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Sunday, 25 May 2014

301: Chick, chick, chick, chicken........

I'm in Ramsey but only for another few hours before I make my way back to Moscow where the temperature is, I believe, much warmer than it is here.
We had temperatures in the mid-twenties at the beginning of the week but I knew that wouldn't last and by Thursday we had thunderstorms and  the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees.
I notice that in Moscow next  week there is due to be stormy weather and some rain. Perhaps it's me? Perhaps I unwittingly carry around my own little weather system wherever I go?

Before it changed I managed to get in some sun bathing in the garden - enough to turn a delicate shade of pink. I shall have to work on a full-blown tan another time.

I had a few runs this week. For the second one I ran to the next village (Upwood) and back. It's a little bit rural and I came across some chickens who scampered back into the farmyard while I was faffing about with  the camera on my phone.
 Running on a bit further I came across this advert for the Nene Valley Gliding club. I had a look on their website today to see if they offered experience flights since I haven't been gliding for a few years. The answer is "yes they do" but I'm not prepared to pay £60 for a 10-minute flight. Skinflint!

On Thursday I went to the polls. In UK we had the opportunity to vote in local government elections and in elections to the European parliament. It's one of the things I value most in a democracy - free and fair elections. I wonder how today's vote in the Ukraine is going and whether the result will be accepted internationally.

My parents' house is still up for sale, despite having been on the market for almost 6 months. Here is a picture and a link to more complete details in case anybody reading this might be interested in buying it.
Property Image

Saturday, 17 May 2014

300: Boogy-woogie dancing shoes

This is my 300th blog! I'm sitting in the S7 lounge at Domodedovo waiting for an Easyjet flight back to Gatwick so perhaps an extra beer from the free-flowing tap to help celebrate this momentous occasion.
A couple of views from my travels around Moscow and then a comment on the Anglicisation of the Russian language before finishing with a video clip and a snide remark about Conchita Wurst - the bearded winner of last weekend's Eurovision song contest.

This is taken from yesterday's edition of the free Metro newspaper.
It explains to Muscovites where they can go to learn dancing with free lessons in:  swing, boogie-voogie, jazz-modern, and rock and roll. If only I  weren't so busy.... 
Following on from the boogie-woogie lead-in I have chosen "boogie-woogie dancing shoes" by Claudia Barry, formerly of Boney M. One of the lines in the song is "make me queen for the night" and that's when I started thinking about Conchita,  the bearded Austrian winner of the Eurovision. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

299: A wild goose chase

A wild goose chase means an impossible pursuit of something unattainable. This is what happened to me this morning when I left my flat at 8.30 to visit my local academic bookshop to buy some student text books. I got there around 9 a.m. to discover it opened at 10.00. There was no time to hang around as I had to be in a "classroom" at the other end of town by 11.00.
What I did see though, as I walked round to Tverskaya metro, was some military hardware lined up ready for the rehearsal for Saturday's big Victory day parade. What an enormous inconvenience it must be for car drivers in Moscow. Still, I'm sure they endure it stoically as it enables Russia to showcase its military might to the world.

My newest, and most athletic, student, recently pointed me in the direction of an app called endomondo, which I have now downloaded to my mobile. It uses the GPS link in my smartphone to keep track of distance travelled so is able to record both my daily walks to and from classes and my, less frequent, training runs. In fact it caters for a wide variety of different sports. It automatically uploads speed, distance and time, and plots them as statistics and as a map of journies covered to where I can log on at any time and view my progress towards my desired state of (semi-) fitness.

Isn't technology wonderful?

Continuing with a sporting theme; on 6th May 1954 Roger Bannister became the first man to run a 4-minute mile. Unfortunately, Roger recently announced the onset of Parkinson's disease. I hope he can remain comfortable and pain-free for as long as possible.

My video clip is a trailer of the movie "Chariots of Fire" - it is so motivational for runners. You hear the music over and over again on the London marathon course and it really does inspire one to keep pushing on.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

298: Morag's visit - Part II

A picture tells a thousand words........
Here are just a few of the pictures.....
Old Arbat, old building. I didn't want to let go, in case it fell down

At the Bolshoi - semi-formal attire

The eternal flame - see, not all of Russia's finest are on the Ukraine border. These are part of the Kremlin Guard - the crème de la crème

The State historical museum - decked out ready for the victory parade next week.

Russia has surprises around every corner - this is the toy shop where Morag bought some of her presents to take home

Sergeev Posaad (Zagorsk). I took the same picture 35 years ago!

This morning we went for a run in Park Dubki.                    This is the before the run photo....

And this needs no explanation!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

297: Morag's visit - Day 1

Morag flew in to Moscow last night and today began the process of showing her around. I had planned Red Square but it transpired somebody was having a parade there so we deferred that for another day.
Instead we had a walk along the Arbat and then went out to Vernisazh market for a look at the touristy souvenirs and a shashlik for lunch. The guys and gals selling the shasliki are right showmen - you almost don't mind being ripped off. I can't grumble, he pretended to give me a skidka although of course the total was probably loaded anyway.
Here are a few photos from the day.


We're just off to the Bolshoi to watch La Traviata so here, for your delectation and enjoyment is the drinking song from La Traviata.