Our First Full Week Back In England

by Anna Parsec
Updated: February 11, 2024
9 minute read
Our first full week in England

We quite enjoy documenting our life. This is our second week doing that, and it makes us feel how special so many moments of our life are. We can almost say that it is our gratitude journal without the cheesiness of ‘grateful to be alive today’ notes. However, we do often discuss what it means to be alive and what our purpose is. James certainly experiences my desire to make every moment count, where I am inspired by his dedication ‘to create and to perfect’ his every working and spare moment.

Anyway, these thoughts are probably affected by Mahler’s Symphony 2 ‘Resurrection’ that I am listening to right now while James is working on one of our business projects this Sunday night. There were many practical things that we’ve done this week as well as highly impractical but that brought us so much joy – meeting our friends.

Monday 5 February 2024

Overcoming Challenges

It is a great pleasure to be able to overcome challenges that only a couple of days ago seemed so hard. We cycled to MSSL with so much more ease and agility than we did last week. We realised that soon we will be able to start timing ourselves. James needs a new watch – we are thinking about the Google Watch 2.

James and Anna with their bikes
Tuesday 6 February 2024

Unconventional Living

The day when lots of coordination was required. We had 3 viewings planned: 2 properties to rent and one piece of land to buy. James rented a car in Guildford and couldn’t stop talking about a beautiful drive down to MSSL through the Surrey Hills. We loved the first house and put an offer while sitting next to that property. The referencing process took the rest of the week, and we look forward to hearing the verdict on Monday 12 Feb. It’s all because of our unorthodox or unconventional way of earning and living.

Resting with a pint of cider in a pub in Surrey Hills
Wednesday 7 February 2024

City Bound: Errands and Reunions

When you live in the countryside, travelling to London becomes a big deal. Also, you would want to coincide with lots of errands while you are there. That’s what we did. James and I had to part once we reached Waterloo to make sure we did everything: James met up with Chris and Andy (hi guys!) while I went to the university to pick up my new UCL pass (with Anna Wallis printed on it!), collect books on Space Physics and Chemistry for my PhD, attend a doctoral event and then reunite with James at our old house in West Hampstead where Neda always greets us with so much love (hi Neda!).

UCL in February 2024
Thursday 8 February 2024

Godalming Family Ties and Time Travel

An early rise for us to get to the estate agency office in Horsham, then driving through already familiar roads to MSSL for my supervisor’s meeting while James drove to Godalming. It is a town where his family has very close connections: his great-great-great (need to check how many greats there is) grandparents lived in Godalming in the 18th century, and his dad lived there in the 70s when he studied at the University of Surrey. Now it’s James’ turn to be back to where it was all starting (almost!).

James in Godalming

Friday 9 February 2024

Research, Business and Pie-making

After the intense majority of the week, we definitely needed to have a day without cycling, driving, moving around but focusing on research, business, and admin. I did use an opportunity to make a potato pie where James assisted with his impeccable seasoning abilities. The result of the day was a couple of beautiful business proposals and a delicious pie that was amazingly handy the next day as our snack in London .

James and Anna make potato pie
Saturday 10 February

A Saturday to Remember

What a beautiful day! We managed to lie in but then with a quick decision to leave as soon as possible for London to visit the National Gallery for a couple of exhibitions. We just love going to different museums. We also invent different games while we are there. For example, this time we sat in a large room full of Velazquez and Murillo, and we tried to guess the years of each of the 15 paintings in the room. To our greatest surprise, we were mistaken by 1-2 centuries. James won with the closest guess of 81 years.

The day became even better (though not sure how it could have been when James had a walk around Covent Garden that he just adores) when we reunited with 12 of our closest friends in the Victory pub at Waterloo. What a joy! On the way back, we couldn’t stop talking about how lovely they all are (hi Andy, Asim, Tom, David, Allen & Chloe, Alex & Ymma, Elena & Manuel, Tanya and Tom) and how lucky we are to have such people surrounding us.

James in the National Gallery
Sunday 11 February 2024

Pearl Hunt Chronicles

Half of our day was busy with investigating whether and how I could find a pearl earring I lost the night before (we got a pearl set in Japan which I was ecstatic about). For what it’s worth, it was a great experience of investigating when it could have happened based on the evidence of pictures, coordinating the efforts of all our friends in trying to find it (thanks, Allen and Chloe, for going there on my behalf!) (and thanks to Andy for agreeing to have a morning pint on Monday morning on the way to work while inquiring about the earring in the pub – sorry you won’t have an excuse to do that now!). And of course, I did a bit of baking (sort of!) activity by making oladyi (first timte so need to more practice).

Anna makes oladyi on Sunday

If you are curious, here are our living costs for this week 6 of the year (5-11 February 2024).

Airbnb with a monthly discount of 30% and a holding deposit for our rented property
Buses, trains, tubes, rented car for 48 hours and petrol
Shopping and a bit of eating out
Everything else including drinks at the pub
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