Monday, April 22, 2013

With age comes a seat on the bus !

Its official - I am Old !! - Yesterday apart from being my 67th birthday - finally made me realise that not only am I old" but it would seem I look old. Why ? well as per usual I took the bus into town and as ever it was busy with so seats available - BUT a young man got out of his seat and offered me to sit down. Now I have done this often when I see what to me is an old Lady or Man - but it would appear I am now in the same category, at least to the younger generation.
BUT it takes years of practice to blow smoke out of your ears !! So age does have some advantages

Now I have to say I do not feel old - but clearly for many I am old - so be it, and  I will accept this fact - but at least inside my head I am just middle aged.

On the Riga front Spring has finally put in appearance, with sunshine and temperatures reaching 16c on Thursday, and as per every year the frantic race to erect the outdoor terraces has begun. All we need now is for the trees to sprout their leaves - and turn Riga into a green and pleasant place.

However !! - those damn taxi tricyles are back with a vengeance, in particular the ones with the built in sound systems which play the most obnoxious music at decibel levels that should be banned. In fact if Riga City council, who I think licence these things, had any sense they would ban them all, as they offer no benefit to anyone, apart from the odd drunken cretin who cannot remember where they are staying. Indeed they are turning Livi Square into a bicyle park.

This week also saw the opening of another "Irish" bar - The Dubliner. Just what Riga needs - it shows a distinct lack of imagination on the part of the owner ( Who also owns Donnegans pub). Someone should have told him that Riga has had already had a pub called the Dubliner, way back in the mid 90's. It closed and became a Pizza parlour !! A forecast of things to come ??

So in closing can I thank all of you who were kind enough to send there best wishes on my Birthday, and to those who did not - then please put 19th April in your diary for next year.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Another Day in Paradize

This week saw the sale of tickets for the 25th Latvian Song and Dance Festival. One could either buythem through an online ticket agency or buy at a authoried sales outlet. As buying tickets online did not commence until 12.00, but at local outlets at 11.00am - I decided to try one of the local outlets. So at 9.00 am I made my way to the Dailles Theatre, only to find a queue some 200 meters long, so I made my way to Congress Nams - where to my delight the queue was only some 20 meters long.

Nearly three hours later !!! I had move within 10 meters of the sales desk, only to be advised that ALL tickets for the Grand Final were sold out. I later discovered that they had sold out within 2 hours of opening. So at that point I gave up and like many others I will be watching the event on TV. For those of you do not know that Song and Dance festival is held every five years and attracts some 1600 choirs and dance group, with over 40,000 participants.

 I managed to attend the Grand Final five years ago and it was an experience like no other - just a pity I will not make it this year. But to give you a taster see below and enjoy !

But for a week 30th June - 7th July - Riga will come alive - all we can hope is that the weather is good.

Now speaking of weather, it is now April, the 9th to be exact and yet as you can see from the pictutes below Spring has not quite Sprung ! Although it is difficult to tell when I took these photographs it was seriously snowing - this on the 8th of April.

 And the man walking the dog ? - well lets just say that the dog and the man share the same name, and he is a renowned hostelier and bar owner from down under !

Now in the years I have been writing this blog I have stayed clear of politics, with the exception some time ago of mentioning the number of political parties in Latvia. However one of the great politicians of modern times.  Margaret Thatcher - Britains only woman Prime Minister - has passed away - In style at the Ritz Hotel in London. Many of course disagreed with her politics - but none can deny that during her premiership she saw through major economic and social changes which in the main were for the good of Britain. I for one will always hold her in high regard.