Monday, February 26, 2007

Baa - Baa - BA


The whole point of this blog was to write about the very day goings on of life in Riga, but what do you do when a week passes and not a lot happens ?

Well I say not a lot happened on Saturday, Scotland were magnanimous when playing Italy, what other country would give the opposition a 21 point lead in the first few minutes, just to make the game more interesting, and then if that was not enough, permit Italy to have their first win overseas in the Six Nations championship. Who said the Scots were not generous ?

A brief congratulations to Ireland for there stunning win over England at Croke Park, and even the Welsh were stalwart in defeat at the hands of the French. However who decided to play a game of Rugby at 9.00pm ( local time) 10.00pm in Riga ???? - even our Welsh village member S...... ( a lover of all things tall) has time to take himself up to the top of the Eiffel tower before the game - not I trust with the thought of throwing himself off, as he has failed to keep his promise of shoving his head under the ice on the Daugava after the game against Scotland.

No doubt the Irish village members will return in fine spirits, but with no International rugby this weekend, then we will have to bide our time before the next set of clashes.

So having said all of this I still cannot think of anything of particular note that happened in Riga last week, so I have again turned my attention to events on the international front. In particular to down under - Hi M.... (New Zealander with penchant for plastic flowers).

We have all heard about the various on line dating agencies, which permit lonely men to meet lonely women - well a kinder spirit in New Zealand has recognised that it is not just Humans who are lonely and seeking partners - apparently so are sheep.

Making the news this week with the headline "New Zealanders flock to www.adultSheepFinder.com "

The site boasts:

With AdultSheepFinder you can meet sexy sheep in your area at the touch of a button!
Find the right sheep for you from our extensive database and try to arrange with their owners for a sexy encounter!
Explore the erotic lifestyle of millions of sheeplovers through our Nude Sheep Photos, we even have hundreds of Sexy Webcam Sheep online everyday!
Marvellous. Just to rub it in, the wags behind this bit of NZ-baiting offer only "New Zealand" in the drop-down list of countries in their "Search Our Members" facility, and further advise: "If you would like to know more about Sheep Shagging we can recommend the following literature- Lonely Planet - New Zealand Edition.
Enraged New Zealanders can spare themselves a whois search on the domain, since the perpetrators of www.adultSheepFinder.com are keeping their heads well down. Which means, of course, that they're almost certainly Australian !!

Now this whole thing may catch on, why stop at sheep - dogs, cats even pigs, they all need to feel loved !

Staying on the subject of sheep, also came across this headline news
Scientists look to straighten homosexual sheep ( seriously this is real)

And I quote

"Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has come out in favour of the rights of homosexual sheep in a burgeoning row over tests carried out by two US universities aimed at "curing" ovine friends of Dorothy.

According to The Times, researchers at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland were able to "pinpoint the mechanisms influencing the desires of 'male-oriented' rams by studying their brains".

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has come out in favour of the rights of homosexual sheep in a burgeoning row over tests carried out by two US universities aimed at "curing" ovine friends of Dorothy.

Specifically, they cut open the offending sheeps' skulls, attached electronic sensors to their grey matter and monitored them while "varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain". They reported "considerable success" in getting previously gay rams to consider a bit of boy-on-girl.

The purpose behind these experiments is to "improve the productivity of herds" since "approximately one ram in 10 prefers to mount other rams rather than mate with ewes". The implications are far more sinister, opponents claim, since the acquired knowledge could in the future be used to "cure" human homosexuality, or may offer the prospect that "pregnant women could one day be offered a [hormone] treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual".

Ms Navratilova weighed in with: "How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?"

UK gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell declared: "These experiments echo Nazi research in the early 1940s which aimed at eradicating homosexuality. They stink of eugenics. There is a danger that extreme homophobic regimes may try to use these experimental results to change the orientation of gay people."

Udo Schuklenk, Professor of Bioethics at Glasgow Caledonian University, who has "written to the researchers pressing them to stop", added: "I don't believe the motives of the study are homophobic, but their work brings the terrible possibility of exploitation by homophobic societies. Imagine this technology in the hands of Iran, for example. It is typical of the US to ignore the global context in which this is taking place."

