Putting the letter ‘e’ and a dash in front of a word doesn’t make the object in any way more modern or desirable. Just like adding ‘2000’ as a suffix to provincial club names in the 90s didn’t make fights less likely to break out at their funky house nights.
From a polar bear bench pressing a giant key in Norilsk, the magnificent minimalism of Magnitogorsk’s black triangle, and the bag of wriggling puppies being drowned in a sack on Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky’s standard, Russia has an instinctive understanding of how to best represent yourself on a flag.
A saintly Marcel Marceau, the conductor holds a bus pass to the side of his face and mouths to the more senior contingent that they’ll need one of them to get on for free. The eldest lady pulls out a casino membership card, which doesn’t quite work.
The scenery lightens with a lily pond just as we reach Cragg Vale. It’s so perfect that it was surely the inspiration for Paul McCartney’s seminal Frog Chorus, a song I got in trouble for humming while being read a story in the first year of primary school…