Dobro Pozhalovat (welcome)!

Once we went to England in the summer and we kept a blog ( for those who could not come with us.

We came home to Siberia and thought, "Why not start a blog about our life here?"

We will not be posting everyday, but hope to give you some glimpses into our lives!

среда, 26 сентября 2012 г.

Book Club for three year olds.

Once Luda had the idea to get some friends together with their kids to discuss a favorite book the kids had read. This has now become a regular event - a book club for kids.

This time they discussed a book by the author Vladimir Suteyev. He was an animator who became a children's author, illustrating his own stories. He was also ambidextrous and could even write and draw at the same time!

One of his most

воскресенье, 23 сентября 2012 г.

Something Russian - Mushrooms!

Most Russians love Mushrooms.
Not the sanitised ones you buy at the supermarket, but wild ones!

Some love the hunt, finding hidden treasure in the woods.

Others just love the taste, and are prepared to buy them by the bucketload (literally) from sellers at the market, or at the side of the road.

Knowledge of the different types is passed down the generations. 
Some need to be boiled first, some you can just fry in butter with a little garlic, and some potatoes.
You can also marinate them and keep them to eat on a cold winter evening.


вторник, 18 сентября 2012 г.


It is hard to generalise about weddings. I can't say that this wedding is a "typical Russian wedding", most weddings here, take place in a registery office and followed by a boozy reception.
I can only claim to show you the wedding I went to recently, and point out a few things that are characteristic for most christian weddings I have been to here.

The bride and groom. Dressed like pretty much anywhere!

Everything starts with prayer.

The pastor preaches - he went long.

The couple make their vows and pray for each other.
Then the pastor gives the blessing and declares them man and wife.

This wedding was unusual in my experience, because everything took place in the same room.
After the wedding ceremony came the feast.

As well as congratulatory songs, usually there are some fun competitions 
often at the expense of the newly weds.

Because every woman wants to marry a knight in shining armour!

понедельник, 10 сентября 2012 г.

Maths Games

Luda has collected and created a host of games that teach and train mathematics, we test them on our own kids.

On Saturday we were invited by our friends in nearby Divnogorsk, to run a session of Maths games. 
It was a way to help parentss both inside and outside of the church.

The Church building in Divnogorsk


You can just about see the view of the surrounding mountains

First the kids played

Then we drank tea!

Our team of helpers!

суббота, 8 сентября 2012 г.

Something Russian - Wood Carving

I don't even know what to call this apart from a wood carving! This is carved by a friend using a part of the tree where there is an aberration, a kind of "tree tumor".

Here is a still of the face.

суббота, 1 сентября 2012 г.

Something Russian - Banya

I decided to rename "Only in Russia" as "Something Russian", because there is very little in our modern world that is unique to just one country, so no more claims of exclusivity!

A Banya is a kind of sauna or steam bath. The Russian version, "Banya", is much steamier than a Finish sauna, which is all I can really compare it with.

There are public Banyas where you can pay 50 rubles (probably more by now) and steam yourself with a crowd of strangers, you can also hire a commercial banya with a group of friends, the one in my pictures is at a friend's Dacha. In the many off-the-grid private houses the banya is the place where you wash yourself and your clothes.

This family have a kitchen sink in the entrance, useful for washing the dishes.

This wonderful device is simple but very useful. You fill the top part with water, which is released at the bottom by pushing up on the rod below. It means you can wash your hands without anyone to pour water on you.

This is the changing room, where you can also have a drink and a snack between sessions
in the steam room.

You can see the door to feed the stove at the bottom right, the door leads into the wash room.

Looking into the wash room, this is where you can wash when your finished or pour a bucket of cold water over yourself after the steam room (rolling around in the snow is good too)

Upper and lower benches, the higher you sit the hotter it is, also used for lying on to be beaten with birch branches. 

The stove, where the magic happens! It is fed with wood from the outside, so there is no danger of being gassed.

Hot water tank.

Stones to make even more steam, when you throw water on them.

Most banyas have a collection of silly felt hats to protect your head from the heat.
The thermometer goes up to 160 C (320 F),  I don't think anyone makes it that hot, 
100 С (212 F) is a more normal temperature.