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Off to Russia in under 48 hours – just short  visit as planned – St Petersburg and Novgorod. Usual friendly efficiency from Visit Russia office. My work office mate possibly influenced location choice – he has never been to Russia but really likes Orthodox churches – there’s plenty of those in Novgorod. 
Just waiting for physio appointment – about 3 weeks ago (similar to previous pre-visit to Russia) back misbehaved again. Am neurologically not right – just in case anyone had any doubts…
I remember blogging about my wonderful speedy recovery last April and then promptly decided to risk walking up a mountain. After we had attempted Snowdon, my brother was sitting on a chair in the cafe and I was on all fours on the cafe floor insisting I would be fine…then not quite staggering around St Petersburg a couple of weeks later…
So no mountains this month. 
It’s been quite busy year so Dec / Jan will be quieter. Twitter handover still not happened yet and may not until late January but may pause/stop personal account at end of year. 
Russian language learning being unnecessarily fragmented due to lack of personal organisation and willpower but after next week will have better idea. Still can’t understand anyone talking at normal pace but know how to ask to repeat more slowly or write down. May start a weekly language course with the Russia language centre in early 2018 – a colleague doing something similar and it’s working really well for them.
Have made list of Russian/Central Asian unis and separate list of water journals. Will start to look through and find researchers then maybe contact some (won’t be doing next week because too soon). Also found a Russian environmental lecturer in UK – we’ve made contact over a different matter but it may be useful to follow up in 2018 once I have a more structured plan.
We weren’t successful in an artificial intelligence bid but looking at another project which is along similar lines related to bots and conversations. May do a SEDA / HEA associate fellowship in spring too – a few hours a week mostly during working hours. Don’t want to let the team down with lack of appropriateness.
British TKD Nationals suddenly moved to Feb, there are no major sparring / kyorugi competitions before Feb – not looking likely but will be continuing with coaching in the meantime.

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