Gaia went to have breakfast at the RAF Club this morning with Tim (Elkington) and Tessa (Elkington), and then Tim, Tessa and my nephew Kipp (Elkington) went on to the Russian Ambassador’s residence in Kensington Palace Gardens where Tim was to be awarded the Ushakov Medal, alongside others who took part in the Arctic convoys to Russia in WWII.
Tim went to Russia on the aircraft carrier Argus. With the Putin-driven horrors in today’s Ukraine, there are real ethical issues here, but the ceremony celebrated the extraordinary endurance and courage of those who took part in the convoys in unspeakable conditions, against incredible odds.
After the presentation, tea and coffee were offered to the assembled company. When Tim muttered he wanted something stronger, Kipp found a table of shot glasses and a bottle of vodka – and the proceedings took on a distinctly Russian flavour.