So nice for the Board of the Hermitage, including JS, to be asked to a reception this week at the Russian Embassy, Kensington Palace Gardens. Imposing pile in billionaires row. Party hosted by the ambassador who said a few words of welcome and finished with an obscure joke. Nice touch when someone dropped a glass in the middle of his speech and he asked who had been shot! The ubiquitous female pianist ever present at this type of event tinkled away on the grand! Interesting bunch of guests including the Duke of Kent, and the Ukranian ambassador. All very sedate until the bar, sponsored by Standard Vodka, opened in an adjoining room. In half an hour all change and the partying began. Some great cocktails being produced and then the shots!! All on a Monday night!!