Yes, I’m still here. Contrary to my planned one-week flying visit, I’m still enjoying the fold up bed on my parents floor.

My visa for Belarus took longer to organise than I expected and the flights back to Riga were more expensive. However, I’m back on track now and hope to collect my visa tomorrow and catch my plane next Monday.

So now there is little else to do but wash a few clothes, drink a few tea’s and read a few books in the (currently very hot) sunshine :-)

It’s been an interesting time to be back in the UK though – It started off raining, then there was Pete’s Wedding and the much talked about Live 8, then we won the Olympic bid, then London got bombed and then it got sunny!

The bombing bit was a bit strange but I’m glad I was here in England when it happened. While the papers and TV are still squeezing every article possible out of the explosions I haven’t yet met anyone who’s been obsessed with or significantly changed by what happened. The reaction has been very subdued. This may be different in London where the wounds are right there for everyone to see but, outside the capital it seems to get little more than a passing mention in conversation on the same scale as many other news items. I’m not a social expert but I’m guessing this is largely due to the inevitability of it happening, it’s (although still horrific) small scale and the fact that it is set against the backdrop of daily news reports from Iraq detailing their daily, and often much larger losses.

Let’s hope the “Blowback” stops blowing.

The Olympic bid though – how good is that? OK, so I think it would have been far better for the country if the money and development went to another more central city but still – it will be a great event. Hopefully it will also be a great incentive for kids to get out and play some more sport. Talking to the Australians I met when I was away it’s clear that our facilities and emphasis on sport are along way from where they should be. Actually, perhaps it’s not the facilities – it’s the weather. I mean cricket is boring anyway but when it’s raining? – No chance. Oh, and I say kids as I will be almost 35 in 2012.

OK, that’s it for now – this post has taken the form of a disorganized rant filling time which would otherwise be spent doing very little, and so – I’m off to do very little.


PS, If you ever decide to visit Belarus contact Svetlana at BelarusTourService. She’s brilliant.

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