Category Archives: Lifestyle

Farewell to Year 2016

new-year

Now that we have entered 2017, what is new in your life? The idea is to continue with what is good, noble, progressive and praiseworthy. Don’t do carry-over from 2016. That is, negativity about life, challenges and drawbacks should be left behind. Starting 2017 with positive reslolutions is the best thing one can do for themselves and those around them. Today is a new day and we all have a chance to start afresh.

No matter what obstacles or failures you might have experienced in the last year, determine to start afresh in all spheres of life. Dare to dream anew, knowing that everything is possible to those who believe. Then plan and act on your what your believe to achieve your goals.

Today I woke up late, as is always the case on the first day of New Year. On opening my bedroom curtains, the first thing I saw was a tiny round sun struggling to shine behind some clouds in the midst of thick fog. It got me thinking: Why don’t we, human beings, also thrive in our challenges? Why does the sun still shine even in unfavourable condotions? It might lose it’s beautiful rays, but it shines on upon us when it’s daytime.

This year I determine to shine on despite challenges that might come my way. My resolution is to be the best that I can be in whatever circumstances. You may also choose to do this and much more in 2017.

I hope you have a productive and wonderful year.

 

Festive Mood

20161225_152032

It was a wet Christmas Day today, and there was no snow in Vienna. All this was compensated by floods of whites, silver and golden Christmas lights all over town. The traditional red and green lights were almost non-existent this year.

We took some photographs on our trip around the town centre.

Below is Hotel Imperial.

20161225_171107

Temperatures were as low as  minus 6 degrees celsius although it felt warmer than that. Low temps did not discouraged us from taking a glimpse of what was happening out there. There wasn’t much activity though. Most families were indoors. We are all thankful for a time as this.

20161225_171117.jpg

Above: Around the ring

On this festive day, I tried a special duck casserole dish from Duck, bacon and onion casserole It did wonders to complete the festive atmosphere!

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day, doing various  activities, incuding being thankful, kind and loving.

Merry Christmas with joy and goodwill

img-20161217-wa0002-1

Most of us spent the last 4 weeks buying presents for family and friends. Some werre decorating their homes and shopping for special ingredients. While others planned for activities for the big day – Christmas.

20161210_150409

There were also parties in homes, work places and public places, all in honour of Christmas. Finally, Christmas Day is here, and for those who have a tradition of opening presents on the day are busy doing so. wea re also opening ours today!

Pic20161221_131814

Merry Christmas to you all! May the joy, peace and hope of Christmas fill your homes and hearts now and in the New Year to come. May true meaning of Christmas be a reality in your lives:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,… And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Enjoy your Day!

Embrace Seasons

Ushering A Brand New Season – Winter comes with Christmas

10-img_5244

The Fall is almost over and winter is kicking in. It is getting colder, and more gloomy. We must not allow what is happening in the atmosphere and around us to influence our inner feelings. We can choose to be joyful and enjoy every moment of winter like any other season inspite of everything.

One thing I like about Viennese, is that they  know how to celebrate the coming of winter and Christimas just like any other season.

This weekend saw the opening of various Advent markets all over the city, although others had opened a week ago. We visited Rathaus and took some shots:

46-IMG_5281.JPG

08-img_5242

Trees which have ben stripped of their leaves; now clothed in bright lights. The  effect the lighting system casts on objects and the dark background was spectacular!

21-img_5255

There is different exhibition stands, ranging from housekeeping items, games, craft to food and drinks. The most popular stands are those selling warm punch – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A great way of keeping visitors warm in the cold weather.

The best time to be outdoors these days in Vienna is after 2p:m till late (esp. if you need to take a story photgraphy. The photgrapher who inspires me is Leanne Cole. Click here to view her photos. Across the road tehre is thsis great theatre

44-img_5278
Rise and shine despite the gloom around you. Happy new season!

Breafast Bowl of Millet

Breakfast Bowl of Millet  has become one of my favourite foods of late.

try

Oatmeal or quinua  and simple cereals can end up boring if eaten day after day for breakfast. One may need variety to spice their first meal of the day and this is normal.While millet is naturally gluten-free,  its low level of glycemic index works as a positive as it keeps your blood sugar level stable.

