Hello to all the JBs out there, Julie especially who I have tried to email but failed, must go to specsavers! I am fine, I was simply enjoying a short sojourn. I have written blogs, but not published them, on the writing front I am all over the place. Yes, more unfocused than usual, but not in a depressive way. Due to the wonders of the internet, the best invention in my lifetime, I have been on YouTube mostly, following all sorts of wonderful and adventurous vloggers. I have always wondered what life is like in Moscow and Beirut, now I know :)
Regarding 'binge watching', 'Ekatarina' led me onto 'The Red Queen', the story of the Russian supermodel Regina in the 50's/60's. It was of course, a wonderful 'Cinderella' rags to riches story, except even when you get to the riches part, you still have to live in an apartment with your bed in the living room. Also a dining table which I quite liked, it was great to see Russian hospitality, all the different foods, but especially the ever present bottle of vodka on the table! Maybe that's why they have the bed handy.
I feel the good Lord, if there is one, is making up to me all the travels I would have taken if I lived my life again. Not only can I hone in on places I want to see, but I can, vicariously, with my new found friends, sit and dine with the people who live there! I can almost smell and taste the food with their wonderful descriptions, less so when the main dish is a plate of raw meat or agile ants on a bed of rice. I honestly don't think I could say 'hmmmm lovely' to a skewer of boiled fat. I salute their bravery, and their pallets, but I guess if you are travelling gourmet, you can't say no to anything. And god forbid, you would tell a man standing in front of a furnace with a machete, that it could have done with a bit more salt.
My love of Russian drama and the last meaningful discussions we had on here were about the 'Eastern Bloc' which set me off on a whole new journey of discovery, cyberly obviously. No need to read Solzhenitsyn, though I did in the 70's, there are far easier ways to discover what life was like in the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn's book was set in a Siberian Labour Camp, so not much to be gleaned there.
To be fair I have always liked and admired Russians, probably because capitalists didn't. I am a little in awe of them and wish I had a Russian friend, because they seem innately strong and because they are straight speaking. But mostly I am in awe of them for the way they held out against Hitler in Stalingrad. I think had there been a Russian 'Highlander', it would been game over for the others. I also like their habit of randomly knocking back vodka shots without anyone batting an eye. If my liver and I were younger and healthier I would be knocking on a Moscow door with my suitcase, ha ha.
I think I am now beginning to understand how differences in political ideology work in practice. We have seen what life in the USA is like through millions of films and TV programmes, but there has never, to my knowledge been a Russian equivalent. Or maybe there was, I only recently found out Russia had a Fashion House. The Russian series about Regina was set in the 1950s/60s, when citizens had far less freedoms than they do today. The women's wear proposed by the Fashion House, for example, had to be approved by elderly white KGB leaders. Clothes had to be modest and suitable for the office and the field. And for the citizens of Russia, leaving wasn't an option.
Through the series there is the menacing presence of the KGB in the background, for all citizens, even the most lowly. That 'menacing presence' surprised me, because the drama is produced by the Russian Federation. Excellently, I might add, it is comparable to any Hollywood blockbuster. This is not a review, though it would be 5 star if it were, for me it gave a glimpse of life for ordinary people under a communist regime, a peep at how in an equal society, some are more equal than others. The acceptance, by ordinary people, but simmering resentment of the government's rules. Fast forward to now, I am watching 'SilverSpoon', a new Russian drama, where the hero is the spoiled son of an oligarch. Yes, indeed, it would appear life in Russia has changed dramatically.
As always happens when you set out on a journey of discovery, there are things you really ought to know before you go any further. In this case, the entire origins and history of every European country - methinks this is going to take a while. Happily, no need for piles of encyclopaedias, there are multiple charismatic and not so charismatic vloggers giving potted histories of everything you want to know.
Along with everything about Russia, I am also (still) obsessed with the lunacy of Donald Trump especially in this run up to the presidential election in November. But that I will put in another blog, as I am having difficulty prioritising what outrages me the most. My kindest wishes to all who pop in, take care.....