It was a quiet cold day, 16 degrees of frost. Everyone slept for a long time. During the morning I went down with the children to the guard barracks. It was the First Platoon of the 2nd Regiment that sent us the Christmas tree yesterday and sweet pies and checkers. The other day Iza Buzhoevden came to see us. He had not been allowed to see us by some whim of Pankratov.
How funny. They gave us “holiday” sausages, more than a pound per person. They want to make our life seem slightly better with this. A soldier carried out this task with a satisfied look. But we were not given any hot food. Around 2 o’clock they brought only one spoon of cold buckwheat kasha. I still don’t know the reasons for this kitchen “strike.” The sausage was definitely stuffed with salt. Today there was not only no lunch, but no walk either. The latter is much more painful. In the cell, heart palpitations really bother me.
The speech is still the sensation. It has rallied the Allies but it does not mean peace. Never thought it would. It has just placed us on the sound footing for war. It may weaken Austria.
In the morning, we heard rumors that a clash had taken place between two Crimean dragoon squadrons headquartered in the Livadia Palace and the local Red Guard. We also heard that the Crimeans retreated into the mountain area and that Soviets have the city under their control. Around noon, the Soviet authorities published proclamations stating that the local Soviet was, as of that moment, the only power in town and demanding that all citizens surrender any weapons they might have. Toward the evening, a ship arrived and the sailors who disembarked started conducting house-checks under the supervision of the local Soviet.
I have no ill feeling against you, but we have suffered so heavily in this country from the policy of your rulers, which has never been in any way apologised for or atoned for by your people, that we all have a horror of Germany and all things connected with it. Hardly a family in the land has escaped loss, rich or poor, and all because we were placed in the dilemma ofeither incurring these losses, or forfeiting our nation's honour for ever by breaking our solemn promise to defend Belgium. We chose the path of honour and duty but it has cost us dear and we have no love for those who as Prince Lichnowsky's report shows, forced us into such a position against every effort our Statesmen could make. That will be the feeling of all this generation of Britons, but a full admission of error and expression of sorrow may at last bring an appeasement.
It’s a strange life: uprisings, killings, fight for power, directives, hunger, war, and everyday, regular life, continues as it always had been—people go to the theatre, are interested in art, deliver lectures, assemble, organise drinking routs, dances, ride around in costumes—despite everything, and here is the enduring power of life that will overtake everything and will make everything the way it should be.
I bought 15 bottles of wine from a ballerina I knew and had a taste of it with a friend of mine. As it turned out, the quality of the wine was below average. I went to sleep. During the deepest sleep, Nikolay - our cook, who still called himself our cook, even though there wasn't anything to cook anymore - ran into my room, frightened:
"They're here again!"
Young soldiers, armed with rifles and bayonets, and two civilians with them. The civilians report that they arrived by order of the local revolutionary committee to conduct a house check.
They lift the rugs, shake the curtains, fan the pillows, look into the furnace. Of course, I had no "literature" of any kind, neither capitalist nor revolutionary. Only the 13 bottles of wine.
"Take the wine," an old man commanded.
I tried to talk the dear guests into leaving the wine and drinking it right there with me, - the good people resisted the temptation. They took the wine. They found playing cards in a drawer: I'm not going to lie, I do sometimes practice this bourgeois craft, Préférence or Bridge. They took them as well.