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We are staying at home for another month – March 23

Hello dear friends! If you read my other update from today, about the situation in Austria, then you know the COVID-19 numbers are still increasing faster and faster in Austria.

That is why I am so glad I won’t have to go out, for nearly a month. In the beginning of the Pandemic, I was out my mind from worry about Ralph potentially catching the Virus. Now that I see how well our government is handling this crisis and that patients are not left without their medication, I feel a lot better. We have what we need at home, including my medicine and of course more than enough supplies for the cats. I’m much more at ease, especially because it keeps Ralph safe when I stay at home and avoid people altogether.

There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.

Every day is a lovely day with our cats

As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…

Hero on me, Sonic farther down to the right
Lisa is usually all up in my face, once she realises I woke up

Hero, Lisa and Sonic usually sleep on top of me, or cuddled up on my tummy, my legs, arms, or my side, depending on the way I’m lying. It’s usually these 3 in any order that are all over and around me. Samantha loves to either be curled up next to Ralph’s legs, or she watches the birds from the bedroom window (that’s where Samantha was when I took these photos).

It’s impossible not to smile first thing when I wake up with my little family of Ralph and the cats all around me. No matter how anxious I feel, or how bad my migraine is when I wake up, I still wake up feeling happy thanks to them.

Spring

Spring is definitely here with flowers everywhere and birds who are building their nests again. The temperatures before the weekend were amazing! Almost like summer. Unfortunately, it got really cold again over the weekend.

Especially today, the wind was awfully strong and ice cold. I really hope it will warm up again soon, the cats and us really missed the warm sun.

Despite the cold, Lisa and Hero always enjoy some fresh air and love to watch the birds for a few minutes. Also, Lisa and I have a little game where I throw one of the toy balls out onto the balcony and she will run out to bring it back in every single time! She usually carries her ball to the same spot, there she’ll wait for me to get it and throw it again.

This video has clips from yesterday and today. I could have kept going for much longer too, she just loves it. Here is the link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCK1Ls5UurAYojCxqRRveVw

But at long as it’s sunny, the cats are getting their fill of sunshine inside as well. With every day we’re getting closer to summer, the sun will shine into our apartment longer.

Hero fast asleep in the sun
Sonic and Lisa at the bedroom window
Samantha and Lisa on the balcony last week, a day before it got cold again

A small earthquake with the epicentre in Croatia

Yesterday, there was even an earthquake we slept through (at 5:24 UTC). Well, I’m sure the cats noticed, but Ralph and I didn’t. Here in Graz it wasn’t anything serious. The epicentre was in Croatia, a little less than 200km from us, where earthquakes aren’t anything unusual. I’ve experienced a couple of them when I was in Croatia myself as a child.

The purple circle is Graz, where we are. The other markings show the earthquake. More details to this earthquake at: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70008dx7/executive

Small earthquakes with the epicentre within Austria are not unusual either, as the African plate meets with the Eurasian plate in the Alps. Especially our region is rather active for these little earthquakes.

Since it’s almost midnight again, I will go to bed in a bit. I’ll hopefully feel more rested soon, as the day seems way to short when I need more sleep than normal.

I keep thinking of everyone, hoping that you’re all safe and well, and have everything you need.

Sending love from Ralph, the cats and myself!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

March 17, 2018 And again we have to wait some more

Hello, awesome friends and furends!

This was the backyard this morning. It had started to snow again.

Winter seems to come back to Europe again. After endless rain on Friday and Saturday, the temperatures are dropping again and icicles are forming.

On Friday, Ralph’s papers came back from the legalisation office in the UK. We’ve been really waiting for them so much, as the legalisation of all 3 documents would have meant for us that we could have gotten married finally. I say “would” because as I opened the envelope with my heart beating heavily and my hands shaking, I saw a letter right away, explaining that they were unable to legalise all documents.

Oh no! Sigh…

They were able to legalise and put an Apostille on Ralph’s birth certificate and his divorce paper, but not the marriage certificate that Ralph got as it is from the registrar in England back then.

Deep sigh…. Some more waiting and hoping then… Again.

But there’s no giving up!

So on to yet another bureaucratic hurdle to overcome:

Ralph has to fill out a form online, on the UK gov site, to apply for a new marriage certificate from his previous marriage, which will then be sent to us. Once it arrives, we have to fill out the form for the legalisation office again, and send the new marriage certificate off to their office in the UK by courier. Again.

You would think it should be enough to have an Apostille for the divorce paper, which is in our opinion, the actually important paper. That divorce paper would not exist if the marriage on the marriage certificate would not have been valid.

But the Graz registrar wants everything certified, legalised and translated, certified of course. I don’t even understand why the Graz registrar even requires the certificate of no impediment (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis) from the British Embassy, who checks the same documents to make sure they’re all genuine, and that Ralph really is free to marry, if one has to have the same documents checked by the British government in the UK as well.

So basically Ralph’s documents have been checked and certified twice. It’s not right, those laws and regulations, as it’s unnecessary and it’s costing a whole lot of money that we would actually need for other things. And it’s costing time, sanity and sleep.

We’re always worried there will be some other bureaucratic hurdle thrown at us at every step.

