Monday, 10 June 2013

New arrivals

Meeting new friends
We have 17 baby chicks and some lovely company too. Pity it has also been hot, hot, hot! and we've all been flaking in the heat and humidity. My son, his fiancée and her four year old daughter arrived from England and we had our chicks timed to hatch about the same time. Not sure who was most enamoured with them though, our son or his little step-daughter. Our chicks arrived over three days and so far they have been doing well. We do have concerns over the last one to arrive because it looked like it couldn't walk properly at first and had the gait of an ungainly penguin, but that improved and it is now walking around normally. We did worry that it would end up walking like hoppy, the chicken we had to dispatch last year because it couldn't walk properly.
Aww Sweet! Our son and his

Playing in the park
Our son has helped us a lot with cutting grass, shredding some of the piles of brushwood we have had around the place and the all important bbq. In the meantime his step-daughter has been entertaining us with her constant chatter. She has an active imagination and is as bright as a button, she sure keeps her mum on her toes. Being such a chatterbox was no hindrance to playing outside our apartment in the park with the other little children, what's a language barrier anyway when you can play in the water and the sand and make as much mess as you like. I didn't think of the park being such a big deal, until our son explained that he won't let his step-daughter play at the ones near them, due to the hypodermic needles you can find around the place and offensive graffiti. It is so sad the kids in the UK do not always have the freedom to roam and explore like they do here in rural Latvia. It has also been nice getting to know his fiancée as we have only seen each other a couple of times before and only for a few hours then. I wish I had had more time though, but there were also pressing things to do in the garden to prepare for the year ahead as well as an application to a summer school to prepare. At least I got the majority of things planted out.
The great explorer

Helping Grandma Ian, okay
perhaps we haven't quite got
the names right yet, but
everyone found it amusing
Our son's step-daughter hasn't quite known what to call us all week and for the most part it was Matt's mum, but gradually she has come round to calling me Grandma Jo, to distinguish me from her other grandmas. It hasn't always stuck though. We had a good time getting to know each other better though and she has helped me in the garden planting some carrots and beetroot and making scones for tea. I wasn't sure if I was going to end up with a clump of carrots or not, but she could only take a little pinch with her little fingers and so I think it worked out quite well in the end, not that I would have minded the odd clump of carrots anyway. She also helped me to pull some weeds. That was easy as it was in an area where it didn't matter about trying to distinguish between the weeds and plants, they were all weeds.

A glowering sunset to match my temperament today when
talking to the courier company. I have to admit to losing
my temper with them
It was a difficult day today. We have been waiting for shears for our alpacas, the delivery company arrived on Wednesday while we were out, now normally a Latvian delivery company would phone beforehand to inform us, but not this time and so we didn't know about it until we saw the note on our post box. We got a neighbour to phone for us and she said the parcel would arrive on Friday, Friday came and went and no sign of the delivery company, they would come Monday! I was furious, I have never had to wait in for two days for a delivery company here, they have been a bit late perhaps, but never not turned up at all. I phoned and the guy spoke English and I told him I expected them to arrive on Monday by 10am otherwise I would take it further. Monday 10am came and went, and we had an appointment with the architect that had already had to be changed, no shears, they will be here by noon, then they will be here by...... by the end of the day they are refusing to answer the phone to me and my neighbour and when I get through on yet another phone he hangs up. It is not looking good, meanwhile our alpacas are sweltering. In the interim period we have also got back to the company we bought the shears from to exert a bit of pressure from that end and we found the headquarters of the Latvian company to start talking to folks higher up the chain.

Err hello! Our first chick to hatch from this batch. Another
batch already on for 20 days time or thereabouts
The other difficult part was going to the dentist who doesn't speak English with no interpreter. It wasn't the end of the world as there is always the mobile (what would I have done without that?) and if I had really needed an interpreter I could have had one, it was just too hard to organise when it was a chance for our son and family to look around a different place to the one they had been in all week and that meant the car was full. It also just that added to a day when we got a list of building costs from the architect and our house dream is looking a little too distant. At the moment we can afford to lay foundations and then that would be it, well not strictly true but not enough extra to put up enough of the house to warrant continuing. There was a moment of amusement today though at the dentist when, instead of a woman dentist that I expected, I realised that the giant of a tattooed man in the corner speaking Russian was the dentist. Oooerrr! James Bond eat you're heart out! And villainous scenes flashed before my eyes. Actually he was quite nice and I am not sure, but I think he was a little nervous - after all, what could he say?


  1. It looks like your son's step-daughter had a great time with you. It will be an experience she won't forget quickly. Glad you had a good time altogether. Hope your shears arrive soon. Still praying for your future plans re house.

  2. I think she has enjoyed her time here and amazingly the caravan was also a big hit. She likes to feed the alpacas too of course. Thanks for your prayers, they are truly appreciated

  3. on our various travels our children played happily with german and polish children, no need for language, except for one little boy who came to his mum and asked how to tell one of our girls - don't touch that, it's mine. :-)

  4. Sweet! Mind you I have known a couple of children who are quite distressed to hear someone speak another language, it is as if they can't cope with not understanding an adult. Not sure if they would have been the same with other children

  5. looks like your visitors are having a great time. Hope the shears have arrived???

  6. They did have a great time and yes the shears have arrived, unfortunately the saga continues, more later


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