Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Russia with Love

Dear Willow,

I am so sorry that I won't be able to be at the ball today. I was intent on inviting Omar Sharif (Yuri Zhivago) as my guest, and he insisted that I travel to Russia to meet him and accompany him on the long voyage back to "Willow Manor".

I had chosen the dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in "Love In The Afternoon", but alas,

Upon my arrival in Moscow, "Yuri" informed me that we would be terribly delayed due to unforeseen snow storms! Yes, my dear, at this time of year!!!

Imagine my shock at arriving at the good doctor's country home and finding it quite an ice palace. This is NOT what I had envisaged for your party!

It was obvious to me from the get-go that it would take more than a few good White Russians to thaw out this scene!

At least my date is trying to be oh so gallant in providing me with warmth and charm. Under the circumstances, these "woolly" Russian socks will have to do, although it totally ruins the look I was so trying to pull off.

Russian Borscht

Wistfully, I was imagining all the delicacies you'd be serving at this time, but due to our lack of resources, we were lucky to be able to cobble together enough ingredients to make a traditional and sparkling dish. I was pleased that the colour of this dish matched my socks!

White Russian Cocktail

2 fluid ounces Kahlua
1 fluid ounce vodka
1 fluid ounce cream or milk

I must admit that things are starting to get a bit warmer here in the countryside and with the help of a few 'White Russians' ahem....Yuri is now "Darling Yuri".

Always the charmer, my date has changed into his party togs and things now have the potential of becoming positively steamy! He's pulled out his Balalaika

Sweet Willow, how I wished I could have been at the party with the good doctor, who, as you know, is also a poet. I would have requested that he read to all your guests. As it is now, he is reading to ME. By candlelight. It's snowing, we're in Russia in a country house..this is just like being in a dream!

"Winter Night"
Snow on snow the blizzard blew,
All frontiers enswirling.
A candle on the table stood -
A tallow candle burning.

Boris Pasternak

All at once we are jostled from our all night reverie by the crew who tell us that there is a break in the weather and that if we move quickly, we can make the next train and get out of the country.

In the light of day, "Darling Yuri" clad in his rough overcoat is Yuri with the balalaika embedded under his arm and whisking us off in the sleigh once again.

Oh my dear Willow. Look what I spotted a woman wearing on the train! I shall bring you back yet another Zhivago hat ...the least I can do for being so late to the ball.

We are ever so sorry to have been so detained. Hopefully we will be there in time to join you all for brunch! In the meantime, our glasses are raised to you all at the Willow Manor Ball.
Ваше здоровье! To your health!


  1. You minx! How utterly salacious to wait until The Professor is out of town to rendezvous with the dashing Mr. Sharif. And, might I add, this gives a whole new meaning to "Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out/Come and keep your comrade warm."

    Warm indeed.

  2. Oh my! This leaves me breathless! I am so envious...and you chose such perfect give Yuri a warm hug from me.

  3. And I was so counting on gazing into those great pools of eyes. Sigh. At least, you're drinking one of my favorite cocktails, and wearing my first choice of foot apparel. (I think you orchestrated all this, just so you'd have Yuri all to yourself!) ;^)

  4. Are you kidding? It's a hard choice to make ~ Mr. Sharif, all alone, food, wine, a roaring fire, all alone, snowed in .... a really hard choice!

  5. many White Russians did it take before he pulled out his balalaika in mixed company? Have been quite obsesssed w/this movie since I was 9, not long after, "Nicholas and Alexandra" came out, and I've been to all but one US museum which houses Faberge' collections. Poor lovers = a raw deal. Movie trivia: the interior of Varykino, an ice palace like none other, was achieved by covering everything with melted paraffin! Can you imagine trying to do that?

  6. You had me laughing so much! Simply charming and I would for the record not move an inch from that fronzen tundra if he were next to me.

  7. Oh thank you all of you. I wish I had been able to see all of you at the ball. I must say though, that Willow is quite correct, I did drag my "woolly" toes a bit, and thoroughly enjoyed our own little evening together. We were fascinated to hear rumors about the real ball and all the goings on. Hopefully we are back in time to enjoy the brunch...I'm feeling relieved that Yoli and her antlers escaped Yuri's rather country approach to fauna, and glad that my date didn't have a chance to fall under Willow's spell as all the others apparently did:) Yes David, look what happened to poor Tonya in that regard..a girl must be ever vigilant.

  8. That romantic event will always live in my imagination. Thanks for revisiting it and sharing.

    tante d

  9. I would absolutely love to see you write a novel. Whenever I read your blog there's always a great story going on, and lots to taste, smell, touch, hear and see. How about it Leslie???