Old Russia

The Lady Novelist and I have spent the day (a glorious day, probably all the summer we’ll get) being indisposed and writing accounts of university collections and that sort of thing. And all the while Dr Biswell and the Apparitional Gamekeeper have been planting in the wood several silver birch trees and also some rowans and wild cherries up beside the horses’ field.
The idea is, what with the silver birches and the raspberry canes repatriated to the woodlands from the bed in the kitchen garden where they were sulking and taking up space, that when my adored Godfather comes to stay in the summer we can have a complicated game of being our grandparents and great-grandparents in Russia in the 1890s. All true: there is a wonderful photograph of his great-grandmother in court dress or nearest equivalent and my grandmother was born there in the course of my great-grandfather constructing some useful battleships. We even had some dirty diamonds to prove it at one point which we solemnly referred to as the battleship Potemkin diamonds.
The Apparitional Gamekeeper has also made a very beautiful gate out of birch branches and future plans include a permanent fish-smoker in the form of a Roman legionary altar to be located deep in the woods. And now, unlike all our grandparents and great grandparents, I had better do some work.

4 Responses to “Old Russia”

  1. the tropical godfather Says:

    Raspberries AND silver birches! Paradise! Alas, the court dress in question was English, not Russian, but I have endless Russian photos of MADAME in white summer frocks, winter furs and fancy dress as well as of the GreatHouse on their island on Lake Ladoga, the boat house, the carriages etc. As for the jewels (yes, dear, Faberge) they passed to my grandmama who had the ill fortune to be in Bangkok when the Japs moved in. She ended up as a POW and the jewels got looted by the invaders.

  2. Janey Says:

    Are both of you *quite* sure you are not figments of the imagination of the late Vladimir Nabokov?

  3. the tropical godpapa Says:

    I am perfectly sure! Does the margaret-mccallum.com website count as proof that both my great grandmama and I exist independendent of Nabokov?I do hope so.

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