Saturday, 28 February 2009

Bloody Cold War

So while my blood laboured in LA the rest of me flew east to Moscow. I lived in and around NY for a while in the eighties but nothing beats the insane joy of Moscow. Last time I was there I met up with an old family friend, Dr. Nickolai. We met in the foyer of a old style soviet hotel. He's a big bear of a man, not unlike Breshnev to look at. In his younger days Dr. Nickolai was the countries foremost immunologist and he still has contacts in the business. As customary at such meeting we exchanged carrier bags containing gifts, the whole meeting resembling a cold war exchange of information. In fact we were exchanging information on MS and the best treatments as well as a few boxes of chocolates.

MS feels like a cold war of course. Lots of waiting, the constant threat of worse to come with sudden bursts of unexpected activity. As your nerve endings fray it seems that feet freeze in the heat and swelter in the cold which with harsh winters and cheap heating makes Russia perfect for confusing your extremities. As is customary in icy conditions I fell A over T on my way back from buying a cappuccino and had to helped to my feet by an old lady. My cappuccino was intact even if my self respect wasn't. BB was quick to point out that falling over with or without ice is something I've done for years and is nothing to do with MS

This visit culminated in the launch of the Moscow Chickenshed (Taganka Shed) at the British Embassy. Now that was cool. Well cold actually. Minus 12 outside and snowing as we arrived at the security gates. But if you are going to enter the British embassy in Moscow then quite frankly with snow falling and furtive glances is the only way. It demands to be John Le Carrier. Alas my cover was blown when our EU officer pointed out that nobody, but nobody wears their winter fur hat with ear flaps down...Russians are guilty of many fashion faux pars...but ear flaps down?...please...

With the wind taken from my sails and feeling more Brook than James the evening was saved by a bizarre interview for Russian TV (tell us and our viewers...what is you doing in Russia?) and of course great company in a great restaurant that served an even better Cranberry Vodka. That warmed us up.

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