The other day I cleaned my kitchen drawers and found some millet flour that has been there for a while. Today I decided to make some millet porrridge. My grandmother’s favourite. Yes, porridge! I know, you might hate it like my children. It was never palatable for them even as small children. I remember when they were babies, I had to force any type of porridge down their throats. Now if I explain the health benefits of millet porridge porridge to them, they just smile, shake their heads and say, “Mum and healthy eating.”

If you’ve never cooked or eaten millet porridge you’ll be surprised that if cooked the way I usually do, it can have a creamy smooth creamy texture and tastes pleasantly. The texture is far much better than that of pap (thick porridge) made out of the same. For me, millet pap tastes sandy and slightly bitter. The difference is quite amazing. With this in mind, I therefore make sure my porridge is not thick but washy washy. To thicken it to your taste you can add some fresh bread crumbs.

How I Cook Millet Porridge

raisins

 

lemon

(Make 2 servings – feel free to add your own flavour and sweetner to your taste)

You need: 1/2 small cup millet flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water (you may prefer to use 1 cup milk and 1 cup water)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squizzed)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 4 mint leaves (you can use dried powdery one if there is no fresh leaves)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • handful of raisins or cranberries

How to Proceed: In a medium-sized pot, pour one cup of cold water or milk add flour bit by bit, stirring as you go. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Put on the stove and continue stirring as the mixture warms up until it comes to boil (this helps to prevent lumps).

When it starts thickening add more (boiling) water or milk to your preferred thickness and keep on stirring.

Add all other ingredients – excluding raisins (if using raisins add them at the end of cooking).

Cover and cook on ‘low’ for 15 to 20 minutes, (You may occasionally uncover the pot to stir or add more boiling water as you like).

Millet porridge should be bubbly to a little bit thick now. You can work on it until desired texture and taste is achieved.

Turn off the heat and stir in raisins or cranberries. You can also add bread crumbs if you like.

Enjoy. After this tasty and nutritional breakfast you are ready to start your day.

 

Zimbabwean-Style Nuts and Maize

nuts
One of my favourite traditional snacks. it goes down well with simple cold water or a nice cup of tea.

For a filling and chewy snack, you may like to try the Zimbabwean style round nuts & maize. Cooking here is simple boiling both ingredients together on medium heat for about two and half hours. Adding peanuts into the mixture adds to the wonderful taste. I like using pre-cooked and sun-dried maize because it has sealed all its flavours and it tastes as if it’s freshly harvested.

For tea green tea has always been a favourite. But a few months ago I discovered a naturally detoxifying tea. It is called iaso tea.  It has a gentle taste. I’m loving it!

iaso-tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picure: Elizabeth  Ntopi

This tea also helps you to lose weight effortlessly as it cleans your digestive system .It is a 100% organic tea that aids digestion and promotes cardiovascular health.

If you would like to give iaso tea a try  click the link below, where it says ‘click here’.

When you are still there click shop  to go to the shopping place and please make your selection.

Select: I am a new customer and click ‘next’

You will be asked for the enroller number of the person who referred you to the site below. That is where you fill in my Enroller ID/ referral number before you  shop: 7611531

For more information about this tea CLICK HERE

Enjoy your shopping!

 

Soviet War Memorial in Vienna

The Soviet war monument, found at Vienna’s Schwarzernbergplatz, comes out best  in photographs when taken from a distance. This is because of its size and the fact that it is located around beautiful sights and grandiose buildings. The monument is commonly known as Helden der Roten Armee.20160923_155249The semi-circular white marble stone, among other spectacles, features a 12 metre high figure of a Red Army soldier. The monument was opened in 1945 to commemorate numerous Soviet soldiers who were killed in the Battle for Vienna. It marks victory over fascism. 20160923_155144The fountain at the place is aalways an outstanding feature. But when it is sunny, photography around the area can be very pleasurable. From  a right angle one can even capture a rainbow or two and a variety of artistic shades.

It is interesting to note that the Helden der Rote Armee in Vienna was built by war prisoners and local workforce. 20160923_154919The greyish circular stuff inside the fountain is some type of stone which also adds to the sight’s beauty.20160923_154820The skies were very clear with scattered ligh clouds on the day the photos were shot. That is, a couple of weeks ago. For days now, it has been drizzling a lot ande any serious photography has not been inviting.

