Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A due reward

Can you believe it this the blog is now entering its third year ! - what started as a whim, seems to have generated a life of its own, and along the way has found a voice by which we have managed to bring a little cheer to the children at Zvannieki, as well I hope a smile to the faces of its readers. As of today it has had over 4200 visitors.

I hope that later this week to provide a final update on our Smiley fund Christmas appeal, but suffice to say it has exceeded all our expectations. We did spend a little of the money (Ls290.00) to but them a large ( actually VERY LARGE) chest freezer, as well as providing a little Christmas cheer for the children. I can also confirm that thanks to Rietumu Bank we will deliver in late February a brand new Mini Bus - so hopefully their transport problems will be at an end.

It would be fair to say that Christmas and New year in Riga this year was decidedly weird - what with temperatures of around +5 to +8 degrees, and no snow. Christmas Day a downpour of rain, and on Boxing Day nature tried its best with a little flurry of wet and damp snowflakes - but to no avail.

Even as I write this the temperature is +5 degrees and absolutely so sign of temperatures dropping.

The only excitement I can report on over the Festive period, was panic in De Lacy's on New Years Eve, when once again the water & sewage system decided to pack up, thereby flooding the kitchen, and even making inroads into the bar area - not a pretty sight. Fortunately there were not to many people in the pub at the time, and it was decided by I.....( she with the stunning smile bar type person) to close shop until such times as a repairman good attend and fix said problem.

Can you imagine in the UK trying to get a plumber out on New Years Eve - mission impossible - but to Latvia's credit I understand that a plumber did show up, and the evenings festivities did take place.

The one good thing about Christmas is that it was Cretin free, at least from the British breed, however the Finns did there best to make up for it and to take advantage of the low alcohol prices. Regretfully the same cannot be said for New Year, as once again Ryan Air et al ferried in, the now annual invasion of morons, who in good British custom proceeded to get legless, watch football and generally continue to maintain the reputation and great traditions of Brits abroad.

Now I have to confess I did watch a little football - Reading v Manchester United and Reading v West Ham. All in all they did pretty good over the period - and once again the Reading hoodoo goes on. Every manager who has walked out on Reading - McGhee and Pardew, have (1) failed at there new club and (2) and that club has subsequently been through hard times - think Wolves and now West Ham.

Finally a word of good cheer in regards to Juris Calitis and Sandre,( Zvannieki Home) - after all the trials and tribulations that Juris in particular went through in 2006, excommunicated from Lutheran Church - lost his Lutheran congregation, pilloried in the press re his support of the Gay Pride Parade etc - he Sandre were recognised in a broadcast on Latvian television, and in the presence of the Latvian President - as one of the Latvian Men and Women of Year - for there work at Zvannieki. If I may say so - Not before time - and watching in the audience were many of the Children from the home - Not a dry in the house

So what are we to make of 2007 - well in accordance with EU rules, Latvia will experience higher Gas, Petrol, liquor and tobacco prices - all in an effort to comply with EU rules on "harmonising" taxes across the EU. Me thinks our Gordon Brown has been giving out free info on how to fleece the taxpayers.

For me I simply hope that I will still be here to write on the goings on in 2007 - however as this time of the year is always a time for wishing all the best to our fellow man, I would like to share with you a message which I received this year

"Always remember for 2007
* Life is Short
* Forgive Quickly
* Break the Rules
* Kiss Slowly
* Love Truly
* Laugh Uncontrollably
* Never regret anything that made you Smile"

So with that in mind to all you read this blog I wish you health, wealth and every success in your endeavours in 2007

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