It’s been a dark few days, personally and professionally. We did hold a wonderful debate at The Moscow News on the subject of Russia’s image abroad. You’d think this kind of event would be tense, especially in light of the recent deadly flash floods in the south of the country (and the relief for that is ongoing, by the by – with the riot police, United Russia deputies, Duma opposition members, and non-Duma opposition members standing side-by-side in their efforts to provide help), but it was wonderful, actually – putting an emphasis on professionalism in PR, on official accountability, on easing the visa regime. At the same time, the debate only reminded me of the gulf between real Russian industry professionals and Russian bureaucrats – it is the latter who wield a whole lot of power and bear not a whole lot of responsibility for much of anything. Not all of them are like this, of course – just look at Moscow’s culture department for examples of effective management – but it’s still early days yet. The collective Soviet hangover has not yet passed for so many people.
And I’m tired. I’m tired, and I feel a bit like a cornered animal. I want to go to the dacha I don’t have. I want better luck – or, rather, I want more good luck. More decent luck. The kind of luck you can display on your mantlepiece (if we ever have a mantlepiece).
But I come home to Lev and Alyosha in the evenings. I change my shoes and we go for a walk. Lev walks holding daddy’s hand – and yells in outrage should daddy deign to fob him off on me. It must be something about daddy.