Winterizing under way at last

The house is like a building site.

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Do I care? No. At least we will be warm this winter, as I am assured it is going to be a cold one because Latvia never has two consecutive mild winters. So in true Latvian style I’m planning ahead. We found Andris via recommendation and so far so good. I have to say I was a little concerned when I first met him. An imposing man with a scar across his cheek. How did that happen I wondered. I was tempted to buy 3rd party insurance just in case. It really is a family affair with Andris. All week his wife, and two teenage sons have been working with him on site. We even had the offer of his mother and english step father coming to put all the old asbestos roofing into large rubbish bags for the princely sum of 25 euros. Apparently he used to employ workers but they had the habit of turning up drunk. Not a good idea when you are on a roof. They’ve made good progress this week, despite the occasional drenching, all the asbestos roof is off, extra insulation is on and the wooden frame ready for the new roof is on. New roof arrives Tuesday so all systems are go, although work might slow down, when Latvian schools start the first week of September.

Andris told Inta he was taking a couple of days off to buy his sons everything for school, I thought that would mean Monday and Tuesday but no. He unexpectedly turned up on Saturday and is taking Sunday and Monday off. I couldn’t imagine workers in England working through weekends until a job was completed.
Work on our new heating system starts this week, so our house will be even more like a building site. At least I can escape to Riga four days a week. Poor Inta is going to be stuck here most days, and she hates mess. Although I think she is enjoying country life, I don’t think she has mentally adjusted to it yet and is desperately trying to make our surrounding as neat and tidy as when we were in London. I haven’t the heart to tell her it’s just not going to happen.

Our neighbour Henrietta has gone to England to visit her daughter and grand-children. In the meantime we have become guardians to her two cats. They are lovely cats, but they are country cats and especially in August are the home of a variety of insect life. “This is normal”, said Jana, Andris’s wife. “All cats have fleas in August”, as we tried to warn her son against stroking them.

I think that the black female cat must be in season as the male cat is constantly trying to have sex with her. Cats have no inhibitions because he jumps on her no matter who is around and who is watching. She has also attracted the attention of a very large ginger Tom cat. Our little tom cat is no match for this monster, so last night upon hearing a cacophony of shrieking and wailing emanating from our garden I dashed outside to be confronted by this monster about to attack our little tom cat. I remembered in a flash one of those survival programmes that said to scare away animals make yourself look big and make a lot of noise. So looking like an orang-utan and sounding like a bellowing gorilla I advanced on the said ginger tom cat who immediately fled into the nearby trees. Feeling very pleased with myself I turned round to see Inta rolling around in laughter at my Imitation of an orang-utan/gorilla cross.
The joys of country life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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4 Responses to Winterizing under way at last

  1. Nice! Hope you’ll share some more photos when all done and dusted! Strongly disagree with the lady about the cats. A rather dated thing to say.. In this day and age there is nothing normal about pets having any type of parasites and also they can be dangerous for the poor souls.. A simple remedy in the form of spray or drops can be bought in any vet shop.. All one needs to do is to apply it on its fur not too often (once a month or so) and it will perfectly keep ticks and fleas away.. When I moved in my country house the very first day two extra inhabitants announced their rights for residence – a big grey/white tomcat and a black lady cat – the latter turned out to be preggers and the result is that I’ve got six cats now – they spend most of the time outside but come inside whenever they want and often some of them choose to sleep in my bed at night too.. Don’t get me wrong – I hate dirt, keep everything tidy and clean.. And cats are like that too.. They’re healthy and incredibly clean if looked after a bit.. Important to sterilize though – they won’t run around looking to mate and that will make the tomcats avoid fights and go down the diplomatic route if any confrontation.


    • Kaija says:

      Totally agree. Our cats are also the outdoors type, coming and going as they please but often ending up sleeping in my bed. Flees are really not that hard to keep away.
      I reckon that someone needs to explain to the lady that flees do significantly decrease her pet’s quality of life and changing that to the better costs next to nothing, all things considered.


  2. ytaba36 says:

    Can you hear me laughing, all the way from Australia? Well done, brave one.


  3. Jane says:

    Sounding perfect xxx


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