This morning we had cheese toast – it was delicious and I’m afraid I ate too much!  Ella was preparing current jam with buckets of currents a friend brought her last night.  She left them covered with sugar overnight to begin a fermenting process and this morning they were swimming in juices.  She boiled them, sterilized jars and lids, filled the jars and left them on the porch covered by a blanket to cure.  We made our way leisurely to Julia’s and stopped on the way to pick up bread and teething biscuits, at a local small grocery – it was wonderfully different from the large supermarket.  The display of breads and pastries looked wonderful.  In the large supermarket, the cakes look perfect, and the pastries here do too, but I think that the flaky crusts and fruit and custard fillings I am looking at in the countertop displays are much more to my liking than the smooth tops of the cakes.

When we arrived at Julia’s I was in for a pleasant pastry treat Julia had baked.  But that was not the only treat in store for me today.  Julia’s great-grandmother, Diana was a very accomplished seamstress, like her sister-in-law, my grandmother.  Julia showed me a catalog of artwork from 1941, where 3 items in the show were Diana’s handiwork.

A cloth made by Diana

A cloth made by Diana

Then, Julia brought out a huge bag of neatly folded clothing, tablecloths and napkins, all of which had been embroidered by Diana.  Some of the garments had also been made by her.  It took nearly an hour for me to photograph each

Diana's roses

Diana's roses

item!

A shirt made by Diana

A shirt made by Diana

Julia and Sergey have a dog, Sam who is quite funny – he was Julia’s dog but is entirely undisciplined, although she tries.  She even hired a trainer, to whom Sam listened but as soon as the trainer left, Sam reverted back to his  old behavior.  When Sergey is in the house, Sam is perfectly well behaved.  I suppose Sam understood from my vibes that I was off limits, and so has pretty much ignored me while he jumps on everyone else!

I stayed with Julia and Sergey for supper – they made a wonderful salad of shredded cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes dressed with oil and lemon, and stuffed cabbage with some currents and rice- of course cakes and chocolate and tea afterwards.  Sergey drove me back to Ella’s – she was at a party at the university and arrived home quite late but she said she had a marvelous time and the students were still partying when she left! She was surprised that she hadn’t woken me up when she got home.  Sasha left the key in the lock on the inside of the door, which prevented her from getting the door open, and I think she said she banged on the door and phoned him so that she could get in – I heard nothing.  I find that the sounds from outside and the closed door effectively mask most interior sounds when I am asleep.  I’m sorry I didn’t hear her though – it would have been nice for me to have let her into the apartment!  It’s June 30, so, school is now officially over, but I think for Ella it never really ends since every 2nd person she passes on the street who greets her is a former student.  Her classes begin again on September 1.  Since she is spending so much of the beginning of her break hauling me around all over the place, visiting cemeteries and archives,  and entertaining me, I do hope that she gets some break from all the running around and can relax for a while after I leave.

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