Oct 12

I made it. Yes I actually did. Being runner since about 5 years  I do not remember when I arrived at a point when I said to myself: I now want to run a real race! I wanted to run Cologne's half-marathon already last year when I moved to Germany, but my injuries (due to probably excessive training) never let me do it. Even this year I was hesitating until the very last moment. The last two weeks before the race (doing training in Berlin) I was training very little. But things turned out to be even better than I had planned and expected from me.


We started the race in Ottoplatz (Deutz), then crossed the bridge along the Rhein and  headed towards the center of the city passing through several churches and some nice parks. The weather was just perfect. As soon as we passed the 10 km sign, the sun started to shine making the running more difficult but definitely more encouraging and fun! Along the way you could hear several live bands playing different music: from Koelsch Carnival music to Shakira's songs. The participants coming mostly from Germany seemed to enjoy the race. While still running my first kilometers, I met a German middle-aged women (not being really fit) who was drinking coke, eating a banana and running at the same time! Sometimes I envy such people....I do not know how they do it?! I actually stopped only once to sip some water on my way.

Jul 12

When I grew up  in the country called USSR that still existed, I remember myself together with my grandfather watching only educational programs on the national television. There was an educational program of any type to satisfy all different tastes: documentaries, all soccer and ice-hockey matches, Nu Pogodi - the most popular Soviet cartoon, Budilnik (Alarm Clock) - 30 min educational morning program on a selected topic, Travelers' club, About Animals - a program that would tell children about different species, Master-Flamaster - a program that would teach you how to make different things manually, to sew, make good pictures etc., and Morning Post - educational talk program with music.

The last but no the least, the favourite program of all children brought up in the Soviet Union "Spokoinoi nochi, malishi" (Good night, little ones). This program aired since 1964 would gather ALL children in front the television every day at 20.30 p.m untill 21.00 p.m. The presenter, a well-known figure, accompanied by  five puppet charachters Stepashka(a hare), Filya(a dog), Mishutka (a bear), Karkusha (a crow) and Khrusha(a piglet) would help the puppets to engage in a very good, from the educational point of view, activity like helping a stranger or cleaning one's own mess  to teach them a moral lesson and show them an example of a good behaviour.  After five minutes the presenter would introduce and show a short educational cartoon. After the cartoon, the presenter and the puppets would tell the audience "Good night, little ones...sleep tight" and would close the program with a lullaby "Spyat ystalie Igrushki..."(Tired toys are going to sleep) that every child would sing together with them before going to bed at 21.00 p.m.