Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Would you believe it ?

Every now and then you suddently comes across some facts about Latvia that you had never heard about. So it was this week, sitting watching CNN news (sad I know) there appeared a very strange advert featuring a blue cow, and then across the screen rolled the words "Latvija" and the web address .

I quote the author of this piece

"A blue cow. Don’t try to wake up. It does exist.
That’s right. They’re blue. They’re not painted. They’re not fed with ink. They’re just naturally blue. So bluish-blue I just can hear „It’s raining men“ playing in the background. Some people say that the color of their skin (and also – the incredible amount of milk they produce ) comes from the Baltic sea water they drink for generations and that’s why they (cows) are called „Sea-cows“.

Others say that blue cows are the aristocracy of all cows and they have this blue blood. I don‘t know. But what I do know is that the owner – Anna (and her mother, and grandmother), has kept the Blue Cow breed pure for at least seventy years. Most of blue cows that were once so popular in Latvia have been crisscross-mixed over time with all the brown/black/spotted/whatever cows and have literally disappeared. So I would be lying if saying that blue cows are the first thing you notice when stepping out of the airplane, but you can definitely meet some of them in the area of Liepaja, Jurkalne and Ventspils. It’s about two hours of driving, but think of it as a pilgrimage and combine it with a beautiful trip along the west coast of Latvia. Amazing experience, nice guesthouses and friendly people. Have you noticed how deeply emotional I have become when writing all this?

As best I can guess it is sponsored by the Latvian Tourist Association, but it is an excellent site, and some of the links are really useful, both to visitors and residents alike, particularly if they want to explore outside of Riga - have a look.

Now some of you may have noticed,. well if you check the comments on the blog, that I recently had a visit from M..... (English with artistic desires - how do I know this ?- because I am all seeing that's how !) - who clearly is suffering from that well know symptom of lack-of-fish-and-chip-itis. So sorry M..... there still is no Fish & Chippie in Riga.

But he is here for thre months on one of these European sponsored artistic/ whats it like to live in another country thingies. I am guessing he is recent arrival, but he has already started a pictorial diary which can be seen at - and with name like that he too could end up in Latvian web site. So to M..... - welcome to Riga, and if you feel like meeting fellow village people, well I guess you will be able to work out in which pub we meet.

Now speaking of pubs - time for a whinge - if you do not like my whinging do not read the next green bits - on and skip to end

Think of your ideal pub, and what would you see - A cosy warm place with welcoming staff and good beer.

Now as anyone who has read this blog - we the village people have cherished our little sanctuary - De Lacy's, ever since it opened. Of course of late we have lost out at the weekends to the moronic invaders from the UK and Ireland. But still we have had the pleasure of it during the week.

However there has murmurings amongst the troops in recent times that the high standards it set are beginning to fade just a little.

Well on Tuesday night, I along with S....(Welsh with passing interest in Rugby ), his good lady A.... (even more Welsh) and J... (Irish builder of underground swimming pools) entered to enjoy an early evening drink.

Now as I have mentioned before De Lacy's have this weird idea that you have to keep the front door open to let people know you are open, however on this occasion both the front and inside door were closed, but to no avail as a howling draft still managed to slip into the bar. To avoid this and us all being of an age where drafts cause serious discomfort, we sat down at a table, which in theory would protect us - but alas no - it was COLD !! - so returning to our ideal pub - COSY & WARM - I am afraid not.

Now it has to be said that DE Lacy's was empty, so the normal ambiance of a busy pub was clearly absent (the time was 6:15pm) - but S.....(Ukrainian with questionable music tastes) was not exactly at his WELCOMING best - indeed for the first time in a long time we did not even get a hello - now granted we were not sitting in our usual place by the bar - but with temperatures last night plummeting to -20 degrees, only a polar bear could have sat at the bar with his back to the entrance.
Thankfully the waitresses were extremely friendly and ensured that a beer was always to hand, and served with a smile.

So at least for last night, COSY - WARM and WELCOMING were visible by there absence - the BEER of course was its usual high standard.

But as this week sees the temperatures continue to drop, and with overnight forecasts of -25 for Riga, I may well be tempted to take my body to a warm, draft free establishment.

Since my arrival in Riga the various members of the village people have moved there allegiance three times in ten years - Paddies to The Dickens and then to De Lacy's - it would be shame if there was a need for fourth move.

So a word to the wise - in this day and age can we not get doors that stop drafts and the cold from coming into the pub, and please, please fix the toilets - I know the latter is an ongoing problem caused by the morons who seem to think they have to leave their mark on the toilet walls - but hanging up a coke advert is not going to fix the problem.

End of whinge !

and finally in honour of those people who strive to keep our pavements free from from snow - have a little sympathy for this guy ( it could of course be a woman) - can imagine how he (she) felt when told " clear the bridge" ??

my thanks to M....... (English artisan) for this picture, more of his images can be seen at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you like the photo! Can you remember to credit images taken from other sites; esp. when they are orginal. In this case at least my name please. A link to the orginal post would be ideal []. Also consider using images directly instead of copying them


9:09 pm  

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