I had resigned myself to live out the rest of my life alone in Spain. It all changed when I met Natascha, a WordPress blogger, and we decided to get together. It was probably the most complicated event of my life. Natascha suffered from daily migraines and has to go to her pharmacy twice a day for special medicine in Graz, Austria. She was willing to come and live with me, but would have had to start from the very beginning the tests by the Spanish doctors and would probably not get the same treatment as she is getting in Austria. So I decided that I was the one to move.
After many months of stress & anxiety in putting together all the aspects of the move, it all came together and in September 2017 the big day came. The day when memories of Spain and a new life in a different country began.
The removals vehicle arrived. My apartment emptied in the morning and the same evening I was on the plane at 30,000 feet with Sonic and Samantha in the aircraft hold, on our way to Vienna airport from Malaga.
The apartment looks so sad now empty.
Natascha was waiting at Vienna Arrivals monitoring my flight on Flightradar 24 and was a bit worried when she saw my aircraft flying past the airport.
Way after midnight, cats collected, all meeting up, we went on to stay the night in an airport hotel.
The cats set free from their 10 hour ordeal in the carriers hid under the hotel bed and we were all exhausted.
In the morning a simple train ride from Vienna to Graz turned into quite a fiasco as there were works on the railway line and we had to transfer a short distance half way to Graz by a road coach to another train to take us the rest of the way. This is where I think I lost the cats’ passports. Oh boy ! Natascha and booked us into a hotel in Graz. A small room, two cats and two humans for 18 days.
We had to wait in the hotel for that long until we were given the keys to our new apartment in the city. Murli, Natascha’s cat, stayed with the Natascha’s dad. Three cats would have been too much in the small room.
So we moved, this time to our new home and we hope to stay here for a few years.
Natascha’s bike outside our window.
Samantha puzzled, “What’s going on !”
We have a balcony which I am sure we will enjoy to the fullest.
Our first view of the autumn 2017 garden.
Great Spotted Woodpecker taking a rest from beating his brains out against a tree trunk.
Snow falling in our courtyard garden.
House Sparrow enjoying his winter breakfast.
Spring brings a Black Redstart into the garden.
Our first Christmas together ! A cold, but lovely experience !
We had decided quite early on to get married. We thought it would be quite a simple process as I had no problems with my residency, Austrian health and registration …… all the paperwork needed for me to stay legally in Austria. No problems with my English documents at all. And THEN we met the Graz Registrar office !
Talk about bureaucrazy ! It has taken us months and at the time of writing this About #2 we are still doing paperwork ! We needed to go to the British embassy in Vienna to get a certificate of me being free to marry.
The British Government certificate was rejected by Ms Bureaucrazy, but after a few days the Graz Registrar boss said that it was okay. All this totally stressed us out wondering what the heck was going on with these people. And THEN the office decided that we had to get a court translator to translate all the UK documents into German. And THEN they wanted all my documents to be legalised in the UK. We are still waiting for one final document to be returned from the UK, approved ! We have not really started to think about the marriage service because of all these paperwork shenanigans still going on after months. The actual marriage costs less than €10. To date we have spent hundreds of euros on this unnecessary paperwork craziness ! We just hope that this final step will be the last.
We have been living in the apartment for a few months. I have been able to do nothing much as my hands really vibrate when gripping things. So the pictures and lights have not been hung. Eventually Natascha will do it under my guidance. Even so, we are enjoying living here.
Natascha is happy that she can keep her bike in the hall.
The kitchen is perfect for the two of us and the three cats.
The toilet room on the other hand was a bit grubby. After a lot of work by Natascha and a new cat toilet seat installed, all is now good !
The salon is still under construction and will probably be for a while.
The bedroom is in the same state, but we will get there !
If you are wondering, China Cat and Coo Coo are still in the cupboard !
Google Photos made these two gifs from a few photographs.
Google Photos spliced two Murli photographs together. Spooky cat !
The answer will come in a future post 🙂
Ralph xox ❤
All the photographs were taken by Natascha