Oh the certified translations arrived as well in the week before and they did a great job with it.

After getting a new marriage certificate and having an Apostille put onto it should be the last thing now. We can only hope. I definitely lost my usually positive attitude and am now always worried at each new hurdle that we resolve, as there’s always another one thrown at us.

Lol, I kind of see it coming that by the kind of luck we’ve been having, the registrar official who will (hopefully) marry us, is going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks or so, by the time we’ve got all the new paperwork finished.

Writing about those bureaucratic shenanigans and get it off my chest and onto my blog makes me feel a lot better, it always does! But enough of that.

Both of us are fine and well, although our sleep isn’t as good because of the upsets. But we’re totally happy together and we love having a home together with our 3 kitties!😽😽😽

Sonic, Samantha and Murli are all fine, happy and healthy. I’m sure they would love for spring to come finally though. Can’t wait to make our balcony beautiful and cat safe, and make it nice for us and the cats.

For now, they are usually cuddled up in their baskets and / or near the heating 😸

Samantha loves to sleep on and surrounded by valerian root pouches, next to the heater…

Murli likes to sleep in her comfy warm basket.

Or like yesterday, on the round chair in the living room, while I sit at the computer nearby.

Murli also had some fun with boxes. She just loves them!

Little boy Sonic and usually likes to come into bed, surrounded by stringy things 😸

At this very moment, I am already in bed, with Sonic cuddled up on my legs, as I finish writing this post.

Hopefully the next time I have an update regarding us trying to get married, I’ll finally have good news 🙏

Hope you all had a nice weekend! Stay warm and comfy! And lots of purrs and pawhugs!😽😽😽

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

March 5, 2018 Snow, Ice and once more waiting for good news

Hey lovely readers! Here’s the latest of us trying to get married in Graz:

At the moment, we’re waiting and hoping for the best again. Since the registrar requires a certified translation by a court translator for each of Ralph’s documents, and Apostilles (Legalisation) for each of the same documents, we had to try and get that sorted out.

The translations are underway now, and hopefully, we’ll get them back by the end of this week.

For the Apostilles (Legalisation), we had to send Ralph’s original documents off to the UK via courier. We had to fill out an application form online for it and pay. The next morning (Friday), I had the documents shipped to the UK by courier. Now we can only wait and hope that the documents get legalised and that there won’t be any bureaucratic hurdles. If everything goes as it should, they will send the documents with each Apostille back to us by the end of this week.

And if all of that worked out, the last thing to hope for is that the registrar won’t come up with yet another requirement for certified certificates and/or translations.

This is, or should be the last hurdle now and according to the registrar, we can get married as soon as we have the translations and Apostilles. Which would be, or could be next week even! I’m not counting on that though. Until we have everything back and the registrar accepts it all without another request for certificates, I won’t get my hopes up too much.

Ralph and I will finally be able to relax and just enjoy everything after all of that. I will have my mind in the right place again to blog normally, be more cheerful and communicate more with all of you lovely readers.

As for everything else: It’s March, and like almost everywhere in Europe it doesn’t look or feel like it at all. Here in Graz, Austria, the last couple of weeks have been bitterly cold with nights and mornings temperatures between -18°C (-0.4°F) and -15°C (5°F). During the day, the temperatures didn’t go above -5°C (23°F), often it was even colder. We had lots of snow as well.

March 1, 2018 09-58-58
Icicles everywhere.

March 1, 2018 10-02-27
More icicles!

The temperatures increased to around freezing point over the weekend, but it’s been very foggy and overcast.

This was Sunday, the view over the city from the Schlossberg webcam. Today, it looked exactly the same…

It’s mostly for Ralph and the cats that I wish for more warmth. Although it’s lovely and warm in our apartment, and the snow looks beautiful, it’s no fun going outside like that. Ralph is cold a lot more easily than I am.

But even if it’s -100° and raining icicles, Ralph and I will go out to get married if we get our appointment soon! 😂

For now, we’re staying in most of the time. We enjoy being together all the time, every second of it.

Murli is happy, and so are Sonic and Samantha. I’m really looking forward to making our balcony pretty and cat safe, and the windows too. Will be lovely, for the summer breeze to come through the open windows and the open balcony door. All of us will love it!

Everyone in the kitchen
Our kitchen

There will be nice walks in the nearby park, where we can see a bit of the sunset.

March 1, 2018 4:38pm
This is the park near our home.

March 1, 2018 4:38pm
The sunsets will be nice from here

I will do my best to reply to all your sweet comments. Shame on me… It’s normally the first thing I do in the day as soon as I have time. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon, once we can relax and all the worrying about bureaucrats is over.

Thank you so much, for always being so kind and leaving such wonderful comments on my blog.

The cats, Ralph and I love you all!

 

 

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

February 23, 2018 – News from the registrar, snow and cat pics

Hello dear friends!
First off the good news! Yesterday, the registrar called and informed us that the certificate from the British embassy (German: Ehefähigkeitszeugnis), which verifies that Ralph is legally free to marry me, has been accepted by the Graz registrar office.

What a relief! As I wrote in my previous post, the registrar office told us back then, that the embassy certificate might not be accepted, which came as a total shock to us. The British embassy issues hundreds of these certificates every year in Austria, so we assumed it was a standard thing the Austrian registrar offices deal with often, especially in bigger cities like Graz, which is Austria’s 2nd biggest city.

Anyway, thankfully that worry is now gone, and we’re getting a bit closer to getting married. What remains now, is to get the last batch of bureaucracy sorted out, that they asked of us. We need to get Apostilles for all of Ralph’s English documents, as well as certified translations by a court-approved translator of the same documents. Once this is done, we will send the scans of it all off to the registrar, and then we can finally get married within a few business days.

I don’t really know how long it will take to get this done, but we really hope it won’t be long.

Now it finally seems within our reach. Let’s just hope that the last things can get done easily, without additional bureaucracy, to get the Apostilles that we need. 

In other news… It has been snowing a lot! I haven’t experienced such weather for over a decade or more. We had days with heavy snowfall since the start of the new year. But now, we’ll have snowfall for the next 2 weeks, and the temperatures will drop over the weekend to around -15°C / 5°F according to forecast. 

Here is what it looks like from our balcony, overlooking the backyard and garden.

February 20, 2018 8:23am
Snow in the garden, February 20, 2018

22.02.2018 17-33-57
Snow in the garden, February 22, 2018

22.02.2018 17-31-31
Snow February 22, 2018

Samantha and Sonic watch the snow fall from the windows, but they don’t feel like going out onto the balcony at all. Samantha ran out for a second, curious as to what that “white stuff” on the balcony is, but turned right back around once she realised the “white stuff” is wet and cold. 

Murli, on the other hand, does not care, and still likes to go out onto the balcony with us. Of course, Murli has thick and quite long fur, and Samantha has not got much to keep her warm. Sonic and Samantha are from southern Spain and not used to the cold.

07.02.2018 08-26
Murli does not care about getting snowed on. She wants to watch the birdies!

All three kitties are happy and feel at home. Murli is so much better with the others too and she continues to get better and more relaxed with having other cats around.

17 02 2018 1-38pm
Murli and Samantha

13 02 2018 9-13am
Sonic on the bed, and Murli on the window.

I am so happy to have my Murli girl here with me, in our home, within our little family. We all love our new apartment, our home in Graz. But we can’t wait to finally put just one family name on our door: Whillier. Natascha and Ralph Whillier. It will be such a happy day once we have our long-awaited wedding!

The other thing we can’t wait for is spring and summer! But for now, spring seems a bit far away. The following slideshow shows what it looks like at the moment. It’s the park near our home.

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Thank you all for reading and for your wonderful and supportive comments, it really made us feel better. I will keep you updated a lot more from now on, as to how things are going with our quest to get married.

As I’m about to go to sleep now, I wish you all a good night. Take care and keep warm!

20 02 2018 10-43am
Murli

20 02 2018 11-04pm
Samantha and Sonic

Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures

February 1, 2017 Hello February!

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Murli cuddles on my lap while I’m writing this💗 It’s the usual late afternoon cuddles at the computer lol.

With January over, it seems the freezing cold winter weather is coming to an end soon, according to forecasts. We’ll get Foehn wind again… Sigh. I just hope I wont have migraines every day again. Really hoped February might continue to be real cold, because spring will be bad enough migraine wise. But I hope for the best, sometimes I’m lucky too and it isn’t as bad. For today though, it’s still cold. I had to use my blow dryer to get the icy outer windows to open yesterday and today lol! I can’t help but think it’s funny😸

We also had some snow yesterday in the morning. Just a little, but enough for me to draw a kitty face into the snow.

January 31 2017 8:10am

I’m feeling fine and calmed down after the sad stories from the weekend. Murli helped so much, like always. She’s such a good girl, and always gets when I’m not ok. She’ll then quietly stay close to me all the time. And the usual cuddles and the playtime always cheer me up a lot💗 Murli is also so funny! I often have tears running down from laughter, just from her quirks and antics while playing.

Nothing much interesting happened this week, and it was pretty relaxed.

On Monday, Murli did her kitty loaf right next to me on the desk. She loves looking out the window like that. Sometimes she hangs out there for one or two hours. Of course, within that time she ends up sprawled out all over the place and partly on the keyboard.

January 30 2017 3:58pmJanuary 30 2017 3:55pm

Like pretty much every day, she joined me this afternoon at the computer. I always make a cup of coffee around 3pm, take my medicine and sit down at the desk. Murli follows right after me and gets on top of the desk.

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Then she got on my lap and fell asleep soon after this pic was taken😸

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When we go to sleep at night, it looks something like this:

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This photo is from Sunday night. She’ll either be right next to my pillow with her head, or like in this picture at the end of the bed. She’ll always have her head out of the blanket like this. Often I put the blanket over her like this to keep her warm and cuddly. The other times, she’ll crawl underneath the blanket herself. She sleeps next to me like this for the whole night, except for the need to go to the litter. But she’ll jump right back into bed afterwards❤❤❤

Wishing everypawdy a lovely day/night! Purrs & cuddles!💕