You are in bed pondering on something suitable to watch. WWII has occupied you for far too long, so has the French Revolution and the rise and the fall of the Romanovs. Yet the are chapters you need to revisit. Especially in this phase of your life. You turn to Catherine the Great. She is after all one of those figures in history that despite countless tales of her rise and subsequent rule (it’s important to remember, she never fell), remains enigmatic. You read her memoirs in times of adversity. You sympathised and even drew on stratagems she successfully applied to her own personal life. And here you are, a different road perhaps, but the outcome was nevertheless for the better.

You fall asleep to the dispatch of her husband, and when you wake up in the 21st century life you are after all leading, Facebook reminds you that 2 years ago you read her memoirs for the second time.

It also reminds you of how the nature of life is rather cyclical.

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treasured and well read