eintritt 10 € / 5 €

I’m biased – as Konrad is a friend – but could be worth going along if you’re in Vienna tomorrow night.

Info text:

Ein loses Kontinuum von Weltuntergängen undderen Betrachtungsweisen mit Texten und Musik von Karl Kraus, GeorgKaiser und den Interpreten

Weltuntergängeam laufenden Band. Wir müssen sie nicht herbeiführen – sie kümmern sichum sich selbst; sie holen sich schon, was sie brauchen …

Wozutagtäglich auf das Eintreffen von Prophezeiungen hysterischer Mystikerund raffgieriger Angstmacher jeglicher religiöser,
antireligiöser –meistens jedenfalls aber sektiererischer – Couleur warten, wenn wirunsere Weltenden und jene unserer Lieben doch weitgehend selbst inHänden halten? Die meisten Weltuntergänge, die wir mit uns tragen, woimmer wir gehen und stehen, die unübersehbar aus unseren Westentaschenquellen, aus unseren Augen funkeln und aus unseren Mündern geifern –sind nicht diese unsere liebevoll gehätscheltenWestentaschenapokalypschen dennoch immer wieder für eine kleine Überraschung gut?

DiePalette von Weltuntergängen der aktuellen Programmauswahl reicht von„vergnüglich“ über „ernst“ bis „bierernst“. Konrad Rennert (Stimme u.Electronics) und Boris Hauf (Saxophone, Electronics u. bisserl Stimme)relativieren in ihrer gemeinsamen Duokomposition anhand von Textenvorwiegend aus den Zehner- und Zwanzigerjahren des 20. Jahrhundertssowie Live- und elektronischer Musik zwischen Lassus und Wienerlied unddarüber hinaus die Finalität unserer permanent doomsdays und garantieren gleichzeitig deren fröhlicheKontinuität.

Boris Hauf – Saxophone, Electronics, Keyboards (*1974 in England) u. Konrad Rennert Stimme, Electronics(*1958 in New York) sind beide Improvisatoren und Komponisten. IhreWerke werden aufgeführt, sie touren und unterrichten weltweit undkönnen Wien ertragen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Live performances, Music, Vienna Life

Royal waving – an Olympic sport or more like Eurovision?

A Social Democrat MP has caused a bit of a stir in the Austrian parliament by suggesting that members of the Habsburg family (whose predecessors ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire for centuries) could ‘do a bit of waving’ from the balcony of the Schönbrunn Palace, to help boost tourism:

Maybe the idea will catch on elsewhere? The British, for instance, spend a fortune each year on this idea. If it becomes popular enough then you could see a potential Olympic sport emerging. Now I know that not all countries have access to a bunch of current or former royals/robber barons/______ (delete or insert to suit personal preference) lying around. But we could adopt the Champions League approach (not all clubs in the completion are Champions of their respective league) and countries could adopt a particular ‘family’ for the role.

Actually, picking a ‘royal family’ would be a little more logical than the basis on which your average ‘royal’ currently qualifies for the job. In the traditions of ‘royals’ in many parts of the world you don’teven need to choose a family from your own country to represent you.

So you pick your ‘royal family’ and enter them for the Olympics. A bit like ice skating, a panel then awards points for balcony waving, carriage waving, waving whilst sitting on a throne – all marked on style and technique. Then the finale of the performance the freestyle in which the royals wave to the tune first of their national anthem and then to a current pop song.

Alternatively, if the Olympic committee fails to see the attraction of this new sport, then maybe it could be picked up by the TV
companies along the lines of Eurovision?

Thinking more deeply about this, maybe there really is something in all this ‘royal’ business. Your modern democracy elects a parliament and prime Minister to run the country, a President to hold the reigns and represent the country etc, and then an elected ‘royal’ family to do the waving and compete in ‘RoyalVision’. Maybe the USA would go for the Osborne’s,
whilst the Obama’s would I suspect be spoilt for choice of country to settle in. The British, in the meantime, would probably be split between choosing the Windsor’s or the Beckham’s.

Leave a comment

Filed under Austrian Politics, Politics, The odd thought or observation, Vienna Life