23 January 2012

Help for a babushka

A group of volunteers headed to a village in the Tula Region to visit an elderly lady who they heard needed wood to burn in her stove or in other words were in trouble. Entering her home, they found her sitting next to the stove with tears in her eyes. It was very cold and it smelled like dampness...
This is the first of about twenty images in a photoessay at English Russia.  It does have a happy ending, and raises questions about society's priorites.

Rus. "бабушка" - grandmother, old woman.


  1. We had an old dear like this only not /quite/ so extreme, this being urban Hounslow, not rural Russia. She'd lived in the same house since she was born - nearly ninety years. She paid a peppercorn rent, and wouldn't let the landlord do any improvements in case he put up the rent. As it happened, he wouldn't have, but she wouldn't believe it. The house had the original 1920s electrical installation of two lights and a socket - both downstairs, so upstairs was dark or run by an extension cable. She had no heating, no hot water except an elderly geyser in the kitchen. No bathroom, an outside toilet. There was an original lino square on the bedroom floor and forty years worth of old shoes in the wardrobe.
    She was well looked after by the neighbours - visited at least twice a day with food and help. When she died suddenly and unexpectedly, she'd only been dead an hour or so before we found her. We adopted one of her several cats - the one that was sitting on her when found.


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