Saturday, April 23, 2011

Life is full of surprises

As anyone who has read this blog, Every weekend I live in fear of the "cretin" invasion, so it was with trepadation that saw me last night head for the local hostelry. My initial fears seemed to be confirmed as I stood outside to see a large number of lads crowding the bar listening to a lone guitar player/singer.

However I did but but venture in - only to be seized upon by young F....(Australian - world best hostelier) to be assured that all was well. A little unsure I did order a beer and took my place at the bar, thinking my stay would be short.

How wrong can you be ! - some two hours later I was still there, and the reason - the guitar player/singer - he was truly awesome !

Transpired this young man (sorry did not catch his name) was from sunny Wales, and worked in hostel in Cardiff. His reportiore of sings seemed to never ending, although I have to confess apart from a song by the Proclaimers - I know almost none of them.

He enthralled the gathering, including a group of Scottish lads, who joined in at every occasion, his in between songs patter was brilliant, and he certainly know how to work a crowd.

Regretfully as he was leaving for Cardiff that night, he curtailed his session around 8.00pm, but was given a parting gift of a bottle of champagne (opened and chilled) taken to a taxi- to be escorted to the airport by two lovely ladies (not that kind !). All laid on by F.... ( he who was previously mentioned) - I think he would have liked him to stay.

The good news he will be back in September - so if you are around at this time make sure you get to hear him.

All in all it made a delightful Spring evening - and as today (Saturday) looks like being a stunner - I think it is time to meander down to Dome Sqaure and pass away the afternoon with a book and a beer.

Happy Easter to you all !

Monday, April 18, 2011

A new age dawns !

Today saw me reach what is often referred to as a pensionable age or as our American cousins would call us "Seniors" - I attained the age of 65 !!

As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world.

It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.

Harold Schlumberg is such a person:


"I have often been asked, 'What do you do now that you're retired?'

Well...I am fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine and whiskey into urine.. It's rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling. I do it every day and I really enjoy it."

Harold should be an inspiration to us all of pensionable age.

Now I am no chemical engineer, but having just celebrated my "coming of age" with a few beers I have no doubt that in the wee hours of Wednesday I took will undertake the miracle of chemical conversion.

So to those who were kind enough to send their best wishes -many, many thanks, and I look forward to keeping you uptodate with my reflections on life in Riga - which as best I can will always be positive.

For me every day is a new day to celebrate life, and with forthcoming birth of a new grandchild, I cannot wait to see what the future might bring, who knows maybe there is a company out there who values experience over age ?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Storks v Ryanair

Well here we are Saturday 9th April, the snow has all but disappeared, the sky is clear (at least for today) and that I am afraid is the end of the good news from Riga.

So as the storks prepare to arrive, if they have not done already, so the other visitors who fly in have arrived in their hords via Ryanair - yes the Cretin season has arrived !!

Today our favoured hostel, was taken over on mass, even to the extent that the security gaurd was on duty at 5.00pm - a sign of the times me thinks ! and what said establishment was/is expecting. Needless to say we did not stay.

Even Donegans was awash with this human garbage - regretfully many from Scotland - but a saviour was in sight - yes once again the oldest pub in town supplied a refuge, in the apparently "secret" bar located in the part of the pub where cretins cannot aspire (climb) to - lets but hope it remains so !.

I am sure it is great business for those bars concerned, but as ever does nothing for us "locals" - I wonder if one day someone will actually realise that there is a business for locals - I will take bets that today not ONE local- Ex-pat/Latvian/Russian was anywhere near these establishments ( Apart from staff of course)- who would actually want to be anywhere near these invading cretins.

OK I definitely a part of the older generation, and have expressed my feelings re these cretins for many a year - but have they no respect for the city they are visiting ? That was not a question - because the answer is NO

Enough of my grumpy ranting - more good news - at least for food lovers - the said "secret" bar has a new menu, created by a Scottish chef - and it includes, and I kid you not - Real Porridge - Rhubarb Crumble with custard - AND Scottish Stovies ( I will leave you and Google to find out what the latter is - anyhow brilliant menu !

Enough for one day -perhaps my grumpiness has something to do with that fact that I have a COLD ! - Sinus blockage - and a cold sore ! - NA its the Cretins !

Finally re Storks v Ryanair - Storks fly in once a year, stay for a few months - have fun quietly in the countryside and then come back every year - Ryanair (cretins) arrive every weekend -never see the countryside- stay for maximum of 3/4 days - are never quiet - and have no memory of of ever been in Latvia and are unlikely to return (Thank god)

For more information on Cretins check out -

and for more information on Storks in Latvia check out -

Friday, April 01, 2011

April 1st and it is .......

I mentioned yesterday that today was the first day in which the outdoor rerraces and bars could open, it also happens to april Fools day - at least accordingto tradition up 12.00am.

So clearly the Gods like to get in on the act - yesterday was a warm and beautiful day - but today it is RAINING - now thats what I call an April Fools day classic !!

But who knows maybe they will turn on the sunshine after 12.00 - but as it is 11.38 right I have my doubts !

Finally a thought for today

Some years back when mad cow disease the British government instituted a "tracking" system, so that they could track a calf from birth through to shop shelves, but now they cannot track down 125,000 illegal immigrants !! - could the solution be to give them all a cow ? (I know we have to find them first ! - catch 22)