Yesterday drove through 250km of snow and blizzard on the insistent request of my mate, who apparently needed some variety to clear her head off the eider thoughts. If anybody does not know, she is intensely working on a book on the relationship between humans and eider ducks. Sometimes that results in brain overheat, thus the need for a cooling trip once in a while.
Let me use this opportunity to share with the world my favourite anti-flu method.
First, it is tea with lemon, and hot peppers. Second, vodka, beer, and mulled wine, as much as you can take. Fresh shredded ginger root brew. Carbonated mineral water. Pour into yourself all of the stuff above and go to bed to sleep it off. The world will welcome the new you in two days.
Snowmobile’s trip in the wonderful photos of Olga Boman
In reality this custom is more of a fashion than manifestation of any deep religious conviction. Orthodox priests, or the more progressive part thereof, keep on explaining the flock that ice-hole bathing has no connection to the essence of Epiphany. This year however, when the head priest of the Kandalaksha church (site taken down April 2015) refused to participate in organizing ice bathing, there was a burst of indignation on the part of the congregation..
But this one was in Murmansk, in Semenovskoe Lake below the landmark monument to the “defender of the Arctic”.
Zheleznaya or Lysaya (Iron or Bald) Mountain near Kandalaksha. Photo Olga Boman
The first scooter was noticed two weeks ago. Then a poster saying that walking over the ice is dangerous and prohibited replaced “don’t smoke drunk in bed” on the city’s main square by the T-34 tank on a pedestal. A few days ago I saw the first mosquito by the spring that supplies drinking water to us miserable wretches who get only sulphur-smelling stuff from the tap. And yesterday it was the true sign of spring – the first babushka by the apartment block entrance, an iconic small-town image during the warm season.