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November Thanks – 5

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.

Source: Pinterest

November Thanks – 4

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.

November Thanks – 3

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.

Source: Pinterest

November Thanks – 2

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…

Source: Pinterest

November Thanks – 1

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.

Source: Pinterest

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.

Happy Birthday, Mr Putin!

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”.

A birthday card shared by Vyacheslav Volodin

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.

Happy birthday, Mister President!

Teacher’s Day – 2023

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.

International Children’s Day

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.

Source: Pinterest

Labour Day Opens the Month of May

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 traditional May Day postcard

Balcony Notes

The days are getting longer. I now finish some of the days in broad daylight – a far cry from the bleak midwinter. On such days I want to have my own cute and cozy balcony where I could go to have the late afternoon – or early evening – tea.

I’ve chosen this picture on Pinterest because it has the kind of vibe that accompanies my days. In this relaxed atmosphere I wish to sip my tea, flutter the pages of the book, and listen to the hustle and bustle of the city slowly subduing to the nightly languor. Then I’d have my small dinner, take a shower, and retreat to the bedroom.

Source: Pinterest

I experienced this kind of evening once in London during my visit there in 2008. I stayed in a hotel in Sussex Gardens, which had a balcony. Incidentally, it was the only time I had a room with a balcony at a British hotel. The July night was seizing the city, the dusk spilt a palette of dim colours all over, and I was lying in my room, listening to the magical mix of floral scents and evening sounds, and I felt blessed.

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