My eldest son is a list man.  Like his mamma, he likes to write lists of jobs to do and tick them off as they get done.  Yesterday he came home from school with another lurgy, and luxuriously wrote the above list of things he could do at home to keep himself amused.  Notice the fact that of all the things on the list that have been ticked, "ly down" (sic) is not one of them.  (BTW., I know the list above may seem like a complete failure in terms of spelling for a 9 year old, but I'm not too worried considering he reads and writes in Latvian at school.  Lord knows where he learned to read and write in English).
We've all been sick lately, especially Jem, who went multiple rounds with sinus infections and antibiotics of various strengths.  That's probably why I haven't had time to visit blogland for a while.  Mind you, we've ALL been sick, except for this young man.  And may I remind you that he doesn't eat ANY VEGETABLES.

Here he is dressed as an oak tree for kindergarten's autumn concert last week.  He totally surprised us by singing a solo, taking the lead in all the musical numbers, and generally being the kindergarten concert diva.  Turns out there's hope in the world!

I have also been writing lots of lists lately - because I fly to Brazil in a couple of days for field work.  Last time I went to Brazil for work it was a very intense 2 weeks of interviewing and recording and travelling. The closest I got to a tourist experience was pressing my face up against the window inside the car as we sped past Ipanema beach in Rio, watching all bikini babes and tanned hunks sunning themselves in a passing blur.  We did get 1/2 an hour out to see this dude, though, which made up for the rest of the time working.

Yesterday night we celebrated 11/11/11, like every year we lit candles along the wall of the Riga castle, and released a little raft of candles into the black swirling expanse that is the River Daugava.  Usually this would be my annual post about the darkness and how difficult it is to handle, for some reason this year it's been relatively warm and light and we haven't descended into the depths of late autumn despair yet.  It is interesting as the boys get older to see how they have soaked in our family celebrations - I've noticed that this year they both expect certain things to happen, and now we have family traditions that I can see continuing for many years to come.

I'm hoping Jem does a photo post of the 11 november... stay tuned.  But that's all from me for now - doubt I'll get a chance to blog in Brazil.  See you in December, with its fairy lights and letters to Santa and gingerbread aroma and magical excitement...


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