06 January 2020
6th January saw the club back after a pleasant Christmas and New Year break. Another Christmas Post has been delivered; close to 11,000 cards collected, sorted and delivered around the East Neuk coastal villages and £2,628 raised for good causes. Organiser Malcolm MacDonald expressed thanks to all who helped make it possible.
Speaker for the evening was club member George Hunter, who entertained with photographs and the story of a visit made to Russia - St Petersburg and Moscow, with a river cruise in between.
We were treated to excellent pictures, especially of the many churches and cathedrals: of the Kremlin and Lenin’s mausoleum too. The colourful domed roofs and the ornately gilded interiors - something of icons - were particularly impressive. These are characteristic of Russian Orthodox christianity, yet seeming very out of place in a country known for its communist and totalitarian recent history.
It is clearly hugely popular now as a tourist destination. George commented that visitors were organised - even regimented, yet all done very efficiently. He also spoke of the cleanliness everywhere and of the absence of beggars on the streets. Interestingly the many blocks of apartment, which are huge by any standards - perhaps 1,000 residents - are all painted and colourful.
We heard something of the culture and history of the area; of the complexities of the Russian language - and even benefitted from a quick explanation of the Russian alphabet!
Following many questions a vote of thanks was proposed by Ian McBain.