Summertime plans!

In his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, Oscar Wilde encapsulated the burgeoning cynical movement of the late Victorian Era in the blatantly hedonistic character of Lord Henry. Throughout the entire book, we are faced with many of his dire ideas disguised as alleged ugly truths. However, since moving to Europe, I’ve found one sentence in particular to be surprisingly accurate. Days in the summer, indeed, are apt to linger—although I mean that in a much more literal sense than the character originally did. For someone who has only ever lived in tropical cities, the Dutch sunsets at 10:30 in the evening come with a very whimsical feeling of prolonged leisure. So, to reply to Alfie’s question in his last post, for the rest of the summer I plan on seizing the long canicular days and their serotonin-inducing capabilities.

A prepossessing picture of a canal in the center of Leiden

This summer is also a very good opportunity for me to properly learn how to ride a bicycle, which I have been intentionally avoiding since my childhood. I have recently acquired a second-hand bike that will be my faithful squire on my commuting endeavors to the lab, and I plan on mastering its ways before summer ends. Or, at least, to be able to cycle straight while signaling a turn. Given the notorious cycling statistics of the Netherlands, I still have a long way to go before I can feel on the same level as the regular Dutch cyclist—but I have four years to practice, after all. Alfie, is it common to ride bikes to work in Denmark too?

My faithful squire and I starting our journey to the cycling podium of the 2024 Olympic Games

Lastly, of course, I will be spending as much time as I can on my first research project as a PhD candidate. Hopefully by the time we go to the InterCat retreat in September I will have some cool (yes, pun intended… again) results to show!

Posted by Julia Santos in Alfie&Julia, 1 comment