I recall spending laborious hours typing this story on an IBM electric typewriter that I’d lugged home from the office in the sunny annexe to my terrace in Lennox Gardens London. On proudly showing good friend Eddy, he told me that he could read about what I’ve written in any guide book.
“Go away”, he said, “Re-write it so that I feel I am following you up the stairs at Peterhof. Tell me what you’re seeing as you go, and what you’re feeling”.
Grumbling, I set about re-typing in the first person, present tense. I don’t know that what you’re about to read is all that good, but the attempt represents a big turning point in how I was to frame my stories thereafter.
As an aside, Connie, my mother was still living, and she for one always counselled against using the first person.
“Showing off”, she would chide.
My interest in photography has become keener in recent years, but you’ll see in this story that my camera and eye for a nice shot was already an important factor in my overall travel experience. Regretably, I’ve located but a couple of photographs from the 1993 weekend. So, I use ones from a second visit in 1995 when we stopped in St Petersburg for two days on a Prinsendam cruise.
Click here to read my story from 1993