One of the many advantages of being part of NGS is the doors that it opens and the many interesting people you meet. It was one of these random doors that opened last year when I got a call asking if I wanted to offer a garden visit to 30 Austrians who were on a garden visiting cruise in September, hosted by their equivalent of Alan Titchmarsh.
Of course I would host a visit I said (after negotiating a donation to the NGS). After all it was an auspicious year for Austria with them winning the Eurovision song contest and I felt that this would bring me closer to their fabulous representative Conchita Wurst.
So all was set, and last year the ‘fixer’ and Herr Titchmarsh himself came to visit to have a poke around. I wasn’t able to be there so my mother let the Austrian whirlwind in. I don’t know how good her poker face was when they asked her if all was still ok for the group of 60 people to come in May, and where could they park their two coaches? (There had been some crossed wires and it was indeed September and only 30 people, but mother had needed a large gin to steady herself)
The other surprise was that it was all to be recorded for Austrian TV...this was my chance to make it big in Austria, and perhaps next time I was at the top of one of their mountains skiing the man dressed as Pocahontas serving the rotisserie chickens may give me some frites for free. Perhaps when I saw Conchita she would give me a wave and ask me for gardening tips?
All was set and the date was in the diary. After the dress rehearsal of our Eurovision party in May I now have a large Austrian flag that I was going to fly over the summerhouse and am an expert at making schnitzel. So I was rather sad when they pulled out. The cruise liner has gone bankrupt.
This will not be my year for being big in Austria L