Friday, February 19, 2010

wibbly wobbly way

Now with temperatures rising slightly, and Riga still creeking under the snowfall of last week, despite the best efforts of Riga Council to remove the snow to outside the city - the great danger to human life is not from slipping on the roads and pavements but from above !! - With the roofs covered in snow and icicles dangling from the gutters - the safest bet is walk in the middle of the road - however as this is even more dangerous than walking on the pavements, given the driving habits of many Latvians.

However just as we snow sweeper upperers, outside each and every building clearing the snow to make even bigger piles of snow beside the road - so we roof based sweeper downers - you with only the basics of safety equipment - usually just a rope tied around there waste and tied (I assume) to some fixed thingy on the roof, they brush and shovel the snow back onto the recently cleared pavement. Now if you are lucky they will roped off the pavement area below, thereby preventing innocent passerbys from getting clunked with snow - however one can be unlucky !!

But what of the icicles - well as the phot blow show all you need is someone brave ( foolish) enough to stand at the very edge of the roof with a long pole and "bash" away at the icicles. This one time you definitely do not want to walking underneath

Like the sweeper upperers, I wonder what these guys do the rest of the year ?

I will only make a brief passing to last weekends rugby - SUICIDE WISH !!!! - watched the Wales V Scotland game at Alberts, alongwith J... (Irish - newly installed as games machine entreprenuer). Had not seen him for months and C.... (English - Printing Guru) alongwith a group of paralitic young British soldiers. Have decided that rugby should be reduced to 70 minutes after the fiasco of the last 10 minutes.

The papers claimed it was a great Welsh recovery - No it was not it was a typical Scottish gameplan, as we seek to retake the wooden spoon from Italy - just lull the opposition into a false sense of security by allowing them to draw level, and at the same time just to make it more "interesting" reduce the team to 13 men - then with 80 minutes up go for a looser by kicking the ball straight back to the opposition - so they can score the winner - absolutely brilliant strategy as we seek again to capture the wooden spoon. I cannot wait to see what strategy we employ against England and Italy in persuit of the mythical wodden spoon.

Left Alberts alongwith J.... (Irish- former cigarette king) to head for PW - to watch the France v Ireland, and lo and behold another Irish figure from the past M..... (Irish -Latvian Bank saviour) and his son. The upstairs was busy to we sat in the back room to watch the game - had to feel sorry for the Irish contingent as unlike Scotland they had no "real" loosing strategy - they just were outplayed.

One our numbers F.... (Australian - hostel/blackberry fanatic) has had to go to hospital with a hernia problem - but he is back out but was seen drinking only coke !!

So there we have it another week in Riga has gone by - more snow is forecast for this weekend - but hopefully not as bad as last week.

Finally - and this could only be from Australia - an application for Iphone users that has real purpose - enjoy !

Regretfully I have to advise all yoy Iphone users that Apple have removed this application from there download store

Thursday, February 04, 2010

It is SNOWING !!

T'was on a Monday night and all the world was quiet ( now where have I read this before ?) but overhead the clouds were gathering, and lo on Tuesday morning the world - well at least in Riga - was transformed into chaos. depending on which report you read between 18cm - 50 cm of snow had been dumped down on us. Now I am no good with metric - but all I can say is that when I stepped outside the snow was half way up my legs. No chance of moving the car - No snow shovel.
Now this is not mine - but you get the idea

Now the overall result of this downfall was that it brought Riga to a near standstill, and had it not been for the help of G.... (English - Chelsea fanatic and suffers from verbal diarrhea) and his good Lady who armed with shovels and Ice picks helped to dig the car out and clear a way out of the yard where the car was parked. That however was just the beginning as few if any of the backstreets had been cleared - in fact as I write this I have still to see a snow plow - but they must be about as some of the main roads have clearly been cleaned.

Swords of Ice

But the snow is now piled 2-3 meters high on either side of the roads, and I read that as of yesterday, over 6,500 cubic meters of snow had been removed - but to where I wonder ??

Driving in Riga is a nightmare ( but then it always was)- the upside is that the temperature is only about -2-5, and where the snow is undisturbed ( ala the parks) it looks beautiful)

Anyhow if any of you there plan to visit Riga in the next few days bring good boots or shoes, as in the Old Town it is covered in snow.

Now speaking of the Old Town last night saw one of M... ( Swedish pub owner) host his monthly ex-pats dinner. Now I have to confess I rarely attend these function, but last night was a little bit special - A Jamaican theme dinner - courtesy of S...... ( English - another Chelsea man - and former man at Hotel Latvia).

And he produced a stunner. He is now chef at Alberts, and has totally renovated the menu to really high standard and all at reasonable prices, which along with a recent redecoration, I have to confess it is really looking like a pub, and given the atmosphere of last night could well take the place of our long lost De Laceys, if it keeps this standard up. Only problem for me is that they do not have beer that I like. For those interested as to what the Jamaican meal on offer for Ls 10.00 was - here it is

A choice of

1 Pint of Aldaris Zelta


1 glass of Hot mulled wine


1 glass of Jamaican rum punch

Buffet dinner

Jonny cakes

Bananas in bacon

Chicken and pumpkin stew

Jerk pork

Jerk chicken

[Don’t worry I will not make them the real strength]

Escoveitched fish [peppers, vinegar, vegetables]

Rice and peas


Banana and ginger bread

Cinnamon custard

Not bad - and loads of it so M... and S..... - Well Done !!

Now this weekend sees the start of the Six Nations Rugby - where to watch -Well Paddies has only got S4C - so no good for the Irish Game nor indeed the Scotland game on Sunday - but possibly through the wonders of the internet we might be able to connect a Laptop to one of the TV monitors and if the steaming holds up we can watch the games on BBC1 - alternative is again thanks to Alberts and M.... ( Swedish techie king + Dreambox) we can watch all the games via an Italian channel - or at least so we hope !!! - we shall but see what works best. No longer the same atmosphere as in years gone by, with all the Welsh and Irish contingent sadly departed. Anyhow my forecast is that Scotland are the surprise champions this year ( about the same chance as Reading getting promotion) - but all being well we shall see some good rugby. Just learned Paddies they have managed to get France2 channel back and working - so we should be ok for all the games.

Now speaking of bars - some may remember the original Stella bar in Lacsplace - well it has been reopened under the name "Bombadier" and needless to say it selsl Bombadier bitter - have not as yet managed to get round there - but have also learned that young S..... ( Remember De Lacy's ?) is back behind the bar - hopefully his taste in music has improved - will try and get round there this week and let you all know

and finally - and it could only be in Ireland