352: Notary & Winter Fuel


A few weeks ago Natascha and I visited the local Austrian Notary to obtain a piece of paper certifying that I was alive and that I am who I am for one of my pension providers.  While there, I wanted him to draw up a simple Will for both myself and Natascha.  As my hands are completely unable to write, I also asked him to draw up papers to allow Natascha to sign for me on any document.  He said that it would take a while.  Being a local, Natascha was simple, but being British, I was more complicated due to Brexit.

Brexit !  Basically, the British people voted to leave the European Union.  No more European dictatorship and ties.  Simple !   For the last two years the politicians on both sides whined and wined, changing their minds every five minutes while collecting huge salaries.  With three months to go before the UK leaves the European Union, nobody knows what the heck is going on, except that the UK will leave, but probably will still be under the European Union thumb and the UK will have to pay a divorce bill of £39 billion to the EU for the pleasure of leaving, but staying.  Santa Ralph is really upset with these politicians.  They have been very naughty and are on Santa’s naughty list.

Anyway, back to the Notary !   The other day we got a phone call from the Notary.  He said he could do it, but it will cost us €1500 (about the same in US dollars).

“What !”

Yes Murli … WHAT !! …  €1500 for two bits of paper !   Natascha and I decided to stop it right there.  What would you do ?

~Winter Fuel Allowance~

A couple of months ago, (even though I live in Austria,) as a UK pensioner I found out that I may be entitled to the UK winter fuel allowance.  A one-off annual payment to help with the home fuel bills. So, by phone, I applied.  I was grilled for an hour, question after question.  When I hung up, I was left totally drained.  Two things could happen.   Firstly, I might get a letter of rejection, or secondly, I might get some money credited to my account on the 15th of December.  That’s today !  No letter, so fingers crossed ! 

“Great !  I love being nice and warm.”

Yes, Samantha, you will be kept nice and warm whatever happens !

~What Are You Cats Up To Now ?~

“Just watching paint dry.”
“I found our sweeties.   Mummy, come here and feed me … NOW !”

You two girly cats have been good this year, BUT Sonic (the little boy cat) has been naughty.  He pooed on the bed !

“What !”

 Santa Ralph Asks, “Have You Been Naughty This Year ?”

Knowing my readers, it’s a stupid question, but, hey, fill up the comments with all your juicy details !

(That’s me banned from WordPress then. Oh boy !)

Ralph xox ❤

Photographs of the cats taken by Natascha.

97 Comments on “352: Notary & Winter Fuel

  1. I have read your post right before going to bed in a cranky mood because of the super early rise I have in the morning and all to go to Italy and start 5 days of running and pulling in between relatives and in laws(well,one in law…my mother in law that herself makes it up for 25 unwanted relatives)….now all that to say that instead, now I’m switching off the light with a smile on my face hoping you get your fuel allowance, Sharing your opinion. Brexit is a mess and thankfully I live just outside north of Ireland border😱
    About the will I think you can write something to keep home but to allow Natasha to sign for you I’m afraid that requires a solicitor/notary,and they are fecking robbers.
    Hope I’m on Santa s good list as I have been delightful naughty 😁
    Have a great week end ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Fingers crossed for your fuel allowance, Ralph. If you are unable to write because of your condition, there should be some other solution other than paying barrow-loads of money to a notary. 😧😘

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think he saw you coming Ralph. I wouldn’t pay it. I would draw up the papers myself have it witnessed and notarized. I think that guy is out for a pound of flesh. There has to be other people out there who can do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yep, he saw us coming. That’s why we stopped it when he wanted €1500 for really very little. Natascha is working on what the Austrian legal system needs if we can do the Will ourselves. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry the drama continues for you, Ralph & Natascha! If you sign with a shakey hand it still should be accepted in the presence of a notary. Your name can be printed underneath it. Not everyone has perfect handwriting. There must be another way to have a will written without paying so much money. Or was the money referring to Natascha signing documents for you? In the US, the internet has forms to make out wills. Hope your fuel allowance comes through. As far as being good or bad, I’m “boringly” good. 🤣🥰 Merry Christmas to you and your cat family. Christine 🎄🎼☃️

