In November it all came together and I realised that maybe I have planned to much. Definitely, because I only had 90 DKK left in the account until payday! One day, one day I will be a real adult and have money left in my account at the end of the month. Anyway, it was totally worth it as I forged some new friendships, dined at two Michelin-starred restaurants, had a couple of really really good science days, learnt some new things and submitted another fellowship application!
Winning start to the month
November began with my second flat tyre! Yes, the one I got replaced at the end of October! I think I went over the curb too hard and the cold weather didn’t help. I dropped it off at the bike shop first thing the next morning and was told I wasn’t the only one as they had 15 bikes come in the night before! Must have be the cold wet weather! Luckily the CPH Bike Shop was super efficient and got my bike ready by the time they closed that same day. They had fitted a new inner tube and a fancy Kevlar tyre that should protect me from anymore asphalt assaults!
On this very same day I got to work to find a box of Christmas cookies called klejner on my desk from my work BFF! They are actually described as a kind of Nordic doughnut but crispy and tasted good with tea! Then I went the Institute of Biology’s August Krogh Building to test if a protocol I found would also work on my cells – it does! Then I get a text from my colleague at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry informing me that my experiment was running well over there – important because it means I can replicate the method from Manchester. And I thought, wow, this is a winning Wednesday! These are those special days that can make your month! And their memory will be what keeps your science spirit warm on the bad science days!
Celebrations in Cologne!
My dearest friend from my old lab in Cologne defended his PhD in a public defense at the beginning of November and I’m pleased to announced that he succeeded with flying colours, summa cum laude in fact! Ooh-er indeed! It was great to celebrate and catch up with the lab, drink lots of Kölsch, and do a lot of ‘singing’ (more like shouting) and dancing!
Life in lab
At work there were yet more birthdays with more Fødselsdagsmorgenbrød, literally meaning birthday breakfast bread. One of the clinicians had his 50th birthday and our lunch table looked like the Genie from Aladdin had conjured a feast! In addition to the nice bread we usually get, there were at least two different types of pastries, including the traditional Danish Tebirkes and Kringle, melons, pineapples, almond chocolates and some other goodies! It’s my birthday soon and I hope I manage to get the right types of bread accompaniments!
Microscopy sessions at August Krogh has been going well, especially because I have an excellent senior experimental officer on hand for training and troubleshooting! She’s super awesome! Experiments are going well!
I’m also currently learning how to run HPLC to analyse tendon tissues. Butterfingers here managed to flip all the samples in open tubes onto the floor! Luckily the expert I was shadowing was unperturbed and said that it’s okay because our samples were spiked with an internal standard so it would still work. Phew! But I still felt like a numpty!
When I moved to my previous new postdoc position one of my friends who’s also doing research advised me that “everyone has different ways of doing things and it’s important in a new lab to learn theirs and not just harp on about how your old lab did it” and it was honestly the best piece of advice anyone could ever give a postdoc. When you’re the new one, there’s always a part of you that may want to prove to others you can do things but honestly, it’s just so much better for everyone, yourself included, if you treated your new position as a learning experience – more knowledge is never a bad thing! I’ve experienced this myself with new postdocs and it’s exhausting when they are so stubborn. So this month I relearned qPCR! It was tough going at first because I thought I already knew enough but I was mindful of the advice. It turns out there was a whole other level of qPCR perfection that I could now incorporate and make my experiments even better! For example, I didn’t know that one could do reverse pipetting using a manual pipette! I thought it was a fancy trick reserved for automatic ones!
House-warming got the house hyggeligt and hot!
The housemate and I organised a house party and I invited my whole Danish class and colleagues from work. I did something my close friends all know I would never normally do, and added people on Facebook! I wasn’t very comfortable with accelerating the friendships but I think it had to be done. It’s just so much easier to invite people to an event and let them also know that (1) other people are going to come, and (2) I’m not a serial killer! Anyway, the party was a success and everybody looked like they were having fun! Thanks to everybody who came!
Visitors and touristy things
This month I took my boyfriend to the Copenhagen Botanical Garden (free entry) for a nice walk on a perfect winter’s day. Luckily, when we went on a Saturday and all the green houses were open. Check opening hours to avoid disappointment as they’re not open every day. The garden also has a really nice gift shop with fancy floral/botanical patterned posters, socks, etc.
When more of my friends visited I tried to take them up the Church of Our Saviour‘s tower but it was closed due to the really windy weather! We braved the crowds at Papirøen indoor street food market again and found the elusive crème brûlée doughnuts!
Since most of Copenhagen is more suited for a sunny warm day rather than these gusty winter ones, I took them to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, half an hour’s train ride north of Copenhagen. For 115 DKK admission, there’s a lot to see. In addition to art work from their permanent collections, there were also three exhibitions which were excellently curated, extensive and informative. We particularly enjoyed being immersed in Louise Bourgeois’s provocative installations. The building is wonderfully Scandi. Look out for heated window panes on your visit! I’ll definitely come back next Spring or Summer as you get a brilliant view of the sea.
Food; Some was gloriously expensive
I can’t blame anyone but myself. I don’t have particularly expensive taste in food, I just love eating. (You should know this by now.) So remember back in August or September I told you I managed to get a chance to dine at Noma through the Yelp network? Noma November was finally here! I was super excited about it! It was an amazing experience and I love their concept but for 2000 DKK just for the food, I expected it to taste really good too. Not just interesting, but tasty, which I feel Noma didn’t deliver. Best part was definitely the greeting, getting a tour of the kitchen and learning about how they are ‘experimenting’ with food! For my full review, click here.
When my boyfriend visited, we went to Manfreds in Nørrebro. They are a mainly veggie restaurant but are famous for their steak tartare – neither of us are a fan of that so we tried the chef’s menu of five dishes for 275 DKK each. The dishes were fantastic! I’ve not written a review for it yet (I will update with a link when I have done so). It’s very hipster and trendy and the service was nice and casual. The place gets really warm, so don’t be like me and wear thermal leggings on your visit!
For my friends’ visit our obligatory fancy meal was at Formel B. We went for their set menu of five dishes for 850 DKK. It. Was. Bloody good! I would highly recommend this restaurant with its beautifully crafted dishes. Again, review’s not written yet but if you’re thinking of going here, don’t hesitate! Make your booking now!
Updated 21 Dec 2016: Review for Formel B here.
Still keepin’ it real
It wasn’t all super glam dining this month. I went out with my Copenhagen Yelp friend to during vegan week but neither of us went for the vegan offers. I finally tried a Steff’s hotdog! I also came to appreciate Halifax Burgers for how great value their food is! For 125 DKK you get a really good burger, served medium, that is filling, a choice of fries and a dip! That would be my go to for a good treat.
Copenhagen hasn’t rained too much this month but I have a new cycling enemy – the strong winds. They are the worse! It’s like having the resistance up to max when you do spinning! On the other hand, these rainless skies have been amazing! Really dramatic sun rises and wonderful crisp mornings! I will, however, have another moan about how dark it gets at night. I think I have found out why – there are not enough street lighting! Apparently it’s because they want to reduce light pollution. I’ve not been able to easily find a source to verify this but it could be!
Christmas is here!
As you can see, it has indeed been an action-packed month! Can’t wait for Christmas! The Christmas markets here have nothing on the Manchester Christmas Markets or any of the ones in Germany but they are very festive! This year’s Christmas tipple of choice is gløgg – the Scandinavian mulled wine! A reliable source from work tells me that the (Danish version of Waitrose) Irma’s red wine gløgg is the best! We’ve tried it and it’s pretty fantastic!
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough! Have a good Christmas, y’all! The December update is due in 2017!