The Long, Long, LONG road to Varna

Content 18+

My wife Liuba is from Omsk, and many hard, frozen, poverty-stricken years there did nothing to damage her health.But all it took was four winters amid the belching smokestacks and poisoned atmosphere of Moscow for her to contract a chronic bronchial infection. During her last two years in the megapolis, often amid endless bleak rains that more and more prevail there because of climate change, our apartment was … Read the rest

The Night I Won the Welterweight Title of the World

Content advisory 18+ I once saw a film called "Field of Dreams" which involved a man hearing a voice in a cornfield that told him what to do -- which he did -- and what happened as a result. The idea behind it was simple but profound: how can we find the past again and correct it? Or maybe better would be to ask, "How can we HEAL the past?"… Read the rest

The Good Old Days

Content advisory 18+ What differences are there between friendships that are mostly face-to-face and those that are mostly online?"

So ran one of the questions in a student book that formed the basis of my Skype lesson this morning with a fellow named Roman, who has studied with me since 2009. He was Pre-Intermediate then, and now we have gone through five or six Advanced level books together. Most of … Read the rest

The Dark Side of Cyberspace

Age advisory 18+ I have a new friend in a nearby village called Priseltsi (Bulgaria) who has a successful business in Varna selling very stylish and often flamboyant hats. The hats are actually made in Priseltsi and sold in Varna. Theater groups use her work as well as individuals. Both my wife and I are proud owners of one hat apiece. Mine is a white cowboy hat and Liuba's looks … Read the rest

March: The Most Human Month

Контент 18+ Astrology has its place, we know, and many people devote much energy and attention to absorbing what their individual sign predicts. I even have a student-friend who is a serious and well-paid journalist, and whose wife is 100% engrossed in astrology, studying it as a future career (though doing exactly what and for how much money I am not sure.) I take it that she has been equally … Read the rest

Forgiveness Sunday

Контент 18+ Although I am in Bulgaria now, I was reminded yesterday of something I always thought was beautiful in Russia -- the part of Maslenitsa, the Sunday of that week, when people are supposed to ask forgiveness from those they feel they have wronged. I don't know how many really put this into practice, nor could I hope to guess if it is always expressed as a sincere sentiment … Read the rest

Jubilee Atop the Last Mountain

Контент 16+ As night and death come to us all, so does morning with its breakfast smells and crowing roosters and, if you are lucky, your lover's first kiss of the day.


So it was with us, waking up at that truck-stop somewhere in Romania. I rose first, squired the dogs around and about the large parking area and border of woods, gave Liuba a peck on the cheek, and … Read the rest