About Me

Decided it was about time I divulged some information about myself. So here goes.

My name is Andrew originally from Bolton in the north of England. I’m a strong believer that variety is the spice of life. Originally trained in hotel management, I worked in hotels and restaurants until the age of 28. At this point I jumped ship and sold computers until was 36 when I decided it was time for a change again. So I opened a bookshop. Although great fun it was a financial disaster and 5 years later I closed it down at great personal and financial cost. After a couple of years meandering I went back to University and trained as a mathematics teacher, which I have now been doing for over 15 years.

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Inta calls me a gypsy because until she arrived in the UK 15 years ago she had only lived in two houses her whole life. Me, l’ve lost count of all my addresses over the last 60 years. All I do know is that Royal Mail has made a lot of money out of me using its mail redirection services. I’ve lived in Bolton, Cambridge, Preston, Richmond upon Thames and now Limbazi in Latvia.

I reached the sixty milestone in 2014 and decided it was time for a new adventure. If you can’t have adventures then you may as well be dead is my thought. I couldn’t afford not to work but being able to collect my teachers pension lessened the burden. Having been on several holidays to Latvia I decided it was some where I could live. After a few months of gentle persuasion Inta finally agreed. It wasn’t an easy decision as between us we have 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 4 brothers and sisters who all live in the UK. Not everyone was happy with our decision, but with modern communication technology we are able to keep in touch on a regular basis.

Being a bit of a foodie I’m hoping to be able to grow my own food and start to be more creative in the kitchen. Although we do need a kitchen first. Being closer to nature is a big bonus.

I created this blog so my family in the UK are able to keep up to date with our adventures. However if you enjoy reading it please feel free to comment and contact me.

47 Responses to About Me

  1. Avanash Sood says:

    Interesting about page Mr D!

    Like

  2. Khomas Tearey says:

    Sir, I think you should create a page dedicated towards ICT or Mathematics so we can seek your intellectual knowledge to prepare for our exams, seen as they are approaching fast.

    Like

    • Piem Lham says:

      I second this, you could even start up a youtube channel to share your knowledge with the world. I am prepared for the exam but every bit of revision helps. So much so it is starting to hurt my eyes! Thanks for all your help Mr D!

      Like

  3. Piem Lham says:

    No sarcasm intended, Sir! All genuine. Got to run now, need to revise for the upcoming exam in a couple of hours! Bye bye! Toodlepip.

    Like

  4. Hi Sir. Love to meet up when you come back to England!

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  5. Liem Pham says:

    How are you doing Sir? It is nice to see you updating the blog nowadays! I seek your intellectual knowledge. The exam we just done, I found very difficult. I was revising so much, I think I need to go to specsavers as I was revising so much my vision is slighlty impaired! Anyway Sir, I still remember your story about your wild night out on the town and forgetting to pay for your food.

    Like

  6. Sam The Man says:

    That ICT Exam yesterday was alright, hopefully I will get an A or A*

    Like

  7. kristinesomere says:

    Hi, Andrew! I just found your blog, 🙂 How inspiring and interesting to read! 🙂 Hope to see you both in yoga class soon. Greetings to Inta! 🙂 And Happy new year of course! 🙂

    Like

  8. Mārcis Leja says:

    Hi.
    just found your blog as wel – interesting. great job.
    If you are interested in Latvian culture [not just trees and lakes] google for “novuss” or “zole”. You could say these are latvian national games [they are invented in Latvia], but not that meny people play them – although every one knowes what they are.
    If your in Riga and have nothing to do – contact me and I’l showe you how to play novuss.

