Love is love.

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I went to the Vienna Pride Parade yesterday. And it was great.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I fully support gay rights. In my opinion, love is love and people should get the same rights for the same love. It’s as simple as that. And it should be.
Vienna is very good in marketing a picture of itself that presents the city as very open-minded, very progressive. We’ve got gay traffic light symbols, after all. How could we not be?

The truth is that we’re not as progressive as we’d like the world to believe we are. Gay marriage is not legal. Why? Who knows.

But yesterday? Yesterday it was great. The atmosphere was light and fun. Yes, it’s actually a demonstration but if all demonstrations could be this cheerful and colourful, the world would be a better place.

So we braved heavy rain and strong wind to show our support. And you should too. Do what you can, whenever you can. Speak up, let your voice be heard and maybe we’ll change the world this way.

We just might.

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Urban Farming

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Living out of the city (but not quite in the countryside) has a lot of upsides. It naturally also has a lot of downsides but that’s not the point of my post today.
I’m lucky. I know I am. My parents have a garden and while it’s not huge, it’s plenty of space. It was big enough for water fights and tents for a camping sleepover when I was a child. It was secluded enough to have a fire pit to roast marshmallows. It’s great for lazy afternoons, lounging on the terrace or for our cats to act like fierce predators when they creep up on blackbirds.

Since this spring it’s also hosting two raised garden beds. It’s a dream come true for my mum, who has wanted one of them for years now and fills up the dead space in the back of our garden perfectly.
A couple of weeks ago we went to a small town in Lower Austria because an organisation there sold plants and vegetables that weren’t all that common. They specialised in rare plant species. Vegetables that are almost forgotten and things that you can’t get in just any garden centre.
So we went home with chard, spinach, three different kinds of salad, zucchini, corn, eggplant and cucumber plants. We got strawberries, rhubarb and four different kinds of tomatoes. Oh, and new herbs, of course (just those that didn’t survive the winter. Most of our herbs have been really good and are already flourishing. Mint and sage are growing like crazy again (even though we harvested all of it last autumn to dry it and make tea!).

But this is not enough. We also have an apple, cherry, plum and fig tree. Two blueberry bushes, a place where raspberries are growing and our grapes are looking good as well. It’s an urban farm jungle and we couldn’t be happier.

Some mornings the first thing we do is brave the chilly air, cup of tea in hand, and make our way to our veggies. Cold toes be damned, we want to know how our garden is doing. Soon enough this will be my first way for an entirely different reason because I cannot wait to be able and pick berries fresh from the garden for my breakfast.

This is happiness. This is the good life.

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Oh Nepal

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The news of the earthquake in Nepal have left me utterly heartbroken.
So many lives lost, so many ancient historic buildings and temples destroyed, so many homes in ruins. And so many villages not even accessed yet.
We are fortunate because so far, all of my relatives are safe. The same goes for close family friends. We’ve been in contact with them and the stories they’ve told are devastating.

My grandmother is afraid to go back inside, my uncle has been wandering the streets of Kathmandu and a close family friend who’s also a heart surgeon is almost constantly fighting ti save lives. People are being treated in hospital hallways, out in the open in front of hospital buildings and everywhere else where it’s needed.

Nepal is a country with a rich culture and history. The people are warm and friendly, welcoming to everyone and they need our help.
The infrastructure of the country is weak at the best of times so I cannot even imagine what it’s like now. The government barely said anything so far and neighbours are trying to safe neighbours sometimes with just their bare hands.

#prayfornepal seems like a popular hashtag and I’m thankful for it all but let me be clear: praying alone, being sad alone isn’t enough. Please consider donating whatever amount you can to help to a reliable charity of your choice.
Right now getting basic supplies, medicine, clean water and food and equipment to save people buried in the rubble is probably the top priority, but the rebuilding of the countr y will take a long time and for that too, ressources are needed. Please don’t forget that.

The New York Times has listed some charities here. Austrian readers can also donate to the Austrian Red Cross.

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ETA:
I forgot: Facebook has enabled the safety check, where people who are in the affected regions can mark themselves as safe and let their friends and families know that they are alright. Should you be looking for someone, the google person finder may be able to help you. And last but not least, viber has made calls to nepalese landlines free using viber out.

World: Athens, Greece

If you are following me on Instagram you may know that I went on a short trip to Athens, Greece in February.

My decision-making process kinda went like this: “I’m bored, I don’t have much money, I don’t want to wait for someone to join me… – wait! I don’t need anyone to join me… let’s go!”

So within a week I ordered a little travel guide, booked a hostel and a flight, packed my bag and went my merry way

It really is as easy as that. And it should be.

Here are some impressions of my time in Athens – a wonderful city with a lot to discover!

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