Another Cautionary Tale

This story takes place in Blinders, a bar in St Petersburg that I wrote an incredibly soppy blog about yesterday. The month was April; the canals had just thawed and I had swapped my thick winter jacket for my very slightly thinner spring fleece. I was, predictably, in the pub, tasting the newest pint they […]

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Essential Russian

Before coming to Petersburg for my semester abroad, I spent many hours hunched over dusty travel guides and dictionaries, feverishly trying to memorise as many essential phrases as possible. I knew that my two years of university of Russian, whilst enabling me to decline irregular nouns and whip out past passive participles at a moment’s […]

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Walking home from the theatre, …

Last week’s grammar classes were spent puzzling over the intricacies of the gerund (the ‘ing’ form of the verb). As a homework intended to both stretch our linguistic ability and get the creative juices flowing, we were asked to write a story about walking home from the theatre using as many gerunds as possible. I wouldn’t […]

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Tоска

When you first start learning a language, it seems like for every English word there is an exactly analagous word in your target language – table corresponds with la mesa in Spanish; tea with le thé in French and so on. For the majority of concrete nouns, this works pretty well – after all, how many different ways can a culture […]

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A Palace for Every Season

The Hermitage: doubtlessly the cherry on the top of the sundae that is St Petersburg, cultural and canal capital of Russia. The Winter Palace, as it is also known, attracts millions of visitors a year, and is one of the world’s largest museums; it’s said that it would take a person twenty years to get round the […]

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Places I’ve Fallen

The snow is officially beginning to melt here in St Petersburg, and I thought I’d send it off by sharing this map of all the places I’ve fallen since I moved here in February. It’s not that I’m horrifically clumsy; it’s just really slippy here. As you can see, Smolny Cathedral is an absolute death […]

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The Copper Rider

I moved to St Petersburg a few months ago, and I’ve been trying my best to see as many of the достопримечательности (I’m not kidding – that’s the Russian for “sights”) as I can. This is no mean feat, since Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia and pretty much saturated with statues, museums, galleries, […]

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