While I'm on a roll with breaking the blogging drought, thought I'd share some snaps from our brief outing yesterday on 18 November, Latvian independence day. We have all been grossly sick with a cold/flu/fever thing so there was minimum celebrating at our place, but we did manage to make a pilgrimage to the freedom monument to put down some flowers for Latvia. Tiss insisted on two red flowers and one white (like the Latvian flag). Afterwards he also insisted that we "go to that big yellow "M" over there" (meaning, the golden arches), which after a lot of umming and aaahhhing and saying that he really should be eating sauerkraut or piragi on day like today, we broke down and bought the kids happy meals all round. Why not make it a real celebration, we figured, and for the kids - there's nothing better than McDonalds, they get it so rarely... I drew the line when the lady at McDonalds offered the kids little paper McDonalds flags - I thought a Latvian flag in one hand, and McD's flags in the other would be pushing the celebration a bit too far.

It's finally happened - we are now the proud new owners of a house in Āgenskalns, Rīga. This time, I'm worried I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew! The deeds were all signed off about a week ago and since then I've been racing around trying to organise a fence to be built around our patch of dirt, to get the house insured, to find an architect, an engineer, etc, etc, etc. None of these tasks has proved to be easy. If the price of fences in Rīga is indicative of the kind of prices we will pay for renovating, I'm afraid we will still be heating with 8x wood fire stoves and have no bathroom long, long into the future! Needless to say we have a bit (!!)of work to do before we move in. But I'm hoping that in a little (or a long) while we will have a semi-habitable house to move in to. I must admit that I am a bit excited - no matter what all those "oh-my-god-you've-bought-a-piece-of-shit-with-sloping-floors" people say. I happen to think sloping floors will be easier, I will always be able to find the kid's marbles when they roll away. And I think peeling paint is just charming! The prospect of having a back yard is also very exciting. We have already planned where the swing and the treehouse will go., Matiss and Mikus are very enamoured of the slag heap in the yard which I haven't told them will be going very soon...
Ps. Thanks for the "Wiggles" beanie, Oma, Mikus loves it and refuses to wear any other hat. I think he looks a bit ridiculous in it - like a parakeet - and tried to hide it whenever we were going out, but he keeps insisting that I find it for him!


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