Happy New Year!

Christmas Self 2Leather Trousers, Sweater, and Hat This year has been anything but uneventful. For me it was perhaps a great example of the ‘not all that glistens is gold’. It couldn’t start better: I spent the turn of 2007/2008 in Wales, surveying castles. I started a new job in March; I went to see Slavoj Zizek (yes, it is ‘an affair to remember’!) in Leeds; I relocated to Central Manchester in May; I attended a number of fantastic events in June-July, including Beck’s Canvas 2008 in London… and then I fell on my way to work and broke my ankle, my contract was terminated, and as the year 2008 draws to the close I still have not found a job (although there is a good chance that I will very soon). It was hard, and I am thankful to those who gave their support. Still, as Dr Johnson teaches us about sorrow, “all beyond the bursts of passion, or the forms of solemnity, is not only useless, but culpable; for we have no right to sacrifice, to the vain longings of affection, that time which providence allows us for the task of our station“. I decided to put everything that happened in July-August behind me, as, in the end, ‘what goes round, comes round’. I moved on. In September I travelled to York, which was a long-term dream, and in December – to Birmingham, which was another long-term dream. I started experimenting with advertising on the blog and different affiliate programs; I began to explore TypePad; I moved Los Cuadernos de Julia to its own domain; and I am still replying to a long trail of comments about the picture at the top of the post of me in leather trousers and the sweater and hat I knitted. Oh, of course, between August and December I was knitting that massive throw on my couch. And another self-portrait was made on Christmas Day, after I cooked that wonderful gammon – a proof that food is indeed inspiring. This also proves I can work with a tripod – although I’d only got it in November.

Yes, it was an eventful year, and the entire experience stands for my capability of ‘working under pressure’. This is a quality that many employers seek in their staff, whatever type of contract they have, so my resilience is well and truly proved after 2008.

One of my resolutions for the past few years has been to travel more. I still haven’t gone to the Continent (I had a good chance before that fatal fall) and I haven’t visited my home country. I haven’t been back in all time since September 2003, and I certainly wish myself to finally have time and resources to go there. If anything, I want to photograph my native city, post those pics to Flickr and tell you about them!

This is my recurring resolution. Another is to meet new people, far and wide, to work or to make friends. There are a few more such resolutions, but I somehow feel better if I keep them under wraps until I am sure they have stopped being a vague idea in my head. I will say, though, that there will be a regular feature on this blog next year, and I hope you find it interesting.

Last but not least, as I said above, I’m open to collaboration and/or any work projects in the Media, Arts and Humanities sectors, particularly involving research, writing, and foreign languages.

This year I decided not to draw the ‘Top 10 Posts and Categories’ list, but, as in previous years, I will post a traditional Russian New Year postcard. So, here is the Russian Father Frost bringing you a plenty of wonderful presents and gifts, taking away the woes of 2008, and giving you ‘the strength of a raging bull’ to use in 2009. Let it be a happy, prosperous, healthy and memorable (for all good things) New Year to you all! And thanks for being with me :-).

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