Thursday, December 28, 2006

The winter is finally here !

Moscow is enjoying its so long awaiting snow... Just about bloody time, it is Chistmas after all!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy with Mum! Posted by Picasa

We can flick "up yours" with elegance! Posted by Picasa

Hello there! Maya is watching my back! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We are one month today!

We are 1 month today! Got all reasons to be proud. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


On 29th of August 2006 around 9.57 (Moscow Time) this lovely baby Maya Freya was born.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Next time you see a street cleaner... has he come clean?

On account of possessing cocaine in his New York home when cops came to investigate a claim he was robbed, Boy George will spend the next five days sweeping New York streets as part of a community service sentence.

So, what can we learn from this? Rule number one- do not call police when your friend Charles is visiting you. Rule number two- see rule number one again. Unless you are about to do George.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

One hot summer day, 95 min drive from Moscow... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Game

The game is over... Posted by Picasa

One very military window in Moscow... Posted by Picasa

Some conceptual creature Posted by Picasa

My birthday girl Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 27, 2006

ENGINEER... courtesy of академик А. Павлов

For those unlucky enough not to be able to read this- sit down and relax...


An icon of London is about to disappear from our local landscape. We're talking about the Routemaster bus, a design classic and a symbol of London for more than 50 years. The Routemaster was the last and best bus purpose-designed and purpose-built for Londoners. From Friday 9 December, this quintessential London scene will disappear forever as the last of the capital's veteran red Routemaster buses reach the end of the line.
The conductor, 61-year-old Lloyd Licorish, originally from Barbados, was kept busy selling tickets - although mostly as souvenirs since most on board already had bus passes. At the wheel was Jamaican-born Winston Briscoe, 62, who had his daughter, Natasha, and two grandchildren sitting behind him. On that day the last Routemaster route - the 159 running from Streatham to Marble Arch - will convert to modern double-deckers, and barring two tourist friendly 'heritage routes', the 53-year old buses will be gone.
The number 13 bus route to the West End will cease to be operated by the Routemaster for the last time on 21st October. The 13 route is one of the last three routes still to be operated by the Routemaster.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Elevating Jasper

Jasper, the flying Dog. He jumps for Great Britain in Dog's Olimpics. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Spring! What Spring?


This is what my wife's car looks like every morning... And this is not the worst case by far. We expect snow to be gone by May, if we are lucky... Posted by Picasa

The Big Brother is still out there ...


The building of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Posted by Picasa

Eggs & Soldiers... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

20 reasons why smoking is cool


Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Berkin 1977.

1. Coolness I've never actually smoked a cigarette, because I know them to be both Bad and Wrong and harbingers of death. And also because I'm such a total square. Because no matter how often one is told that stinking like a pub carpet and dying a slow and painful death from lung cancer isn't hip, it is true that smoking has long served as social shorthand for being witheringly cool: James Dean, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Marianne Faithfull - all were iconic smokers. Although perhaps Faithfull owes more of her fame to the Mars bar. Dieu fumeur de havanes by Serge Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve even maintained that the Almighty smoked cigars. Dieu porteur un Nicorette Patch is not quite so cool, je pense.

2. Songwriters' muse For decades, cigarettes have inspired songwriters. Predominantly this is due to the matter covered in point one, above: smoking is cool. It therefore finds a willing partner in rock'n'roll. Highpoints in the tobacco songbook have included Cigarettes and Alcohol by Oasis: "It's a crazy situation/ But all I need are cigarettes and alcohol." The Beatles' A Day in the Life: "Made the bus in seconds flat/ Found my way upstairs and had a smoke." Rock'n'Roll Suicide by David Bowie: "Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth/ You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette." Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding: "It's early in the morning/ About a quarter till three/ I'm sittin' here talkin' with my baby/ Over cigarettes and coffee." Patsy Cline's Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray: "Two cigarettes in an ashtray/ My love and I, in a small cafe." Smoking, of course, sits well with rock'n'roll's live-fast, die-young philosophy. A sentiment in the Smiths' What She Said sums it up best: "I smoke because I'm hoping for an early death and I need to cling to something."

3. Candy cigarettes In a more innocent era, when one could leave the front door unlocked and lambs gambolled freely in the streets, the availability of candy cigarettes allowed children to play the popular game, 40-a-Day-Habit. Today, however, 40-a-Day is as obscure as Cock-a Hoop or Hopscotch, owing to the fact that in the 1980s the sweets were banned in the UK, and the kids were forced to find their kicks elsewhere. Now half the playground is doing smack. So who's laughing now, eh?

