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My Blog Archive in Telegram

You can now follow my blog in Telegram, the link in the post. I’ll be sharing old posts there, and I plan to do live streams.

Dear friends and readers, I’m glad to invite you to LCJ channel in Telegram.


This blog was started on August 24, 2006, and there are loads of posts from these 16 years that you would ordinarily miss. But I ain’t gonna give you this chance!

At the moment, there are first 8 posts from the very beginning of this blog, and I will be adding more each day. I will be adding other more recent content, too, and hopefully, do some live streams!

There’s a similar group in vKontakte but I need to make it European-friendly 🙂 I used it to relocate some of my Instagram posts in Russian.

This is the look of my Telegram channel.


Taking Photos in Museums: Some Pointers

Over the yeas, the attitude to taking photos in museums has changed from hostile and hesitant to a more welcoming.

A photo of Pablo Picasso’s The Girl on the Ball I took when taking photos in museums was barely allowed (@Julia Shuvalova, 2001)

January, 20 is celebrated as the World Museum Selfie Day. I’ve just made an Instagram post on the subject, but here I’d like to point you to two posts from 2008 that I wrote about taking photos in museums. Believe it or not, back then it was a bit of an issue for some museums whether to allow personal unintrusive photography or not. Some offered special forms to fill in, for example. I even crossed keyboards with Manchester Art Gallery explaining to them that there was more good to be done to their collection if visitors were allowed to take photos and post them online. Those were the early days of businesses and museums embracing the social media, and everyone was careful not to jump in with both feet. But already in 2009-2010 things had changed, and thereafter museums and art galleries have taken it fine if someone wanted to take photos of the collection. They only asked that we used non-professional equipment, and no flash was allowed. Most importantly, they increasingly stopped charging money for it, whereas before photography in museums was an important source of revenue for any art depository. Frankly speaking, I’ve always been interested in photographing the exhibits because I wanted to use them on my blog or because they struck a cord. Otherwise I have been OK even if I couldn’t take any photos, as this is the case with special exhibitions.

So, below are the posts, and I guess some points on taking photos in museums are still valid and topical. Feel free to leave comments here on in any of the posts.

Museum Photography: Examples from Three Countries

More on Photography in Museum: The Question of Reproduction

Coming Soon

This is a brief note to say hello to my readers and subscribers! I’m delighted to learn that people are subscribing to LCJ. To let you know, I’ve been blogging since August 2006, and it was almost a non-stop entreprise until 2014, when I began teaching and there was less time to research. So please take your time to browse the calendar or the list of categories.

In the meantime, these are the views from a hospital window in Moscow where I have to spend this weekend. Apparently, it is necessary once in a while.

Five Habits I Wish I Had Not Lost

Over the years I’ve lost some habits that I now wish I hadn’t. Among them are cooking at home, wearing heels and keeping abreast of all things Internet and Social Media.

One of my favourite pairs of shoes

Over the years I’ve waved goodbye to a few habits that I now wish I hadn’t lost. I cannot say the loss causes too much pain; however, it’d be better if I could regain the skills and renew the routines. So, as I’m sharing my trouble with you, will you please also let me know if you ever had a similar problem and what you did.

1.Wearing high-heels

I became very wary about heels after I’d hurt my ankle in 2008. Then in 2010 I worked in direct sales, we had to walk fast, so high-heels were not fit for purpose. I resumed wearing heels between late 2010 and 2013, but then I changed jobs. I started teaching, and in all four years of my working for a local community centre I had to walk and run once again, and flat footwear was best. I do love high-heels, and I’d love to get back into habit of wearing them regularly, but I’ve also got used to moving fast or philandering lazily, and 8cm heels are just not good for that.

2.Keeping abreast of all things social

Can you believe I used to be an SMM manager for nearly 4 years? Or that I used to run a very socmed friendly blog and, generally, was very active on many social channels? Some of them, like Klout, have since stopped existing; I still have accounts with others, but I’m not quite active there at all. I’m getting reaccustomed to the pleasure of sharing things on Reddit, Pinterest and Facebook, as much as reading up on SocMed trends. However, as my interests have firmly shifted to my own literary endeavours and teaching, every bit of new industry info feels like a huge information overload. I feel, though, that this is one of the most valuable habits I wish I had not lost.

