We flew to Moscow, ostensibly to spruik our book. For me Russia is becoming less unfamiliar territory now. The more so given my new, rudimentary understanding of Cyrillic. Conquering my fear of the sprawling Metro here was a major step forward. Madam’s comfortable apartment, a temple of Russian bling, is in the centre of town with galleries within easy walking distance. I ponder spending more time here writing the next book. Time will tell.
An hour outside Moscow the dacha is a cluster of lapstrake sheds on the shore, nestled in forest. Our little yacht sits bow in to the jetty and we swim from the stern. Bees buzz, the children play and sumptuous meals are laid on a rickety table among the trees. Endless coffees, fat splashes of vodka at unseemly hours, ceaseless chatter. I read, stroll, swim and dream.
And then we sail. Wonderful! Rich deciduous forest lines the water’s edge and a steady breeze cossets our boat. They tell me that autumn is just round the corner, but today the skies are cloudless and the water is warm.
As usual in Russia, our cockpit is jammed with people, so that tacking becomes an event of Wagnerian proportions. Maxine is at home here and, for the moment, so am I.
Only in Russia!