Monday, December 04, 2006


It is 9.00 pm and the power has been off in my flat, my block of flats, since at least 6 pm. The computer battery is the only thing that works. Outside the street is bright and traffic is flowing.... Great!

Arrived at lunchtime - staying in the same flat as last time, which in principle is a relief, although without the 'leccy' it's a different story. Strange how in Tajikistan, with lots of electricity problems I had not a single powercut, apart from the self-inflicted one when I had the heater and kettle on at the same time, and here in Kiev, right in the centre of Kiev, I start off my stay with a power cut.

On returning home, I had planned to unpack, but, well; also had an idea to go to a concert in the music academy, not that far from here.... but then went shopping instead and got caught up in the supermarket; now I am generally sorted for the duration. I noticed that Yuri Bashmet will be playing here on 14 December; with his Moscow Soloists. I could not quite work out where, but somehow I doubt it is in the rather dinky Filharmonia - there was only a phone number on the poster.

A Russian acquaintance tells me that Nils Moenkemeier, the German violist, won the Bashmet viola competition in Moscow last week; also that an American, David Carpenter, refused to accept his joint 3rd prize. Maybe he did not understand how prize winning in Russia works.