Below is an alley close to our place photographed on the same day, but in the evening. The lighting along the lane came out nicely reminding one of a deserted hallway in a horror movie. It was also a bit quiet out there –  showing early signs of autumn (Herbst).20160916_201709

The newly completed supermarket and restaurant in the neighbourhood makes for a bright and glowy scenery in the small business centre of the 21st district of Vienna.Its presence makes the place to look busier than it has ever been before.

20160916_191616

Chinese Luno Festival on the Danube Island

img_5038Photo: / E. Jonathan                                      China Magic – Temple of heavenly Peace in Beijiong

This year Vienna Afrika Tage took place adjacent to its usual place on the Danube Island. Most patrons were asking: why the change of the venue?

A few days later into the Afrika – Afrika festival, a brand new Chinese “Luno Festival” started  to take shape slowly but surely. Organisers were setting up building structures and figures to create a fantastic wow of colour. It finally opened its gates on September 1 and it will be on up to the 9th of October 2016. Yes! six weeks will see the Danube Island tranformed into Chinese magic kingdom and culture of fantastic lighting, colour and music.

img_5023Photo: E. Jonathan                                    The lit Dragon creation at the Luno festival

Taking pictures at this sight can be fun by one has to adjust their wisely to caputure the spectacular creations and to bring out the artistic touch. Below is the dragon from a closer range. img_5024Photo: E. Jonathan

At the moment families and tourists throng the venue of “Chinese Magic – Festival of Light” as it celebrates its European premiere in Vienna.

img_5040Photo. E. Jonathan                  House-sized lit, in the form of Vienna State Opera & Johannes Strauss

 

The festival also offers a variety of Chinese cuisine.

img_5054

Summer Perspectives

20150625_102624

Summer is here and may it give all of us a new perspective about how to live a happier and more positive life.

This weekend the hottest temperatures recorded in the city of Vienna were up to 36.C (96,8.F) and the forecast was even 37.C for some areas. I hope we won’t hit a new high after the record breaker, “all-time high” temperature of July 2013, which was 39,9.C (103,8 F).

The barbecues were at full swing along the new Donau and further out, close to the part of the Donau Auen National Park. Actually, one of my associates and her friends were having a good time with full barbecues at a place called Lobau at the weekend.

The cold gloomy days are over and we are all looking forward to more days of sunshine and time to be outside before the next fall returns.
It was interesting though to overhear some individuals complaining about the heatwave we experienced during this weekend. Some were wishing for the past season, winter. I was also caught doing the same thing. After some consideration, I realised that humans’ worst folly is not knowing exactly what they want and forgetting to live life as it come, enjoying every bit of what it is worth.

My pastor’s sermon last Sunday hit the nail on the head. It was as if he knew how some of us were ungrateful for the season we were in and had forgotten that everything has its own time. Then, I thought of putting down here and share some of the summer perspectives he talked about:

#1 “Don’t use emotional energy on things you can’t control.”
I realised that it is equally important to know what one can and can’t change, otherwise they waste their energy unnecessarily, leading to an unhealthy life.

# 2 “Don’t waste time your mistakes or failures”
To err is human as the cliché goes. What counts most is trying one’s best not to repeat same mistakes, but to learn from them. At times the voice of condemnation keeps on whispering phrases to pull us down. Instead, listening to the voice that says ‘you can turn this around and make something out of your mistake’ must guide our steps always, especially this beautiful summer. Always be positive this summer and things will take a right about turn. Moreover, God still loves us even if we make mistakes.

#3 “Be happy when others do well.”
Those who celebrate others’ success most times also succeed in life whereas haters may even feel sick for their unhealthy feelings. This can also lead to bad behaviour intended to pulling others down. At times we even criticise others for the sole reason that we see them more blessed than us. The most harmful thing one can do is comparing oneself with others. This summer let’s celebrate others as they do well and see ourselves blessed.

