Sunday 3 March 2013


The last few days were all about keeping the wife happy.   She wanted to go to Vienna, partly to go see the place,but also to see her niece, who was attending some United Nation symposium on plant genetic modification.   So I packed up my socks and we headed off.   Two flights, via Zurich.   Considerable worry as our first flight was an hour late, and landed after the Vienna flight was due to take off.    But it waited for us, and our headlong run between well separated gates was unnecessary.  Snow had delayed many of the flights from airports near the Alps.
Can't say I really enjoyed the city, too much like Budapest, which we had visited just 6 months ago.  Like Budapest, it was very free of litter.  I wish the UK was the same, equally clean.    But as in Budapest, graffiti was everywhere, with some fine examples.  Vienna is an arty city, and whilst I would not create graffiti myself ( in part because I cannot draw or paint), I do appreciate it when well done.  The following is an example seen of the side of the Danube Canal.  I loved it, as does my newly qualified medic son.
 Dunno if it has any meaning other than as an alternative to the apple, but it is a skillful piece of art,    far more so than some of the modern junk in the Vienna museums.  But art critics are the easiest of humans to dupe I suppose.
Nice underground system, and good above ground trams too.   Why though, does it always seem so much easier to navigate underground, effectively blind, than to use the trams, where one can see the landmarks?   Probably due to their own version of the London underground map.
But what about the fish? Well if you ignore the fact that the Danube is NOT blue, it does contain fish. I sneaked off down to the river to avoid a shopping trip, and borrowed a guy's rod for a cast or two. Probably because of a large snow melt content,   he had caught nothing and so was probably not thrilled when I struck lucky after just five minutes with this fish, weighing about 2 & 1/2 pounds. Pretty sure it is an ide, not a fish with which I am very familiar. Also known as an orfe, of which a golden variety is popular with pond keepers, and the herons which see them so much more easily than normal orfe. 

So, if you are able to provide a better identification, then thank you. The fish is, sadly, dead.   Having borrowed the guy's rod, he indicated that he would like to take the fish home, and, although I should have liked to see the fish swim away, it would have been a little churlish of me to refuse it to someone who had loaned me his rod so readily.


  1. Jayzs, the toad licking is reference to the hallucinogenic properties of toad skin. YOu can't get high by licking it, only sick. You have to kill the toad, dry the skin and smoke it apparently

  2. Thanks for that Jeff. It does indeed look more like a toad than a frog. You are obviously widely read. ;-)
    A bit of research turned up a few articles on these toad based drugs. Taking them sounds horrible. One user described taking the drug as 'like being shot out of a rifle barrel lined with baroque paintings and landing on a sea of electricity'.
    Me, I think I'll keep my highs to the odd sniff of fresh road tar whilst driving.