Monday, October 09, 2006

Dog-Gone it

On Saturday a great deal of happenings were underway, first of all it was election day, as it transpires 60% of the electorate turned up on what was a miserable day, to vote. It appears that the current Prime Minister and his coalition parties have been re-elected. The present ruling coalition parties - TP, the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) and Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way (LPP/LC) - will have a total of 51 seats in the 9th Saeima. This is an all time first for Latvia - having an existing government re-elected. So well done Mr Kalvitis.

Now the other important event, and arguably more important, was the trip to the new Zvannieki by myself, B....(English teacher and supports Newcastle), J.... ( Australian - and watches weird road races from Australia), S...... (Welsh - with declared bad back). Now the purpose of the trip was twofold - firstly to deliver furniture and foodstuffs from Riga to the home and secondly to transport some of the heavier items from the old Zvannieki to the new Zvannieki.

We also had the bicycles and toys so kindly donated by J..... ( Scottish peatbogman) - many thanks J.....

Transportation had been kindly donated by Rietumu Bank and J....(Irish - claimed to be working on Saturday ??).

So having collected S..... and then B....., the latter looking decidedly haggard at 8.30am in the morning, we then met up with the transportation outside St Saviours church, eventually to load up with untold amounts of Broccoli soup ( of the instant variety) and similar quantities of muesli - I assume donated by some well meaning company. Then it was across the river to collect some furniture of dubious age. Organising our endeavours was a lady who at best had a very school teacher approach in dealing with us menfolk - I felt as if we were handling the crown jewels !
Well of this took the best part of two hours, before we set off for the New Zvannieki ( via McDonald's ! - where B.... gave a new meaning to fast food, or in his case slow food !!).

Finally we arrived, and proceeded to unload said food and furniture, and then it was off to the old Zvannieki to load all the heavy items.

On route to the new home we came across what must have been the loneliest set of traffic police in the country. In the middle of absolutely nowhere, there they sat, speed gun in hand ready to catch anyone foolhardy to be speeding on this country road. As we barely saw another car on the whole journey, I can only assume that these two policeman were simply practising their skills, because they certainly were not going to catch anyone speeding

Now S.....( Canadian - vicar type person who can cuss along with the best of them) had a wish list of what she wanted
  • Industrial washing machine
  • Industrial Clothes dryer
  • Two fridges
  • Cooker
  • Outdoor climbing frames(s)
  • and anything else we could squeeze in

Now dear reader this may not sound a lot, but let me on behalf of my fellow workers assure you that these items individually weighed a ton - and of course we had little professional tackle to assist us. But like the true troopers we, are after much sweat, (B.... at one stage looked as if he was going have a seizure) - all was loaded - or so we thought - S..... ( vicar type lady) decided that we had to take the dog house !. Now this particular item was somewhat large, and frankly not in the best condition. however it clearly had sentimental value.

So we picked it up and tried to get in into the only space available on the van, but no good it would not fit, despite the various suggestions from S...., finally after (a) banging a bit off the back and (b) sawing a bit off the front - it fitted - just !

We did not even try to dismantle the outdoor wood climbing frames etc, they were simply to complex, and in any event we would never have got them inside the vans - another time.

Time now to head back, but we faced one minor challenge, the road so immediately leading from the home, was still a mud pile, despite the best endeavours of J.... (Irish master builder) teams efforts to repair it. So with great trepidation off we set up the hill, and despite sliding all over the place we did in fact get out !!

So back along the country road to the new Zvannieki, where the reverse process took place, but considerably quicker, and I trust that said dogs enjoyed there home being re-located. However the reality is that none of the said appliances were working, in the case of the washing machine & dryer due to lack of suitable heavy duty electrical supply and the fridges would not fit through the door into the kitchen area - smallest door way I have ever seen (NB . J... subsequently suggested taking the doors off !! - this he assures me will allow them through the doorway)

S..... (Latvian angel and mother to all) had prepared a wonderful meal, of meatloaf, potatoes, salad etc - to which we all partook - she is an amazing lady.

This was the first visit by B......, J...... and S...... to the new home and like me, thought it was simply a stunning place, and when they are fully settled in - will be so much better than the old one. There is still much to move, from clothes to Jacuzzis - building and paving materials, fruit trees etc, but one way or another it will be done.

So having worked our B...... off and been duly fed, it was time to return to Riga for a well earned beer, but even this was not to be - the cretins were in town, so De Lacy's was out, Paddies was full of English Cretins downstairs watching the England v Macedonia (cracking game !! - if you Macedonian) and upstairs similar sights - but this time local Russians watching Russia v Israel.

Did manage (using the new keyhole camera installed in De Lacey's) to capture some of our visiting cretins at their best.
So we settled for one quick one and then headed home. All of us to a man, with aching backs and sore legs - but feeling good in heart.

Did not take much rocking to get to sleep.

Sunday was rubbish - rained all day - did domestics and joined S......, J.... (Irish work absconder) and B.... (still did not look good) to watch Saracens v Blues, and enjoy a few beers in relative quiet.

Finally I met my first blogite ( is that a word ?) - last week whilst standing outside De Lacy's having a cigarette - I was approached by a young lady, who enquired if I was David ? - having agreed I was - she proceeded to introduce herself - S...... T........... - from the USA and a Bruce Springsteen fan to boot !, and a reader of the blog. Truly a small world !!

So there we go another week has passed us by, and what with Latvia beating Iceland, and Scotland beating France, all it needs is Reading to beat Chelsea next weekend and I think I will start believing in miracles


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