“It is a long way off, sir”
“From what Jane?”
“From England and from Thornfield: and ___”
“From you, sir”
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This morning I logged into Nyamazela.com after a long absence.
I took a metaphorical key out of my pocket, turned it in the lock and pushed the now-slightly-warped door open, wiped my feet on the mat and walked in. The air was a little stuffy, but I opened a window, drew back the curtains and breathed in the familiar smell of home.
It’s good to be back.
Where have you been and why have you not written, you ask?
It’s not that I haven’t thought about you, I say, it’s just that …
- I was conducting a scientific experiment to find a shampoo that worked.
- I was recovering from the SADs.
- I stood on the iced Fontanka River near Obukov Bridge – the ice cracked and I nearly fell in. Hubby laughed.
- I watched SKA Neva beat Sokol Krasnoyarsk 2-0 in ice hockey.
- Hubby and I fell off the wagon and ate a lot of Khachapuri at the best Georgian restaurant in St Petersburg, Khochu Kharcho.
- I was detained (not in the violent thriller film sense) at the border of Kaliningrad and Poland while they examined my South African passport for what felt like a year, but was actually just under an hour. I’m proud to announce that I was the first South African passport holder they had come across.
- I walked 409 steps (82m) to the top of St Mary’s Basilica in Gdansk.
- We passed our 3 months probation at the allotment and are now fully fledged co-operative shareholders with a 20x5m patch of England to garden. In the ground already are rhubarbs, gooseberries, raspberries, onions, carrots, radishes and parsnips.
- Delivered a Lent sermon on Mary and her alabaster jar of perfume.
- Brexit has been happening – or not happening even.
- Helped Hubby put together a mammoth presentation to a big new client which may lead to an exciting new venture in our little family business.
I’ve been busy …
I hope you’ve missed me as much as I’ve missed you.
P.s. Kaliningrad is an enclave of The Russian Federation cut off from the rest of the country. The border police (really KGB or NKVD as they are called now) take their work seriously and for the duration of our time at the border. They were officious and thorough. When the passport mystery was solved their scowls turned to friendly smiles and we were waved on into the EU. Don’t be fooled by their crusty exterior, Russians are kitty-cats underneath.
P.p.s. Hubby’s first attempt at carrots grown in pots on our terrace was hilarious. He was pretty good at roof-top vegetable growing as a child I’m told. He says he can feel our carrots growing in our allotment now.
P.p.p.s. We took a bottle of South African Pinotage and a bag of nuts to our allotment on 08.04.2019, my dear Dad’s birthday, toasted his life and planted our root vegetables in his memory. He is missed.
P.p.p.p.s. Yes, we ate the delicious cheese-filled, carb-filled Khachapuri, but when in St Petersburg it’s impossible not to go to one’s favourite restaurant with, incidentally, some of the best toilets in Russia – see my Russian toilet research here. Admittedly, my research covers a very small sample area of a MASSIVE country, but I will add to these findings in time.
P.p.p.p.p.s. Despite the cheat meal in St Petersburg, Hubby has lost just over 11kg and donated all the money he received on this challenge to charities close to his heart – I’m so proud of him.