Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A barrel a day !

Does anybody remember the time when a pub was run by a landlord ? - I ask the question as on Monday last, as is my habit, I ventured forth to the village hall - De Lacy's for what I hoped would be quiet beer and a chat with the Monday evening members of the village society.
Instead I was greeted with a hord of Northern Irish cretins in the guise of Cliftonville Football supporters, or were they the actual team ? Apparently they were celebrating there teams famous victory in the qualifiers for the Inter Toto cup, over that other non entity of a football team FC Dinaburg !
In any event there they stood outside De Lacy's, drinks in hand frantically screaming to all and sundry who walked passed, and of course depositing their cigarette stubs onto the pavement. Having adorned the outside of the pub with their "flags", they then began a singing a few renditions of some classical Northern Irish Ditties, thankfully in an accent so thick it the locals would have found impossible to understand.
Now when I pointed this situation out to the resident bar person - S..... (Ukranian - and still managing to find crap music on the Viasat radio channels) he indicated that as they were outside he could not (would not !) do anything about it. Now this begs the question, as it is illegal to drink on the streets of Riga, without the establishment having a licence to do so, and by not indicating to said morons that they were indeed breaking the law. It does suggest a complete indifference to the behaviour of clients of said establishment, but of greater to concern I would have thought, is that it places in jeopardy the licence to sell alcohol.
So to those involved I would say that by permitting such activities there is a danger that we could lose our village hall, should the authorities decide to take action.
Now on the subject of hostelries, it transpired on Sunday that De Lacy's ran out of Guinness - but the quick thinking of certain persons of Irish persuasion, having had few jars of said brew at the weekend village hall, decided to take action. Having purchased a barrel of Guinness, they (J... Australian wood magnate and J... Irish building magnate) carted said barrel off to De Lacy's and presented it to the resident Ukrainian bar type person, for him to once again be in a position to serve the magic brew. But it does again beg the question, why did the management of De Lacy's or indeed the resident bar type person, not have the initiative to do the same thing. Whilst it is a relatively infrequent event (but it does happen) for a bar to run out of a beer - it does not take a major leap in logic to approach the other similar bars to see if they could help out. In this way they keep the customers happy, and stop them leaving the establishment to seek there favourite beer elsewhere. Would welcome any comments or opinions.
Last weekend saw weather of a indifferent nature (it rained a lot !) - so the weekend was spent in passive mode with a swift visit to Saulkrasti beach and on the Sunday down to Bauska to a hotel / palace called Mezhotne Pils - stunning place and set in beautiful grounds. Well worth a visit if you are ever in the region.
Well we are now seriously into summer, and as seems the case throughout Europe - it is raining !
Out Zvannieki I am assured by our resident builder in chief V.... (Australian / Latvian - current compiling the world first builders excuse book) that progress is being made at the kitchen in Zvannieki. I had hoped to publish a few pictures of this refurbishment, but as yet V... has not worked out how to use a camera, or so it seems, perhaps like building work I will get them sometime in the foreseeable future.
On the subject of Zvannieki, I regret to advise that (1) Sarma is departing these shores to return to North America, but will be heading home with her adopted daughter Anna - so tho them I wish all the best, and good luck in the future. On the downside, as many of you may know an article was published in the local rag called Republika, which purported to be tale child abuse at Zvannieki, and how a German lady had been refused permission to "adopt" a child. Regretfully this article has been seen and read by a number of staff within Rietumu Bank, which in turn has led them to ask a number of questions in regards to there support of Zvannieki, specifically the second installment for the kitchen refurbishment.
Now as ever there was absolutely no truth in the article, indeed it was written by the son-in-law of the lawyer representing the German Lady, and he then paid the Republika to publish it. The reality is that the said Lady has been refused by four courts in Latvia from adopting a child ( any child!) and the Latvian lawyer involved is a well know (locally at least) as being an opportunist lawyer, who loves self publicity, and in this case was clearly trying to demonstrate to his German client that he was making "progress" and could therefore continue charging them for his services.
It is to be regretted that this has somewhat strained the relationship with Rietumu bank, as we all know, have been tremendous supporters of the Children in the past. Hopefully we can resolve this issue and move on.
This week also some magical moments in the America's Cup, with what proved to be the last race taking place on Tuesday, enthralling to watch, and to see the Swiss team beat New Zealand by just 2 seconds to win, was sailing at its best. So to Merv (New Zealander - with a penchant for plastic flowers) - sorry about that, but you can always try again in four years.
Finally this weekend sees the annual return of A....(English - suffers from Guinnessitus ) - he will be arriving on 6th July - so to assist all bar staff I publish his image -no need to ask what wants - just pore the black stuff - assuming who have any of course !


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