4. The entire French nation It is surely not an understatement to say that the great nation of France was built on cigarettes. Well, cigarettes, philosophy, coffee, Brie, red wine, garlic, polo necks, croissants and men with moustaches, berets and stripy shirts pedalling around bellowing "OIGNONS!" while reading Proust. But cigarettes are definitely up there. This is because the French are cool. It is also worth noting that without his Gauloises habit, Serge Gainsbourg would probably sound like Leo Sayer (who, in these crazy, non-smoking times is suddenly the arbiter of cool).

5. Smoking jackets Once, smoking was such a revered activity that it was awarded its own jacket: waist-length, with a shawl collar and fashioned out of velvet or silk, it was designed to protect gentlemen's normal attire from the scent of smoke, which was an affront to the ladies. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent introduced Le Smoking, a classic three-button dinner jacket for women. The crucial difference between the two jackets is that if you wore them today, the latter would lend you an air of Faye Dunaway, while the former would make you look as if you were harbouring a secret desire to be Oscar Wilde. There are very few activities these days for which one wears a special jacket. The only exception is crown green bowling which, in the light of this week's smoking ban, is sure to become the new pastime of the cool elite.

6. Elaborate smoking tricks in the pub For those occasions when pub conversation inevitably lulls, smokers have developed an array of elaborate and impressive tricks to keep everyone entertained. Largely these fall into three categories: i) blowing smoke rings; ii) sticking cigarettes up your nose; iii) setting fire to matchboxes/crisp packets/eyebrows. To the hi-tech youth of today, such tricks probably appear as arcane as playing Knees Up Mother Brown on the old joanna, but they have brought hours of mild amusement to generations of cigarette smokers everywhere.

7. Something to buy on ferries It is a well-known fact that a ferry is the most mind-crawlingly dull method of travel imaginable. But mankind is nothing if not enterprising: after going out on deck, visiting the onboard cinema, and vomming a few times, passengers have managed to while away the tedium by buying huge cartons of duty free cigarettes. Even if they don't smoke. Buying giant boxes of Dime bars or a P&O pencil case is not quite so thrilling.

8. Cigarette girls From a feminist perspective, there is something inherently dodgy about cigarette girls. Not least that they are referred to as girls. But from every other perspective, they're pretty hilarious: women employed to entice men to purchase cigarettes by parading around bars wearing teeny-weeny skirts and carrying trays of tobacco. They are, in essence, the sinister cousin of the usherette who would appear in the interval at the cinema to sell ice cream. Now they will all be forced to seek alternative employment in call centres or some 10-a-penny nouveau burlesque troop.

9. Tobacconists Amid all the kerfuffle surrounding the cloning of our nation's high streets, the development of out-of-town shopping centres and the plight of the local greengrocer, few have spared a thought for the humble tobacconist. Interestingly, it is a widely acknowledged truth that no one has bought cigarettes from a tobacconist since 1964, but they have continued to exist merely for the sale of cigars, an array of ludicrously flavoured tobaccos and, mysteriously, walking sticks.

10. Advertising Most forms of cigarette advertising are now banned in the UK. However, in their prime, they were seminal works of art, raising the bar in the advertising world, much as the Guinness ads do today. Remember the Benson & Hedges pyramids, for example, or the one where the St Bernard would toddle over a mountain with some St Bruno tobacco in a pouch around his big, fluffy neck? Notably, you can still advertise for hideously fatty foodstuffs, which cause heart disease. And cars, which pollute the air. And Intel inside, which has that really annoying jingle. But not cigarettes - they're bad.

11. Jazz-bar ambience A jazz bar without smoke is like a branch of Asda without the synthetic aroma of freshly-baked bread. Except with fewer aisles, and a smaller selection of dairy products. In the coming months, expect shares in smoke-machine companies to rise sharply as Ronnie Scott's and branches of Pizza Express nationwide start panic-buying.

12. Bike sheds Which came first, the bike shed or the smokers? It is a question that has baffled the world of philosophy for centuries. What is certain, however, thanks to some extensive research among rats, is that the sense of camaraderie among bike shed smokers is stronger than in any other social group. Just how many friendships, how many romances, have blossomed here? What great weight is carried in the immortal words "Gotta light?" and the classic opening gambit, "Can I cadge a cig off you?"