    Like

  9. Joanna says:

    Hello Andrew. I was passed on an article about you in the Delfi online newspaper and was rather shocked to find that we hail from a similar part of the UK, I used to lived in Chorley. My husband and I have been in Latvia for nearly seven years now, still can’t speak the language I’m afraid, but we have some good friends who speak English, so that works. I look forward to reading more on your blog and if you are interested in what we are doing, then I have a blog too thejourneytosomewhere.blogspot.com

    Like

  10. Tom says:

    Good evening!
    I read some of your blog posts and found them very endearing and insightful, in fact, you remind me of my neighbor who’s from Canada himself and has been living here for a few years. I’m also glad that you’re having such a good time here and brushing off the occasional problem with relative ease.
    Nice to have you here!

    Like

  11. LieneLL says:

    Hello Andrew, thank you for writing about your experiences in my dear motherland. I’m currently living abroad, but hoping one day to return to Latvia, build a house somewhere in the countryside with a garden and do all those things you’re writing about. The summers there are precious, though not sure I could survive the winter .. Good luck in Latvia and thanks for sharing!

    Like

  12. Gerry Baines says:

    Hi Andrew
    Your blog is brilliant very informative and inspirational to me. The more I read about Latvia the more I think it is an undiscovered gem. Even the Latvians I feel are not aware of what they have. I am a little older than you but there’s life in the old dog yet. I have found a lovely Latvian lady (they’re all lovely) and am seriously thinking of taking her back to her country. I am dipping my toe into the language using byki but to me it is not as easy as French. Is there any other course you could recommend. There are So many other question on cost of living, culture and things to be aware of etc. So I would love to correspond with you. I will be coming to Baldone in April and would hope we can meet and I can reward you with a beer or two.

    Like

  13. Lawrence Parramore says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I live near Limbazi in a Village called Vilkene, where are you based? Been here 3 years, seems there are a few brits round here now!

    Like

  14. Lawrence Parramore says:

    Yes, a few months ago now. Kevin Parr lives near Liepupe, and another couple at Tuja.

    Like

  15. Lawrence Parramore says:

    Kevin came over the same time as I did I think, we have had some similar experiences! I thought about doing a Blog as a few friends suggested I do it, but it wouldn’t have been a good idea as I haven’t got used to some of the cultural differences and don’t think I ever will. I just try to keep away from employing people to do manual things as the trial and error of finding somebody who can actually do something is both expensive and potentially life threatening! Happily my experience of Doctors, Dentists and Legal people has been very good!

    Like

  16. krissy says:

    Hi
    My name is krissy and I used to live in Latvia for 13 years. I am a chef and I came from Canada to consult for restaurants. I lost all I had (including my home and successful high-end catering business) in the eco-crash of 2008 and sadly ended up back in Canada. This is now the second time I have seen a thread about you on tinternet. I am now avidly following and enjoy your perspective on life in a new land.

    Like

    • aedoxsey says:

      Sorry I’ve not been in touch sooner, but I had to put my blog on hold due to work pressures and amount of time I had to spend getting the house sorted.

      Will be posting an update shortly

      Like

  17. vinebob says:

    Hi Andrew we might be neighbors soon we are trying to buy a house in Sigulda. regards Bob

    Like

  18. debbie732015 says:

    Hi great post, my family would love to live in Latvia, as my husbands father was born there and we have always wanted to go to Europe, Been trying to find recent information and then I stumbled on this blog, but is it true that it still near impossible to get a job over there and if not what kinds of jobs are available there? Any information would be highly appreciated and is it advisable to live there with a family of 4 children do you think?

    Like

    • aedoxsey says:

      Sorry I’ve not been in touch sooner, but I had to put my blog on hold due to work pressures and amount of time I had to spend getting the house sorted.

