Monday, 10 December 2001
The Netherlands are a dark place during winter. December darkens the dim days.

I survive the subpolar night using my alternative winter time. Fortunately the workhours at SUMit HQ are flexible.

The day is well under way when the sun is shining brightly enough to wake me up. This shifted day pattern is nice enough, but I miss a lot of the already scant daylight. Dusk falls before my day has even started.

I had a number of early morning appointments in my agenda last week. Help! How do I synchronize my rhythm with the rest of Holland?

I hate alarm clocks. A radio alarm is almost as bad. What a terrible idea:

  1. Disrupt sleep with an allmighty ruckus.
  2. Wake up in panic, rise grumpy.
  3. Grope in the dark for the closest lightswitch.
If only the sun would start shining a little earlier.

Well, here is the invention of this winter: A-sun, the Artificial sun. It is a simple yet effective device: A double fluorescent tube controlled by a timer.

  1. Precede dawn.
  2. Wake up nice and easy, in a very natural way. Turn the radio on yourself.
  3. Have breakfast. Start the day. Watch the real sunrise.
After gaining several days of practical experience, I am proud to report the results: the a-sun does an excellent job. In fact, it works a bit too well. I did not have any appointments last Saturday. Yet I woke up at six-thirty, the law of the conservation of misery.

The alarm clock was still off, but I overlooked the a-sun. I don't need a sunrise simulation during the weekend. Sigh, how does one synchronize a tube light with one's own weekly pattern?

Till next week, from a sunnier environment,