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much for your input and advice dear Christine. Surely a lot to think about. Boringly good is okay. Happy Christmas, one week to go. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you get your fuel allowance, that Brexit doesn’t interfere and that you get lots of great presents. As to the notary, can’t help you there. In Canada it’s almost impossible from a legal standpoint to get signing authority (and expensive). Good luck. 🙂
    Of course I’ve been bad
    I like getting lumps of coal. Saves on heating costs. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • The fuel allowance arrived, no problems.
      I am sure that we can find a cheaper way of sorting out this legal stuff.
      You are bad, Lynette ? Perhaps that is okay for Santa in Canada, probably is 😉
      Sorry, Amazon doesn’t stock coal 😉
      Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm, well, I didn’t poo the bed, so I guess I’m in good standing with Father Christmas and winter fuel allowance.
    Okay, Sonic has an issue.
    1. He is inundated by your adoration and love for the female cats. Heis trying to get your attention.
    SOLUTION: Make a point of giving him more attention in front of the females.

    2. He had a one time accident.
    SOLUTION: don’t let him go out with the boys on pub night.

    3. Poor baby is ill. A vet is required here.

    Of course I love and adore all of the cats. However, please give Sonic some extra love, rubs, pets and kisses from me. Make sure the girl are watching!

    Sending love & hugs to all! HI NATASCHA! xoxoxo ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are amazing dear Resa ! What a lot of options concerning Sonic ! Actually, what he does is he has a little poo in the Cat litter tray, runs around the apartment like a idiot, jumps on the bed, realises that he hasn’t finished and deposits a lump on the bed. Oh boy, who would have cats ! Sonic’s a mummy’s boy, so your love for him is welcome with Natascha’s.
      Thank you and Natascha says hi.
      Love to you and your pussycats. Ralph xoxoxo ❤


  7. Ralph,
    It’s been a hard day and now I am so angry over your signing problem. I really think there must be a cheaper solution. I know it doesn’t cost that much in the U.S. to give someone power of attorney. Also, a lot of documents can be signed electronically these days. In addition, you can’t be the only person in Austria to have such a need. Lastly, and I mean this in all seriousness, do you think you could learn to hold a pencil in your mouth to sign? People who couldn’t write used to sign with an “X.” What happened to that? And I have seen lots of signatures, mainly by professional people, that are basically a letter with a dramatic scrawl after it. No one ever questions the legality of their signatures! I’m hoping you can find another solution. Why does the government make everything so hard??? Maybe you will get some unexpected help with heat! I hope so!
    Your outraged WiFi,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your great ideas and input dear outraged wifi. All worth thinking about. Have a lovely week my friend Linda. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. I have calmed down some, but I am still hoping for an easy solution for you. We work our whole lives. When we finally get to retire, life should be easier not harder. Fortunately you have a lovely wife, three mischievous cats, a ton of blogging friends rooting for you, and most especially a great sense of humor. I hope you have a good week too! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ralph – wishing a continued best wishes for the new year with a blessed adventure and journey. Your post always brings to me a great motivation and positive energy. May God Bless you!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much Mihran. So kind ! May I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday. Ralph 🙂


    • Thank you dear Miriam. So kind ! I hope that you have a lovely Holiday wherever you are on walk-about. 😉 Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • No walkabout for me sweet Ralph. But I thank you for your kind wishes. Big hugs back xx ❤️😊

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wish you both the best, Ralph and I am with you for the Brexit folly. As for me, well, I’ve been exceedingly good this year, Mrs Tink cannot be naughty 😜.
    Have a warm and lovely Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder how Brexit will play out. It’s amazing how at this late stage we don’t know how it will affect us.
      Well done Mrs Tink. Did you have your fingers crossed when you wrote that ? 😉
      Thank you Stefi and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas. Ralph xox ❤


  10. Ralph, you are incorrigible and am I glad for that. We need you to speak up
    the truth and make us laugh at the whole mad bureaucracy. As to Brexit,
    I love the clear and entertaining way you put it. I do so agree.
    ” For the last two years the politicians on both sides whined and wined, ”
    and the muddle is worse than ever.

