H. Hillman

St. Petersburg, Day 3

Due to the fact that we were attending a black-tie, New Year’s Eve event tonight, we didn’t have much planned.  After another excellent lecture, we climbed on to the bus and set off for Pavlovsk.  This was the first time we’d been out in the Russian countryside during what passes for daytime over here (sunrise, […]

St. Petersburg, Day 2

(photo: St. Isaac’s at sunrise from Menshikov Palace, 10:45 A.M.) I somehow managed to be the first person down to breakfast and they tucked me away in a corner then proceeded to seat everyone else in the middle.  It was funny. This morning’s lecture was quite good; an excellent precis of Russian history from Ivan […]

St. Petersburg, Day 1

An incredibly busy day. We were supposed to have a lecture from 9-10 this morning but due to the fact that the lecturer didn’t arrive until after 11 the night before, we were “spared”.  So, around 10 A.M., we climbed on to a bus and headed for The Hermitage Museum.  The Hermitage (properly pronounced French-fashion: […]

Reaching Russia

Travel is a funny thing.  You meet people and share stories and part ways, never to meet again.  Take my seat-mate from London to St. Petersburg.  He came along and put his covered cup pretty much on the pillow I’d set on the empty seat between us.  I reached out to rescue my pillow, he […]

Kidnapping My Mother

Well, it didn’t begin as a kidnapping. I was visiting Mom (8-12 November) and she asked what I wanted to do. The only thing that I really wanted to do was drive up to the Cabin, which has been in the family since 1932 (well, to be honest, the property has been in the family […]

Earthquake or Tornado?

For some reason, I’m fascinated by human reaction to events.  Take last night’s earthquake, for example.  Most of my local friends not only felt it (it woke most of us up) but almost immediately commented on Facebook (as did I). In casual conversation with people all over the United States, much of it turns to […]

The Fluidity of Life

“And nothing is, but what is not.” (Macbeth) Not a profound post, this, in spite of the title.  More of a “just when you think….” sort of thing.  How many times have we said “I’ll never [fill in the blank]!”  Ho. “Never” is about as fluid an expression of life as anything. I’m trying out […]