Dear M,

What is it about the colour red? In Greek mythology Aphrodite catches her skin on the thorns of a white rose bush while running to help her lover Adonis. As her blood splatters, it turns the roses a brilliant red ­ no doubt a metaphor for the physical nature of love and, some say, for the price it exacts.

Red is the colour of excess, the colour of passion, the colour of revolution. The Red Square takes its name not from the colour of bricks or Communism. In Russian, we call the Red Square Krasnaya Ploschad. Krasnaya means both "red" and "beautiful," and the latter refers to St. Basil's Cathedral at the southern end of the square. The original meaning lost forever, buried with the dead.

The things you learn on the Internet.

I must hurry. Time is terrible master, and I am afraid he has been holding the whip close to his body and tapping it against his hard thigh. He is impatient, that one.

Have I told you that you should wear red* more often? It is definitely your colour.