I am in Cambridge, UK now. I moved here from Leiden, where I previously lived, three days ago arriving Monday morning. It is now Wednesday evening and it’s been very busy since arrival.
The Monday wasn’t really a good day to write about. Shortly after I got off my ferry at 0700 I was greeted by a number of British stereotypes: light rain, cancelled trains and bank problems. Nonetheless, I made it to Cambridge and moved into a room. The rain stopped for just long enough for me to venture out but started again as soon as I was just far enough away that I couldn’t run back to the dry sanctuary of home without getting wet. I tried to buy a bike with no success due to me losing a big wad of money somewhere and the aforementioned bank issues. So I went home and unpacked instead, grumbling. Achievements that evening include eating M&S pizza and, erm, actually that’s about it.
The room is near Girton College that will be my home for the next three weeks. It’s a nice place, new build, about 4km from Cambridge centre and 2km from the BAS offices – so not central, but in theory close to work and it was somewhere I could go on arrival with reasonable confidence that it would be there for me when I turned up. It was. My two housemates, Emily and Shelly, are very pleasant and welcoming. The house is 43.6% white paint by mass.
Yesterday was the first day on the job! I arrived at 08:30, which I very soon discovered is not the time most BAS staff arrive. I sat and talked with another well-dressed early arrival, David, who it turns out is one my Halley team. The first one I meet in person.
We spent much of the day walking around the complex (which is big and complex), meeting all kinds of people of various importances and doing critical things like claiming the best desk spaces in our office. David and I, doing basically the same role on the team, did everything together. We also met two other members of our Halley team, Celine and Hue, who started some weeks ago..
Today was sunny and bright! We continued to meet people and started having lectures. We learnt a little about the experiments and the operations at Halley, much already known but the immersion was good. We got to speak on the phone to our counterparts currently at Halley. Even so, despite the call and the endless photos and descriptions and deadlines, I can’t say the fact I’m going to live there has really ingrained itself in me yet. Or perhaps it has but I’ve been too relaxed/busy to notice…