Saturday, February 04, 2012

Its is back - the Riga Shuffle

With temperatures now hovering around -20c in Riga and -30c elsewhere in Latvia, the Riga shuffle is back !

For those not familiar with this it involves keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground and just "shuffling" along the ice covered pavements and roads. This technique permits the pedestrians to move along safely, as normal walking is almost guaranteed to ensure you end up on your back.

As ever with temperatures this low, the Daugava River is frozen over, but unlike in previous years there is no snow ! - just plain old fashioned ice. With the river frozen out come those foolhardy soles complete with fishing rods and gizmos to make holes in the ice - and there they sit awaiting the arrival of some poor unsuspecting fish. There must be some kind of sadistic pleasure sitting there freezing your backside off - in the hope of catching your dinner. But as they say it takes all sorts !

Now for those of you who saw that classic JackLemmon / Walter Mathua film - "Grumpy Old Men" - you will remember that when they went ice fishing they did so from the comfort of little wooden huts - but not Rigans - just a jacket and a wooly hat will suffice. They make them hardy in this part of the world.

This weekend sees the start of the Six Nations Rugby, and so it with fingers crossed that we hope we will be able to watch the games. With coverage exclusive to BBC, and the fact That they (BBC) have moved there satellite distribution, such that we can longer get the signal as we did last year. However the Kiwibar technical gremlins have been hard at work over the last few weeks and are confident that we will after all be able to watch all the games with English commentary. All will be revealed today ! - I will give the France v Italy game a miss, but will head out for the Scotland v England game, and then the Ireland v Wales game on Sunday.

This weekend also sees the Superbowl final, being screened at the ungodly hour of 1.30am on Monday morning - me thinks I will that a miss. Monday also sees Waitangi Day, ( you will have to Google it to find out what it is) - but as it is a New Zealand thing, it will be of course be celebrated at Riga's only Kiwibar. Courtesy of the New Zealand government a selection of New Zealand wines will be available alongwith New Zealand Vodka ??? - Now the latter should be interesting.

So to all Kiwi's - Happy Waitangia Day