Monday, 23 December 2013

Annual report 2013

Looking back at the past year and especially comparing it with some previous years, I find it rather uneventful. The highlight was Staffan's seventieth birthday and the wonderful surprise party when twelve out of twenty of the immediate family arrived just in time for lunch, without Staffan having the slighest idea. I enjoyed it. He had to admit that he did too.

Two children turned forty this year. It's weird. No new grandchildren. Errrm... actually, a new bonus grandchild. Red-haired too. And Kory has moved to Sweden and is repeating my struggle for acceptance. She has just been offered a good job.

I spent a good part of the year working hard, first finishing a book, then revising another book (and now revising the first book). I also wrote a number of articles and chapters that I had promised to write long before, hoping that something would come in between (but it never does). Several articles and chapters have been published – see full info on my academia page.

I have been good and said no to many things. Sadly, I even had to cancel a few things, including a trip to Canada with all expenses paid. But I attended a conference in Stockholm and a symposium in Chichester; Morag read my paper at a conference in Venice, and I did two virtual lectures. I have guest edited a special issue of a journal on Tove Jansson. I have hosted two symposia. I examined two PhD theses, one in Norway and one in Exeter. I have written gazillions of recommendation letters and promotion reviews. All colleagues I reviewed got their promotions.

I have been elected Fellow of the English Association. I can put FEA on my business card. 

Some doctoral students have successfully completed their theses, and all of them have got excellent jobs. I have four new PhD students this year, and it seems that at least four are coming next year. We are growing. We are gaining reputation.

I didn't travel much this year, which was a clever decision. I was in Stockholm twice, and obviously I had to go to Norway and Exeter for examination and to Chichester to give a paper, but apart from that, I only went to Norfolk twice, both time for pure recreation. I should do more of that.

Apart from the family invasion in August, we didn't have many visitors this year. A grandchild stayed a few days because her parents allowed her to go to London for a concert on condition that she would stay with Granny. My faithful childhood friend came for a week – that's when we went to Norfolk. And a very good old friend and colleague from Stockholm came for a few days, deciding on the spot. I said, casually: “When are you coming to visit me?”, and ten minutes later she got back with the flight number. This is why I like my friends. We also had a visit from Sweden's most eminent UFO-logist, and I wish I had recorded our conversations that night.

I have read some good books, but I have already done a separate post on them. I have only seen one play, and it was hilarious. I have seen several good movies. Amour made the strongest impression.

We haven't done any house improvements, but I have worked a lot in the garden, clearing our little ditch that I call a brook. I have planted one new rose and made a new flower border. The strawberries were all eaten by deer, but we had two magnificent harvests of raspberries.

I haven't bought any new clothes or shoes this year.

I have made some fantastic dollhouses and room boxes.Visit my dollhouse blog.

I have started exercising again, and my coach makes me work hard. I haven't been very good recently with my power walks, but I have a goal and must reach it because I am training for a purpose. But it is too early to talk about it.

This is the first time in thirty-two years of our marriage that we'll have a child-free Christmas. 

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