LONDON

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I have been spending this weekend alone in London. Initially, I was planning to have my hair cut on Friday and go to the British Library on Saturday and Sunday. But in the end, I came here for a hair cut and good Japanese food, and apart from that, I have been working on my research inside the hotel where I am staying.

There is a Japanese restaurant in the same hotel, and 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, and 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 made the right decision to buy a new stand mixer! 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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