13. A currency for prisoners In the clanger, where normal currency is banned, all transactions take place in cigarettes. Like the £5 note, each one is lovingly inscribed with both the Queen's head and, on the reverse, the unmistakable face of English prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. Probably ...

14. Gold spot Pretending that you haven't been smoking is a game that all smokers love to play, and in this they are aided by a range of breath-freshening devices. Beginners commence with Polo mints, which provide scant coverage for icky fag breath. In time, the more mature smoker will graduate to Gold Spot, a hideous breath-freshening spray which is, in fact, just as ineffective as Polos, but has the advantage of coming in a sophisticated gold canister. The breath-freshening genre reached a low with the invention of menthol cigarettes which, frankly, weren't kidding anybody.

15. Allen Carr Carr has forged an impressive, and indeed lucrative, career out of stopping people smoking since he himself quit his own 100-a-day habit in 1983. His subsequent publications have included: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, The Only Way to Stop Smoking Permanently, and How to Stop Your Child Smoking. This is, one might assume, a bad week for Allen Carr.

16. Sports Ironically, many sports have been brought to us by smoking - motor racing is the obvious example, but here it was only the cars that were sponsored by evil tobacco companies. One never saw Nigel Mansell with a Marlboro hanging out of his mouth in the pit stop. No sport has embraced smoking quite so passionately as snooker, where the players frequently puffed away between potting, and a thick pea-souper of smoke hung over the auditorium. That Benson & Hedges should sponsor the Masters seemed natural and right.

17. Zippo lighters Nothing says "I am truly dedictated to the art of smoking, and/or a complete ponce" like a refillable metal lighter. The Zippo - a windproof, flip-top metal lighter with a lifetime guarantee - was invented in 1933. Since then, more than 400m have been produced, and many are collectors' items. The art of lighting a Zippo is quite a trick to master. Wikipedia offers the following tips for developing your technique: "The most popular method is to hold the lighter in the right hand with the index finger and middle finger on top, and the thumb on bottom (hinge facing towards the pinky). Pressure is applied to the Zippo from the top fingers, which slide to the back, throwing the Zippo open. Another common trick, with the lid open, is to snap one's fingers, glancing the wheel with the middle finger and igniting the wick. Easily as common is the trick of running the wheel quickly over one's pant leg in order to ignite the wick. Many practice these tricks until one can 'pop' the lid and ignite the wick in one seamless motion. It is not nearly as difficult as it looks, and can be an impressive display of casual dexterity." Or you could use a match.

18. Cigarette lighters in cars There was once a time when going somewhere did not mean you had to stop smoking - you could smoke on aeroplanes, buses, trains, anywhere you jolly well pleased. In fact, if you weren't smoking, conductors would sometimes throw you off the bus to teach you a lesson. Today it is hard to believe smoking was once so de rigueur that car manufacturers equipped vehicles with both cigarette lighters and enormously fiddly ashtrays in the dashboard. It is a rite of passage for every child to burn themselves on a car cigarette lighter at least once before the age of 10.

19. Potatoes In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh set forth on an expedition to the New World, bringing back not only tobacco but also potatoes, so commencing the British love-affair with potato-based products. It is also worth remembering that without potatoes we would not have Mr Potato Head. And then where would we be? NB For many years, Mr Potato Head smoked a pipe, in a display of solidarity with the tobacco plant. However, in 1987 he was forced to abandon the pipe, and became the official "spokespud" for the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. Traitor.

20. Government health warning designers Backed yourself into a corner there, eh guys? From 2007 they will instead be forced to concentrate their efforts on other enemies of the people: doughnuts, hoodies and killer bees. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stuart Pearce MBE

Equally strong in Forest or England shirt, he was tough and unforgiving in the tackle, but never dirty. He charged up the left wing like a steam train - not only were the opposition's attackers afraid of him, but the full-backs had to be wary too.

When he joined Nottingham Forest from Coventry City in 1985 Stuart Pearce was still working part time as an electrician and even advertised his services in the match programme (!).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Is Beat a history now?

Jackson Pollock - Blue (Moby Dick)

A museum of art giants of the Beat period has opened in the San Francisco neighbourhood where the movement started a half a century ago. Manuscripts, letters and first editions from Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Bob Kaufman, Allen Ginsberg and many others are among the items on display.

The Beat Museum is located at: