Relaxing Weekend

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Having read my supervisors’ feedback on my work, it seems I have managed to get over the first hurdle of my PhD studies. Now I can finally relax a bit and plan what I need to do by when over the next two months.

This morning, I read a novel (without a deadline, summary and references!) and ironed our 14 work shirts that were left after washing over the past two weeks.

After noticing that I was doing housework, Luca started cleaning the whole bathroom.

After ironing, I baked ‘cheese and pea muffins’ which I have wanted to make for a long time. When I travelled to Venice with Luca in April, we were invited to a lunch party at his relative’s house. His cousin’s wife made us the pea muffins for a starter, which was really, really delicious! All of her home-cooking was fantastic. When we left at the end of the party, she gave me the rest of the muffins, which we had with wine at our accommodation for dinner.

I found many recipes of savoury pea muffins online and tried one of them today. My muffins didn’t taste bad but they did not rise well. Maybe I added too many peas. I need to improve my muffin baking skills, but more than anything else, I am happy to try the recipe and to have such a relaxing and peaceful weekend!


Dieting

One more thing that I have achieved is dieting. Luckily, my weight has been dropping, because I completely stopped snacking since the beginning of May. Over the past two months, May and June, I have lost 3.5 kg! I am even more happy about this than my writing work!

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LONDON

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I have been spending this weekend alone in London and working on my research inside the hotel where I am staying. There is a Japanese restaurant in the same hotel. The chef and staff are Japanese. That has made my stay exciting and comfortable.

I thought that it is really nice to savour the moments of being alone for a couple of days. Inside the hotel, I started making my fieldwork notes, adding some definitions for my research method and fieldwork plans. I have been able to do more productive reading and writing while having some comfort because of a change in the environment.

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Day off

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On Saturday, I read a book on mentality, how to restore confidence and how to make myself motivated again. It is a kind of positive thinking method. Following the instructions in the book, I made a list of my future goals and top 10 priorities: my research eventually came out as the number one priority. I am now feeling much better after a few days of depression.

On Sunday, I baked muffins with raspberries, banana and chia seeds. This was the first I have baked since moving into this place last September. The homemade muffins taste great. I did not touch any work and I only did cooking, baking, cleaning and ironing, which worked well. We need a bit of relaxation, and maximising fun time can be a very important thing sometimes.


Sakura

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For the past few days, I have been talking to my parents and my aunt. They said how beautiful Japan’s cherry blossoms are this year. I am badly missing my family, partly because we are on an Easter break so most of the students are back home, and partly because of the stagnant situation of my research.

The cherry trees are in bloom here as well. Unlike Japan, local people do not take photos of them, and there is no hanami party of course! There are very few cherry trees in this town, but the pink blossoms at the site of the castle are so pretty.

My motivation for work is emotionally fluctuating. What on earth brought me here to do a PhD? There are some things which I don’t want to face.

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