Tuesday, 10 January 2012


After a busy Christmas Eve, when she didn't go to bed until after 10pm, Lara didn't stir on Christmas morning until 8am, but then it was hard to hold her back from heading downstairs to see if Father Christmas had been. This was the result..

It wouldn't be Christmas without the traditional photo of us with party hats on, I was lucky that I got to take the photo using my new camera Olga had given me, but trust me, I was still wearing my hat.

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Christmas Eve and New Years Eve

On Christmas Eve we took a short notice trip into London, Olga had to meet a client in the huge Westfield shopping centre and pass her a brown envelope (it's was all above board!), then we took my mum to a Russian cafe for borsch, and so Olga could do some shopping for New Year's Eve (more to come on that), and to reward Lara for her patience, we took her to the Winter Wonderland park in Hyde Park. I normally do very little other than sit in front of the TV on Christmas Eve afternoon, so this made a lovely, Christmassy change, and of course Lara loved it.

On New Year's Eve we went to a Russian party. The local Russian community had hired a village hall, and the idea was that each family would bring some food and that was put out on tables for people to help themselves to, and you just brought your own drink. There was lots of entertainment for the kids, centered on Ded Maroz (the Russian version of Father Christmas), the evil Baba Yega and Ded Maroz's grand-daughter, Snegurochka. Midnight in Moscow (8pm) and Tallin/Riga/Vilnius (10pm) was celebrated before the big cheer at midnight. The kids games were conducted in Russian, and Lara watched for much of them, but joined in in places, and then enjoyed a boogie on the stage as the music played.
And here's a bit more of Ded Maroz and Baba Yega: