Thursday, February 18, 2010


If there's one cure for the strange tension I feel all around me now, it's activity and exercise. Even though the Jubilee activities involve many hours of sitting and greeting people, or walking in processions, we always find time to play.

Things we like to do: play tennis, swim, ride bicycles. Not much else really. But we have a lot of opportunities to play outside unless we're at the Winter Palace. When we're at Livadia, we swim every day. But our swimming costumes are heavy and annoying. Alexei is allowed to swim without a shirt on, which is much easier. This is when he was younger, with some cousins I don't even remember.

At Livadia we also play tennis. Papa loves tennis, and we always have a fierce competition. I like to win, and my sisters get mad at me because sometimes I cheat just so I'll make the point. It's all in fun though.

Bicycling is something we can do just about anywhere. There are always bicycles to ride at Peterhof, the Alexander Palace and in Livadia. We still have to wear skirts, but we have some that are split in the middle like big trousers that make it easier to ride. Again, Alexei's lucky he doesn't have to wear such cumbersome clothes, but his nurse is always with him so he won't fall on his bicycle. And that's not as much fun for him.

Here's Olga on a bicycle with me walking next to her. We're not allowed to ride really fast, like Papa does sometimes, especially when he's angry or wants to think. Sometimes I wish I could ride and ride my bicycle out across Russia, all by myself. But I'd miss my sisters and brother, mama and papa, so it's not so much a wish as a fantasy.

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