    The notary story sounds ‘naughty’ indeed. With a doctor’s certificate it should be cheap to draw up such a simple document as you and Natasha require.
    May I say that your high spirit in spite of all is an encouragement to us all.

    Love to you, the cats and Natasha


    Liked by 2 people

    • What a wonderful comment from you dear Miriam. An entertaining and thought provoking read. Politicians ! Who would have them ? 😉 And for lawyers, oh boy !
      Thank you my friend and love from all of us in Graz. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I hope the Notary doesn’t make it on to Santa’s nice list. I think I have been nice. But who knows. Santa may have higher ‘nice’ standards than I do. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you Gallivanta. The lawyers should be on Santa’s very, very, very, very naughty list. Of course you have been nice my friend. Take care. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think it’s time you face the facts, Ralph. Government agencies are the AntiChrist. You must repent your terrible sins and lay prostrate before them. Only then will the Second Coming happen and free us all from these bureaucratic chains. No pressure though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heck, that puts the onus on me to save the world then, Al. No problem, it’s easier than trying to close my Spanish bank account 😉
      Take care my friend. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no ! You shouldn’t have said that Al as all the government agencies read our blogs and with glee will pass on your comment to Santa and, boy, he will have a 75-year-old naughty back list on you. I should block your chimney on Christmas eve if I was you. 😉 Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I swear the bureaucrats in Britain are crazier than ever. Sounds like they are over there too. I hope you, Natasha and the cats have a wonderful Christmas. Quick question, does Austria have Christmas markets? xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, crazy bureaucrats are everywhere. Thank you my friend and have a wonderful Christmas yourself. Yes, Graz has a few Christmas markets. We are going to have a look around this weekend. Take care. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hope you get some extra money. Good Luck. Daisy Mae and I say Hello and we saw Santa’s nice list and very Nice List and Daisy Mae, ALL your cats and I were on both the nice and very nice list. Santa’s coming to us all this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fuel allowance finally arrived in my bank account. Happy, happy ! I am glad that we all are on Santa’s nice and very nice list. That’s nice ! Take care. Love from Natascha, myself and the Cats. Ralph xox ❤


  15. Hi MFR. Happy birthday. 🙂 I haven’t been as naughty as Sonic. I guess it depends on how you measure naughty. My writing was a little naughty, but since I’m not going to publish it, is it still naughty? The tree in the forest question, si? I brought home five kitties to our family (2 died). Vince was furious about me bringing them. then with how poorly I took care of them. So he bought them an air conditioner to cool the 110-degree outside, a heater to cool the 45-degree garage, a fence to keep them safe at night, spent $700 on vet bills, buys Fresh Pet food to feed them $5.00 a pound food. and allows lots of sneaky times in the house when he swore he was allergic to cats and couldn’t even touch one. He’s turned into a crazy cat man. So I guess that was a little naughty of me. I could go on, but why? I’m already getting coals in my stocking. I’ll save some salacious details for next year. Have a Merry Christmas, MFR Lots of love to you both 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry that I have been so long in replying MVBFM, but I have eventually got round to your comment. Yay !
      I am sure that you have been very naughty, but nice which is a plus for Santa. So you should be okay this year, perhaps 😉
      I love your story about Vince and the cats. How lovely that he has taken them under his wing.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family my friend.
      Love from all of us. Ralph xox ❤
      ps. Thank you again for the lovely birthday present xx

