Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A tale of two halves

With my two youngest grandchildren
Well here I am in England. It has been a busy old day, as it is my youngest granddaughter's birthday. She is one years old today and I got the chance to join her for her party - or rather one whole day of visitors in and out. Poor little soul is not so well and so I have actually had lots of cuddles as she slept for quite a bit of the time. There have been lots of friends coming and going and even my daughter and her family up North. I will get to see them again at the end of the week for birthday party number two for another granddaughter.
Opening presents with a little help from her older brother.
Fortunately she is too young to complain

The snow finally starting to disappear
I decided to use public transport to get to the airport this time, as I had an afternoon flight and being Easter we weren't sure if there would be visitors to the land. I debated whether to take the early bus to make sure I was in plenty of time for the flight but with around 5hour wait at the airport or whether to risk the late morning bus and have hopefully only an hour and half, as long as all went to plan. The move to summer time helped me to decide that the late morning option was the best one. Waking up at 5:40am to catch the 6:40am bus is early enough at the best of times, but after a time change was not appealing at all. In the end the transfers went without a hitch and I was at the airport in enough time to go through the quiet security - a relief after the atrocities earlier on in the week. It was also a relief to hear that I had managed to miss Storm Katie that managed to divert planes from Gatwick in the small hours of the morning following the day I landed there.
The sun shining too

But of course it is a process and we have first the icy pathways
and then the mud to contend with

The sign got very dirty last year but was kindly sanded back
and the letters routed out by a friend of ours. Ian finished it
off by repainting the letters and varnishing it.
Back home we have been getting geared up for the summer. We have been busy making decisions on what we need to do and we got the renovated sign up for the summer season. We even had a couple of visitors asking to take photographs after putting it up. We now have some help from a Latvian friend who has agreed to do some work for us and this makes getting hold of information a bit easier.
The alpacas have been enjoying what bit of grass they can find
and the bit of extra space. Of course we cannot let them out too
far just yet, otherwise the grass won't have a chance to grow
later for them.

Not my most glamorous photo and just in case you are
wondering, that is a trainer I'm holding while the glue dries.
The sole was coming off and I needed them for my trip
The week didn't get off to a good start with the news that one of our neighbours had suffered a large barn fire that killed over 560 sheep and one horse, as well as gutting the barn and severely damaging their tractor. Of course that is devastating for them personally but also for many of the campers who relied on the sheep farm for subsidising the camp part of the operation.
New gooseberry bushes starting to appear through the snow
Ian is finishing off the tree cutting before March 31st. This is the
date when all tree felling has to cease in Latvian forests to give
the birds a chance to nest for three months. We hope to plant
some woodland medicinal herbs in here

Under the fleece, looking ever so cute, but that is supposed to
be protecting my seedlings and so I'm not happy. It is looking
like the cats will have to be kept out of the greenhouse soon
and take their naps in the barn instead.
Amazingly many people have come forward to offer help, from the Latvian Sheep Association offering to help them get back on their feet with new stock, to the local municipality helping with equipment to deal with the burnt out structure to people coming forward to haul out the animals to be removed for disposal. Churches have also come forward to help with funding as a way of saying thank you for the role the camps have played in many children's lives. It must have been a roller coaster of a week for them.

Lady V (as she is often known) sunning herself with Mari
peeping round the corner.

Aggy enjoying a roll around

Looking alert and enjoying the sunshine

Enjoying the sunshine so much that Chanel is having a good
jump around. 


  1. Lovely to spend time with your family. Great photos of the alpacas too!

    1. It is indeed. Glad you like the alpaca photos :)


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