      If you still need any advice please get in touch

      Like

    • Sir Kevin Parr Bt says:

      Latvia is great as far as I have seen in the four years here. Jobs pay so little and to scale to judge, a doctors pay reported as 600 euro per month working in Riga hospital. You need little money to exist as 300 euro per month feeds a couple and pays all bills. A family not Latvian now that is perhaps a different story. I can say with truth that winter here stops play. My friend works hard all summer and if needed goes to England for winter jobs. He has a family including two lovely baby girls. I would say unless you can buy a house here renting is very expensive. Jobs are only in Riga. House cheaper outside that city. House with gardens sells for 50k Renovate a shell a bit less. Great as three acres of veg and fruit is nice though if you are to sell forget all you have spent and take a real Latvian dive unless you find a Brit with desire to buy.Many half finished properties exist in rural bliss. You need cash to finish but sometimes they sell so cheap it is worth it. Being on pensions helps as when it comes to finish your dream house all fits in to place as a British pension is rather more than a doctors wage here. One warning is building materials are similar priced to UK. Builders far cheaper but you need one that is recommended or face ruin.

      Like

      • Job wise, most average and above people I meet are self employed, wages can vary from poor to at least as much as in the UK and some tradesmen for example specialist construction workers can be on far more than they would be in the UK. Property wise you can still buy places in the countryside for under 10k with land, it all depends on how up to date the house is, but as in the UK you need to be wary of one that has been newly decorated. As Kevin says you need workers who are recommended, it is better that they are recommended by an expat as in some localities expectations are so low that a recommendation will almost certainly fall below what most people from outside would tolerate. I am optimistic about the property market, there are Latvians out there and increasingly in the countryside who are looking for a nice place and are prepared to pay for it, but obviously not as much as it would be in the UK but then it will not have cost the same as in the UK to start with, but I see an ever increasing number of people moving to the countryside and wanting a rural property and land for amenity not just to rip what they can out of it and move on as it was and still is mostly.

        Like

  19. Keeley says:

    Hello Andrew, randomly found your blog on internet… it is a very interesting blog to read, love your writing. Would be lovely if you could post more picture with your article, love to see more how it like lives in Lativa.x

    Like

    • aedoxsey says:

      Sorry I’ve not been in touch sooner, but I had to put my blog on hold due to work pressures and amount of time I had to spend getting the house sorted.

      Will be posting an update shortly

      Like

  20. Sir Kevin Parr,Baronet says:

    Sound fellow I to relate to your blog. Having army pension I went to work for the Law Society as Civil Servant again. Came to Latvia as you know to build and renovate a house.We have designed and built an English garden around us and have dug out a pond and waterfall for next spring complete when earth settles. I have degree in history from Liverpool University in 1968. Not that I did much teaching but took up law soon after. I had one class to teach as training teacher in 1970. I was placed for two weeks ina school in Manchester UK and that changed my view on survival issues. Maybe that drove me to join up with my fathers old regiment of British Army. When National Trust stole our old house when I only asked for repair to roof grant I decided England could stuff it. My wish was to leave its shores. I became involved another far less expensive house in Windermere. Ten years on i find myself in Liepupe Latvia up to my eyes in work.The age of 60 far behind me I race forth to take over the record of my ancestor who is buried in Westminister Abbey. Thomas Parr. Worth checking up on if you are interested. Good luck and keep in touch.Best regards Anita and Kevin.

    Like

  21. Dear Andrew,

    my friend and I were really thankful to find your blog when we prepared for our 4 day trip to Riga/Jurmala this summer. Of course, going on a short trip is in no way comparable to moving to a place, but it was a real joy to scroll through your articles, read about your observations and build an understanding of the Latvian culture from there. If you’d like to see how our trip went, you can check it out here: https://mintandcopper.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/sheer-beauty-4-days-in-riga/
    I know, living in the countryside and growing your own food is in no way comparable to a touristy 4 day trip to the capital. However, a gypsie-heart myself, it was simply a great pleasure to read about your adventures. It gave the trip a certain 3 dimensionality because we felt like we had established a certain knowledge about how life rolls outside the city…

    All the best

    Like

    • aedoxsey says:

      Mint and Copper, I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading the blog and found it useful. Comments like yours make the effort worthwhile. I hope you enjoyed your visit and that it wet your appetite for an extended trip sometime in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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