Sunday, 31 October 2010


Well that was a bit of a surprise. Been struggling a bit with my health these last few months, but then it was back to Moscow and suddenly wham-bam, acute appendicitis, rushed into hospital (well, we will get back to that 'rushed' thing) and here I am appendix-free, and with a new 2-inch long trophy scar.

State hospital with almost no English spoken anywhere but medical care has been very good, sometimes brusque but also often caring.  Deliveries of chicken soup etc. almost every day from my kind colleagues (and a fridge to put it in) as well as fellow patients pointing out the breakfast trolley when they think I am missing it.

 In fact the weirdest thing has been watching so much Russian daytime TV. I have managed to spend over a year in Moscow without watching the television at all; so now pinned to my bed, with nothing to do and capable of very little, I have literally been lying here with my mouth open watching one dire 'copy' of US or UK reality show after another. And I mean dire. A medical and health programme that spent twenty minutes on the fact that hats make your hair static. Interior design make-over shows which show how to make things (clay bowls, painted furniture) by presenters who clearly don't know how to actually make anything. A style programme where the women look worse in their new outfits.

Now I realise that most people living here already know this, but it really has been a considerable (additional) shock to the system.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

more autumn skylines

The light at this time of year in Moscow is just fabulous. Rich orange (and slightly purple) evening skies, strong enough to make the buildings glow red as the sun goes down.

Off to London for a week (to see my lovely daughter off to Australia where she has a new job, sob!)  Looking forward to it; still in a bit of a limbo about being back here. Weird to simultaneously feel not very settled, but also more at home.

Probably quite normal.

the salad thing

Another thing I went on about a lot last year was how I could not handle Russian salads - the mashed-up, brightly coloured, multi-layer, compressed and cake-like offerings seem like everything that is the opposite of saladness.

So I don't know why, but suddenly I have started to really like them, salads like Mimosa, Herring Fur Coat and Salad Olivier (which confused me to start with as it looks like what the English call Russian salad, and I thought until recently was called Olive salad, but without any olives).

Mimosa (pictured) comprises soggy layers of egg, carrot, green onion, fish, rice and mayonnaise - lots of mayo -  and with the hard-boiled egg yolks grated on the top to give a nice bright yellow surface. Here is the recipe for all you potential converts. I'm completely hooked, its like a whole meal and as comforting as porridge.

so excited!

I can't believe this is actually true; pictured is the roof of our new building and I hear that there may be a plan to turn it into a skating rink this winter! Those of you who were around last year will know I spent a lot of time waxing lyrical about ice-skating in Moscow. And now I am going to get my own personal (well almost personal) skating good is that?

Will just need to not skate off the roof - only six storeys up....

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I don't know why I find this funny but I do....

hat time again...

pavement work

Stencilled adverts on the pavements in Moscow were around last year; but now the craze (if that is the right term) really seems to have taken off; and the results are everywhere. Don't know what the response would be if this happened to this degree in London.....