Category Archives: Uncategorized

Last Words, Lost Words

There is too much too say. I don’t want to oversimplify or to make Estonia seem simply charming, plucky, quaint. The danger of my family connection is of falling into a kind of nostalgia in the present tense. Nowhere, however … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Perils of the Thaw

If you can plunge upwards, that’s what the temperature has done. I step out into Pühavaimu Street this morning to find meltwater spattering from all the eaves. Underfoot, the surface snow has washed off; water spreads across the hard-packed under-ice, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thin Ice

There’s an election coming; there are posters in the street, and… well, they do things differently here. On every poster, if it’s the largest size (and they do come in standard sizes) then a life-sized waist-up portrait of the candidate … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Gentle Stoic Streak

My friend and very distant cousin Andres has built a house in the forest, just on the edge of Tallinn. This has been the zone of summerhouses and cemeteries. (There is one at the end of his road. Yes, we … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Street scenes, Tallinn

A snowy bush beside the frozen car park suddenly begins to shudder. It’s alive! Then I look and see it’s full of about thirty plumped up sparrows, giving themselves a wash-and-brush-up in the powdery snow, like they do in dust-baths. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Slippy Words and Waiting Silence

My apologies to all wearers of high heels in snowy climates… Estonian friends tell me that high heels are as good as crampons in getting a grip on the ice, and tell me that I should consider a pair of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Above the Gentle Wolf

A TV interview with OP, Estonian National Television’s culture programme, has been rigged up in a makeshift studio above the Hell Hunt bar. (There’s a warning against guessing at a foreign language: ‘Hell Hunt’ in Estonian is ‘gentle wolf’.)  And … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Snow, serious snow

When Estonia appears, finally, through thinning cloud beneath us, it’s like a negative of itself… or do I mean an X-ray, with its underlying structure showing through? Then again, there’s nothing new about snow here. As we land, Tallinn airport … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

News from Nowhere?

Estonia is by no means Nowhere. It’s a small country whose dearest wish since regaining its independence from the Soviet Union has been to be… well, an ordinary country, like the rest of us. For me, growing up with a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment