Cold, wet and windy
Today, 23 February is the centenary of the start of the Russian Revolution in Russia. A mix of very cold weather and acute food shortages drove people in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) to break into shops to get at bread and other stuff. Tsar Nicholas II was 800 km away, in Smolensk, trying to run the last days of WWI. He was not informed about the day’s events up in Petrograd because his aides apparently did not consider the news important enough to bother him with it! Consequently, his diary for that day reads rather like a Blip Journal:
.. I awoke at 9:30 here in Smolensk. It was cold, clear, and windy. I spent whatever free time I had reading a French book about Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. Arrived in Mogilyov at 3. Was met by General Alexeyev and his staff. Spent an hour with him. The house feels empty without Alexei. I had dinner with all the foreigners and some Russians. The evening was spent writing and drinking tea with the others.
The rest is history. Matters escalated, the army mutinied and days later Nicholas abdicated ending 300 years of Imperial and Romanov rule. The manner in which Russia comes to terms with the centennial this year is going to be fascinating and I'm hoping to blip more moments through the year.
Meanwhile in Johannesburg today it was cold, wet and windy with reflections of a different nature.