Nickname e-Stonia

Ever since achieving independence in 1991, Estonia has kept a low profile, quietly beavering away at shaking off its despised Soviet past. Looking firmly westwards, Estonia joined the EU and NATO in 2004 and adopted the Euro currency in 2011. Apart from a few reinforced concrete architectural monstrosities I struggled to gauge any soviet-ness about … Continue reading Nickname e-Stonia

From Peter the Great to February 1917

With two revolutions in St. Petersburg during 1917, Russia dominated news headlines that year. The February revolution (March in the Gregorian calendar) saw the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II bringing an end to several hundred years of rule by the House of Romanov. And whilst the political landscape of the city underwent vast subsequent change … Continue reading From Peter the Great to February 1917

Bye Bye Winter, Hello Biddy

Winter can be an unforgiving time in Ireland given the precarious nature of Atlantic weather systems. So it’s with great relief we welcome spring on 1st February. For our ancestors who lived in a more agrarian society this date was the start of a new farming season and celebrations were held in honour of the … Continue reading Bye Bye Winter, Hello Biddy

Saint Petersburg: Cultural Colossus

St. Petersburg is deservedly known as Russia’s cultural capital. It’s breadth and depth of cultural heritage is astonishing and in this post I’ll attempt to distil several hundred years of various art forms into a couple of paragraphs. Aleksandr Borodin, Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri Shostakovich are the three prolific St. Petersburg natives in the classical … Continue reading Saint Petersburg: Cultural Colossus