Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer is finally here!

All in all, it's been an awful summer, if you look at the danish weather.

Rainy - cloudy - cold.

It was like that in the first week of our vacation, but fortunately we were in Kärnten, Austria, and even though we didn't have mediterranean temps there, we did have mostly good weather.

Kärnten is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. We lived in Rosental, not too far from Villach, in a spacey, comfortable holiday apartment that we rented from an austrian lady, Sonja. It used to be her dads house, and he built everything there. He died a few years ago, though, and now it's been turned into a place people like us can stay :) You have the valley to one side of the house, and the mountains on the other - and when you walk just 5 minutes uphill, you hit a hiking trail that will take you up on the mountain.

We speak a bit of german - and the austrians like that. Actually, once you've said a few sentences in german, they decide you are fluent, and they chatter like there was not going to be tomorrow. If you've ever heard austrians - particularly from the south - speak german, you'll know that the accent differs A LOT from regular german. So we were straining our ears trying to get what people were trying to say to us :)

I've decided to work on my german, as a result of this trip. So I bought a crime novel (by american writer Karin Slaughter, actually) in german, that I plan on reading when I finish the book I am reading right now. I'll keep my dictionary close at hand, but if I manage to finish and understand the german book, I'll get my hands on more of them. In my experience, that is probably one of the best ways to keep updated in a language you've allready learned.

I have most of my vocabulary in english from reading novels, news stories, blogs and bunches of other stuff in english. So I have great hopes for improving my german this way.

Well, we came back to Denmark after a week in Austria, and it was RAINING and RAINING ... but only for a few days. Then it cleared up, got warmer - and now we are enjoying a spot of wonderful, warm summer. It is supposed to stay nice all of next week, and that is what remains of our vacation.

This will probably be bad for the work we won't be doing on our room with the bay window - the one we are restoring - but hey! You have to be out to enjoy the weather!

Another full week of spare time, summer and the company of those I love - life is good!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Counting down

I can feel my body and mind counting down for vacation! On friday, my vacation starts.

3 weeks - I look forward to it every single year. Much as I like my job, I really dote on my summer vacation.

This year part of it will be spent in Austria - in a province called Kärnden. My husband, myself and the two "little ones" (15 and 18 years old) will be going there to hike in the gorgeous landscape. Meanwhile, Andreas - my oldest (24) is coming home to mind the house.

The rest of the vacation we'll just enjoy not having to do anything :)

At the moment, I put in extra hours every week. I am momentarily stationed in Silkeborg, a drive of an hour and 15 minutes each way. So many mornings, I get up early in order to be there at 8. I drive in the wee hours of the morning with my sound books, my coffee and my cheese sandwich, through pretty morning landscapes, and I return again in the afternoon. Most days I am home around the same time I normally would.

But I still feel the extra hours, and the extra tension it gives to know we have a huge task to accomplish before next fall.

We are converting a big bank into our system complex, and a lot of functions need to be added to our existing systems before that can happen. That is what my team and I do. And I am acutely aware of each week that passes.

But when I go off on vacation, I will cleanse my mind of any thoughts of work. I will enjoy spending time with my family, I will take time to read books, sleep late and just generally enjoy myself.

I will recharge my batteries, and be ready for the hustle and bustle when I return.

I am counting down!