Watching paint dry

The first time I heard about tumblr, I rolled my eyes at modern-day spelling. Then I kind of dismissed it as some new-fangled gimmick used by teenagers who couldn’t be bothered to blog properly (but when the site’s run by people who can’t spell properly, can you really expect any better?). So when I started using it to find pretty scenic photos to look at, rest assured I was not oblivious to the quirkiness of the whole enterprise.

Be that as it may. Somewhere in the stream of mountains and glades, I came across this:

Which came with the stunning caption of something like ‘Dance class at the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens‘. It sounded like something out of an Enid Blyton school series, but I learnt (how did a non-academic who’s terrified of public libraries manage to learn anything before the internet and wikipedia?) that it was a finishing school – or rather, one of many – in Imperial Russia.

Cue a variation on the ‘In Soviet Russia’ meme.

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