Monday, May 29, 2006

Grumpy Old Man

Well here we are thirty days to go, and the world will become a cleaner place (well Riga at Least) - Smoking will be effectively banned in public places, unless they can have separate areas which do not permit non smokers to suffer from those who do.

So its goodbye to having a beer and a cigarette in De Lacey's, as the lay out just does not facilitate having separate area's. What to Do ? - well as I have learned from previous years, just accept it.

Once upon a time I was allowed to smoke at home, in the lounge, even in the bedroom, but all that stopped a long time ago, so it was into the garden to indulge my vice.

So in the case of De Lacey's it will be have to be outside, regretfully De Lacey's does not have an outside "area" - other than the pavement.

The other hostelries, Paddies, and even Dickens should just about manage to accommodate both smokers and non-smokers, but not so our favourite (at least during the week) pub.

But I guess it is progress, and Latvia is simply following the example of other countries, although at this time unlike Ireland and Scotland, it is not an outright ban, in other words it is a social decision, not one based on workers health. Although I suspect this will change in the coming years.

So there we go, another vice is prohibited -and I have to say that whilst I personally regret this change, it is only right that those who do not smoke will no longer have to suffer the consequences of second hand smoke.

But it does again remind me of all that has changed during my lifetime, and how foods which were once formed the staple diet is no longer deemed "healthy"

Butter
Full cream milk
Fried foods (Chips / Fish / Sausages / )
Real bread ( although does anybody remember Slimcea bread ?)
Double Cream
Lard

There is whole industry removing "things" from perfectly natural products - have you seen the so called skimmed milk, with no fat content - it looks like grey water - WHY ? -perhaps they should have a word with cows and tell them to stop producing real milk. And guess what - these products are more expensive than the real thing, a s they have to spend inordinate sums of money to remove, whatever it is there is to much of. Why would anybody want caffeine free coffee - if you want that - drink water.

The whole world seems to have gone overboard with this health thing, and it seems every other day we get another health warning - does anybody actually understand what a cholesterol level is ?

The good thing is that my tender age, I have long since stopped worrying about such things - as every time I have a check up - I seem to be disgustingly healthy - must be doing something right.

Now speaking of life's absurdities- here is gem of staggering proportions. You may remember in a previous blog I mentioned the Rev Juris Calitis, who is a Lutheran vicar of 40+ years standing, Professor of Theology at Riga University, Vicar at the Anglican church - St. Saviours in Riga, and a practising Lutheran pastor at the Lutheran church in Old Riga. - Well in the case of the latter I should say he was - as the Lutheran Archbishop of Latvia and his committee have decided that he is no longer a fit person to act as pastor, as he has seriously transgressed !! - His sin ?- he allowed a gay pride parade to meet in St. Saviours ( NB this is an Anglican Church NOT a Lutheran church), AND he attended a Moonie conference, in his role of Professor of Theology.

Apparently all of this was to much much for the Morons in the Lutheran church, so they have banned him or excommunicated him - whatever.

Now to add injury to insult they have also decided to close the church and ban the 150+ members of the church, such that they are no longer deemed to be Lutheran nor will they have a place of worship in Riga. Wonder what plans they have for building in the Old city - Mmmmm - could it be money ?

And they call themselves Christians ? - I think not - I really wonder if JC ever came back whether he would be allowed to join any church.

Here is man who lives his faith every day (remember he is the father figure at Zvannieki - surrendered his pension to the home) - but the dipsticks who run the church no longer consider him to be a fit person.

The only thing religion appears to the world, is the potential for conflict, be it domestically or nationally - and it comes as no surprise to see that every church has created a hierarchy similar to that of the military - I wonder why ?

Well with that moan of my chest, let me return to matters of Riga, the weather this year is decidedly indifferent - the magic of summer has yet to appear - but one piece of magic did happen on Monday.

I visited Zvannieki along with representatives of Rietumu Bank, and it looks very likely that they will be kind enough to fund the improvements that we wish to make to the home. So next step is to V... ( Australian / Latvian - builder of sorts) out of comatose state, such that he prepare a proper quotation, that we can submit to the bank. So every time you see him remind him that he has promised to have this by Friday of this week !!

Also Lattelecom (have you ever seen such a new dumb logo ?) will reconnect the phone line on June 2nd - -so I will purchase new telephone handset from our Smiley fund account.

So there are - we some good - some bad - some just plain stupid happenings in Riga - but thats Latvia for you.

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