It’s after four in the morning and I’m wide awake as my leg injury’s keeping me from sleeping long, long after your sister Catherine has turned in for the night. So I’m doing needed correspondence as I’ll get it done without interruption, which doesn’t happen often during the day around this Estate with my apprentices, The Several Annies, and Library patrons alike needing paying attention to.
I’m been meaning to tell you that we’ll indeed visiting you this year after the holidays at St. Petersburg as we’ve got obligations here ’till New Year’s but are free after that. If you could book us at a hotel that you like, we’d appreciate it. Figure we’ll be staying for ten days and we’re flying in on the night of the third as want to be with you for Little Christmas.
We’re both looking forward to a leisurely afternoon of tea, pastries, and gossip with you at the Kempinski Hotel. Great tea shop but far too busy as a place to stay unfortunately.
The Steward’s quite generously funding this trip so we’ll be doing a fair amount of shopping for the Estate including purchasing several cases of Russky Standart vodka, lots of culinary treats and many fine books. And I’ll be getting small gifts for the current Several Annies such as Matrioskas, Dymkovo toys, Vologda lace and the like, as we’ve been studying the material culture of pre-revolutionary Russia.
I’m also looking for residency possibilities and housing for two of my Several Annies, Ingrid and Emma, who learned Russian from your sister these past two years and want to be immersed in Russian culture to really hone their language skills. They’re both natural learners so I expect both to go on to University eventually.
Yours with affection, Iain