Category Archives: Object lesson

Friday object lesson no. 54: Youth for Europe

As the United Kingdom enjoys its last day as a member of the European Union, I am taking the opportunity to revive once again my Friday object lesson series, to show an object from my idealistic undergraduate days – my ‘Youth for Europe’ badge.


Over the years, I lost my idealism and became a cynic, but there’s still a trace of the older me in there somewhere. As the clock strikes midnight tonight in the UK, I will quietly mourn for what might have been, but now, alas, never will.

Friday object lesson no. 53: ERA

As a one-off, I am reprising my Friday object lesson series in order to show you all a little something I was given when in Moscow a couple of weeks ago.


What I find interesting about this is the acronym at the bottom – ERA. This stands for ‘Era Rossiiskoi Armii’ (Era of the Russian Army). You can’t imagine the Russian military creating such a self-confident slogan 10 years ago, after what was generally considered a less than stellar performance against the much weaker Georgian army. And you certainly can’t imagine it 20 years ago, in the midst of the Chechen wars. It’s a sign of how times have changed. The Russian military’s performance in the war in Syria (and perhaps also in Ukraine) has put a new spring in its step. Let’s hope that confidence doesn’t turn into arrogance.

Friday object lesson #52: Candy wrapper

Friday Object Lesson has now been going for a whole year. I started with Soviet sugar lumps and their wrapping, so to come full circle, I end the year with a candy wrapper from the Mu-Mu restaurant chain, acquired during one of my research trips in the past five years.

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I am not sure that I have enough bric-a-brac to do another entire year of Friday objects, so this is perhaps a good time to bring this feature to an end. I am considering what might be a suitable replacement.