Week 70: Returning to the UK and Luca’s birthday

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On 1st May, I returned to England, having spent four months (17 weeks) in Tokyo doing fieldwork, including observations, audio recordings, one-to-one interviews, focus groups and reviewing local sources. I brought back all sorts of data that I had collected for my research and I also sent a box of books from Japan to my address in England.

I feel super lucky for my four-month fieldwork in Japan. At the beginning, I only had a few contacts and the data collection schedules were not fixed. I focused on establishing a rapport with one participant first and had as many face-to-face meetings as possible. Eventually, he helped me to recruit further participants and expand the research locations. The physician, my first contact was a great help to me in conducting the research, taking me to seminars and workshops and sharing many sources with me. Without this support, my fieldwork would not have been a success.

I made 67 observations and 42 recordings. The experience of visiting patients in their homes and listening to them as a researcher was very precious, affecting my perspectives towards elderly care and palliative care, as well as the role of family, health professionals and social health systems.

This week, as well as having a good rest at home, I spent four days cleaning the house, shopping for home stuff and food, organising my desk and bookshelf and preparing for Luca’s birthday! On Saturday, I baked a carrot cake and we had a little celebration dinner with his mum. On Sunday, the three of us had breakfast, walked around the town eating ice cream and bought some new furniture for our place. In the evening, Luca and I had another birthday dinner together at our favourite restaurant, just the two of us. I am very happy that we had a productive weekend and I am ready to get back to work again.

My achievements in Week 70:
– Finished deep-cleaning the house, organised my desk area and had a lovely celebration on Luca’s birthday!

Goals for Week 71:
– Update my fieldwork report.
– Start transcribing the data.
– Start working on my chapters again (I haven’t opened them for the past four months).

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