20150625_102252

#4 “Decide not to complain or criticise.”
Live is full of opportunities to complain, but this summer let’s make it a point not to complain but be grateful of all we have. We can also be content with the little we have. Today (09/07/15) I looked at a disabled couple holding hands, happy as they strolled along with other holiday makers in the first district. I felt at times I complain when I am supposed to be thankful about what I have. The pastor even said, “If you feel like criticising others, look at yourself in the mirror and see if you are perfect.” That I am not, I wonder who is out there? However, God’s power is perfected in our weakness, if we let Him be God in our lives.

#5 “Believe God wants to give you favour.”
Our behaviour, which we know is not pleasing to God will make us to feel far away from Him. We need to know that God is always close to us. He is love. What we need to do, beginning this summer, as we barbecue, go for weekend excursions and to places like Schönbrun and the like, is to pray and ask him through His Holy Spirit to help us change our perspective and see things from His perspective. Reading the bible will help us hear His voice. As we do all this, we must trust in the Lord that He has good plans for us all. (See Jeremiah 29:11).

Finally, cheer up! Things could be worse, but because God is in control your tomorrow will be bright.

I hope these points from my pastor and my brief thoughts on the summer perspective will add to your enjoyment and joy this year’s summer.

Happy Summer!

A Car Nearly Striped of Wheels at the Weekend

20150613_154728

20150613_154554

In Vienna motor vehicles are permitted to use designated bays along the rail so long they use them responsibly, following traffic rules. If car drivers park along these roads they must make sure they leave enough space for trams to pass unobstructed. In any case, the rail doubles as road for motor vehicles.

At the weekend, when riding on one of the trams to the Prater Park, we witnessed drama involving a tram and a private car.

It was late in the afternoon after wandering around town that we got into tram number 1 at Schwedenplatz. On reaching Rudolf von Alt-platz, in the third district, the tram stopped for longer than usual and all passengers were wondering what the problem was. After some time, the tram driver announced that the delay was caused by a small private car that was parked too close to the rail line. Sure enough, if he’d tried to pass, he’d have knocked off the rear view mirror. The motorist had parked their vehicle inconsiderately.

20150613_155119

The tram driver pressed the horn several times to alert the owner of the car in case they were somewhere close by and had a legitimate reason to have parked there and that way. The owner was nowhere to be seen.After waiting for sometime, the driver made a number of phone calls. After about ten minutes, the fire brigade truck and a police arrived within minutes of each other. They all talked with the tram driver in low tones; probably trying to establish if the driver of the offending vehicle had been given enough time to rescue their car. Before the police arrived, the firemen seemed to be discussing whether to lift the tiny car out of the way, but they seemed not to be in agreement. All parties took photos of the car’s number plates.

As spectators and the police watched, one fireman went back to the fire truck,  took out cutters, and went straight to the offending vehicle. It remained to the spectators’ imagination to guess what he was going to do to the car. Suddenly, the owner emerged from nowhere . She was a woman in her early fifties. She signalled the police and the firemen to move aside, to which they compiled. Without addressing any of the people around, she unlocked her car, got inside and drove away mumbling inaudibly.

“What will happen to the woman after this?” That was the question in most spectators’ minds.

Was she going to get away with it after the firemen and the police had been summoned to the place because of her?  What about the delay which might have cost Wiener Linien some money?

One spectator volunteered to give answers: ” I don’t know. I hope that Wiener Linien won’t  send her a bill for delaying the tram and that the fire brigade department and the police will just let her off with a written warning for wasting their time.”

‘”How sad that somebody can risk their car  and a possibility of pumping out  a couple of thousand Euros because of careless parking. She must have been very upset-minded to park her car so close to the rail line.” That was what one passenger said.

After that dramatic incident, the train continued on its route.

Photos from Africa-Africa in Vienna, Austria

It’s going to a week now since we promised to post a few photos. One thing or the other has been conming. Here we are, finally. We used  Canon IXUS 99015 and Samsung Galaxy S 111 instead of iPhone.

In the first  two pictures is an example of how people who live in deserts in Africa dress. This helps to protect them from the heat. In front of them and on the floor are wooden seats and a variety of foot wear.

africa africa

IMG_4466

 

IMG_4454

Wosho and other musical instruments from Africa.

IMG_4458

Decorated Fruit Bowls. Artistically engraved with animals and various mortifs.