And, so – to unfinished business…
Back in 1991, we were heading for the Russian-Polish border as news came through that the USSR was finally being wound up. Not wanting to return immediately to a wintry UK, we made the decision to head on south. Except the Balkans War was raging and that meant we were prevented from going down through the old Yugoslavia. Instead we braved the snow and ice of the eastern European states until we finally arrived in northern Greece by way of Bulgaria. (I have written about this trip in my anti-capitalist novel QUESTION, where the main protagonists must flee Russia after being involved in a murderous mafia shoot-out.)
Now, at last, nearly thirty years later, we are in a position to make that drive down through the Balkans – and maybe beyond…
We had thought to take the more circuitous route across northern Europe and drive down through the Baltic states, but the rotten spring weather has left us desiring an immediate dose of southern warmth. So straight to the Balkans it will be. For reading matter, I have chosen Ivo Andric’s ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ – a novelistic account of the region’s history which brought the author the Nobel Prize, and recommended to me by a recent Slovenian student. Along with Bulwer-Lytton’s ‘Zanoni’, as audio. I’ll also be taking some books to re-acquaint myself with the Russian language.
I really can’t wait to make a break with all this anti-Russian propaganda swirling about on the media. As though the Russians were responsible for the horrible, social, warring mess were are currently experiencing. Whereas it is our own government and our own selves who are responsible for all the unease. To think we could be living in unbridled wealth and happiness if only divisions weren’t being deliberately sown within our communities and hatred being stirred up by those with invested economic and political interests! It’s very painful to consider.
How this will come through in my blog, I do not know. That is why I write novels (even if the MSM agents and publishers act as unwanted censors by refusing to make them available).
My only disappointment is that the trip means that I won’t be able to attend the annual big family get together. This year we were hoping to extend the event to include more overnight camping and music. That still remains an objective. There are strong connections with the area which we wish to celebrate and share. As I do in my writing.
South Bucks, and proud!