Six counties in a week

about-james-wallis
by James Wallis
Updated: June 26, 2024
15 minute read
James and his Canalettos in the Fitzwilliam museum

Six counties in a week with lots of driving, exploration and memorable times. Another full and productive week for us to write about and select pictures for. It’s always pretty challenging to find the time to write our weekly journal and select a few pictures from the 1000’s we take. I think that’s why we’re writing it whilst watching Italy vs Croatia on Monday night rather than last night on Sunday when we wanted to do it. We’re always happy once we’ve published our journal though which makes it all seem worth it after lots of effort and will power to get it done along with living life.

Monday 17 June 2024

A working day in Lincolnshire

A day of working on our business and research at my dad’s cottage in Lincolnshire set off our week 25 of the year. There were a few other chores like washing our pile of clothes and helping a little bit in the garden and packing the tent away ready to take with us in anticipation of a future camping trip in Wales.

We needed to get as much done as possible before a long week of conferences and travelling to many different English counties ahead of us.

village style laundry
Tuesday 18 June 2024

A day at a conferences and a cafe and a trip to Hinckley

An early drive from Lincolnshire to Leicestershire to get Anna to her conference at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Anna spent the day networking, learning, gaining inspiration and insights into understanding how her instrument can fit into a space mission in collaboration with key players. After finding a place to park in Leicester for £7 I set up base in a John Lewis cafe to do work and write last week’s ParsecWallis journal article.

After the conference uncle Jim kindly hosted us for dinner and accommodation as he lived in Hinckley nearby which saved us a few hours and miles of driving for this week of conference as we had a fair amount of driving still ahead of us.

Anna, James and uncle Jim
Wednesday 19 June 2024

Parking for free in a city

Another day of conference for Anna with lots more talks, networking and insights into how to structure her research and make the most out of opportunities available.

Another day of working in the John Lewis cafe for me, however, this time I found free car parking only a 30 minute walk from the city centre. One thing we definitely realise about having a car in a city is that it is impossible to park unless you’re willing to pay about £20 for the day. It’s very obvious that cars aren’t welcome in the city but it was pretty much our only option as trains and public transport aren’t available to do what we need it to do unless we have a spare million pounds and an extra 24 hours in a day to get where we need to be.

After day two of the conference we headed back to Lincolnshire to stay at my dad’s cottage to have dinner with everyone and watch a bit of football and chat about our day especially as both my dad and his girlfriend are from Hinckley and that’s where I spent a bit of time each year growing up as my grandparents and cousins lived there.

It was another late night of work for both of us to get some important business projects signed off before we went to bed ready for another early start to get to Leicester.

Thursday 20 June 2024

A long day

Day 3 of the conference was the longest day as Anna had a social dinner arranged for all attendees which wouldn’t finish until midnight.

Anna and James at the National Space Center parking

We decided I would drive back to dad’s cottage and get Anna later which meant I would win Husband of the Conference Award and return to Anna’s home screen on her phone after being removed for a while for being naughtic (our funny word for naughty because we call each other ‘kotic’ which is ‘cat’ in Russian and Anna accidentally invented this word when she merged the two words when telling me off once). 

Anna at the drinks at National Space Centre
The round trip and back was about 6 hours and 360 miles of driving. That’s how to get into the good books.
National Space Centre at night and the moon
It was a long day but all good where I could watch England and help fix a drain pipe, do a bit of sanding on some windows and trim a few hedges with my dad whilst dad’s Anna and Gala went to Lincoln shopping. After watching England I headed back to Leicester to reunite with Anna just before midnight.
Friday 21 June 2024

Exploring two English Cities for the first time

Our earliest start of the week saw Anna, James and Gala head off to Leicester for the final day of the conference. Anna spent the morning at the conference while Gala and I explored the city of Leicester by walking through the very beautiful and well kept Abbey Park and walking the streets and heading to the Museum & Art Gallery of Leicester.

Our earliest start of the week saw Anna, James and Gala head off to Leicester for the final day of the conference. Anna spent the morning at the conference while Gala and I explored the city of Leicester by walking through the very beautiful and well kept Abbey Park and walking the streets and heading to the Museum & Art Gallery of Leicester.
Gala and I had a great morning seeing the sights in a city that you can imagine was once a great city with it’s pretty nice architecture but now a little run down in places after businesses and people moved out during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s in search of better times. In general it was a nice city but not somewhere we would want to live.
James in Cambridge

After a morning of conferences and walking around we met back up with Anna and all headed to Cambridge for the first time for a quick two hour exploration on a nice June summer’s day.

James in his classic pose in Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge
We had a really nice time in Cambridge visiting the beautiful architecture, walking along the canal, eating ice cream and a quick visit to The Fitzwilliam Museum.
Eating ice-cream in Cambridge

Cambridge had and seemed to have managed to keep some of its key heritage and what makes it the city it has been for so many years in contrast to Leicester which seemed a slightly declining city but still with a lot of history and potential to get back to its glory days.

Anna in Cambridge

After our adventures in Cambridge and Anna dreaming of studying at its prestigious university we drove our final 2 hour leg back to home in West Sussex ready for a quick rest after a long but productive and enjoyable week.

James and Anna in Cambridge
Saturday 22 June 2024

Dominic's birthday

Saturday was a day of rest which saw us only do a little bit of work and research before Anna headed off to London (the 5th county of the week) for her piano teacher’s birthday party at his brother’s house in Ravenscourt Park. Anna loved the birthday and met some very interesting people.

Sunday 23 June 2024

A quick but memorable trip to the coast

The 6th county visited this week was East Sussex as we had one final day of driving to Eastbourne to drop Anna’s mum off at her friends house there where she could spend a couple of weeks on summer holiday.
Anna and her mum having Russian afternoon tea

To break the trip up we had a really nice coastal walk at Beachy Head where we walked, talked and rested. We met a nice man with three golden retrievers which I would like one day. I always thought red setters though but everyone says they’re stupid dogs. We also tuck lots of pictures and saw a man flying his drone by the cliffs. He seemed very futuristic and plugged in to the system. He wouldn’t be out of place in the film Tron and at the same time it reminded me of how society is on the edge of a cliff and becoming very connected to its technology and almost missing out on being in the moment due to all the smartphones and technology available (We were worried he might work aimlessly off the edge of the cliff).

Russo-English afternoon tea

Even though we took nice pictures and had a nice walk I wonder what it would’ve been like before the massive rise of technology (maybe the 60’s) and if it would be even more memorable if we just took it all in at the time without technology or if it’s best to capture every moment and remember them forever in our ParseWallis journal.

Anna at Beachy Head coast

I wonder what’s best; to remember it just in the mind or to remember the day thanks to technology?

After our short but memorable coastal walk we dropped Gala off at her friend’s house and went for Fish and Chips which you must do if you’re by the coast, especially on a Sunday.

James at Seven Sisters cliffs
I wonder what’s best; to remember it just in the mind or to remember the day thanks to technology? After our short but memorable coastal walk we dropped Gala off at her friend’s house and went for Fish and Chips which you must do if you’re by the coast, especially on a Sunday.
Beachy Head lighthouse

If you are curious, here are our living costs for this week 25 of the year (17-23 June 2024).

Cost
Note
£630
11 June – 23 June 2024
Housing
£215
One week at our rented house
Bills
£27
Water bill and Amazon Prime
Transport
£117
Parking and petrol
Food
£117
Food shopping, small shops and a bit of eating out
Other
£154
Amazon Purchases plus other misc…
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