Another really excellent day.
It started out poorly - I had signed up to race a 10k in Finsbury Park, and they cancelled the race due to weather. It's been ridiculously cold here, and they thought the paths in Finsbury Park could be icy. I was disappointed... looking forward to the challenge, since I've been occasionally pushing myself to run in the cold here. So I decided to heck with it, I would do my own 10k run, in Hyde Park this morning.
I did the run .... it was hard and long and fairly lonely, but I did it. At least there are always a lot of people in Hyde Park. Runners, dog-walkers, bird-feeders, I even saw some slackliners out in the below-freezing temperatures today. I can't imagine how crowded this park must get in the summertime.
I took this photo to show the kids... the Serpentine freezes, but not completely, it seems. These swans have a little circle of water around them - though the gulls in the background are walking on the ice.
Hyde Park always has a lot to see. There's Kensington Palace, and the Albert Memorial, and the Diana Fountain, and the Peter Pan statue. There are paths that wind through sheltered gardens, and expansive fields, and little kiosks and restaurants. At the moment there are lumps of snow everywhere, where people made snowmen during last week's brief snowfall. I'm really glad I've had the chance to run regularly here this year, despite the cold.
This evening, Nastia came over with Yahor and Ilya. It's the second time we've done this, spontaneously - made dinner together, and managed the houseful of five overly-excited kids together for an evening. It's absolutely lovely. Tonight she brought wine, and we spread out a feast, including hot chocolate and candies for dessert, and just relaxed and talked. It's these times that I speak and understand the most Russian. Away from my notebooks and dictionaries, but sharing Nastia's world, it all begins to click.