Monday, 11 January 2010

Soaring hearts

With our daughter and her boyfriend back in the UK and no studying to do it has been a very quiet week again. Rather nice really, although I think I am beginning to miss the discipline of the studying timetable, it is good to rest my brain though after the rather frenetic time I had studying at the end of the last year. Our Latvian lessons have also kind of stalled, our lessons in school have been sidelined for the time being as the teacher has got extra work for the next couple of months - a blessing for her I am guessing but not for us. So with all this extra time I have at the moment I have finally got motivated to actually start an embroidery and given myself two weeks to get it done, so out came the paints and the box of fabrics and I shall ignore the frowns I get when the place is a mess with my art work (note to Ian, I will try and be tidy, well sort of). 

Talking of art work I thought I might put an advert here for my friend Sancha's site on etsy for her gorgeous necklaces and hand knitted jumper (sweater). For those who don't know etsy, it is a site for those who produce handmade goods and so a chance to buy something that is a little different with money going directly to those who make them. I have always loved arts and crafts and take any opportunity to see what people do and this is a chance to browse a whole shop from the comfort of home, oh the wonders of the Internet.  I am seriously thinking of joining Etsy at some stage myself but have hung back and at the moment as I haven't got anything that I could sell but I may try and produce a few small items at the same time as producing my huge Derbyshire scene that I have just started. 

My dearly beloved husband had a snigger at my blog last week, don't know if anyone else picked up on it or it is just the sort of mind my hubby has, but when I said that "in faith we went and bought a big bright pink suitcase and in the following year we used it to travel to Cyprus" I meant that we took it with us and not as he implied that we were using it like a boat or coasting down the motorways on it, it's big but not that big. Still it did conjure up a rather ridiculous picture.

I hummed and harrhhed whether to add this bit but I thought I would be honest and share my feelings. One of the problems with blogs and commenting on them is being misunderstood and that happened to me this week. I posted a comment on a blog and it got picked up by someone else who also writes a blog, they didn't like what I had to say and said as much on their own blog. As I was reading their blog I at first felt quite hurt, then angry and then sad, I can laugh now but it took me a while to process it and in some ways it still makes me sad. In the blog I was accused of being green, no that is not quite right I was accused of being GREEN. Now last time I looked I was definitely pink with freckles and not green, but if caring about the environment that my Creative God has made is green, then I have to put my hand up and say "Guilty!" Apparently though you cannot be green and care about people and that I find very sad. It is precisely because I care about people that I care about the environment. I wouldn't be studying Managing Sustainable Rural Development if I didn't care about people and the environment they live in and how they can develop a sustainable living and not ruin the environment they live in at the same time. I chose that subject because I see so much neglect of the Latvian countryside, not because the Latvians abuse the countryside but because they cannot find a way to make a living from the land they have and so it is abandoned while they find employment that hopefully pays a living wage, and I want to make a difference if I can. There has to be a better way for the folks here to live and if that means turning a shade of green then so be it, meanwhile I shall apply my brain to searching for solutions and at the same time tapping into the reservoir of God's love and knowledge to see a transformation of his creation so that it provides for those who steward it.

I know that many of my friends are enduring the snow rather than enjoying it at the moment in England. England is just not used to the snow and so even a small snowfall can cause chaos but this time they actually have a decent amount of snow and some places have it worse than we have here in Eastern Latvia with the temperatures to match. I love the snow and I think it is magical, there was an area outside our apartment building that was so flat and crisp and looked so inviting to walk through, but then that would have spoilt it, didn't stop the deer though, as you can now see their tracks wending their way through the apple trees. This week we had sunshine making the whole place glisten. Glistening snow always makes my heart soar but with the wind chill factor it is rather cold outside, at the moment it is -16C (3F) with a wind chill of -26C (-15F), not pleasant. We did manage a walk but we have not been out on the skis much as I found after a couple of tries that the boots really hurt my feet because they are so solid. I have now got some new cushioned inserts for my poor pampered feet and I do hope that my shoes won't hurt now, otherwise I will be sending for some shoe inserts from the UK as I know exactly what I want (never a good thing as it generally means I can't get it). At least the forecast is for it to warm up a bit and the wind die down so later on this week I shall be giving the skis another try.

Strike one to David? Just before the New Year I mentioned that something had to give between the IMF and the Latvian Government as the courts had ruled the pension cuts illegal and the money had to be repaid to the pensioners. I felt that in the same way as David overcame Goliath so the Latvian people would overcome the Goliaths in their lives and one of the Goliaths is the IMF and the conditions "imposed" as a condition for lending to Latvia the money to see them through this crisis. Well it will not be done and dusted until the giant is down but the fact is that the EU and the IMF have little room for manoeuvre. If they insist the cuts stand then that means they consider that a nations laws are meaningless, and if they only allow the pensions to be paid back later rather than now when people need the money, then they will destabilise the Government, and that would be worse. Another Goliath I am looking to come down in this nation is corruption, it would be easy for the Latvian people to ignore laws and taxes and they have good enough reason not to trust the Government with their money but I am looking to see the Latvian people begin to see that good governance begins in the home and to insist that corruption becomes an unacceptable way of doing business, no matter how bad things get. I am also looking to see some major exposing of corrupt networks and it will look pretty messy for a while but as in any spring clean it will look much better when the dust settles (this follows on from the prophecy given by Paul Leader).

Photo 1: A Latvian home
Photo 2: Sancha's necklace
Photo 3: Child's jumper (sweater) by Sancha
Photo 4: Outside our other flat
Photo 5 & 6: Ski track
Photo 7: Top of our hill


Diane said...

love your blogs but do with you'd write a few smaller ones every couple of days rather than such a long one. I am sure I miss some of the great things you write.
Love reading through it all though

Joanna said...

I know what you mean Diane but I am quite disorganised, if I sat wrote more often I would get fed up and not do it at all, so it is a bit of quandary. I have managed to get into the routine where I write once a week and managed to keep that up for two years which is a surprise to me. Thanks for the suggestion though

Kezza said...

What you wrote about the pink suitcase made me laugh, i didn't see it like that last week...but now i can, however i think it might just be pops and the way he read it!

Joanna said...

You had me in stitches Kerry but I think your right.