Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review No.11

A week ago I remembered how to write, now I've overcome my inability to read and have finally finished another book.

Actually I finished this particular book at Christmas but was too lazy to write about and now that I'm halfway through another it seemed best that I I should say something about “Armageddon” by Max Hastings.

So click on the Book Review link on the right hand side and find out what I've been keeping from you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Frozen Waterfalls

Sometimes I almost forget that I live in a foreign country. After all I play football, work and go out primarily with people from Ireland in England and rarely hear a word that isn't in English. But then there are days when something happens that completely blows away this impression

Sunday was one of those days, which was a when I saw frozen waterfall. Yes completely frozen, not one with some snow and frost around the edges but a twenty foot drop of solid ice. As well standing on the frozen river you could stand or slip as in my case behind the waterfall itself.
Apparently this happens every year, but what is unusual about this winter is its severity.

This morning the temperature was minus 20, not minus 2, but twenty.

We're talking about Napoleon's retreat from Moscow weather. If you take your padded glove off for a minute of less it starts to burn with cold.

Yet as enter my second year and winter over here I have become a bit more accustomed to the sight of snow for weeks on end. And although temperatures of - 20 takes some getting used to, it isn't quite as horrific as it sounds. Fortunately there isn't the wind that you get back in Ireland so the wind chill factor isn't' as bad it could be.

Bloody hell, now that really would be something.

I've been told that about sixty miles inland the temperature is actually at minus 31.

The scenery on the way to the waterfall, was of vast areas of forest and coastline covered completely in snow and ice. I don't wish to sound like a cliche, but you really have to see this stuff to believe and appreciate it.

Until next time....

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year New Blogging

Happy New year and belated greeting to one and all.

Finally after a month and a half I have eventually gotten around to writing a new blog. My absence wasn't due not having done anything over the last six weeks, but rather now that I am back in the working world when I come home all I want to do is vegetate. But no more, my somewhat delayed new year's resolution will be to dispatch at least one blog a week.

Last weekend was rather eventful in fact I may even be able to stretch it out for two blogs, saving me from tiring myself out and ease back into the blogging universe rather gently.

On Saturday morning I wrapped up in two pairs of socks, two pairs of trousers and countless other items of clothes just to get the local indoor football pitch, where I took most of them off again ten minutes later.

My grand plan for setting up a football team that will take part in the Estonian third of forth division has come to a stuttering halt. Due to administrative, financial and personnel reasons the dream has come to an end as some of the players head back to their home countries. But do not despair my athletic god like appearance will not fade away just like the team as we still have enough to have our Saturday kick about.

Football on a Saturday morning has definitely become something to look forward and a constant source of creating stories. I know that it has been snowing in Ireland lately and its not that Size matters, but we've had 65cm of the stuff. In fact just before Christmas the heating failed in the arena and when we hit the ball on the roof of the arena, ice had been forming on the inside and now fell like snow.

Now that's cold.

As with each and every Saturday we all walked away with a few bumps and bruises, but the important thing, is that we were still able to walk away. As in Ireland the economy here is still in a bad way and that is one of the causes for some of foreign legion of footballers leaving Estonia and heading back to the homeland in pursuit of work.

A couple of hours after the football and being convinced that I still had the stamina of a twenty year old, Una and I went trampolining.

Did I mention previously that Tiiu changed her name to Una? Well just in case I hadn't, she has, you know, just in case you were wondering.

Annnnnnnnnnnnyway we went to a leisure centre for a few hours where trampineing was the main attraction, where you could just jump from one trampoline to another and if you were able to avoid the countless children that just seem to pop up you could bounce along for 20 or 30 meters. If you haven't tried it before, its well worth it although in the end it almost seemed like exercise as the sweat was pouring of me. Although I lept about with all the graze of a drunken gorilla, Una was able to perform one trick after another.

In between the bouncing we tried our hand at sumo wrestling.

As you can see I have put on a little weight since we last spoke.

When all the games were over it was time to put back on those countless items of clothes and went to Una's friends apartment for some cards and cake. As you may have come to expect by now this wasn't just any old cake, for we made it ourselves. Off course when I say we, I mean Una, but I did get to eat it. so I was a little involved. The secret ingredient in this cake was a plentiful sprinkling of "Vana Tallinn", which is the local liqueur.

Many hours later we trudged back through the snow, knowing that in the earlyish hours of the next morning we would be going on a trip to see a frozen waterfall. But that, as I said at the start of this blog, is for another day.