Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and have a cup of Civet Poo!

I am showing you some pictures from the Internet of our apartment in St. Petersburg. I am showing you these so that when I come back covered in rat bites and bat guano you will know that it was not all my fault and that I was misled once again by Mr. Photoshop.

I don’t know who the guy in the photos is but apparently he comes with the apartment – because he is in a number of the shots – he may live there - but it’s three bedrooms so should be OK – as long as he doesn’t drink too much of our Horseradish Vodka.

I should warn you that the apartment is advertised as having ‘High Speed Internet’. I imagine that ’High Speed’ in Russia does not necessarily mean “High Speed’ as we know it. I have been there before in places much more accessible than St. Petersburg so it is entirely possible that my Blog will vanish without trace for a week.

Indeed if we are accosted by the “rotten policeman” we may also vanish. However I am taking with me the statement I received from my superannuation fund on Wednesday. This will demonstrate to them that there may be a number of reasons to kidnap me – but money isn’t one of them.

They didn’t lose as much money this year as they did last year, or indeed the year before that – but they did lose money.

It won’t be long before I get a letter saying “ we have lost all the money you have sent us so far – would you like to send us some more so we can try again?” The answer to which will be “not really - I have decided to manage my own funds by throwing €500 off the Terrace every morning as soon as I wake up - this will be more cost effective that having you invest it.”

I am contemplating getting them a subscription to the Economist so that they can keep in touch with what’s happening in the world of finance – and may send them a copy of the book “How to Make Money on the Stock Market”

And incidentally – I forgot to turn off ‘Data Roaming’ on my iPhone while we were in Turkey and it cost me €200 for 5 days – and that’s without making any calls or using the Internet. I was also caught last time we were in Turkey – that one cost me more than €200. I don’t really know what Data Roaming does - but Holy Snapping Turtles it is expensive. This is a real trap so I have turned it off permanently.

As this is my last Blog before Christmas I would just like to let those of you who did not send cards know that I will not forget you. I am thinking up suitable punishment for all of you and it may include public humiliation.

This is a picture of a Civet. People collect the beans from the Poo of the Civet and roast them. It is the most expensive coffee in the world. I mean this is not the most attractive animal I have ever seen - and I am not really sure I would want to eat things that it defecates.

A conversation along the following lines will take place in our kitchen on Christmas Day.

“Where’s the Desiccated Bok Choy?
The Desiccated Bok Choy – where is it?
I have no idea what you’re talking about
Don’t tell me you didn’t get any Desiccated Bok Choy!
Why would I get Desiccated Bok Choy – I don’t even know what it is.
But it’s in the recipe – we must have it
No it’s not (pointing) no mention of Desiccated Bok Choy there
No it’s not in THAT recipe - but it’s something I always put in this dish
You’ve never cooked this dish before
No – but I’ve thought about it and just knew that Desiccated Bok Choy would make it perfect
Well there is no Desiccated Bok Choy so you will have to muddle along
Well it just won’t taste the same
The same as what – you’ve never cooked it before
I know – do we still have the Toasted Macaque Monkey Rubbings from 1995
No but we have the Grilled Curlewis Forearms from 2001

Merry Christmas - or whatever you do - and I will talk to you from St Petersburg (maybe).


  1. That apartment looks posher then the one I had when I was in St Petersburg.

    I have just made a Christmas cake in five minutes (in the microwave).

    A merry Christmas to you, Cate, the cats, the boiler and thanks for a thoroughly entertaining read every day (except most Fridays).

  2. I wish to echo Maalie's comment: have a merry Christmas in Wien and St. Petersburg, and thank you so much for blogging with such wit - your words always bring a smile to my face!

  3. Merry Christmas indeed! Jim still reckons that you should edit your blog into a book. There's another project for you!

    Our Christmas is not as anticipated. We were supposed to be in Young with my Dad but I have a horrible cough, blocked up head and am exhausted so it was suggested that we shouldn't go. This came on me last Sunday, when all I thought I was suffering from was a hangover from the street party. Needless too say, everyone is keeping a suitable distance and now that I'm losing my voice, I can't even ring anyone up!

    Thanks for all the amusement at the beginning of each day.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and Cate and the cats!

    I am a little worried about you staying only a week in St. Pete:
    The kitchen of your apartment is so large, you may never get out of there to see the world, er, what do they call it, the Hermitage? (Oh well, I just checked, it's powered by IBM. IBM? Have they taken over the world? Is it still 1984?). Anyhow, you better stay in the apartment, my friend, and explore the chambers! ;-)

    I got up extra early to catch Santa, only to meet the Christkind on her way out. No Santa! No more gifts under the tree. Vienna's off the radar, I guess. Rudolph????

  5. Happy New Year! :-)

    Word veri:

    Wanted? Who? *grin*

  6. Looks like you got spammed! Oh well, I'm here to wish you a happy, healthy and preposterous 2010! Oops. I meant prosperous. Well, that too.

    Looking forward to hearing about your trip!