Shops in Russia – even a major city like St Petersburg – were an oddity. Not their existence, rather what they sold.
There wasn’t much originality in shop names in 1992. For example, there were numerous places called ‘Moloko’ meaning milk. The irony was that milk was almost never on sale in these shops – in fact, the primary product available appeared to be cognac (the Russian version).
Looking for items of food was always a major element of our excursions into town. Certain items were always available: every second shop’s window display was stacked with jars of pickled goods.
A little-talked-about Beatles documentary(!) was released in December on Disney+. Joking aside, the column inches that Peter Jackson’s Get Back has generated must have the execs at Disney rubbing their hands with glee.
It’s a sign of how obsessed people are with John, Paul, George and Ringo that spliced-together footage that’s over 50 years old can still be such a massive deal.
That said, for me, watching the documentary made The Beatles seem more real than ever. Filmed in glorious colour (unlike much of the black-and-white footage of their career) and seeing them going about their ‘work’, you’d barely know it was filmed in 1969.
Earlier this week, I was listening to an episode of Blood On The Tracks, the Colin Murray-fronted show, where guests bring their record collections and debate their favourite tracks in certain chosen categories.
In one particular round, the guests were asked to name their favourite act to come out of Scotland.
Fashion queen and former guitarist in The Fall Brix Smith chose Donovan.
If you don’t recognise the name or the above picture of Donovan, don’t worry.
In the 60s, he had a string of hits, such as Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman and Hurdy Gurdy Man, but his star waned in the 70s.