Monday, 21 May 2012

Storms in the heavenlies

The Heavenlies are churning
It has been a bit weird today. A thunderstorm started around two in the morning and it didn’t really shift until about two in the afternoon. I’ve never known a thunderstorm roll on for so long. It makes me wonder if this is part of an answer to prayer. On Saturday I was walking between our two apartments and a strong breeze was blowing and I started praying for the winds of change to blow through our village, for the hidden things to be revealed and justice to flow. All through last night I could sense the flashes of lights, but there wasn’t a great deal of thunder that I could hear - I can sleep through thunderstorms though - but each time there was a flash I kept thinking it was angels zipping through the room. I remember thinking I know how the disciples felt on the day that Jesus was betrayed, as I couldn’t keep my eyes open I felt so sleepy. It was as if I was sensing something changing but was too tired to work out what. Well maybe that is the meanderings of sleep befuddled mind, but if things start changing here in our village and justice happens for the oppressed then I shall be very happy.
A Bumble bee gathering pollen from one of  our
numerous, nay billions of dandelions
Of course it might not just be our village where justice starts to roll out. Only this week the facade that Latvia is doing very well after the financial crisis swung open. A report finally mentioned that people are not doing well in Latvia, no matter what the GDP statistics say. A UN expert raised concerns about the problems of the poorest and raised concerns that the economically active are leaving the country, he also stated that the improving economic situation had to address the issues urgently. It makes sense really as these issues do not aid the sustainability of a nation’s economy.
The tadpoles are getting big
I am writing this blog in our caravan out on the land, not that we have the internet here but I can still use my laptop to type this up. The rain has been that heavy from the thunderstorm that it was even been bouncing off the ponds and the overflow pipes between the ponds are gushing, even the middle pond that loses water easily is full to overflowing and so there wasn’t a lot of chance of getting on with much but I did manage some greenhouse work. Ian has been out in the rain checking on all the structures;

Horse box - needs a new top
Workshop that will become the alpaca home- the roof is no longer leaking, so that’s okay
Greenhouse - a leak on the apex but no big issues
Barn - fine
What was nice though was being able to sit in the greenhouse and the caravan and watch the rain, only a few years ago we couldn’t do that as there was nothing built. We also spent a bit of time divot stomping. I only found out yesterday what divot stomping was, I had no idea. If you are as clueless as me, a divot is the raised bits of turf from a polo match and at half time spectators get out on the field and stomp them down. Now we don’t have polo matches on our land but we do have pigs that nose up divots and so it was those that we were stomping down since the ground is quite mushy.
The overflow from the top pond, to
the middle pond. That is a lot of
The rain reminds me, we think we may have worked out what the issue is with the orchard. Some of the trees look like they could have canker usually a sign of stressed tree but some of them look fine apart from the fact they are not coming into leaf. Our Swedish friend suggested that the high water table may have killed them off and that makes a lot of sense. We do have issues with water coming up in random places all over our land, even on the tops of the hill and so the water table must be high under normal conditions. In addition last autumn it was quite wet and this Spring it took a long time to dry out from the snow melt, not helpful for our trees. I should say though that our Gingko tree survived (or Gecko tree as it gets nicknamed in our house- well it sounds like Gingko doesn't it?) but that’s about it.  This means we have to either abandon the site of our orchard or do a rethink. Drainage is one option and it is on a sloping site so that helps but it will take a lot of drainage pipes as ditches are not an option, another option is to grow the trees in raised areas so that their roots are not sat in water, or some combination of the two. 
Enjoying being outside, although safely confined in the ark
On the animal front we candled the second batch of eggs, but we haven’t the experience to know for sure if they were viable or not. We did get two out of the fridge to compare them and that gave us a lot of hope that we have quite a few viable ones as there was a significant difference. We will try again next week as I think it will be quite a bit clearer then. The chicks that hatched out two weeks ago are now out permanently on the land as they just got too big to keep inside. They have grown so rapidly that they were bumping their heads on the mesh that keeps them safely penned in their box. They are not big enough to go outside all the time though and they are going to spend their nights in the greenhouse with some fleece over the top of their box to keep them warm and shade them from the early morning sun as the weather has been forecast to be warm (mind you, they hadn’t really forecast this thunderstorm, so I hope we made the right decision). On fine days they can go outside in the ark that Ian made, which they thoroughly enjoyed yesterday, but of course it was much too wet today to put in the little chicks which haven’t got their proper feathers yet.
Ian has been stripping the bark off logs
ready to make fence posts for the alpacas
We also have good news on the alpaca front, it seems like the Latvian veterinarian department are passing the responsibility to the Swedish vets and as long as it is fine with them, it is fine with the Latvians - that sounds like it is good to go then! Well nearly! We still have the issue with the transportation and might just need to spend a little time sorting that out this week.
I actually did some babysitting this week and was due to start at 6:30am. I woke early though as our darling, blessed cats managed to knock over a clothes airer and were making a right racket at 5:30am, at least it meant I didn’t sleep in! The children were supposed to sleep till 8am but as is usual in these cases one woke up before the parents left for work. Still I got to watch Rio, a film about a blue Macaw, not sure of the exact details as it was on very low and in Latvian anyway. It was funny though watching the places I have seen in Rio but cartoon caricatures of them. All kind of familiar but not familiar at the same time. Despite the language problems the babysitting worked out quite well, the oldest of the two chatters away in Latvian and I chatter away in English and we both nod and humm in all the right places as if we understand each other perfectly. It works!
Yes that's me in Rio. I had long hair then and it wasn't so grey
It is taken from the look out area where the Statue of Christ
Not the best video quality in the world as I was just using my camera phone but this is Ian ploughing with the two wheeled tractor again this last week. As he says, "Once the plough is set up right it goes really well!" Usually takes him about five rows to remember (I'm just as bad by the way, always forget the best way to set things up until I'm up and into it). I think he should add his findings on the blog, one for future reference to remind himself how to set it up and if anyone else ever wanted to know. Mind you a better video camera would be needed to do that.

Re-imagining a new world, does prison start with this?


  1. As usual, I am overwhelmed by the amount of work you manage to pack into your days! Have a great time with your visitors!

  2. Just no time for a proper job, that's the key! :oD

  3. I laughed imagining you and the children chatting away in both languages!! and we have divot stamping at football, usually at half time.
    as for the hazard....panic attacks....abdicating get my drift.

  4. Chatting away in both languages is funny Karen, glad it made you laugh. As for divot stamping in football. well I never knew that.

    Your embroidered cloths would look wonderful as lampshades, maybe fire retardant spray?


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