Week 122: Quality time with friends

On 1st May, I cooked Japanese red bean rice, Osekihan, to celebrate the new Reiwa imperial era in Japan.

I love the tradition that Japanese people cook and eat Osekihan at home on special occasions such as New Year’s Day, an engagement or wedding, the birth of a child, and birthdays at the ages of 3, 5 and 7, and then 20, and after the age of 60.

It is culturally believed that the colour red wards off evil spirits, so people love to incorporate red into traditional customs and important events, even in the food. Osekihan goes well with savoury dishes, although red beans, Azuki, are often used to make sweet red bean paste for Japanese confectionery. I cooked cod in a creamy sauce and broccoli, and we enjoyed the dinner with some Sake.



Luca’s birthday & housewarming

Another special event was Luca’s birthday!

Luca’s mum stayed with us over the weekend, and on the bank holiday, we organised a Birthday Magic and Housewarming party (Luca is a massive nerd for Magic the Gathering). We invited our friends; 10 guests.

I’ve never understood how to play the game and continue to refuse to learn it because it seems super complicated. My role on his birthday was mainly to order a chocolate birthday cake and seven extra-large pizzas for everybody and to watch the game. Once they finished playing Magic, we just enjoyed talking and talking. I truly appreciated the fun time we shared together!

I kind of thought once again about how fantastic it is to spend a birthday with friends and their partners. I’ve started planning my birthday in October in the same way (without Magic).



A little time off

I’ve taken time off from research, just a couple of days. Many PhD students tend to feel guilty at doing so even for a few days, and I am not an exception.

I had a dream last night in which I was hurrying to visit my supervisor, and in the end, my train ran in the wrong direction and I wrote her an email to say, “I am sorry, I can’t make it”.

This is probably a psychological consequence of taking a little time off. The routine (write in order to meet the deadline, have supervisory meetings, then take a couple of days off, feel guilty, and motivate myself again) matches a wave of motivation with peaks and valleys. It curves regularly.

My focus (new motivation) is now on a conference taking place in Hong Kong next month. The coming week will be important, to become geared up for the next steps in thesis writing and prepping a poster presentation.


My achievements in Week 122

  • had another supervisory day and received much feedback on my drafts

Goals for Week 123

  • update my thesis structure
  • start working on a conference poster