Dear Uncle Michael, Hope you got my last postcard. Now I'm visiting my in-laws in Crimea. They gave me a Putin shirt and more homegrown honey than I can carry. Crimea is sunshine, warm sea, and mountains. It's also a soldiers graveyard, killed by the British or the French or the Nazis. I learned lots of Russian words, like samalot - aeroplane, and shah mat, and borsch and nudiski plage. Been reading a book by a Polish writer, Imperium, which says more about here than I ever could. Our visit coincided with Navy Day in Sevastopol. You'd have loved it.

You've probably heard a lot of talk about the Russian annexation of Crimea. To me it felt more like the place had been annexed by the USSR. We couldn't use our foreign phones or bank cards. Every town had a statue of Lenin. No one spoke anything except Russian. There were flags everywhere. I'd brought an old camera along. I'm thinking for Christmas this year maybe I'd be interested in those newfangled digital cameras.

crimea 2016