Monday, 17 March 2008

Red Exile at home: a photo-meme

From this last Sunday

(and, apologies in advance, I am a truly crappy photographer)

So I return from a week in London and before me are rows of sheeny-shiney shoes. Housekeeper had sent them to the boy at the Marriott Aurora for cleaning. I love clean shoes - scuffed shoes depress me: having them sent out for cleaning is an essential indulgence (especially as snow is forecast for Moscow later this week). The Arab photographs are part of a group I have had framed for the hallway:

While in London I splurged at Jo Malone's, inter alia, on scented candles. I brought back a bunch of 'wild fig and cassis'. The cushions, from a shop I like in Marrakesh, hide the hideous sofa (like all expats, this is a rented apartment)... into every life a little rain must fall...

The Jo Malone splurging included more bottles of Pomegrante Noir. There is no Jo Malone stockist in Russia - it is still a hard life out here LOL - so I buy whenever I am in London or fly British Airways... but the latter no longer stocks Pomegranate Noir, so I bought extra in her shop: sulk. Although I have... er... a fair stock, I always buy, because one never knows how long it will be between trips.

Housekeeper and I have a game. She constantly rearranges the bottles in different shapes, whereas I like to group them by scent (er... I 'collect' three). She goes for fancy shapes. It is our little game and, since I am never here when she is, is as close as we have gotten to human interaction since the day I hired her...

I also checked that the office courier had picked up my opera and ballet tickets for next few weeks. These are:
Tosca - 27th March
Nabucco - 29th March
Chaika (sixth time!) - 7th April
Romeo & Juliet (Dusseldorf ballet on tour) - 19th April - and I have just ordered tickets for their Stravinsky/Rites of Spring for 23rd April
Madam Butterfly - 27th April

I guess I am an opera and ballet nut (but this quarter has been a little disappointing in terms of offering, so I have gone less than usual):

On Saturday I also worshipped at the Nepresso store on Petrovka Pereulok - and finally succumbed to buying one of those cute capsule holders (who on earth buys those wildly over-priced trinkets I had, it seems). Currently on offer, Chez Exile, we have (left to right) the current 'limited edition' Goroka; the previous limited edition 'special club' (which I 'stock-piled' before it sold out); Arpeggio (for breakfast) and the one I buy for people who insist on adding cow-juice to real coffee...

On Saturday, I also bought a lamp stand: slightly Ottoman, slightly Victorian-English. That corner needed a lamp stand. It was ruinously expensive (at 31,000 RUR), but it appealed to me:

The lighting now works better and doesn't clash with the pair of landscapes I bought from Ukrainian painter, Anna Gidora, from her 'Black Sea' series. They are dedicated the the effect of the wind upon land and souls. She wrote a poem about them:
"Тень ветра почти незаметна,
Но очаровывает своим присутствием.
Ветер всегда наполнен смыслом.
Через тень он шлёт послания,Но как научиться их читать?"
"Shadow of the wind is almost imperceptible,But it charms by its presence.
Wind is always filled with sense.
Through a shadow it sends a message,
But how could we learn to read it?"
(getting into Russia, on the overnight train, required an export license from the Ukrainian Ministry of culture (Ukrainian customs); temporary import license into Russia and (signed and stamped, natch) documents for the eventual Russian export license)

Sunday evening I settled down with this really sweet US-Ukrainian film (starring Elijah Wood) and a bottle of the Marchesi Antinori's finest not-quite-plonk (of which I bought a case from Moscow's Globus Gourmet):

Quiet weekends in the world's busiest city are a treasure...


JenNY said...

Loved it. More please ;-) What is it with everyone and their memes?

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

Well, *hello* JenNY? Welcome.

Have you left Switzerland yet? Geneva will miss you :( Now who will I buy lunch for when I am there? Daniel will just have to volunteer to step in...

Are you going back to New York; Chicago?

Dear God, not back to Salzburg?

Enquiring minds want to know...


JenNY said...

Packing. Read my blog. Or call.
Love you. Miss you. And yes, my husband shall do.

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

"call"... like ...human voice-to-voice?

Jeez - do any of us still do that?

LOL - I love you xx

Jeff said...

Sigh... I do envy you and your Bolshoi outings. These days we have to settle for the live Met broadcasts, which they beam around the globe from NYC. We're seeing Tristan und Isolde tomorrow starring Canadian tenor Ben Heppner.

I like your lamp, too. :-)

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

Unusually only one of these tickets is for the Bolshoi (Nabucco - in an incredibly good production; even better if Irina Rubtsova is singing the part of Abigaille).

The others are all from the Stanislavsky-Nemirovich-Danchenko whose recently-restored theatre on Dmitrovka Pereulok is Moscow's second seat of opera and ballet. In Moscow we are very spoilt because most nights there are a couple of ballets and a clutch of operas being performed.

Their productions have a fresh lightness about them and a young, but technically superb, cast.

The orchestra, IMHO, is better than the Bolshoi's!


Uh, Oh, looks like someone is taking after Imelda Marcos, but does not have a country's entire treasury as their personal bank account.

Red Exile / Красная Ссылка said...

...And those were just the *black* ones; the others lurk at the bottom of a closet.