Just Specialities

by Anna Parsec
Updated: April 7, 2024
8 minute read
Trafalgar Square in London

Hopefully, with our diligent capture of every single day for the past month or two you’ve got an idea of what our daily life looks like. Hence, this week we highlighted things that were slightly different that made our week especially memorable. There were three things like that: a trip to London on Monday, a 3 hour walk across the neighbouring fields on Saturday and an Easter Sunday when we popped into our village church. Now, why exactly they were special probably needs to be explained because London is not a new thing to us, a walk can sound pretty boring and a church visit may sound like a nightmare to some people.

Monday 25 March 2024

What we did in London

James (with Anna’s additions): Our week started with another trip to London on the train. The main reason was to go to the uncompassionate Russian embassy so Anna can provide the documents they require to change her surname.

Before all of this Anna and I visited the V&A museum (we found our favourite bean bag to sit on to rest) and The Natural History Museum and walked through Kensington Park. In the Victoria and Albert museum we always choose a particular section we are interested in at the moment and explore that. This time we checked out the sculpture hall, Japan because we had some nice memories of this country and then Anna wanted to browse the furniture department for inspiration for our house. The Natural History Museum is far from Anna’s favourite but it turned out she could find there her favourite things: gemstones and meteorites which she spent lots of time admiring and studying.

As for the embassy visit, it’s always an ordeal for Anna when we go because the staff there are always unfriendly and seem to treat you like you’re stupid and some sort of criminal when you’re handing over the documents. As well as this they require cash for payment of their stamping and signatures. As you might know we never like getting cash out as it’s always so inconvenient. On this occasion we got out £230 but Anna needed to run and get another £40 because they charge it per page which meant we were short. We definitely feel like it’s a way to launder money whenever we see that you have to pay in cash. As a result of all this effort and money investment the best they can do is to spell the surname as Parsek-Uollis which makes no sense whatsoever. Anna will need another couple of months to sort this issue out.

After that Anna went to meet her friend Lena for a late lunch. Whilst she was at the embassy and having lunch, I was being a tourist in London by walking the streets near Westminster and Buckingham Palace. I also stopped at the 6 floor Waterstones near Piccadilly Circus and read the first 20 pages of The Trading Game by Gary Stevenson.

By 8pm Anna and I had met back up at Embankment and started to head home via Victoria. We had a quick sushi dinner at the bench near Victoria station while waiting for our train. On the train, we were so sleepy that we were especially glad we had our car waiting for the short journey back to our house.

James at the V&A
Saturday 30 March 2024

Walking in Kingsfold

Anna: Saturday turned out surprisingly sunny so we absolutely had to take advantage of that. Honestly, we don’t mind whether it’s pouring rain or sunny for the walk. We are prepared for anything. However, when it’s raining we don’t feel guilty for staying inside. To prevent this guilt feeling, we set off on a walk. At first we explored the Warnham Park which was very boring because they only allowed us to walk along a pretty short footpath. That was lame. We drove for a proper walk instead. The walk was meant to be 1.5 hours but turned out 2.5 hours because we kept stopping and sitting down to admire the view and befriend animals. We saw sheep and lambs, horses, ponies, deers among all the smaller ones. It was beautiful and enjoyable. Still doesn’t beat a hike in Edale in Peak District though. That’s a proper standard. We are determined to find something comparable in the Surrey Hills area.

Still, for the time being we were pleased that we’ve reconnected with nature, explored the neighbourhood a bit better and chatted about what we would do if we crashed in the Andes like in the recent film Society of Snow. We agreed that it would actually be very nice to eat each other – we want to do that on a usual day so why not if we want to survive. We did explore a bit more joyful but rather more strenuous scenarios. If we were both able to walk, we would definitely be leading missions to explore the area and find a way out of there. Yeah, that was our main thought – die trying which we don’t mind.

Anna stroking a horse in the field
Sunday 31 March 2024

Easter Sunday

I do like a good religious service. I’ve witnessed many in my life. Both really loved it but sometimes would rather rest (that’s when my dad would take my brother and I for a weekly 6am service on Sunday). So far my favourite services from absolutely all aspects were at St Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. Interestingly, during Soviet times this cathedral was used to install a Foucault pendulum, an experiment to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation and to visualise Copernicus’s theory.

Anyway, back to our small village church. Actually, it also has a bit of history. For example, Percy Bysshe Shelley, an English poet of the 19th century, was born nearby and baptised in this church. As for slightly more recent history, my piano teacher Dominic Seligman used to play the organ in this church when he was a child.
Our main goal was to explore the organ, see how they do services and get the feel of Easter. It was all a little bit of a disappointment because the organ was substituted by the digital one and the current organist had no idea where the original one was. It looks like the priest didn’t take the service seriously as per James’ comments (and he is the one who feels that 10 mins in a church feel like 10 hours).

We probably had more meaningful discussions about the Bible and all religious stuff the day before when I was retelling a couple of parables (the Parable about talents and prodigal son) and analysed them from various aspects. Worth noting here, that James believes that my specialty is religion as I did read quite a few religious books in my teenage years as you would normally expect a teenage girl to. All in all, it was an educational visit but we enjoyed the experience because we were together in a nice setting.

Anna in Warnham village

If you are curious, here are our living costs for this week (25-31 March 2024) and several random pictures of our mandane life. 

25 Mar – 31 Mar 2024
One week at our rented house
Such bills like EE (phone related) and Amazon Prime this week only
Train to London and tube around London
Food shopping and a bit of eating out
Money laundering cash money to change my surname at the embassy
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