3.Travelling far and wide

Whatever happened to those itchy feet? Admittedly, I needed some rest from my peregrinations. On the other hand, it now feels like an act of heroism to get myself out of the house and out and about. The main reason for my being sort of tied down is time: I can only go on day trips, and Russia is not England. There you can travel from Manchester to Edinburgh in 3 hours, and Scotland is almost like a different country (or so it may become after Brexit). Here in Russia you can only travel to smaller cities and towns, like Kaluga, Yaroslavl, Podolsk, Ivanovo and Tver, and, regardless of certain differences, it’s the same Central Russia as most people know it. It will take you 5 hours to get to St. Petersburg by train, and if you wish to travel to Kazan, Novgorod, Arkhangelsk, Yekaterinburg or Vladivostok, it’ll take you even more. I read and view travelogs, but it’s not the same as going somewhere.

4.Cooking at home

This is a difficult one. Living in Russia was not good for my kitchen abilities because my mother is a great cook. A small kitchen space didn’t help, either. I started cooking in England where I could have the whole kitchen to myself. Back in Moscow, I only cook now and again, and I do wish I could do it more often. Each time I gaze at the mouth-watering food photos on Pinterest I wish I could bake, fry and grill every single dish. Sadly, when we were redoing the kitchen following a terrible flood, we chose not to have an oven. Perhaps I will do something about it (or not).

5.Spending time online

I agree with those who say we need a break from the Internet. There are paper books to read, and someone like me is much better at writing on paper than using a typewriter or computer. Still, we need to be online, as life is happening there, too. There are things to which I don’t want to react, but there are others that certainly require my attention.

So, here are my 5 habits that I wish I had not lost and which I want to regain now. What about you? Have you lost any good or useful habits? Have you regained them or decided to part with them for good? Share your story in comments!

11th Blogiversary

Eleven years ago today I started this blog because I needed space to share my knowledge, passion, interests, worldviews. This has developed into a habit, which has since acquired many outlets (e.g. VK, Facebook, Instagram), but the blog hasn’t lost its attraction. It’s great to show to my English and Journalism students and even to keep it up as a way to brush up my languages and general knowledge. Since I resumed it earlier this year, I’ve been most successful at blogging in Russian, perhaps because it has become my lingua operandi in the last two years. But I’ve got ideas and plans for further developing LCJ for the English-speaking audience. So, seeing the blog into its 12th year, I hope it will be the most successful.

Changing, It Rests

Notwithstanding the well-known statement by Plato that one cannot step into the same river, it appears that Heraclytus did mean that the river had to flow to remain a river, hence we could step into it again, even though its waters could have changed over time.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that in the past two years I was silent here. I lost access to my hosting account, and thus to this blog and other projects… only to realise it could be a blessing in disguise. So I took time to review many things, prompted, as strange as it may seem, by the events in my country. My friends list underwent some clearing, and I concentrated on teaching and writing.

So, two years later I’ve finally published a book (in English!), a lot of my articles appeared in print, I began to perform as a singer and discovered almost magic teaching abilities: some of my students passed exams in flying colours even though at the start of our lessons they could barely read in English!

And now I’ve decided to get back to blogging here. I really missed LCJ these past 6 months, and this was an indication that my river was waiting for me again.

Following Penguins: Photos And Stories From Antarctica

Betty Trummel of Science Roadshow blog is currently visiting Antarctica (!), but her friend and colleague Jean Pennycook has finished her research season at Cape Royds and shared some photos from the penguin colony there. We all love watching kittens and puppies, so how about some penguin chicks? To entice you, here are 3 from the photos are going to see over at Betty’s blog: A Final Penguing Update.

