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Sad Christmas

Natasha’s 17-year-old niece Katya, who has been fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma for over half a year, has passed away last night in Rostov. We knew that she has not been doing well lately, and one of the main reasons for Natasha’s trip was that she knew she might not get another…

Seeing Natasha off

Half past two can hardly be called morning, yet we got up at this ungodly hour today, so that I could drive Natasha to Heathrow for her journey to Russia. Driving in the middle of the night is far from being one of my favorite endeavors, but it turned out…

Winter golf

Winter golf is actually not as bad as it sounds. If the skies are clear and there is no wind, then even freezing temperatures are tolerable. That is, if you wear layers… My management team at work organized an outing at a golf course in Surrey. About a dozen people…

Twelve months, one sentence at a time

A meme that I picked up via my favorite bloggers Brian Greenberg and Jason Bennion asks the author to re-post the first sentence of the first blog entry in each of the previous year’s 12 months. Similar to Brian’s and Jason’s compilations, mine ended up somewhere between esoteric and nonsensical.…

Baltimore? No, really?

Looking for novel ways to waste my time online (it’s Sunday, it’s fairly cold outside, we are not going out, I’ve already watched two football games, everyone in the family is occupied with something…), I completed this internet test that matches your personality to one of the 24 major US…

Requiem to snail mail

The weather turned decisively cold – every morning now I have to scrape frost off the windshield. No expectations of snow, though. Duh!!! Over the last few days, I have been reminded how little a part snail mail plays in our lives these days. Not the official paperwork, or some…

More than active

The period of heightened activity continued this week, further distancing us from the rash statement of generic boredom along the path blazed last week and weekend. Wednesday, specifically, turned out to be quite a busy day for Natasha. She first got kids out of school in the middle of the…

Separated by common language

Differences in English language as spoken by the British and the Americans is a long overdue topic for an expatriate blog. Today, I am finally getting around for a primer. This isn’t about the obvious difference in pronunciation. True, understanding spoken English on British Isles takes considerable training and unwavering…

Weekend visits

We continued to disprove my earlier statement regarding diminished activity by making visits to friends over the weekend. On Saturday, we drove to Reading area to spend the day with a family who hails from the same neck of the woods in Russia as we do. In fact, all four…

Supplies are not forever

We knew before we moved to England that some common household items were considerably more expensive here than in the US, while others may simply be non-existent. It made perfect sense to stick large quantities of some necessary stuff into the shipping containers. Relocating young mothers are routinely advised to…

Of speed cameras

Just to set the record straight: I am against speed limits as a concept! They infringe on personal liberties, without any definitive proof of being instrumental in reducing accidents or saving lives. And any radar or camera enforcement is nothing but a money-grabbing exercise for local municipalities and police departments,…