Yes, I am still alive, but exhausted at trying to get our house sorted. No time to write a blog. A Latvian lady we met recently said now that you have bought a house in the country you won’t have any spare time, and by god was she right. I’ve lost so much weight that I’m at my lightest for 15 years. Hey, no need to join a gym and pay those expensive fees.
The move from our temporary base in Vivari to our house in Limbazi went amazingly smoothly. This was in no small part due to a fantastic Riga based removal company I found whilst still in London. Everything arrived at the house and so far nothing broken or missing. It was a relief seeing all our worldly possessions arrive safe. First priority once all the boxes were in the appropriate was getting the bed assembled, find the bedding and make sure we get a good nights sleep. However just prior to going to bed we sat down in our lounge to have a drink. Just at that moment an elderly gentleman, who had been visiting our neighbour, staggered a little worse for wear past our window and up our drive towards the main road. A few moments later after he had disappeared from view, I decided to re park my car and drove it up the drive in the direction of the said gentleman. I’m not sure who had the biggest shock, me watching somebody about to defecate on my drive or the old man about to be hit up the backside by a RAV4. Obviously not embarrassed in the slightest, he pulled up his trousers and continued slowly on his way. I was hoping this was not a sign of things to come.
So off to bed for a good nights sleep. I think someone up there knows of my wasp phobia, because just as I’m getting into bed I notice wasps coming in and out of a gap behind the wood cladding near our outside bedroom door. Guess what? Door stays closed and due to the heat and the fact we didn’t have any curtains, a good nights sleep went down the plug hole.
So what might day two in the countryside bring. Well I thought we had planned well. We ordered our new fridge and washing machine well in advance and arranged delivery for Tuesday; day 2. We had a phone call in the morning confirming the delivery and low and behold a very large truck duly arrived at about 3.00 pm. My initial excitement quickly evaporated as I realised the driver didn’t really know how to manoeuvre his vehicle in confined spaces and the tyres on his truck were virtually bald. Needless to say he got stuck in some soft ground. After asking us for help, which we couldn’t provide he disappeared on foot only to reappear about an hour later with a large tractor. After some huffing and puffing he was eventually extricated from his predicament and unloaded our new fridge and washing machine. Unfortunately, as he was an hour late and not in the best of moods, he wouldn’t/couldn’t help us get fridge in to the kitchen. So there we were with a very heavy fridge which in our lounge, which we were unable to move. No fridge, just as a heat wave started!!!! Thank goodness for the electric camping fridge.
One of the benefits of having a country house, with a lot of land is all the new gadgets you have to buy. First on the agenda was a strimmer. No not one of those electric, edge of lawn, thingys, but a full blown petrol mean machine. Boy do they make mincemeat out of weeds. Only problem is they don’t collect, good job the house came with some pitch forks. I hope my neighbour doesn’t mind smoke, as I’ve had a fire going non-stop for the last three days trying to burn all the piles of weeds. At least I’ve found our berry garden. At least 30 blackcurant bushes, plus some redcurrant and gooseberry bushes .The second item purchased was a petrol driven chain saw. What incredible but highly dangerous machines are these.
Main problem in the house at the moment is water. Now we get our water from two different sources. Drinking water we fetch from the well, tastes delicious, and all other water comes from a deep bore hole. Unfortunately it is high in iron and leaves brown stains wherever there is a leak, which just seems to be everywhere. We’ve had Inta’s nephew around today, what a savour he has been. Fixed everything except the toilet. We even found out that the 2 filter units were missing the filters and at the bottom of the units and toilet cistern there was a couple of centimetres of mud, presumable brought up from the bottom of the bore hole and making the water taste and smell pretty awful. I’m just concerned now that there will be sludge in the hot water tank. Oh well, I chose country living.
Had our first delivery of wood, 10 cubic meters. Very proud of the effort Inta and her cousin made in stacking it away. Work of art.
Having great difficulty finding reputable local tradesman. Everybody we’ve asked says wouldn’t recommend him, he drinks too much. Feel sorry for Inta as she has to do all the communicating and yet is unfamiliar the technical language they use. She can’t even translate for me to help her. Looking for a good plumber and/or heating engineer, roofer and someone to install a wood burning stove. If you know anyone in the Limbazi area please let me know.
Even having quite a few teething problems, I love living here and when I survey my little empire I feel quite humble that I have been given the opportunity of looking after it all. I find the lovely old trees in garden quite inspiring. Lots more today yet though before we are ready or winter. Things are going to slow down as I’m back at work tomorrow.
Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you! Good luck!
Sounds familiar ;D
I know it can get overwhelming but trust me, for the first few years all the work, never a moments rest, is fun as you see the progress of your efforts.
Good luck in your efforts!
Thanks for the words of encouragement
Congratulations on the move! All the hard work will be so worth it when you taste food you’ve grown or reared yourself. Best of luck with it!
Thanks June. Any suggestions with what to do with the berries on 30 blackcurrant bushes!!!
Currants are yum but they can be a bit time consuming. If you make black currant jelly you’ll save the time of having to destem them. You can chuck them in stems and all as you’ll be straining the juice through muslin (or in my case, a pillowcase!) You can also make wonderful black currant vodka – roughly equal parts berry to vodka (e.g. 1kg of berries to a litre of vodka). Leave for at least two weeks, longer if you can, and you’ll have a talking point for your housewarming drinks! They also make great wine, but you need a bit of kit for that. You can buy it quite cheap and you’ll use it for years. (Is it clear yet that I love berries? I could lost another 10 things!) Try to do something with at least some of them – it will be worth the work!
Latvians usually make jam from blackcurrants and something like this -> http://www.orangecandc.com/images/products/konservacija/konserveti-augli/kompots-erkskogu-680g-spreewaldhof/0704c6578.jpg from gooseberries 😀 And then treat ourselves with them all year around
Last year we made something along the lines of this: http://gwaliafarm.co.uk/spicy-blackcurrant-chutney/ – goes very well with meat dishes 😉
Thanks sounds yummy