A Broad Abroad: Emails To The Big Chief (3)
Back in 2007, when I first started this blog, I wrote a series of posts to my mother; electronic postcards based on a trip to Russia, that would hopefully get home much quicker than the real things, they were called Emails to the Big Chief. They went out in the quiet period immediately after Christmas and were seen by very few people. Now, more than eight years later, I thought they would bear repeating. In part 1, I talked about driving from Moscow to Kostroma and in part 2, the lack of preparations for my visit. Now read on…
Day 3: A Long Way From Swiss Cottage
Isn’t it typical – just as I’m getting ready to move out of the hotel, it starts to improve a little. I’m used to washing my hair with icy water; today I was able to take a hot shower. At breakfast, the waiter offered me pancakes, instead of pushing the dreaded fried eggs in front of me as he did yesterday, and every other Russian waiter has for the past ten years.
My home for the next four nights is the company guesthouse. It’s a two-storey log cabin in the traditional Russian style. From the outside it looks quite ordinary, but inside there’s a swimming pool, sauna and billiards table. Less welcome, but equally impressive are the row of boars’ heads in the lounge. And as for the stuffed eagle and chicks on the top of the fridge – I don’t think I’ll be doing any midnight snacking this week.
Sasha and I share the cabin with Anna, one of the managers. She’s working late each evening to meet a project deadline and doesn’t want to drive back to town. The chattering and gales of laughter can be heard late into the night, like being back at college. Mind you, Swiss Cottage was never this luxurious.
My experiences in Russia led me to write my debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, a tale of love, loss and broken promises which was runner up in the 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. If you would like to hear more, you can find links by clicking here.