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the pictures of your cats and I wish Natascha and You wonderful Christmas Days and a good ending “Notary story”…Best regards from Berlin:-) Corinna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment dear Corinna. I really do appreciate it. Many Christmas from us in Graz. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Isn’t there a legal aid organization in Austria? Something like Nolo press? I absolutely hate dealing with lawyers and governments. I wish you the very best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea if there is a legal aid organisation here. I will ask Natascha. I don’t blame you for not liking to deal with lawyers and governments. I know I don’t ! Have a lovely rest of the week Jan. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hah! Just when you thought you were done with all that bureaucratic bull**it! … good on you for stopping the whole money grab! … are there ways you can do a DIY will?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heehee. They get you when you think you are safe and finished with all their paperwork. Then they throw you a curve ball. We are looking into finding out about DIY Wills in Austria. Not easy.
      Take care Widdershins. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. That is an outrageous price for those documents! I hope you get the fuel allowance.
    I love the cat photos! It’s nice to be a bit naughty now and then 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s extortionate, isn’t it Magick Mermaid ? Happily we now have the fuel allowance. Thanks for loving the cat photos and I am sure that being a bit naughty now and again doesn’t hurt 🙂 Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. It never seems to end does it Ralph? Always someone with their fingers in our pockets! I do hope you get your allowance and I do wish you both a Merry Christmas and a brilliant and much better New Year. 🙂 ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully that is the last of these phone calls and paperwork as the fuel allowance has just arrived in my bank account. Whew !
      Thank you Debby and may I wish you and your family from Natascha, myself and the cats a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, perfect! So glad you received, and thanks for the lovely wishes. Merry, Merry to you both and the best to you for the New Year and on! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I come here Just to say you love and Wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year2019.


    Liked by 1 person

  22. Good news that you got the pension for your heating. That sounds very expensive for your notary. My new brother in law is a barrister in the UK I’ll ask if that sounds like a usual amount for that sort of thing.
    I’ve eaten lots of food this week, so that’s about as naughty as I get 👼🏼 hehe 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we did get the heating allowance, only €200, but anything helps. It seems that the Notary here was worried about Brexit, but like the rest of us didn’t know what would be legal for a Brit married to an Austrian type Will, so I reckon he proposed a crazy price just to get rid of us. I had a Will drawn up in Spain years ago and it cost me €400, not the €1500 he was asking here. I am sure your brother would be confused like the rest of us.
      Glad you enjoyed your food, naughty girl ! lol.
      Happy New Year, have a good one dear Charlotte. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. All this brexit hype is so yawn yawn and lawyer using it to his advantage.. The Brits are probably living, 1 at least in every country in the world and they survive with or without belonging or not belonging and they draw pensions from every where.. Don’t think that will change.. 😉 Have a warm day it’s going to get cold this week.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you Lisa, Brexit is becoming a bore. I am British and fed up with the political delaying tactics. I am a British pensioner living in Europe and don’t have a clue how it will affect me, but I am not worried at all.
      It is snowing here in Graz, Austria, as I write.
      I hope you have a wonderful 2019. Ralph xox ❤


  24. I get a chuckle when I read that cat photos were taken by Natasha, I quickly go into my warrior like mode and want to reply , gee, I thought it was the cats who took their own pics, hehehe! They are beautiful.. Now, that I am “semi”” out of retirement, I just envy all the people who love you, for I never received such star quality, but at least I always had you! Hi’s to Natasha and of course the cats! Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anyhow, about your post, and less about me, my fingers are always crossed if it means bringing you what you need, and what will make you happy! ox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much my friend. I really do appreciate your kind comments dear Alana. Ralph xox ❤


    • What a wonderful comment from you dear Alana. Thank you so much for your lovely words. Your blog is very specialised and full of valour in standing up for your countrymen, so that’s why you only have a few followers. People are scared to stand up to the injustices and it needs people like you to say NO.
      Natascha, the cats and myself reply with a big HI !.
      Big hug. Ralph xox ❤


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