The other day, my husband pointed out that we have a couple of gaps in our back garden / yard in London and that I could plant something there. This is quite exciting – although I have done loads of planting in the IoW, the garden in London tends to get ignored a bit. However, other people around us are far more diligent. I ended up taking some photos as there are quite a few plants that are looking amazing.
At present, we have a lilac tree which is beautiful when it flowers but the flowers are short lived (we completely missed them when we were away). I’d always thought that I’d like another lilac, either darker or lighter (so like the lilac trees in St Petersburg) but maybe a Californian Lilac would also be very pretty (and perhaps the flowers would last a bit longer).
While we were in St Petersburg, we went to Kupetz Eliseevs. M told me that it is mentioned in Anna Karenina (which I have, I think, but haven’t read). Anyway, as far as I can tell, it is a Russian Fortnum & Mason. We had some delicious tea then bought chocolates for our husbands.
While I was in Russia, I bought a couple of Russian dolls for my children.
The kind lady in the shop said that traditional matryoshka dolls have eight dolls so the one I bought for my daughter is an old fashioned one. The one I bought my son is a bit more ornate and comes from a Russian fairytale (although I have no idea which one).
Each doll was about £18 (but that is approximate as I converted from roubles). At the time, I did wonder whether that was an enormous ripoff BUT I do think there is a price to pay for convenience. I bought them in a shop off Nevski Prospekt which, as far as I can see, is broadly equivalent to Regent Street. In theory, I could have schlepped for miles to find cheaper dolls but I was only there for two days so it seemed rather a false economy.
I absolutely love the metro in St Petersburg. The builds are impressive and they had a team of people doing a thorough job of cleaning the escalators (I am sure that someone cleans stuff on the Tube but I’ve never seen it).
One thing I did notice about St Petersburg was how lovely their lilac is. I must have come at exactly the right time because my lilac has gone over but all their lilac was looking terrific.
It takes a while for lilac to grow to be this size. They must have great gardeners. Plus, I love the way they’ve put different coloured lilac next to each other. I might try this in either London or the IoW. It won’t look like this though.