Happy New Year – The End of the Decade

It is a great pleasure for me to write this post because none of you (except my mother who reads the blog) knew me 10 years ago, in 1999. In 1999, I finally began to read in Tudor History which was to become my primary subject of research until 2004. I started my studies at the Department of Medieval and Early Modern History at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. And I also wrote a play in verses; it was similar to those Tudor and Jacobean plays that were composed on occasion, and our occasion was New Year and winter holidays. The play was called “A Midwinter Night’s Dream“, in obvious reference to William Shakespeare, and was witty, funny, and involved our entire group (about 13 people). I also directed them, which experience I recently recalled: we had literally one square meter to work with, so it was a challenge. But all went well, and at the end of it I as an author received a huge round of applause.

Next year, in 2000 I went to a conference in St Petersburg, a former Russian imperial capital, where I spent 15 days, insisting that I would return home on my birthday, and not a day earlier. There was something symbolic for me in marking my 20th on the train where nobody knew me. Having always lived with parents, I felt like this would let me break free and break away.

John Grundeken, Happy New Year

It took me another 3 years to finally break away, but boy, did I break! In six years I have never been back, and not quite because I did not want to.

This is one lesson of the decade: “be careful what you wish for” is very true. However, in my case I do not feel I can – or should – complain.

I’ve just looked at the “Happy New Year” posts I wrote previously, in 2006, in 2007, and in 2008. Every single of those years I was looking forward to meeting great, interesting people, which I did. Every single year I wanted to travel more, and in 2009 I outdid myself, having taken 21 trips, the last one on Dec. 29th. I wanted to write better, to work harder, and I am pleased that I enter 2010 with two photos published in print, and a Blog of Note nod from Google. Once again, what you passionately want absolutely does come true, so I have no doubt that 2010 is going to be brilliant, spectacular, and happy – simply because that’s how I want it to be.

One thing I will not be doing this year is drawing a list of resolutions, things to do, and goals to achieve. The idea I found on Chris Brogan’s blog last year is very inspirational, and I will be sharing plans and goals (needless to say, I always make them). But in the last 2-3 months I have noticed an unhealthy interest in certain quarters towards what I do, as well as some other things. This is not going to make me “cautious” because caution has never got anyone anywhere. Yet I am listening to my inner Tiger, so here goes. No resolutions or goals in this post.

As always, my huge thankyous and sincere greetings go to you, dear readers. Without going too far into details, a lot of success I have had since 2005 with my online endeavours I owe to you, to your searches, to your interest, and to your comments and emails. This I say both as a person and a blogger. And as a person only, I have lit candles in Sheffield for all of us and for those few close people who, to various degrees, support, inspire, teach, and comfort me. It was the first time I ever did any such thing, and Sheffield was simply the place where I found myself at the end of 2009. But maybe it wasn’t all that coincidental after all, for I don’t think I’d do the same if I stayed in Manchester.

The post is illustrated with postcards by John Grundeken and Arthur Tserikh, and a handful of Russian postcards (one of them features the work by Anne Geddes). I bet that you’d love to see more, though. If yes, check out this blog after 00:00 GMT on January 1st, 2010. I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

Last but not least… a massive thankyou, commendation, and lots of love to my parents, and all the more to my mother who since 2008 has scanned a lot of images upon my request. Some of the posts on this blog, including this and the one you are about to see on Jan. 1st, would not be possible without her help.

Anne Geddes, Christmas postcard

 

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