Me and Andrew have just been doing a bit of Google travelling. He checked where has streetview and up popped Kharkov.
I'd only heard of it as the site of a nasty battle in WW II. One of those bloody Eastern Front slug fests.
I thought it might have been smashed to hell. But on streetview it's a wonderland. Like Prague circa 1985. One of my favourite places in space and time. It'll be one of the first spots I revisit when the time travel stuff gets sorted.
Prague, but with a soupçon de Stalinisme architecture-wise. (Check out the block the tram line leads to.) Magic. Can't wait to get there.
Andrew isn't so keen. "It looks a dump, Dad. Like some Communist country."
"Yes, exactly. That's why it's so brilliant."
"I'm not going there, dad."
Not if I don't tell you beforehand. You'll think you're going to Munich.I'll claim to have made a simple mistake and booked Kharkov. Kharkov, Munich. easily confused. Both have an "h' in their name.
"Do you want to go to Kharkov Lexie?"
"What about if I give you 30 euros a day?"
"How many days will we be there, Dad?"
"Yeah, OK then."
I love Lexie. He'll do anything for money.
"Do I have to spend the money there, Dad?"
"We'll discuss that later."
"Look at all those air-conditioners."
Lexie's an observant lad.
"We'll go in the spring."
Just to be clear about this: I really do think Kharkov looks wonderful.
Why don't you switch off your smartphone and go out and do something less boring instead? - ... such as coming to one of my summer festival events? This weekend it's the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Set up by my wife Liz in 2010, it's now be...
5 hours ago