While I was in Saint Petersburg it was my mother's birthday. I was discussing what I might buy for her with Julia one day and she came up with a suggestion. We were having a bite to eat in a restaurant off Nevsky Prospekt and we had the wonderful company of Kate, Nikita, Kate's boyfriend Alexander (as well as the gorgeous Alice, of course) and Julia's brother. It turned out that Alexander was a blacksmith and he said that he could make something special for me. I had visions of something huge that I would never get onto the aeroplane, but he reassured me that it would be fine. We settled on what it would be.
On the Tuesday morning Nikita brought it for me (having collected it from Alexander the previous evening), and I was bowled over by just how delicate and beautiful it was. Unfortunately, Julia was, by now, on her field trip and she never got to see the finished article. So, I'm posting these few photos so that she can see and admire it and know just what a wonderful thing she helped me to get. Thank you, dear.
So, here, lying resplendent on a sheet on top of the table is The Rose. It is unique. Just to give you an idea of how delicate the work involved in it is, it's about 40 centimetres long and the flower itself is less than ten centimetres across - in fact, about the size of a rose.