I can’t quite believe how long it is since I last wrote. I’m tempted to quote the cliche ‘doesn’t time fly’ – but I’ll resist the temptation! I’ll pick up the story from where I left off and try to catch up with the last couple of weeks in August first of all.
The last of my summer visitors, Anne, was with me the last two weeks in August. I managed to combine business with pleasure take her with me when we went to view a conference location we had booked at Koknese (more of that in a subsequent blog) a town on the way to Daugavpils. The first picture in the gallery shows a summery window box at a lovely stopping off place which I’m bound to have mentioned before in this blog, called ‘Liepkalni’. It is a bakery and restaurant by the river Daugava and is at a strategic point in the journey to stop off to both drink a cup of coffee and drink in the scenery too. If you look closely at the picture you’ll be able to see some of the fabulous bread they sell in the window of the shop. I was also able to take Anne to one of my favourite places in Riga, the Open Air Museum. Dotted around a lovely piece of countryside by a lake there are examples of dwellings from different regions of Latvia which have been brought here over the years, as well as windmills and a little church. You can also have refreshments, Latvian style, in a little restaurant served by people in national costume.
The main event of those last two weeks of August was Linda and Māris’ wedding. Linda works here at the Salvation Army Headquarters in Riga and regular readers of this blog may recall that she featured last year when she graduated from university. We went along to the Registry Office where the Civil Ceremony was held, and as guests, stood around the hall as they were legally married. A celebration glass of lemonade was served and the obligatory flowers given in abundance to the happy couple. Male readers please note: I’ve deliberately included a picture showing men with flowers to give to the newly-weds!
Later in the afternoon we met at the Salvation Army Hall which had been lovingly decorated by Linda and Māris’ friends in green and yellow. All the guests lined up and made an arch through which the couple walked to their ‘thrones’ at the front of the hall. Sarah, who had pastored Linda for a number of years as the officer at Riga 1, exhorted the young couple from God’s Word and asked that God would bless their life together. There was good company shared with some of the ladies from the church, including Anita and Vineta, two of the officers who work in the Salvation Army in Latvia, looking very elegant for the occasion, and Baiba whose faithful committed to the Aerobics class at the corps (church) at Riga 1 has paid off, as you can see from the photo! Vanda, Anita’s daughter managed to get in on the pictures too! She is the smiling face behind the kitchen hatch most Sundays after the service, serving everyone with tea and coffee.
I didn’t stay to the end of the wedding celebrations. I’d left Anne on her own all day so felt it only right to share myself around a bit! We went out to the Opera House in Riga together to see the ballet ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – such quality entertainment is typical of Latvia and very accessible in terms of cost. It was a lovely end to a lovely day.
August ended with a trip back to Scotland…..