Today was a fairly quiet day. I was hoping to have some extended sleep, and I did. I’m grateful for the moments of quietude and peace that I aim to catch every Sunday. Since my time in England I’ve always noticed this period of stillness on a Sunday afternoon. Between 2 and 4 p.m. the trade was gradually slowing down, and between 4 and 6 p.m. life would move to pubs and restaurants. People were bidding farewell to their weekend with a cup of cappuccino, a pint of Lager, or a glass of wine.
So I, too, try to spend these four hours of a Sunday afternoon noticing how life’s waters calm and go still, so you can actually sip the time by a minute. And I’m always grateful for it.
On the Day of National Unity our gratitude goes to the patriotic spirit of the 17th century Russian citizens. A chain of ill-thought events following the death of Boris Godunov led to the Moscow throne being seized by the Polish party. For the first time since the end of the Mongol yoke Russian sovereignty as the state was under threat. The people of Russia eventually abandoned their feuds, and all social classes united for one cause.
The icon of Our Lady of Kazan that was miraculously found in 1570s by the future Patriarch Hermogen (who was later imprisoned by the Poles in Moscow for his appeals to people and starved to death) played a pivotal role in protecting the Russian forces. It was then used again in 1812, during Napoleonic invasion; and it is widely believed that a helicopter with this icon on board flew around Moscow in November-December 1941, during the Moscow Battle. However, it was also thought to have been lost; yet this year, Patriarch Kirill announced that the icon was found again.
Our unity as a nation has been tested in 1990s, but since Vladimir Putin came to power the patriotic spirit has been growing. It received a significant kick in 2022, reviving the national pride and the desire to serve one’s Land. And so we are thankful to be Russian, to live in Russia and to work to make it great.
Today, my gratitude goes to Nature. Its wisdom is such that it always reminds us that all periods of our life are intrinsically interconnected. The seeds of maturity and old age are sown in our younger years. Likewise, the poplar fluff in May-June is a foreboding of winter blizzard. And a pumpkin that shines brightly amidst November dirt and gloom obviously epitomises the sun.
The sun is always here, there, and everywhere. We only need to learn to see it behind the clouds.
Today I’m grateful to my positive thinking. I’m trying to be an informed optimist, which entails a good understanding of life and people. My positive mood is generated by my awareness that we accumulate more of what we focus on. If I focus on bad things, I make them worse.
It doesn’t mean, on the other hand, that I should ignore bad things in my life. Yet I cannot merely erase them; I have to make out why they happen in the first place, so I can change and improve them.
Looking at today’s picture, I’m thinking about the times when things were rough. I would lock myself up in a cosy room of my own. Doing so always allowed me to distance from the events and to choose the best – positive – outcome. And I’m grateful to myself and the powers-that-be for guiding me through…
I’m starting another challenge here. I see that you liked Christmas Tree challenge I had in December last year. So now I’m going to take you for a pumpkin ride!
November starts with the Irish Samhain and the European All Hallows’ Eve and culminates in American Thanksgiving. In all festivals, a pumpkin occupies a central part as an epitome of harvest and the sun. And it is the sun that we need in many corners of our world in November. Hence I decided to bring it to you this month.
I also want to dedicate this month to a kind of Thanksgiving. I’m sure you’ve heard about a gratitude diary; but to practise writing it makes a huge difference in life. So, I’m going to give thanks to all things great and small in my life and in the life of humankind, on the whole. I don’t expect you to agree with all things I’m grateful for. However, I hope you will attempt to see things from my perspective and, who knows, maybe you’ll share my gratitude. And if you choose, please use comments to share what you are grateful for.
To start, today I’m thankful for my resourcefulness that helped me to pull through a rather difficult October. I took part in several important events, including a TV program and a professional conference. At the same time, I had to attend on my cats who were poorly. And I had very little rest, yet I was able to stay calm and organise things.
If Marylin Monroe had been alive, she would definitely visit Mr President, if in disguise. I recently saw the play The Insignificance at the Oleg Tabakov Theatre, and if Marylin were able to see Albert Einstein, she would leave no stone unturned on her way to the Kremlin.
To say we are proud in Russia to have a leader like Putin is an understatement. In my childhood, we felt pride and honour when we heard a foreign ambassador address the Soviet nation in an almost impeccable Russian. These days, we feel the same when we read comments from foreigners, like, “I wish he were our President”.
