Of ships and shoes and sealing-wax (and cabbages, and some kings).

At the weekend I came back from a brief three-day visit to St Petersburg. As with the best travel though, I feel I filled those days with many things, sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, and also three months’ worth of vodka drunk. I never want to hear the phrase ‘complimentary vodka’ again. My friends…

The door in the wall

Tomorrow I’m going to Russia. Saint Petersburg. The Arctic Circle, a frosted cake of a city, a dream risen out of a swamp. The last time I went I was going the other way, traipsing back the long way from a year in China. Saint Petersburg was my last stop before I entered Europe, and…