Happy New Year!

And so, I’ve been in Llandudno since December 28th, and at this very moment I’m sitting at my hotel’s lounge, occasionally looking at Great Orme and the lights along the Promenade, but mostly typing and sending greeting letters and messages to my Russian friends. I spent a wonderful weekend, strolling up and down the streets in Llandudno, but for some reason I found easier this time to jot down my impressions in Russian first. Whereas with my trip to Carmarthen in June I first wrote my memories in English and then in Russian, this time Llandudno Diaries are first appearing in my Russian LiveJournal.

So, the turn of the year is the time to look back and to see if one has kept up with their yesteryear’s resolutions. Last year I said I’d be looking to find more ways to express my creativity – and indeed I learnt to make slide shows and eventually accompanied the latest of them with my own narration. I wanted to keep writing great content – and this apparently has happened, as by the end of 2007 I have had my blog written about, shortlisted at the Manchester Blog Awards, and now included in the Open Directory Project. I wanted to travel, and I’ll say a few words on the subject later on, but in general this has been achieved, as well. I wanted to keep on meeting interesting and talented people and to continue to know those whom I already knew. This has happened, too, and I can particularly single out one such person who is fascinating enough to be lurking here and there on this blog, when it is appropriate. I’ve been following this person’s work for a number of years, this year I had the chance to attend a meeting with them, and what doesn’t stop amazing me is the amount of new things this person can tell every time they give an interview. I can only say that I’m looking forward to more in 2008.

One thing that I never did was visiting Moscow. Needless to say, this becomes my 2008 resolution #1. It must really be astonishing – and quite frustrating, too – that every time I say to myself “I must go to Moscow” something creeps up and I have to postpone the visit. I think the surest way to get me back to my native shores is by buying myself a ticket, as that way I’ll feel obliged to just drop everything and go.

So, in 2008 I resolve to continue with both blogs, hopefully by making the content more wide-ranging, since now I can produce short slide shows and animated stories. I’m planning to travel more. I don’t mention that I’m planning to write more, as this is what I’ve always been doing.

I’m looking forward to more inspiring meetings, trips, events. I hope that the inspiration I get from other people’s work, from nature etc. will be the inspiration for you. Which is where I want to thank once again all of you who have been leaving comments and emailing me to thank me for blogging and to encourage me to keep on with my enterprise. And I would like to thank everyone who wrote about and linked to me this year, this was a joy, a surprise, and always an honour to me.

Two things I can note about 2007. First concerns the travels: it’s all been about Wales. In June I went to South Wales; in December I went to North Wales. I don’t know what it tells (if it’s supposed to tell anything), but so it goes. The second thing concerns music. On a couple of my profiles elsewhere I noted my huge interest in music, since I love singing. 2007 has been entirely Italian in this respect. It started with me making great friends with an Italian colleague who began to send me YouTube links to such artists as Mia Martini, Mina Mazzini, Lucio Battisti. It continued with me going on my own for some time, when I discovered Patti Pravo. And it culminated in my making friends via LiveJournal with a few Russian aficionados of Italian music of the 1960-70s. I’m yet to see where it all takes me in 2008, but the start has been compelling enough to carry on in this direction.

As my circle of friends and acquaintances has grown considerably this year, I shall not repeat the last year’s personalised greetings. Instead I shall wish all of you, my friends, readers and occasional visitors, a very Happy New Year! Let all of you know that you are very dear to me for all your talent, wisdom, creativity, sense of humour and the simple fact that you are!

I should not forget to list the Top Ten posts in Los Cuadernos de Julia, as seen from Google Anaylitcs profile:

Barbra Streisand in Manchester

Lonely Shepherd (James Last and Georghe Zamfir)

Sonnet no. 3 (Edna St Vincent Millay)

My Fair Cabbage

If I Could Tell You (W. H. Auden)

Histoire de Melody Nelson (Serge Gainsbourg)

O Felici Occhi Miei, Arcadelt, and the Lute-Player

Women and Beauty in Art

Love Me (Michel Polnareff)

Matthew Barney in Manchester

I should note that this is the stats for the entire year, and they don’t entirely correspond to the most recent interest.

Last but not least, to carry on with the last year’s tradition of uploading some Russian New Year postcards, here is something many of you will no doubt cherish. This postcard comes from my family archive, it says Happy New Year in Russian (which is “s nOvym gOdom”) and – wait for this – is 100 years old!

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