Professor Charles Roselli, the Health and Science University biologist heading the research programme, defended his work with: "In general, sexuality has been under-studied because of political concerns. People don't want science looking into what determines sexuality."
Michael Bailey, a neurology professor at Northwestern University near Chicago, risked the wrath of the gay community by stating: "Allowing parents to select their children’s sexual orientation would further a parent's freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise."
As for the unfortunate gay rams subjected to the research teams' uninvited attentions, it remained for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to slam their sufferings as "a needless slaughter of animals, an affront to human dignity and a colossal waste of precious research funds". ®


According to The Times, researchers at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland were able to "pinpoint the mechanisms influencing the desires of 'male-oriented' rams by studying their brains".

Well enough about sheep, but it does make you wonder about the state of the world, but for those obsessed with the subject try a Google search on "sheep stories" (That was not how I came across the two above)

Now this week sees the end of another era, last week saw the demise of Brunch at the Radisson, and this weekend sees the end of British Airways flights to Gatwick - so from this weekend the only choice of direct flights from UK TO Riga are Air Baltic and Ryan Air - no prizes for guessing which one I will be choosing.

For those interested re Zvannieki - well all is progressing - if a little slowly, kitchen should be done in April and the new mini bus in late March.


So to those outside Riga, apologies about the lack of goings on in Riga, but I am sure this week will see new happenings to once again bring Riga alive.

Update for the Welsh (and no it is not about sheep !!)


It is St Davids Day on 28th February, and Vincents Restaurant is serving in its honour, and all for the princely sum of between Ls10.00 and LS13.00 per head


Poached baby leeks with traditional accomplishments

Cured salmon on crempog with fresh cheese and watercress

Foie gras with caramelised baby pears (supplement Ls 2.40)

Prince of Wales cream of leek and oyster soup

~~~

Pan-fried cod fillet with potato puree and razor clams

Grilled pork cutlet with a faggot and potato-leek scallop

Cawl—slow cooked leg of lamb with leek and vegetable casserole

Welsh rarebit in portobello mushroom with cheddar cheese

~~~

Spotted dick with custard Caramelised winter apple mousse with a cheddar cheese tuile

Caramelised winter apple mousse with a cheddar cheese tuile

and to quote Martin Ritins - owner and Chef

Dylan Thomas, poet was born in 1914, year of the tiger (he missed being a Welsh rabbit by just 9 weeks). His short but wild life overlapped Cheesterton’s b.1874 (a dog—oh, who cares anymore).

He of Under Milk Wood would have done the subject justice, but he was mysteriously negligent in raving, or raging, about cheese. Beer yes, pints of ink on it, but just crumbs on cheese! For crying out loud, every pub in Gt. Britain served nothing but cheese and bread, particularly the ones that he frequented.

This is a long-winded way of getting round to the fact that St. David’s day is remembered in Vincents’ lunch menu this week.

So Welsh rabbit/rarebit, a delicious cheddar-based dish, is left to an English-Latvian chef to do it justice.Martin is eminently qualified for this task, just having one degree of separation from Michael Palin, disobliging proprietor in Monty Pythons’ Cheese Shop sketch.

He is also currently working on an exhaustive, detailed, 2 page pamphlets on ‘The neglect of Cheese in Latvian Literature’.Vincent’s will also remember Dylan Thomas, by gifting a bottle of Uzavas Beer to go with the Welsh thingamibit.

This prince among beers goes to the first person that enters the restaurant wearing a leek in their hat, able to recite even one verse of ‘Do not go gently into that good night’, bearing a forged, notarised affidavit declaring the Chinese year that St. David was born.

Well I think their is only one man in Riga who could possible meet this challenge - S.....- where are you ??

Just in case this business lunch does not appeal to you then you could always go for the ala carte menu which inludes :

Fried Latvian ostrich fillet with beluga lentils - now their is one for the record books !!

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