Monday, February 6, 2012
Just been for a morning 'stroll' with the temperature a bitterly cold minus 24. When it is this cold you don't feel much like doing anything. I got hit with a heating and electricity bill of 190 lats (270 euro) on Saturday for January. That is 270 euro for a 45 square metre flat. And you know what? Despite having the heating on at full whack I still went to bed last night with three duvets on the bed and wore a jumper, pyjama bottoms, a hat and two pairs of socks. And I still felt like I was getting up inside a refrigerator this morning at 8am. I've even got thick ice on the insides of my window sills.
According to the LETA news agency the state fire and rescue service had to deal with a record number of house fires yesterday in Riga; local Latvians trying desperately hard to keep warm on a night when temperatures dipped as low as minus 30 in some parts of the country.
Five people froze to death in neighbouring Lithuania over the weekend while the death toll across eastern Europe now tops 300.
During my fast-paced walk this morning I was reflecting on the fact that back in November I was sleeping half-naked under the stars in Samoa, next to the sea. It was 28 degrees at night there, a full 60 degrees Celsius warmer than it was here last night. Just makes you remember how great the extremes are on this planet. It also makes me realise just how much I miss the Pacific.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
UEFA contacted me and sorted out the rogue password. Managed to submit my accreditation request before tomorrow's deadline for a handful of the matches in Ukraine. Fingers crossed they will approve my accreditation. It certainly made life easier in Argentina having a press accreditation for the Copa America. Really appreciated how well the Argentine Football Federation treated me and my other friends and colleagues who travelled to South America from Europe to watch the tournament last summer.
Feeling a bit rough today. Went out for dinner with one of my best mates, Rupert, and then a female friend sent me a text persuading me to meet her at a club in Riga.
A young Latvian lad asked me the way to the city's French bar when I was on my way home, battling a snowstorm. It turned out he hadn't been in Riga for a long time because he's been living in my home city in England. We were laughing at me being from Leicester and living in Riga and him being from Riga and living in Leicester. Crazy world.
Home at four. Mid-week clubbing is never really a clever idea. It was good at the time though...