Summertime in Astana

The weather in Astana is “a tale of two different cities”. At the moment, it’s real summertime. The temperature is around 24-30 C. and the sun is bright as ever. So today, I didn’t want to miss my favourite activity, picnic, which I exercise everywhere when the weather permits.


The locals are quite brave and take plunge into Ishim river! I’m not quite sure if I will ever try this!


Small wild flowers everywhere. I don’t know for how long ?


The grass mowers have a rest at the moment. 😉





The Science fiction skyline.


My “complicated” greek recipe for picnic : Cut the watermelon carefully into pieces and add randomly the queen of all the cheeses, feta. There you are, enjoy!


On the way back, I noticed this nice Christmas tree! Last year, I was not able to find a real one but now I know where to go 😉

Let’s talk about men : Parole Parole

manon70 catherine deneuveIt is common truth that with different set of friends there is different agenda of discussion. With some we talk about kids, husbands, with others about career, cooking… With my friend Marta,  the main topic is “men” and whatever comes with it. At the end of any conversation, she always says to me “let’s talk about men”.

When I met her in London in my last trip, after having exhausted every topic relating to them, we decided that it is time now, after so many years, to change  our prototype of the desired model of man.  Both of us felt that we have outgrown  this kind of witty, babish, good looking man with great sense of humour, aka Hugh Grant. We need something more manish, perhaps more brutal to fill in our occasional chatting and dreams.

She proposed something French. Since the French language and accent is very sensational by itself I agreed.  I proposed to give to our object of desire, flesh and bones, as for example 150px-Bernard-Henri_Lévy-tau-1to look like  the french philosopher, film maker … potpourri kind, Bernard Henry Levy.  Marta didn’t know him but an instant search on the iPad, convinced her.  At the moment, he is the perfect choice until we find a better picture, he has brains, looks, attitude, nobility and most important, hair, I hate bold men, she announced confidently.

We were happy with our agreement -a kind of sharing a secret- which keeps in some way this long friendship alive and interesting so many years. We kissed each other and said goodbye until our next rendezvous.  She was flying back to Madrid and I was flying back to glamorous Kazakhstan.

Not too long after arriving in Astana I skyped her and the following discussion took place:

-Hey Marta, I’ve just arrived in my base and I have great news for you!

-Let me guess, you didn’t have delays and the weather is perfect in Astana.

-Hmmm, something even better.

-You were upgraded to the first class.

-Bingo! You got it but something even better happened.

-You had an emergency land in Paris and you met this brainy man with the big nose.

-Nope, no landing until arriving at my destination

I made a pause and  because I was too excited to delay my news I said:

-but  I slept with him!

-With whom?

-With the our look alike prototype, the brainy man with the french nose (I always correct Marta with the details such a nose..)

Marta’s eyes and mouth had been transformed to real big circles.

and she said coldly and abruptly:

-No one can sleep in the airplane’s toilets.

-Of course not .

I answered back and continued.

-You know in the first class the seats can turn into beds and so this gorgeous french man sat next to me. He was much better than Levy- taller, thiner, fine characteristics, elegant outfit (a grey suit with a polo white shirt button up) a ring in his small finger showing his nobility, head  full of hair like Levy! And oh boy! What an accent!  His every second word was starting with the sound “w”!

-So he sat next to you and what happened? Marta said.

-Despite the free seats around us, neither of the two  moved to a more spacious  seat and  when it was time  to sleep I decided to follow his example and  I pushed the button to flatten my seat and sleep next to him. He advised me to wear the mask in the eyes for the light and bless him, I  really had the best sleep ever in an airplane! In the morning, we had breakfast together, I mean I had full breakfast, he had only a coffee -no wonder he was so slim- making me feel a bit  guilty about….

I wanted to continue to talk about my guilts and food  but Marta interrupted me saying:

-And after what happened ?

-That’s it, I said goodbye to him and I came back to my flat and open the skype to say to you all these great news!

Marta was looking at me with a mischievous expression.

-Do you know his name?


-Did you manage to get a photo of him?

-Unfortunately not and you know, he was much more handsome than Levy. Better face and he was so tall and slim, french nose….

-Ok, if we haven’t any evidence, photo of him… we have to stack with this brainy man..with the nose, you had proposed until next time, when you will be more brave.

-What do you mean  more brave ?

-More brave to get a picture of our object of desire, silly Penelope!