Week 157: New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2020!

We welcomed in the New Year over a roast chicken dinner and Prosecco. It’s been a lazy, relaxing and peaceful time for us. I made a list of my New Year’s resolutions, which includes five main themes:

  1. Complete my PhD programme
  2. Look for career options that use my skills
  3. Cook or bake one new thing each week
  4. Learn a new skill
  5. Give myself more compliments


I’ve now started the fourth year of my PhD programme. The countdown to my thesis submission has also begun. This time last year I mapped out my third year, aiming to complete all the draft chapters of the thesis. But lots of unexpected things happened, and I had never thought that the results chapter would require so much work over the whole year. My supervisors greatly helped me work on it, and without their support, I would have been much more behind schedule.

For my fourth year, I won’t plan precisely and I don’t know how much time I will need to finish editing the first draft. I am currently writing it up to complete the first draft of my thesis, and every single day is very precious.


Cookery bibles

Over Christmas, as gifts, I received an Italian cookbook, a pastry book, and oenology guidebooks, from Luca’s family. I felt genuinely happy that they knew that I love cooking, baking, and wine, and these are wonderful presents for me. Absolutely, these will become my cookery bibles for a lifetime. But it is not only that, I realised that good cookbooks are something that makes my life happier and that gives me more ideas and joy. I will certainly try all the recipes!

This feeling has reminded me of the textbooks that I used at an international school in Switzerland, where I learnt not only French language and culture but also French table manners, table setting, oenology and serving, and floral art. Those old textbooks are my life bibles, and the knowledge will continue to give me inner happiness and make my life beautiful.




Japanese–English translation

I do want to learn a new skill. I have decided to learn Japanese–English translation skills at the weekends and signed up for an online course. Translation is really a deep area, and my intention is simply to know the basis of the methods. I’ve also assisted Japanese scholars and business people in translating, reviewing and interpreting for the past four years, even though I have never been formally trained. Although I am too amateur to see the experience as a career option, this little effort of learning the methods might give me a chance to produce something better and help someone else succeed. This really excites me!


This year, I won’t forget to give myself lots of compliments.


My achievements in Week 157

  • Enjoyed celebrating the New Year at home and had a very relaxing holiday!
  • Started taking an online course to learn Japanese-to-English translation skills.

Goals for Week 158

  • Edit Chapter 6.
  • Write and edit Chapter 4.
  • Prepare my classes for the new term.
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