Friday Five

1. How do you beat the summer heat?
Here in the Netherlands, what qualifies as “summer heat” is something different than what it is in, say, Australia. Our living room faces the north, so our extension is in the shade of the house during the hottest hours, so that helps. And when it cools off in the evening, we open the hatch in the extension and open the windows in the attic, creating a ‘chimney’ through which hot air is expelled at the top and cool air taken in below.

2. Do you have air conditioning?
At the office and in my car, but not in the house.

3. What’s your idea of the perfect summer day?
Sunny, about 25 degrees Celcius, with a light breeze. To make it even more ideal would be if I have the day off and can go somewhere fun with klik.

4. What’s one thing you always seem to do every summer whether you want to or not?
I’m not sure I have specific summer activities that are always on the menu?

5. Are you ready for the summer?
I don’t have a set of preparations for summer, so… I guess?

1. Is there a particular historical period or event, anywhere in the world, that fascinates you?
The birth of the computer during WW2 is fascinating, and it gets more fascinating the more I learn about it.

2. Would you like to visit that time, or live in it permanently, or does the whole idea make you want to run screaming?
I’d rather not live in a time when a few fascist states dragged the whole world into war while setting out on a campaign of genocide. So, no.

3. What’s the best piece of historical writing, nonfiction or fiction, you’ve ever read?
Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee novels are excellent. They’re good representations of life in Tang dynasty China (the books are kept in print by the university of Chicago, where the books are compulsory reading for their China studies program). But apart from that, they’re cool mysteries too!

4. What’s the worst?
Dunno. I don’t finish bad books.

5. Is there a historical site you would love to visit?
Ise Grand Shrine is still on my list. Maybe next time we visit Japan.

I haven’t posted here in weeks, because we were on vacation — I’ll probably post all the crappy selfies I made in Japan in a later entry. But for now, let’s blow the cobwebs off this blog with a set of Friday Five questions.

1. Did you enjoy your senior year of high school?
Yes, I did. My sister moved out of the house to go to university in a different city, and that meant she had to quit the horse-riding. We were sharing riding privileges on that horse, but since I couldn’t do that all alone and also prepare for my exams, I quit too. I kinda missed it, but it did free up a lot of my time so I could hang with friends. And I was ready to move on to other things, so I concerned myself with drama even less than usual.

2. Did you have a senior trip (high school) and were you able to go on it.
Yes, we went to London in the fifth year. There was another group going to Rome, and I had just transferred out of that group. They were prepared to make an exception for me and allow me to go to Rome, but I actually preferred London. It was a lot of fun, and we got to see Les Miserables and Cats.

3. Was graduating (from either high school or college/university) a big thing with your family or just another day?
It was a given that we would graduate. My parents were proud, but the ‘ceremonies’ were much more student-focused and I don’t even think there was a formal ‘thing’ where parents were expected to attend. So it wasn’t exactly ‘just another day’, but it wasn’t an earth-shattering occurrence either.

4. What were you looking forward to the most after graduating from either high school or college/university?
When I graduated from high school, I was ready to move on to university. I had a room lined up, together with a friend, and we were going to study computer science, which I was looking forward to.

5. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your graduating self?
That’s a good question. In the end, it all worked out quite well, so I don’t know if there’s something I’d give advice about to do something different.