Feeding chicks (© Jean Pennycook)
Penguin dance (© Jean Pennycook)
Reaching for food (© Jean Pennycook)

Bloggers Portraits (Or, The Fruits of Improvisation)

I‘m taking part in a photography project by Kirill Kuzmin, Bloggers’ Portraits. This Internet moves in mysterious ways, and I cannot even remember now how I came across Kirill’s blog, but my decision to take part was instant. Yesterday I visited his studio where for the first time I met two other Russian bloggers, and between the four of us we seem to have produced some awesome, if odd, work. The mention of improvising is necessary, as along the way we swapped some “accessories”: I lent my cap, while in the end I got to put on the image I’ve always secretly wanted to wear.

The photos will be available in a short while, and my plan is to shed more light on the project, but in the meantime here are the heroes of the yesterday’s session (arranged, hatted and snapped by Kirill).

Bloggers Portraits: shok_darvina, loscuadernos, tesey
Не успела я приехать в родные пенаты, как мне довелось участвовать в проекте Кирилла Кузьмина “Портреты блогеров” (условия проекта и галереи участников). Пути Интернета сего неисповедимы, и я совершенно не помню, каким образом меня “вынесло” на блог Кирилла, но решение принять участие было моментальным. Вчера же я, наконец, приехала в его студию, где, кроме меня, оказалась еще пара блогеров-рунетчиков, и на четверых мы сообразили нечто замечательное, хоть и немного странное порою. Упоминание об импровизации обязательно, ибо по ходу съемки мы “махнулись” предметами одежды и бутафорией. Я одолжила Евгению свою любимую черную кепку (которую я во время оно безуспешно искала в Манчестере, Лондоне и Оксфорде, но обрела-таки в пригороде Лондона). А потом Евгений предложил дополнить мои Hosenträger головным убором и очками из коллекции Михаила. Так неожиданно я примерила на себя образ, который меня давно интриговал.

Фотографии и прочие материалы будут доступны в скором времени. Пока же – несколько моих портретов (снимал tesey) и групповое фото троих вчерашних героев (взято у shok_darvina).

I’m interviewing Kirill, talking about the project
Meinem anderen Leben…

Polling Results, and Special Projects Page

It’s time to tell you what happened to those two polls I threw at you in April-May.

First, countries you thought I would visit in 2011. Most of you thought I’d go to Ukraine; the second place is divided between Italy and Israel; the third place goes to France, Belarus, and The Netherlands. I’m really grateful, as it does actually give me a focus in planning my trips for the rest of the year.

As far as wine poll goes, although the margins are very small, most of those who voted love dry red wine; this is followed by rose; which is followed by dry white wine. Well… I love rose, and I guess I shall have to like dry wines more.

Among the changes I made to the blog recently, is the page dedicated to the Russian-Italy cross-cultural year, with a calendar of events. Another page presents some of the available interviews that I made and special projects in which I took part since 2005. I thought I’d better display all that wealth of files and links on a separate page than on the main page. The page will be updated, as there are more files to display, and many more will still appear this year.

Friendship Awards to You

Friendship to me is no different from Love. I may expand on it in another post, but in short, I do not associate love primarily with sex or marriage, yet it is an important constituent in making a decision to call someone a friend. Naturally, my friends are the people whom I love. I tolerate them, I put up with them, I support them in any way I can, I think about them, I want them to be better, healthier, happier; I believe in them. It does not mean I can or want to marry them, and, bearing in mind that with some of them we both seek men for our relationships, a marriage or even sexual encounter are not in the cards from the start. But I love them in that very inexplicable way that leaves us speechless, when trying to unveil the mystery.

Jess Mendez

Jess Mendez from The Art of Jesse blog has dedicated two images of Friendship Award to his friends, and especially to Paola. In a heartfelt post Jesse has told his friends and followers about his experience of fighting a serious illness during the last couple of years, and that alone makes the award all the more special. He wanted us to share those awards with our close and dear people, and so I give them to you, to pass on. Thank you to Jesse, and take care, my friends in France, Italy, America, Russia, or wherever you are.

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