I think it's always been lurking inside me somewhere. From the time as a teenager I thought it was cool to listen to my aunties old LP's of Russian Gypsy music, wear Russian boots and embroidered tops. Or something to do with reading too much Chekhov and Tolstoy.
....of course it could also be something to do with the fact that 'A' was on his way to Russia when he came to England, just before I met him. And he is an Omar Sharif doppelganger, or so everyone always tells me. And Dr. Zhivago is such a romantic film.
But it could be, because Tim Walker has taken some of the most amazing photographs in Russia, that I couldn't help decorating my study wall with.
And one of my favourite inexpensive but treasured objects is a Russian pendant that I bought for pennies in a charity sale.
It's no wonder then that when I had to come up with ideas for some small canopies for tomorrow evening I thought of blinis. Little Russian pancakes, topped with cream cheese and caviar or smoked salmon and dill. Not real caviar but sustainable pretend caviar made from smoked herring and squid ink. I'm not sure how they do it, but you do still get that salty caviar hit. But without the guilty conscience.
I remember when 'A's family used to visit us from Iran they would always bring an enormous tin of Beluga caviar from the Caspian Sea, which borders on Iran and Russia. We would all sit and scoff it with little biscuits and tequila. It was delicious. It was only ages afterwards when visiting Harrod's Food Hall that I realised just how expensive it is.