A translation: ‘I think we should just live’ – poems by Ekaterina Khlebnikova

“I bought everything on your list
Plus I got you your favourite fruits”.
I screw my face up, and then hiss
In a cold voice: “Did I ask you to?”

“So I take it that this picture of beauty
Got out of bed on the wrong side today?”
He asks, as he takes from behind his back a bouquet
Of flowers, presented with irony. … More A translation: ‘I think we should just live’ – poems by Ekaterina Khlebnikova

Russia’s most (geographically) extreme places – Russia Beyond

Coming to Russia, you soon realise that it is a little more extreme than you expected. This is especially true for its geography: just when you think the country has reached its limits, it always goes a little further. Here are eight places in Russia where you really can take life to extremes. Do you have a journey to one, or even all of them on your wish list? … More Russia’s most (geographically) extreme places – Russia Beyond

Letter from Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Siberia) – Russia Beyond

“The Rinpoche Bagsha temple crackled with the deep murmur of Buddhist prayer. Under the warm gaze of a golden cross-legged Buddha, eight monks in crimson robes sat at a low table in the centre of the room, ethereal chants bursting from their throats. A bell tinkled. During the final prayer the congregation, squeezed together on benches close to the monks, picked up parcels of food and waved them in front of themselves in clockwise circles. The bell tinkled one last time”. … More Letter from Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Siberia) – Russia Beyond

Cricket in Russia: Some writing in the 2021 Wisden Almanack

The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2021 includes a piece that I wrote for its ‘Cricket Round The World’ section, about how the game is becoming known in two far-flung corners of Russia. 

Being a lifelong cricket fan, I’m thrilled that my article (on page 815) is in such exalted company. Following the Notes by the Editor Lawrence Booth, the 2021 Wisden features essays by Gideon Haigh, Matthew Engel, Ebony Rainsford-Brent and James Anderson. … More Cricket in Russia: Some writing in the 2021 Wisden Almanack

How Russians changed my life – Russia Beyond

After two years studying in England I thought my Russian was fluent. Trying to talk to people in Yaroslavl I quickly realised I understood almost nothing. The teachers at the school got me speaking with more confidence, and I topped up my vocab by listening to Yulia Savicheva and Zemfira on my walkman as I wandered through the streets. I spent a lot of time wandering: at home Tamara Aleksandrovna, the formidable babushka whose spare room I slept in, fed me spaghetti with tangerines in warm milk, and once cut my bath towel into pieces. … More How Russians changed my life – Russia Beyond