Monday, 25 February 2013

Oh that hurts!

I'm on the train!!!!! Sigulda to Valga leg of
the journey. The poster at the bottom end
says that selling goods on the train is
forbidden. I guess I won't be able to sell
Ian's candlesticks on the train then.
Last Monday I had to remind myself that "Big girls don't cry!" I know that isn't always a healthy thing to think, but on Monday it was. It was only a brief moment as the train pulled out of the station without me and I was left thinking "Oh, now what do I do, I'm stuck in a town miles away from home and I don't know anyone." I could almost feel my bottom lip beginning to quiver. The first thing I did was to ring a friend, who knew people in the area, but I couldn't get hold of him and the next thing I did was search for some information. There was information on hotels that were not out of the reach of lesser mortals, there were also details of buses and there were still buses running to my destination. So that moment of dread, the one I was kind of fearing because I hadn't been able to pre-book a ticket turned out to be a way of finding a different way to get to my destination. Sometimes a calamity is just that, a calamity, but sometimes it also opens up opportunities that you hadn't thought about before. This time the journey opened up a way to get home that I hadn't thought about and instead of staying an extra day in Tartu, I was able to make my way home sooner, using a combination of bus and train. At least travel is cheap on public transport, it's just getting to them in the first place when we live out in the sticks.

Ian's been busy again, clearing out the underbrush (well
the bits that are above the snow) and cutting out some of
the overcrowded trees. Anyone fancy helping to remove
it all from the forest later on in the year will be welcomed
with open arms.
The journey back was lovely on the bus as it wended its way around some small Estonian villages, a lot like Latvia but with some better roads. The sun shone, something we haven't seen in rather a long time and there were also snow showers that glittered in the sun's rays. The nearly two hour stop in Valga wasn't a huge amount of fun, but with a bit of organisation I will probably do a bit of shopping there next time. I do need to find a coffee shop though, close to the train station. The sunset that greeted me as I walked out of the train station waiting room to get on the train though was stunning and a welcome sight, so was the train! I watched out of the window, lost in my thoughts as normal, until the sun went down completely and I even saw two deer watching the train going past.

He's not the only one clearing forest, only this one was a
bit more drastic
The seeming calamity last week was not repeated this week and I was able to get the trains without a hitch and even paid by card - that was the issue last week, I only had a card to pay with and not enough Euros and I didn't want to risk getting on a train and not being able to pay for a ticket. I wish there were Visa signs on the trains, it would have made life a lot simpler. My hitch this week though was getting off the train to walk to my accommodation, shall we say I saw a little more of Tartu than I needed to and it is great that the bus stops have maps, even if I do have to hunt around for my glasses to read the things these days.

The section on the left is the border of our forest, the section
on the right is the clear felled section, that used to look
pretty much like ours on the left before the wood cutters
got to work. Our forest is going to get a lot more light this
year and we wonder what effect that will have on ours
The hurt in the title was not the fact of missing the train last week, despite the trauma of that (okay I'm milking this one for all its worth), it has more to do with skiing. My week is rather hectic at the moment, with all the travelling and then trying to do the work for uni, so I try to make sure Sunday is a day off, if not exactly a day of rest. I think with sedentary lifestyles these days a day of rest should be a day of activity instead - not that I am that sedentary at the moment as I have to walk all over the place here in Tartu. Anyway back to the point! My ski track had got a little snowed over at our land, but it was still firm underneath and I could just about make out the run Ian made and so I created a new track over the top of the old one. I was pretty impressed with myself, I only kind of collapsed in a heap once when the new track didn't quite match up with the old track and the snow gave way underneath me as it was a bit soft. The snow is pretty deep now and when I sink in, I'm easily up pass my knees. I also slid onto my bottom rather gracefully on one round of the track on a downhill section and got up okay from that. After I finished I tried to be rather clever and ski down our road to see Ian, it was a little icy and I have mentioned before that cross country skis aren't quite as easy to manoeuvre as downhill skis and so I came to rather a sad end on my behind. The problem is that this time there was no soft snow to cushion my fall and I jolted my arm on the descent. It didn't hurt much at the time but I knew it was going to and sure enough, later on in the day I made rather a sad spectacle as I couldn't lift my arm very high. It didn't bode well for today when carrying my rucksack, but I coped valiantly (yup milking this one too), actually it has been getting better as the day progresses which means I don't have to use my good arm to lift my poorly one, which is a relief, just have to deal with the aches and pains from the actual skiing now. I know, I know, I really should ski more often then I wouldn't have these problems.

The temperatures have been going up in the
greenhouse. We had 16C on Sunday! This
means the chickens will need more water and
so Ian has extended the water trays. The tray
idea has worked so well and meant that the
chickens have not been tipping them up
and losing all the water, unlike the specially
designed chicken water containers. 
In April last year, Ian bought me the set of the "The Good Life" on DVD and every Saturday we would watch an episode. There were quite a few episodes but it was entertaining watching them again now that we are living the good life. We could see where some of our inspiration came from and we could also see some of the faults, where living the good life didn't quite match up with the programme or where some of the details were not correct. However it still makes good entertaining TV after all these years and so it was with a lot of sadness that we saw the death of Richard Briers aka Tom Good in the programme this week. It felt a bit like losing a friend, since we had spent so much time watching him perform last year.

The Russian Orthodox church in Valga. The orthodox
churches with their onion domes do look very pretty in
the snow, shame the trees are in the way obscuring the view
This week I got into a discussion about relationships and when to leave them. I won't give the source as I didn't agree with the stance, in fact I found the view quite offensive, but it did make me think a little more about the subject. When moving around it is difficult sometimes to maintain relationships with those left behind. Often it is because we have moved away and they have moved on with their life and people kind of forget about you. That's okay, it sometimes takes a little getting used to, but that's life! Recognising though when a relationship should be worked at and when to let a relationship die a natural death is hard. It is not possible to maintain a relationship with a great deal of intensity with everyone we meet. Jesus shows that it is possible to reach out to many people, but even he had his close friends and then the followers that he didn't invest as much time in. It is easy to work on relationships when things are going well and you are getting on with each other, but working on a relationship when that is not the case is a different matter. Jesus didn't choose people because they were easy to get on with, Peter was an impulsive sort, may have been quite young too and perhaps immature, but Jesus saw the potential, James and John were also called sons of thunder - doesn't sound like they were easy to get on with either and they wanted the top seats at the table, so to speak. They were his closest companions and the ones who got to see the transfiguration. Jesus was even friends with Judas, knowing he was going to betray him. He even stuck by him till the end - giving him the opportunity to turn around. Would we do the same? In the words of the song, perhaps we should just get on and "Love the ones we're with"


  1. you are having such a big adventure!!! I'm loving your narration of this one....
    I hope you recover quickly from your bumps etc. I know when I go to Sweden in the winter I always come home with bruises from undignified falls on ice and snow...

  2. An adventure indeed. Glad your enjoying the journey with me.

    So far I have managed to avoid the public displays of undignified falls, which I usually manage in winter

  3. We know in theory that God looks after us - and then it is tested! You sure were under his wing!

  4. If I wasn't under his wing, there is no way I would even attempt what I do, Ju.

  5. Yup. BGDC, but occasionally the pit of the stomach turns to lead and the eyes get a bit prickly. But then we're human and sometimes we've had enough. Hope you've got your head above water with the stats now :-)

  6. A much better day with the stats for sure, I actually caught up today


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