Greetings. Minya zavoot Allie. (I am obviously in a practice-my-meagre-Russian mood today.) I live in New Zealand, just about as far away from Russia as it is possible to get. I was born here, I have lived here most of my life, with excursions into the outside world every now and then. I'm keen to travel or to live overseas for some time, but I will probably die here too. We kiwis are shy, flightless creatures, after all.
It is probably not accidental that the first thing that came to mind was Russia, because for the last two years I have been living somewhere between Britain and the Soviet Union in my imagination. I am writing a history thesis on British public discourse about Soviet Russia from 1929 to 1943. I am almost finished - as I write this it is 11 April - and I am looking forward to handing the wretched thing in with great anticipation... but at the same time with a kind of sorrow. Life for the last two years has been a mixture between some of my highest highs and some of my lowest lows. And my thesis work has been part of it all. It has shaped me, and it will be very strange to move on to the next big adventure, which may be far less exciting than this one has been, and say goodbye.
I am the youngest of six children. We are a complicated family, in many ways, but we get on like a house on fire. My siblings are all married while I remain a Spinster, and I love it. I have a long list of nieces and nephews who mean the world to me, and who are a constant reminder that I should enjoy single, childless life while I have it! My mother died five years ago, and so now there is only my dad, whom I love very much.
My thesis work has been very much themed around worldviews. The entrenched ideas we have about the world, the lens through which we see things, and what happens to us when these entrenched ideas are under threat. And so the more I have thought about these things, the more I have come to realise that my lens for the world is my Christian faith - it's the most crucial thing about me. This means that although I will not always spell it out for you on my blog, this is my framework. It's always adapting, under challenge, questioned, and so on, but it's unlikely to disappear from underneath me anytime soon.
One day, I would like to publish a novel. Of course, if this is to happen, I will actually need to start writing said novel. I'm not very good at making writing a daily habit. Sometime in the near future, however, I intend to start taking writing very seriously. More about this some other time, as it's dependent on so many variables, but I will only say for now that I haven't given up on my childhood dream yet. In the meantime, I write short stories and I help to edit literature e-zine Halfway Down the Stairs, which I encourage you to visit and spend some time on. Of course, I also love to read, and you can follow my thoughts on books and bookology on my other blog, Armchair of a Bookologist. I wanted to call it Tome Reader, but someone else had snaffled up that punny URL.
I also like to spend time taking photos; pursuing random fascinations with strange subjects like cemeteries or grammatical myths; watching comedians on youtube without bothering to suppress my giggles; reading cartoon books; watching movies and organising sing-along parties; going for walks and seeing beautiful things; eating; and many, many more things. I DO NOT like to dance. Except when the urge is overwhelming, which is usually when I'm by myself and listening to the sort of music no one else wants to dance to. Also, I have had enough of earthquakes and natural disasters in general.