The past three weeks have been intense, developing a questionnaire for a research project and carrying out data analysis for another project, on top of my regular work and syllabus preparation for the new semester.

I’ve heard “It’s been madly busy!” from many people, because this is the first semester to have almost all the induction seminars for freshers online.

A year ago today I was commuting for four hours. I printed out handouts in my university office, taught in front of 15 students in a classroom, had coffee with my colleagues in the Strand, and walked along the River Thames. The new normal has changed so many things.

But the same items are sitting on my desk every day: a large mug of coffee, a 700 ml bottle of water, notebooks, and a bunch of colouring pens and highlighters. A calendar app and sticky notes on the desktop screen are very helpful to solidify what my day looks like. I keep a handwritten journal and fill notebooks with individual tasks, thoughts, ideas, food, shopping lists… notetaking can take up some time but does help productivity.

 

 

Drawing

For teaching purposes, I bought a simple graphic tablet. It is probably 15 years since I last used a graphic tablet and did any drawing.

Yesterday I installed drawing software and drew some lines and circles on the tablet. It reminded me of my childhood hobby. I used to draw sketches and comic stories in so many notebooks when I was in primary school, and used to design illustrations (I studied graphic design for a year), but stopped drawing when I was 24 years old. I was too busy studying to become an accountant.

Although I still feel very embarrassed to show my sketches to anyone, it is nice that I have discovered something buried in my past, which I had completely forgotten.

 

Embracing the beautiful mess

My partner will take up a new role in October, so we have both been in a transition period and continue to work from home. Our lives have been very busy with work and a bit chaotic. Sometimes I forget how many projects I’ve been involved with, professionally and personally. I am involved in two health research projects, plus another at the proposal stage, and am helping my friends to create digital content.

All these things are not what we expected at the start of this year, and things materialised quite differently. But eventually, we are pleased about where we are.

What I really care about now is to:

  • be enjoying all the work
  • be creative for everything
  • connect many people
  • have a good rest as well

 

Our apartment is on a riverfront. Taking a coffee break while reading on a balcony chair is medicine for me. My partner spent at least a couple of hours every day getting a suntan on the balcony. We are adjusting ourselves to happy home working lifestyles. We dream of travelling to Canada next year for our friend’s wedding, to Germany to see family, and to Japan, to visit my mum’s new-build house!

 

 

Being together for five years

My partner and I celebrated being together for five years over Indian food we ordered from our favourite restaurant.

This year, we had a chance to appreciate the happy memories of our five-year relationship. Recollecting how we have gone through many things together, we acknowledge each other’s unique traits more than ever, support each other, and love each other.

We both love travelling and aviation. Even during these stay-home circumstances, it is always fun for us to discuss future holidays!