First Impressions of Moscow

Updated: Jan 24, 2019

I made the decision to come and live in Moscow in what were somewhat unusual circumstances. I hadn’t expected after many years of avoiding being entangled in a relationship like The Plague to fall in love. I’m still a bit confused by the whole thing in truth. And for my ‘Life Twin’ to be one of the main news anchors on a global TV channel broadcast from the heart of Russia – a country which has both intrigued and intimidated me for as long as I can remember – presented me with a distinct polarity of choice. It wasn’t as if I could meet her a few times in the local pub and see how it went.


And so I came. I dismantled my life in a quiet rural, town in South Wales. I said goodbye for a while to the daughters to whom I’d devoted my life for almost as long as I can remember. I gave Sally the tortoise to the care of another, packed two bags and flew to Moscow.

I’ve been surprised.


Moscow has confounded me with every turn of its eerily rubbish-free streets.

The Russian people have bewildered me with (and I am extremely well-travelled) what seems a unique mix of poker-faced, taciturn, stand-offishness and warm generosity. They are:

· Grumpy

· Introverted

· Reckless

· Clever


· Vain

· Serious

· Soulful

· Fearful

· Proud

· Kind

· Funny

· Playful

· Etc, Etc, Etc, Etc……


I love discovering all of this. It’s a massive privilege to be living in the heart of an astonishingly beautiful (yes I didn’t expect that either and – yes – it is much more beautiful than London) city which, whilst totally acknowledging the fact that much of the world can never accept the credibility of ‘democracy’ and the respect given to human rights here, has a gift for presenting drama and subtle honesty.


It’s exciting and Little Brown and myself embrace it.

And perhaps it should come as no surprise to me that I feel comfortable here. When I was packing up my house to leave I came across a box of old bit-and-pieces that had remained unopened since I’d brought them from my late father’s house when he died a few years ago (is it really nearly four years now?). In it was an old-style blue British passport that he’d given me to play with when I was about eight years old. I’d written:

Country of Residence: Russia !



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