The Trivial Round…

These are just some of the bits and pieces that have caught my attention as I’ve gone about my business – the trivial round of every day

I cleaned the windows in the flat on Saturday 4th April 2015. Proof that summer is on its way!

Something new for me. A fire was lit in the ‘hole’ in the wall on the right, and heated the tiled wall in the bedroom on the left.  Clever eh?

 

…just sitting one evening, looking out of the window of my flat, and I saw this.

 

I saw this on a guy’s teeshirt at the Annual Craft Market which I’ve written about elsewhere. Loved it!

……Just walking along a perfectly ordinary, rather boring road on my way to the shops the other Saturday when suddenly, the domes of this beautiful orthodox church arose, almost out of nowhere. I thought the juxtaposition of this majestic building and the telegraph poles and wires in the foreground was interesting and thought-provoking!

I thought this looked like one of those quizzes where you have to guess what the object is. I’m not sure whether you’ll guess. It is actually a radiator in the hallway of a block of flats in Riga – a relic from Soviet times. I would imagine it could throw out some heat!

Birthday cake 2I had a birthday recently and this was my birthday cake. Raspberries, kiwi fruit, chocolate and rice paper leaves on the top. This picture was taken after the candles had been removed. Birthdays are a big thing here, at least in this office. On the day of your birthday everyone assembles in the Board room, candles lit, and you are ushered into the room to the singing of the Latvian equivalent of ‘Happy Birthday’. Latvians are big on flowers, so various people come and give you just a few flowers, nicely tied, and you have to cut the cake and distribute it. I actually had a really lovely day.

DIZZYOLIVEGN-LE
You were warned that this page was about trivia!   I wore shoes, instead of boots,  for the first time this week since I came to Latvia. It seemed quite an occasion. Regrettably, my Hotter shoes are not in quite as good a condition as this picture I’ve copied from their website!

crocuses 2The snow has gone and everywhere is beginning to get green. These are the very first flowers I have seen growing outdoors here in Latvia this year. Seen on 20th April.  They are crocuses growing on a piece of rough ground by the side of the main road just near where I live in the middle of Riga.

Wow! Today I saw my first storks ever, but also the first storks of 2013. I saw seven altogether – one even having the temerity to walk across the road in front of the car.  They are a much-needed sign that Spring really is on its way.

Green Thursday

This one really needed to go into the Trivia page before Easter becomes a distant memory.  It maybe helps to explain the pots of grass which I featured on the Trivia page earlier.  Evidently the day before Good Friday which I know as ‘Maundy Thursday’ is known in Latvia as Green Thursday.

Trivia Rosehill

Curiouser and Curiouser! What is a label from chairs made at Rosehill, UK, doing stuck to the floor in the Salvation Army Hall in Iecava? Nobody there seemed to know why either.

Cake

Now this really is Trivia. These little chocolate beauties were on a dainty dish in the cafe at Stockmans, a ‘posh’ shop in Riga, where I had a mocha coffee as a treat on Easter Saturday.

Grass

I have absolutely no idea what this is. It just seems to be a plant pot with grass in it and seems to be associated with Easter. The fact that it is sitting on packets of eggs shows that it was being sold in a supermarket. I can only guess that, at the end of the long winter here in Latvia where there has not been a blade of grass to be seen, it is a symbol of resurrection life.

weary treeI’d never seen anything quite like this before – a weary tree! It is to be found in the grounds of the SA hall at Liepaja. I cut off some of the branches and brought them home with me. They burst into life in the warmth and even flowered – little tiny white flowers. I know it’s a bit random, but it reminded me of a Bible verse: ‘Joseph is a fruitful vine near a spring whose branches climb over a wall.’ Genesis 49:22 (NIV)

bread and saltWe’ve had some minor alterations done to our office. This provided an excuse for a party so Ilona baked some cake and all the folk in the building were invited to come along. Marika brought some bread and salt and put it on my desk. Evidently it is a Latvian custom to take bread and salt the first time you visit a new house.

my feetI’ve wanted to continue my habit of swimming here in Latvia, but somehow have not got around to it until now. The swimming pool is barely 3 minutes walk away, so there really has been no excuse. I eventually plucked up courage to go along and discovered several things that are different from what I am used to. Women and men have communal (separate!) changing facilities, I am required to wear a swimming hat, and I had to have my feet inspected before I was allowed to swim. It seemed like a very good idea to me; hence the picture of my rather inelegant – but disease-free feet!

padlock picture small (2)I was in Stockholm at the weekend and went for a walk in the old city. I crossed this bridge which is covered in padlocks like the one in the picture. On a previous visit a Swedish friend had explained that the locks are put there by young couples who are promising undying love to each other – locked together for ever. How sweet!

Drusti tea (2)I visited a Salvation Army corps (church) at Drusti, a small village which is quite isolated. The officer in charge, Ilona, offered us a cup of ‘Drusti tea’ and showed us what she laughingly called ‘the biggest tea bag you have ever seen’. This is it! Evidently in the summer the women pick the herbs and dry them and make this special tea. It was a bit like camomile tea but with more body to it. It was very good indeed.

International Women’s Day is something I’ve never celebrated before.  Here in Latvia women are given flowers on this special day. Some married friends took me out for tea and the husband ‘treated’ his wife and me to celebrate the day. I liked my cup of cocoa – here it is!

6 Responses to The Trivial Round…

  1. Dr John says:

    Interesting trivia

  2. Sarah Ilsters says:

    I like this part especially… I have an idea what is going to appear on here next;)

  3. Sarah says:

    Answer to the Rosehill worry…. The chairs at the corps in Iecava, Riga 1 and Daugavpils all come from England… those labels are actually really annoying – they were on the bottom of all the chairs. They don’t stick to the chairs very well, but as soon as they stick to the floor, it is nearly impossible to get them off! Just to solve your small mystery

  4. Wilma L. Paterson says:

    I remember the Drusti Tea. It was a real treat. The food in Latvia was so good and always served beautifully. I have such wonderful memories of Latvia and the people are so loving and warm. Truly I was so blessed to have the opportunity to spend time in Latvia.

  5. Hi Christine, only just discovered your blog, I look forward to reading it.
    You really should share this oin Facebook as I am sure there are many of your friends who would be interested in reading about what you are up to.

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