The picture that Vyacheslav Volodin, the State Duma speaker, shared today speaks a thousand words. Putin is the real Pater Patriae, the Father of the Nation, and this includes not only people but animals, too. The love and support he has from the people outweighs the hardships we sometimes experience due to a long period of the liberal agenda’s omnipresence. Yet there is enough willpower to overcome these hardships, and it is obvious that this is something we as a nation have longed for.
I shall especially remember this year’s Teacher’s Day. You see, despite the fact that I’d been teaching foreign languages for several years, my students weren’t particularly quick to send me greetings in English or French. Bizarrely, they always did so in Russian. In all these 10-11 years there have been only a couple of greetings in English. Perhaps, it was me who had to give a hint, but it never occurred to me either.
This year things went completely differently. Two of my new students sent me greetings in English! In fact, one of them recorded very heartwarming voice messages, which was quite moving. Another sent me a card and written greetings. I also received some postcards from my past students, as well as many greetings from my friends and colleagues.
On October 5th, I also started my first mastermind group as a moderator. I’m working with several amazing, beautiful, successful women from literally all over the world! And I feel this is a fantastic beginning, given the date. At the end of that eventful day I made a selfie that I’m sharing now.
There were many events dedicated to the International Children’s Day in Russia. Indeed children are the future of any country, all the more so in Russia due to the country’s traditional inclination to a big family.
I’m glad and proud to have been working with children aged 3 to 18 for the last 11 years. It’s certainly been a very rewarding experience, for children taught me to be more intrepid and versatile than I had been by 2012 when I acquired my first teenage student.
Back in 2007, when I worked at my first Advertising agency, I had to research into national holidays in different countries. For example, the International Women’s Day is a day-off in Russia but not in many other countries.
As for Labour Day, it has been celebrated with a day-off in Russia and some other countries worldwide but not in the UK. And so my management was kinda upset that the month of May was so sloppy in terms of signups.
In Russia this year we have two spells of May holidays: one, to celebrate Labour Day (which is about to finish), and two, to celebrate Victory Day. On both occasions the holidays encompass the weekend and one or two weekdays.
This year there was no demonstration in Red Square; instead people roamed the parks and the city centre. As for me, I spent the most fantastic Saturday listening to classical music (Beethoven, Mozart, and Schumann) at the Moscow Conservatory. Then I had a mastermind session on Sunday and two classes on Monday.
A historical moment: Uganda passes the anti-gay law, to protect African children from paedophilia and LGBTQ+
A historical moment recorded by the BBC: a Black African state spits on its *assumed* White majors. Uganda passes the anti-gay law, and the Parliament has seemingly rejoiced upon counting the votes.
I was watching this video from BBC Uganda and thinking to myself:
what does it feel like for Britain and others, to spend centuries keeping Africa subdued, half-literate, half-alive, only for the Black Continent to start fiercely objecting to some essential aspects of a White-Man propaganda, in this case the LGBTQ+?
You see, I used to be tolerant to homosexuality until it was restricted to L, G, and B. To this day I have some gay friends abroad and I have a couple of them in Russia, too. The T was harder to digest, but I have always believed in a man’s free will and responsibility for their words and actions. Yet Q+, a bazillion of genders, sexual lessons at the age of 10, gender-changing operations at the age of 12, and paedophilia as the new “normality” is far too much. Even my gay friends are perplexed and infuriated.
I am glad to hear that people in Britain and the U.S. try to protest against their governments’ gender policy in educational institutions. But this is not enough.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has already warned Uganda against the application of this law, which is yet to be ratified by the President of Uganda. To judge by his son’s reaction, however, the President is unlikely to withdraw and will persevere in the country’s stance. The Uganda anti-gay law will enforce the following:
a death penalty for paedophilia and sexual acts with the disabled, including the instances that led to HIV/AIDS contraction;
20 years of prison for homosexual acts with under-18s;
14 years of prison for proven homosexual relations;
10 years of prison for providing the premises for homosexual services.
So, yes, the Black Continent, impoverished, undereducated, and suffering from HIV/AIDS, does not lack the willpower and a concern for its own national interests. God bless Africa!