Our apartment is on a riverfront. Taking a coffee break while reading on a balcony chair is medicine for me.

The past three weeks have been intense, developing a questionnaire for a research project and carrying out data analysis for another project, on top of syllabus preparation for the new semester.

I’ve heard “It’s been madly busy” from many people, because this is the first semester to have almost all the induction seminars for freshers online.

A year ago today I was commuting for four hours. I printed out handouts in my university office, taught in front of 15 students in a classroom, had coffee with my colleagues in the Strand, and took a walk along the River Thames. The new normal has changed so many things.

But the same items are sitting on my desk every day: a large mug of coffee, a 700 ml bottle of water, notebooks, and a bunch of colouring pens and highlighters. A calendar app and sticky notes on the desktop screen are helpful to solidify what my day looks like. I keep a handwritten journal and fill notebooks with individual tasks, thoughts, ideas, food, shopping lists… note-taking can take up some time but does help productivity.



Embracing the beautiful mess

My partner will take up a new role in October, so we have both been in a transition period and continue to work from home. Our lives have been very busy with work and a bit chaotic. All these things are not what we expected at the start of this year, and things materialised quite differently. But eventually, we are pleased about where we are. We dream of travelling to Canada next year, to Germany to see family, and to Japan.



Being together for five years

My partner and I celebrated being together for five years over Indian food we ordered from our favourite restaurant. This year, we had a chance to appreciate the happy memories of our five-year relationship. Recollecting how we have gone through many things together, we acknowledge each other’s unique traits more than ever, support each other, and love each other.