Sunday, December 18, 2011

It is a Record !

This blog is really intended for those who over the years have supported the "Smiley Fund" in its support of the Zvannieki Childrens Home(s).

This year our annual Christmas Dinner was hosted at the FG Royal Hotel ( formerly the Hotel de Rome), and with assistance of our resident chef extraordinaire S.... ( Scottish - and serious about food) we prepared a Christmas Food festival.

On the night we had some 58 people for dinner, and further 3 for a glass of wine, So between the dinner fee of Ls 30.00, the raffle and a surprise auction of a 3 litre bottle of Riga Balsam - our grand total for the night was Ls 2.380.00.

This grand sum was duly deposited in the Zvannieki bank account, and on Thursday evening at a function held by the British Chamber of Commerce, hosted at the British Embassy, P.... ( Banker in chief at Citadele Bank) presented to J..... C..... ( Canadian Latvian - Father of the home ) a letter from the Smiley Fund listing the participants in this years fund raising, alongwith the paying in slips, alongwith 15 Football shirts and Scarfs courtesy of Skonto Football Club.

So hopefully the money raised will provide for a few "extras" at Christmas time.

For those interested in Zvannieki please visit their web site

So to all those you participated in the Smiley Fund 2011 - many many thanks, and with a bit of luck we can repeat the event in 2012.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A picture Paints a 1000 words

This picture says it all about life in Riga right now, Santa's all over the place ( at least last Sunday) - but no SNOW !!!

Well done to F.... (Australian bar magnate ) for finishing the gruelling 5km run - jog - walk

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the season to be silly

What is going on in Latvia ?? - First of all the weather, when I first arrived in Riga in November 1995, it was -25 degrees and a thick covering of ice and snow blanketed the streets, but today it is +2 degrees with a weather forecast of 5 degrees and Sunny towards the end of the week.

It has tried once or twice to snow - but to no avail - so if this continues we are likely to have a snowless Christmas for the first time in 16 years - weird !

And speaking of the silly season, last night with a little help from Twitter, a rumour spread like wildfire that Swedbank was in trouble, which led to queues of people at ATM's getting there money out. Now I can understand the nervousness of Latvians about banks, given the history here, but as Swedbank are one of best capitalised banks in Europe, it was hard to give any creditabilty to these rumours. But it just shows the power of social networks such as Twitter - maybe that the reason they are called Tweets or should it be Twits !

On a more cheerful note this week, 14th December, sees our annual Christmas Charity dinner in aid of the Zvannieki Childrens home. This year it is being hosted at the FG Royal Hotel ( Which some of you will have known as the Hotel de Rome) - with Scott again as our chef.

This will be largest ever gathering of Smiley Fund supporters, with some 62 partipants - so it should be record in our annual fund raising efforts - I will update the blog with full details after the dinner.

For those interested in statistics, this year the dinner will consume 54 kg of turkey, 120 bottles of wine, 8 kg of Cristmas Pudding, 2 Kg of Mincemeat plus untold amounts of Potatoes, Carrotts, Brussell Sprouts - it all has the makings of a Grand Dinner !

Despite a lack of snow Riga has once again put on its finest Winter face, with decorated Christmas Trees spread across town, and the streets decorated with Christmas lights - all it needs now is a little snow - but that seems a little way off - pity !

So there you have it for this time - enjoy your week