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As well as being a great beauty, Mrs Kartoshka is an educated woman. She has a University degree. She has lived in the most interesting of countries in the most interesting of times. She has travelled- Europe, Asia, South America, The Pacific, The Andes, The Himalayas, the shores of Kamchatka…

‘But’ she protests ‘I am not a writer…’
I needlessly reassure her about her intellect, about her perceptiveness, about her command of English, her knowledge of Soviet and Russian culture, but all to no avail.
Mrs Kartoshka says that the one part of a woman’s body on which a man should compliment her is her brain.
I trust that she knows that I am, indeed, a great admirer of that complex, intriguing organ as well as the lovely head in which it is housed.

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