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How to Climb Medieval Stairs: A Practical Lesson

Whenever we watch films about the Middle Ages, there is once in a while a scene of two antagonists fighting on the staircase. As befits the genre and the plot, we are focused on the antagonism and on the physique of the actors. Little do we think, I guess, about how feasible were those fights in the first place. I have no idea how many fights had taken place on the Tallinn wall, but I know one thing for sure: a duel on this particular staircase would very quickly become lethal for one party or another. Add to the fact that the steps are rather narrow, and that warriors would be wearing something far less comfortable than my soft shoes. But enough talking – here’s a video that I have long wanted to shoot in various Welsh castles I visited, and yet only finally got the chance in Estonia.

A Breakfast Poem

 Despite Englishmen themselves not eating porridge for breakfast, I’m reviving this old tradition in my house. I’ve stopped drinking coffee at home “for reasons strong enough for me”, although I cannot even begin to explain – I merely don’t want any coffee. But I religiously drink tea instead. So I thought this could be a fitting quote for the start of the day. 


“When dress’d, I to the yard repair,

And breakfast on the pure, fresh air:

But though this choice Castalian cheer

Keeps both the head and stomach clear,

For reasons strong enough with me,

I mend the meal with toast and tea.

Now air and fame, as poets sing,

Are both the same, the self-same thing:

Yet bards are not cameleons quite,

And heavenly food is very light;

Who ever dined or supp’d on fame,

And went to bed upon a name?”


A stanza from “The Pleasures Of Imprisonment” By James Montgomery.

More breakfast poems: http://www.tastearts.com/breakfast-poem-substantial-meal-by-james-montgomery/

And while I don’t drink any alcohol for
breakfast, this is a photo of a delicious cake
in a cafe in Tallinn castle wall.

A Motivational Bridge In Tallinn, Estonia

Over the last month I visited three different countries. This year, in general, I visited four different countries: France, Estonia, Latvia, and the UK. Scotland, for that matter, is sadly still a part of the UK, otherwise I’d count that as the fifth country. There were many instances of urban climbing (i.e. going up and down staircases in various domes, churches, and towers), park trailing, museum visiting, and I dare not say how many kilometres I thus walked. This doesn’t qualify me for the Olympics yet, but still. I even visited a car show and went camping for the first time in my life.

A whole lot of new experiences. I wouldn’t know where to start telling about any one of them.

Work-wise, I was pleasantly inundated with various translation projects. I’m very pleased to mention that in autumn visitors to the Russian IKEA will be reading my translation of new additions and some collection descriptions. I’ve proved myself over and over again, delivering great work to tight deadlines, which on two occasions I did either on the plane or at the airport.

But I had to give up something, as well, and for a good reason (I hope) it was blogging. I could not possibly log all my peregrinations as they were happening, not least because I did not always have reliable (if any) Internet connection. In the last week I had one of the projects prepared for a launch, which also required effort and time. Either way, the good news is that I am back and ready to show a plenty of photos and share stories.

In the spirit of the abovewritten, let’s start with a video I made in Tallinn. By the Toompea Hill (that houses the Government residence and a few historic monuments, including the Dome Church and St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, reportedly erected on the grave of the Estonian national hero) there is small bridge. Generally speaking, it is more of a lovely feature because the entire river flows by the bridge and doesn’t seem to go under it (unless via a collector). But just look at what fantastic use it has been put! Both rails read a message from the wind, telling you exactly what you need to hear. I admit that since moving back to Russia I have been doing exactly what the wind inscribed on this Tallinn bridge. And just in case it’s a bit difficult to view the video (connection ect.) here is what the wind has to tell the Tallinn visitors.

Do what you like, and like what you do. 
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. 
Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes just be an illusion. 
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. 
Whatever you are, be happy.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world. 
Never stop dreaming. 
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. 

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