By the end of February, it suddenly warmed up to mid to late spring temperatures and it was awesome. That’s how it usually has been every year since the late 90s. Though from fall 2017 on, the winters became a lot longer and it took until mid to late June to warm up. So when it warmed up early this year, I was hoping it would stay warm, just like it used to for 2 decades.
But the Winter came back around March 20. Before the snow came down into our valley, the mountains around us had already had days of heavy snowfall.
Today, the snowfall was at times it was so heavy, all I could see was white, as I was crossing a road with multiple lanes on my way home from the grocery store. I wish I could have taken a picture, it was amazing.
The kitties enjoyed watching the big snowflakes dancing around in front of the windows. The wind was pretty strong at times as you can see by the way the snow got blown past the living room window.
I was hoping that we would get a few inches on our balcony, so Hero and Lisa could explore the snow a bit better, but it was melting quickly and hardly anything got onto our balcony anyway.
On Saturday I noticed just how low the sun already sits in the sky as it slowly sinks below the roof of the house across from us at 4:55pm (summertime). During the summer, the sun is still high in the sky and the tall tree gives us shade from it in the late afternoon, early evening.
Here are a few photos of the sun’s positions
On October 8, 2019 at 5:17pm (summertime) the sun was already vanishing behind the roof. Now, the sun is going down behind the roof much farther to the left, and at 4:55pm (summertime).
On September 5, 2019 is still reached the tree before it sank behind the other houses at 6:14pm (summertime).
In the summer, on June 25, 2019 the sun was high in the sky at 5:06pm (summertime) and it would stay sunny for many more hours during that time of the year.
It’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and it’s interesting to see the seasons change in the plants and trees of the garden. So I thought it might be interesting to post a bunch of pictures showing the different seasons in the garden.
I was worried the number of photos would be too much for one post, but considering I decreased the size of all the photos a lot, it should not cause a big impact on loading time and bandwidth.
Over the two years we lived here, I took a lot of photos of the garden. Many times when it was cloudy, because I just love to photograph clouds and cloudy skies. So it might look like it’s often cloudy here, even though it’s not 😉 Also, the photos are from different years, so things are looking different in some photos, like the small tree in the middle, which was destroyed more and more over the course of a couple of storms.
The season’s changes in the garden
Time change to Wintertime
The cats and I aren’t used to the daylight savings time change. Sonic comes up meowing for me to come to bed at 9pm, because to him, it still feels like 10pm. He doesn’t care that silly humans have silly time changes twice a year. Murli and Samantha don’t care either, they want their breakfast at about the same time. So, of course, they feel like I’m late in getting up. Therefore, I’m getting up at 7am at the moment, since it would be 8am normally.
Just like with the cats, my feeling for the time is screwed up and exactly an hour wrong too. I keep feeling as if it’s exactly an hour later than it is.
Today I had to use my bicycle light again for the first time since last winter. It was completely dark by the time I was on my way home from the pharmacy and grocery shopping at 5pm. It was a dark day anyway, with thick overcast and rain all day. The temperatures are a lot lower now.
In another sign that winter is definitely coming now, they are starting to put up the Christmas lights in the city. Usually, I saw them mount the lights near my old home on November 1st. Though they have probably always started earlier in other areas of the city and I just never noticed it. The huge Christmas tree on the main square will be put up around the 1st of November as well usually and the Christmas markets will be opened soon after. The Christmas lights remain dark until the 1st of December though.
I really can’t believe how fast time goes by. I’m not feeling any Christmas vibes at all yet, but I’m looking forward to decorating our home in a few weeks 😉
Also looking forward to the long weekend! Hope you all have a great week ❤
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!😽😽😽
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.
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!
There will be nice walks in the nearby park, where we can see a bit of the sunset.
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!
Murli watching the birds from the bedroom window
Sonic on the floor, Samantha on the counter and Murli on the washing machine. They all just love to hang out in the kitchen.
Murli in a cupboard in the kitchen
Murli really loves to hang out on the washing machine recently
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!