Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

It's always a challenge to take up something you haven't done for a while, and with each day that goes it gets more and more of a challenge, and the worst thing you can do it come with a long and complicated explanation of why you have been so lazy all this time. Yes, I do have zillions of reasons, but I won't go into any of them. Let's just start twenty-ten afresh.

That said, the most logical thing to do on the first day of the new year is to look back. (No, it should have been on the last day of the year. On the first day of the new year you look forward. Bother!)

Anyway, 2009 has been in every respect an eventful year. We bought the house and moved, we got back our wonderful cat (I just can't believe I survived without her), we made the acquaintance of many new people like carpenters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians, tilers, gasmen (yes, I do know the Flanders and Swann song), not to mention the long chain of media companies. We feel much more appreciated by our friends who come to visit. All autumn, I felt I was running a B&B. Note: this is not a complain, but a statement of fact. We enjoy friends, and since we have become increasingly patriotic, we are proud to show them King's Chapel and Ely and more Ely, and Trinity and St John, and more Ely and more King's Chapel. I haven't become bored yet.

Work becomes more and more exciting as I learn more and start expressing my opinion at meetings, and although I haven't fully mastered the vocabulary I know SMT from MML. I am also a Homerton Fellow now. I get my free meals every week, and I have to work hard for them. I have managed to create a Research Centre which we will inaugurate in the beginning of February, and I am running a conference in September, something I once swore I'd never do again. But it is a bit like childbirth: after a while you forget the anguish. I did, on the other hand, participate in quite a few conferences, too many in fact, the latest just two weeks ago in Sweden (too far away from Stockholm to see the family). I got stuck in a snow storm – just because I had been boasting of the mild, sunny weather in Cambridge. There was snow chaos in Cambridge when I finally got home.

My new scholarly book came out in late summer, but I am more excited about my memoirs, to be released any day. I received an author copy some weeks ago, so I know the book exists. It was painful to write, but I am glad I did.

I went to Moscow in October, first time in six years, and I didn't tell anyone. I went for a school reunion. I think I will write separately about it.

In terms of hobbies, I have started making room boxes and am on my third right now, but perhaps it is also a topic for a separate entry. In addition I have taken drawing classes and joined the Faculty choir. What next?

On a more melancholy tone, a very close friend in Moscow died a few weeks ago. I don't think I have understood it yet.

Just in time to finish off the year I bought a new computer. I am getting to terms with it.

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