MY LONG association and friendship with Eugenie Fraser began almost 20 years ago when I reviewed her first book, The House by the Dvina.

The book was enchanting because of its ''Russianness'' and its evocation of a childhood in Archangel. It gives an autobiographical account of early years spent in that northern city during the turbulent years of the 1905 revolution, the First World War, and the great revolution of 1917, and its aftermath.

The daughter of a Russian father and Scottish mother, Eugenie did not confine her story to her childhood but reached back in time to encompass anecdotes concerning her grandparents. Her favourite story concerned her Russian grandmother, who made the hazardous journey to the court in St Petersburg to plead for her husband's release from exile.

It was not all a fairy tale or a collection of blissful childhood memories, however, there was the Revolution, the escape, and all the sadness of the wrench from the Russsian home she loved. She remembered that too, with patient resignation.

In Scotland, as an elderly person (although always youthful in spirit), she showed that she could help to bridge the gap between Britain and the then Soviet Union by improving mutual understanding. Her presence at meetings of the Great Britain/USSR Association and later at the Britain/ Russia Centre in Scotland created the atmosphere needed for an easy exchange of ideas and views between Scots and their Russian visitors. Her home, where hospitality was always abundantly shown, was a meeting place for those with a genuine love of Russia.

Her marriage to a senior administrator in the jute industry led to her spending many years in India and Thailand. Likethose of her childhood, these years were not forgotten. After The House by the Dvina came the The House by the Hooghly. Fine book though it was, it could not rival its predecessor in terms of freshness, tenderness, and affection. What was missing was the obvious ''Russianness'' of The House by the Dvina. Eugenie was always convinced that she had that curious essence, so difficult to describe, the ''russkaya dusha'' or Russian soul. Simply, she loved Scotland, but felt Russian.

She was greatly supported by her husband, Ronald, who predeceased her, and by her sons, George and Michael, and their families. She was honoured by the City of Edinburgh, the University of Abertay, and the Scottish Arts Council, and thrilled by the friendship and encouragement of the friends she made in literary and social circles. Her monument and achievement will be where it all began - The House by the Dvina.