Monday, 2 February 2009


Well Tuesday saw us on our way to the airport again, this time to take our friend Ian L. back. The roads were pretty tricky as there was a surface layer of water on top of the ice. We have had ice roads here in Latvia for the last two months now and no sign of them disappearing for a while yet. The temperatures dipped again this week and yesterday the high was -15C (5F). You can see the ice on the light and sensor outside our apartment block in the picture.

On the way back from the airport we got caught in a traffic jam which was rather reminiscent of our trips up the M1 in England back in March of last year when it took 7 hours to do what should have taken about 3 hours. Fortunately we only actually crawled along for around 20 minutes - it just felt longer. The cause of the traffic hold up was a protest by farmers in their tractors, they are not particularly happy with the Latvian Government at the moment. The Latvian Government is actually looking a little shaky at the moment over the issue.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that some Latvians would struggle to pay their heating bills and a recent survey from 2007 just released would back that up. According to the survey almost one in ten households (8.9%) had a debt owed to either water, gas, electricity or heat utilities in the 12 month period. This was down from 2006 when it was 12.6% but still high and you can only imagine what 2009 figures will be.

Robert Peston declares that "Davos has been disappointingly short of coherent visions of what will be constructed from the rubble". Just in case you are wondering who or what is Davos, it is supposed to be a meeting of the movers and shakers of our nations in order to discuss and debate lots of weighty subjects regarding the world and the way it works. I find it encouraging that they haven't got a clue, because it is about time they realised that they are looking in all the wrong places for the answers to their questions of how the world is run. I really believe that the answers they are looking for are going to come from surprising places, some very insignificant looking places. We forget sometimes that Jesus was born in Bethlehem not Jerusalem for a reason, God loves to birth his ideas in the small places, not the places of power. 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. I really believe that we are going to see some "foolish" things in this world show the "strong" the way forward. How? I don't know yet, I am watching and waiting and more than that I am in anticipation to see what God will reveal. I do wonder if anything actually came out of the alternative to Davos this week which was in Belem, Brazil, (Belem is Portuguese for Bethlehem interestingly enough) frustratingly though there seems to be no news beyond the "World Social Forum was held in Belem" on any news sites, but plenty of coverage of the hopeless Davos summit.

In the meantime have a read of some article by the Chabad organisation, there is actually such a lot of calm sensible advice and perspectives. At the end of the day they state God is in charge and on that I have to agree. In some of the articles they congratulate people for standing up at such a time as this and agreeing to give more than before to charity or for at least agreeing to maintain the giving in the face of reduced income, that is inspiring.

As for the kitchen..... well..... it is nearly done. As I write they are finishing of the last touches and we are starving (okay not literally I know but you know what I mean) it is 9pm and we haven't been able to get in the kitchen this evening apart from a few minutes to get some toast while they had a tea break. We usually eat somewhere between 5-6pm so it is a bit tough. Hopefully though that will be it and we can reclaim our house and get rid of the dust that has accumulated over the last couple of weeks from all the sawing.

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