I want to tell you how our first cream was born, in the whole amazing line of the brand UNIKUM… Judging by the questions, no matter what, it is interesting to many people.
In Latvia, 70 kilometers from the city where we live today, there is a farmstead. An ancestral estate. Iveta was once born there and spent her early childhood, her first years. It was built by my late grandparents. I still, when I get there, I don’t understand-how??? How is it possible to build all this in four hands???
My grandfather used to repeat his favorite saying, “You have to earn your breakfast…” and followed it literally, his whole life. At 5 a.m. he was already working. In the field, in the workshop, in the barn… I didn’t eat breakfast until 12 o’clock. The barn was where all the construction began. Having received a plot of land, the young people began to plow, cultivate, and sow the land. And not only did we have to clear away the interfering stumps and trees. It was also necessary to remove the stones… That’s what my grandfather built the cowshed with. Where they then lived for a long time, having moved out of the dugout, their first roof over their heads … Who has been in the Baltics, and in Europe, you can see many such buildings. The walls are made of stone and boulders. Only the roof and interfloor wooden ceilings. But the outer wall is always smooth. So evenly cracked are the huge blocks of granite. And they fit together almost perfectly.
I can’t imagine giving me a horse and a shovel and leaving me in a clean field… I don’t think I would have made it… My grandfather and grandmother were pulling huge boulders from the fields to the site of the future construction. Grandpa drilled holes in them by hand (!!!), according to a logic that he alone knows and understands. And hammered wedges of wood. Next, I watered every day. The wood swelled and broke the stone along the line the builder had determined. This is how the building material was prepared. Seeing the amount of work done, I suppose, for years…
It was a separate story to raise such “bricks” to the second, third and higher levels of masonry… To do this, an earthen berm was poured, and the prepared boulders were rolled upwards, higher and higher. Bonding with masonry. A titanic effort, indeed! Later a huge house was built, even by today’s standards.
Iveta and her parents moved from the farm to the city at an early age. To the house where we now live. And on the farm now our kinfolk. I really wanted to bring some memorabilia back home with me. Grandfather’s carpentry and locksmith tools, the shovel with which grandmother used to remove bread from the Russian oven, and other objects that warm the heart and soul. They all remember the warmth of the hands of our hardworking elders. In the work polished to a shine. In a hard peasant’s life… So we gathered some things, brought them back, did a revision in the attic. They all found their rightful places. Both a memory and a story and a decoration.
I also came across an old bible. In Latvian. Of course we took it with us. And only later, at home, leafing through the book, we discovered that the last page is glued extra! Clearly the printers didn’t do it, but someone later. The size of the sheet, the texture of the paper, everything pointed to this fact. And of course, what was written on it was of particular interest! Not gibberish, but clearly encrypted text!
To be continued…