I'm back

....and I'm getting old. Oh, lordy lordy. I won't make a long story of it, but the last few weeks my body has suggested to me that things are slowly going downhill. I spent a week in Vienna in mid-March with the Saucejas, whereby we soaked in a great deal of art and Germanic order. I also (foolishly) assumed that it would already be springtime in Austria, and so I didn't even pack a hat or gloves. Of course, when we got there, it was just as cold as in Riga, but with a fierce and icy wind that blew through every woven hole in my crappy cotton scarf, and turned my poor un-gloved hands into numb icicles. And when I got home - literally a few hours after getting off the plane - I came down with an aching, exhausting, raging fever. A case of the dreaded late-winter "gripa" (flu), which I figured would knock me over for 3 days max and then I would be right as rain. So after sleeping and sweating and moaning my way through the next day, Monday, I got up on Tuesday and went to work.... for a few hours... by which time I crawled home and fell back into bed for the rest of the week. And that wasn't the end of it. Although I resumed my usual duties after a couple of days, I've been coughing and aching and having afternoon naps ever since - it's taken me weeks to recover fully. Daily chores have been a challenge, let alone some kind of creative thought or writings. So, dear reader (all two of you), let me assure you that the first thing to get struck off the "to do" list when I have a lack of time or energy is.... blogging. So there.
On a lighter note, our Easter long weekend was fabulous. The weather miraculously stayed great, and leapt up by about 15 degrees to give us a series of sunny spring days, so warm you could walk outside without coats on! We rediscovered the country and spent most of the weekend cleaning out the house, digging in the dirt, raking leaves, etc etc. A very exciting development at Kugures is that we now have a fully functioning sauna - which was crafted by local workmen over the winter. Its wood fired, and I can happily report after quite a few sauna visits over the long weekend that it works very well. Too well, in fact - the first night Jem and I went in without a thermometer and almost ended up passing out from the heat! The boys absolutely loved it, mucking around all sweaty and nude, tipping water everywhere and climbing all over and under the benches. They have never been cleaner!
The Easter Bunny made quite a late appearance on Sunday morning, planting chocolate eggs in painfully obvious places throughout the garden - and the boys walked past almost every one of them! But eventually we found them all, which was great fun. They haven't finished off their store of chocky yet... So without further ado here are a few pics, none of the sauna action for obvious reasons (count your lucky stars) - for that you'll just have to turn up and see it for yourselves!

Mikus dyes his prize-winning Easter egg the traditional Latvian way - Saturday evening

And the hunt is on! Eager kids chase after the tracks of the bunny while mum and I stroll behind. The house you can see contains the sauna...

I found one! (This one had an action superhero inside it - since when has Easter been about giving toys? Certainly not in my day! Back then it was all about chocolate, chocolate, chocolate)

"Rabbit Ears" found on the sauna steps

The big prizes at the end of the hunt - thanks Oma and Opa bunny for these ones!!

Mikus on his winning streak during the lunchtime "egg war" - grab one of the eggs you dyed the night before, and bash your neighbour's egg. The winner is the one without the cracked shell. The winner then goes on to challenge the next person...

And the next person...

And the next person.... !!

Lastly, a traditional Easter swing - so that you don't get bitten by mosquitoes during the summer.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Alex says:

    These are great family Easter photos - it looked like a lovely, relaxing weekend. So what exactly is the traditional Latvian way of decorating Easter eggs? Are you using natural dyes?

    I've been working on the Ukrainian 'pysanky' for the last week, adn when I finish them off tonight there will be four - although I left the last one in the dye too long and there is a crack :-( Stay tuned for photos on Facebook!

  2. Marite says:

    Hey Mook! Lovely to have you back, glad you're feeling better.

    This might be an odd thing to focus on from your post- but I love that you all went in the pirts nude... and it got me wondering... what is the age where that would no longer be appropriate? Or isn't there an age? Maybe this is a private conversation... :)

    Anyway, looks like you had a fabulous weekend. We're jealous of your chocky too! :) Oh, and, didn't the Easter bunny bring jelly beans too, or is that just an American thing? And what about Peeps?!? They are my favorite!

  3. Mook says:

    What the hell are peeps?

    About the appopriateness... I dunno! I read in a trashy mag that one thing that was brought up in the case to make Britney Spears seem like an unfit mother was that she walked around the house naked in front of her two young sons. And I, too, wondered about the age and appropriateness issue. Seems pretty ridiculous to me - going in saunas is an age-old thing in Latvian culture, and although it was sometimes a women and small children and then men going separately thing, I imagine that at my boys' age they would still be going in the sauna with their mums...? But maybe we should discuss on email ;)

  4. Marite says:

    Peeps! http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/

    Oh Peeps, how I love thee. Marshmallowy goodness covered in fine sugar...oh so much better just a little bit stale. Too bad they only show up a few times a year- my mom used to send them to me in China, and maybe once in LV, but alas, I have not had any Peeps in a long time...

  5. For what it's worth, my parents and step-parents were never clothed as they moved between showers/baths and the rest of their residences if they could help it. To be frank, it just demystifies nudity and teaches the incredible variability of body shape. And we weren't even hippies.

    I've also seen one set of Granparents in the all-together, but that was an accident because they hadn't closed their doors. My overwhelming memory of that is just the word "droopy".

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