Life as a Magical Challenge

by Anna Parsec
Updated: February 26, 2024
13 minute read
beautiful tree on the starry night in Warnham

James and I often wonder whether we make it too hard for ourselves. This question was raised yet again when today we walked on foot from West Sussex county to Surrey county for almost 4 hours in the rain while carrying pretty heavy backpacks with 3 laptops, lots of books, papers, laundry to do, and just stuff. We walked along footpaths, across fields, farms, and polo fields. We encountered horses, sheep, deer, chickens, and interacted with many of them. We were playing against the daylight too and had to walk for the last 45 min in darkness.

So yeah, the question is still valid. Do we make it too hard for ourselves? Surely, there must be an easier way to get from our rented house (after we spent the whole weekend cleaning and organising it) to our Airbnb home that we rented for a month on our arrival from our travels?

We probably do make it harder than we need. We always think that. However, we often, if not always, put ourselves into a position when it is our only option. We are yet to buy a car to travel around the countryside but we didn’t want to spend 3.5 hours on various buses when we could walk and see different places and lands, houses and animals and challenge ourselves.

I guess we just live out of the box, to the fullest with all the challenges but also amazing moments we experience.

Monday 19 February 2024

Meditative Moments

Do you sometimes realise that you don’t remember what was happening on Monday, 6 days ago? We have that all the time. We pretty much have no recollection of what we were doing on that day. I looked through our emails, messages, and pictures. It’s like we did nothing which is very strange and odd. However, I am pretty sure though that after we cycled back from MSSL (James met me at the bottom of the Holmbury Hill), we bought some Rich Tea biscuits and I think we spent the first hour drinking tea and dipping biscuits. It is one of our meditation times. We love the comfort of that all. Our favorite are M&S Rich Tea Biscuits for 70p.

James is ready to cycle
Tuesday 20 February 2024

Busy Day (and Evening)

I stayed at home because I was waiting for an important letter to be delivered. Once that special delivery was in my hands, we needed to rush to the post office to send my paperwork further (that’s all part of the process to change my surname). Our evenings are usually extremely busy with business projects. James works a lot during the day but usually on big projects that require his focus for dozens and dozens of hours, where when I am next to him, it’s either a joint project or a small one where James does the job, I direct, and then communicate everything to the client. My favorite thing is sending out invoices.

Anna is making Italian dinner
Wednesday 21 February 2024

Breakthroughs and Celebrations

I had a busy PhD day where James did a breakthrough in the project for one of our favorite clients. That project has lasted for the past 5 months so far and our initial discovery call started in New Zealand, then continued in Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. We’ve definitely taken that company on a journey at Adventure Websites. We look forward to launching this project though (it’s not a website but an internal database which already works pretty amazing and looks beautiful), and I do want to drink some champagne to that. To celebrate that day’s major breakthrough, we cycled for 10 min to M&S to buy biscuits for James – he loves them that much. We ate the whole pack; we usually do.

Anna and James at the bus stop
Thursday 22 February 2024

James’ Work Marathon

I guess now I know what James meant when he shared that he was just working all week and he couldn’t remember what he was doing. Indeed, I am looking through all the email trails and chats, and it does seem that way – he was working. I was doing that too but only after a day of doing PhD so my day was a bit more varied. However, I also see now after looking through all the breadcrumbs, that actually, he has delivered an enormous amount of work and results. By default and in order to rest, James works. However, his favorite is to work on our own project like he is doing literally right now on Sunday night.
Flowers by the bed

Friday 23 February 2024

Balancing Acts

Friday was a bit too much because we needed to coordinate and build a logistical plan early in the day to cover Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We needed to do all of that during my 3-hour Python training that had three 10 min breaks, and I was barely available otherwise. Things we needed to figure out were: how I get to MSSL, to my event in the evening, and to the new house at around 11 pm. How James gets to the new house, communicates with me (he doesn’t have a phone or mobile data – a long story!) in the house with no WiFi (that’s why we are not in our new house for now – waiting for WiFi to be working). We only have bikes at the moment but only James could cycle because I needed to take public transport (in the end my supervisor was giving me a ride). It all worked out, but to start with it was all a challenge. One more example of us wondering whether we make it too hard for ourselves.
Ricotta gnochi in blue cheese sauce with broccoli
Saturday 24 February 2024

A Saturday to Remember

What a day! The first half was sort of chilled – we spent it in bed watching a film (Waitress) in our new house. At some point, we became hungry (there was no food in the house) so James cycled to the village shop to pick up pastries.

After having food and tea, our 5 litres of vinegar and a bucket were delivered which meant that we can start our mission on getting rid of the cigarette smell in the house. We washed every single surface, including and especially all the ceilings with water and vinegar. We felt so good doing that piece of work because we really enjoyed doing something to improve our house and make it as lovely and cosy as possible. All of that was accompanied by some fantastic views from all our windows which we share in the gallery below.

Late in the evening I suggested a quick moonlight walk which was an effort as we needed to get dressed pretty warmly but what a fairy tale we witnessed! Starry sky, fog, astonishingly beautiful trees and crust of the frozen grass. We felt so lucky! That was the reason why we rented a house in that location.

James is cleaning the house with vinegar
Sunday 25 February 2024

Walk and Talk

After finishing touches in the house – we are pleased to say that we no longer smell cigarettes which is fantastic and makes us so happy – we needed to get to our current primary residence in Cranleigh. To do so, we needed to walk for almost 4 hours from West Sussex county to Surrey county. All other details we covered in our introduction to this weekly journal.

We managed to argue the first half of the way because of annoying bits of this week but we had plenty of time to say sorry, say I forgive you or I don’t forgive you, hug and kiss, be annoyed about stones in boots and torn coats. We made it home and we had plenty of time to talk things through which is great.

Important things that need to be done regularly.

Walk in the English countryside

If you are curious, here are our living costs for this week 8 of the year (19-25 February 2024).

One week at Airbnb with a monthly discount of 30% and one week at our rented house
Surrey Connect bus to MSSL and back
Food shopping and a bit of eating out
The majority of this amount are fees for legalising my divorce and marriage certificates to change my surname at the Russian embassy
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