Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev by Andrey Kurkov:
Tuesday 14 January
Snow fell, pretty and fluffy. No one was answering the phone. I stood outside the front door. Galya arrived soon afterwards. She told me she never took her phone with her, so she was only contactable early in the morning or late in the evening.
The renovation work in her apartment is nearly finished, and she has new Laura Ashley furniture. She is supposed to receive a sideboard and a bed tomorrow. At the moment, all her savings are going on Laura Ashley furniture, which she orders from a catalogue. In the apartment, I was greeted by her two cockatiels. I miss Kuzi, the male she had before and who is now dead.