And it was ruddy brilliant. Catharsis city
I’ll blog about the Christmas dinner shortly. The best Christmas cracker joke we had this year?
Q. What did Cinderella say to the chemist when her photos hadn’t been developed yet?
A. Someday my prints will come.
Comedy gold ladies and gentlemen
You guys. It’s LESS THAN TWO WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS
In case you couldn’t tell from the capitals, I tend to get quite excited this time of year. Obviously the day itself is brilliant fun, but I really love the build-up. On November 13th, I was excited because on November 14th it would be one month until the Christmas dinner we’re having at my house, meaning that on the 14th it would be socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas songs.
And NOW it’s coming ever closer and I’m on day 12 of this baby
I love the messy and colourful decorations, the 10-CD Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs in all their variable glory, the mince pies that people keep handing out at events to make it festive, singing carols and remembering just how much of massive tunes some of them are, wearing my Santa hat while listening to my giant Christmas playlists and of course the FOOD.
This weekend my housemate and a few uni friends are all getting together for our third annual Christmas dinner. Christmas is very personal for everyone, and the fun thing about this dinner is that we try to combine things from everyone’s different traditions. Meaning we have things that I never really do- roast chestnuts, mulled wine, pigs in blankets- along with what to me are age-old traditions like the Who Am I game, charades and a glorious ham alongside the turkey.
This year there’s also an added piece of excitement- next weekend my sisters are coming over to visit me and WE’RE GOING TO HOGWARTS. The Warner Bros Studios opened the gates to harrypotterland a while ago, and I’ve been dying to go for ages. The timing is gonna work out perfectly, because London will be covered in Christmas decorations and SO WILL HOGWARTS. There’s gonna be snow and Christmas trees and Weasley jumpers and BUTTERBEER IN THE COLD. I’ll be wearing my Harry Potter t-shirt, bringing my wand and potentially drawing a scar on my face. Christmas + Harry Potter is a recipe for me being sprawled on the floor tripping out.
So as I sit here in my room with a Santa hat on listening to Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, it’s understandable that I’d have a smile on my face
Had the SJT on Friday- one more hurdle passed! I’m one step closer to the dream of being exam-free. Which, if they bring in consultant re-accreditation exams, won’t be until I’m in my seventies. It was harder than I expected it would be actually; I had myself prepared beforehand to feel rubbish at the end of it as unlike some other exams I’ve done in the past you have no idea if you’ve gotten any questions right- with every question you’re choosing between different shades of grey. Aside from knowing that getting two people who hate each other drunk is a bad idea I was quite unsure about a lot of my answers. But it’s great to have it over and done with- now just have to wait until the Spring to find out where I’ll be next year!
Luckily though we had something planned afterwards as a quick pick-me-up: a black tie ball! It’s not all misery and guts in my life as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I’ll be doing finals at exactly the wrong time in June, so my friends and I were keen to go to this one to make up for missing out later on this year. I went with a bunch of other medics, and after a quick turnaround following the exam we headed off in our taxis and joined the queue to get in. Thankfully it wasn’t raining but man alive it was cold. The organisers very kindly provided mulled cider, pigs in blankets and mince pies though to keep you fed in the queue, and jugglers and an accordionist to keep us entertained!
I foolishly went crazy on the queue food though, totalling 8.5 mince pies, 8 pigs in blankets and 2 cups of mulled cider, which meant I was really flipping full by the time I got inside. Rookie mistake- meant I didn’t get to enjoy the food inside half as much as I could have done! Which was a kick in the teeth, the whole thing being french themed so kitted out with beef bourgignon, ratatouille, profiteroles and ridiculous numbers of pastries. So I paid the price for my greed!
Probably the best bit about the night was the entertainment- the person in charge really did a number on the acts they got. First up was a band called Amber Run, from London I think. Bunch of young semi-hipsters, but they were playing some cracking tunes. Sort of reminded me of a band I’m getting into these days called To Kill A King. Unlike some other small bands/those with young members, they had a good amount of chat and banter with the crowd. The frontman was a bit of a smooth-talker I think, saying “to the guys, you all look fantastic, and to the girls- I wish I was clever enough to date you”. I was up at the front bopping in my tux, and really enjoyed their set so will be keeping an eye out for them in the future.
Next up were The Jive Aces, a jive/swing band who formed in the late 80s but I think recently became a bit more well-known by appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. They were an excellent choice again for the event, because they really worked the crowd, were each fantastic showmen (from spinning a double bass to entertaining moustaches, bright yellow suits and playing the piano with your elbow) and got the whole crowd going nuts attempting to jive. There was actually a group of people at the front who did know how to dance properly, so naturally I gave it a go and tried my hand. I could just about handle some of the solo moves but when Millbag and I attempted to dance together I ended up whacking her in the head with her own arm. I’ll maybe give that one a miss in the future.
The last act were an Irish duo called Husdon Taylor, who got people riled up again into jig-mode, so you can guess that (added to the Silent Disco), by the end of the night there were plenty of sore feet around! Another highlight was the karaoke, and belting out All I Want For Christmas Is You while everyone else judged us- always a plus. With the singing (or rather shouting) and the drinks last night my voice is pretty much in full hibernation at the moment. But it was a great night so well worth it!
On that note actually I’m getting very excited about CHRISTMAS. I’ll write about it in a bit more detail at a later date but with a carol service, eggnog, mince pies and our annual Christmas dinner all coming up things are exciting!
P.S. I just forgot- whole thing was french-themed so I tried snails last night and they were DISGUSTING. Based on how they tasted I didn’t have the courage to try the frogs’ legs
Last weekend was the tried-and-tested practice of saving as much money as you can for weeks and then blowing it all rapidly on a trip to London. I was there for a housewarming party for two of my friends (possibly the nicest house I’ve seen in London!) and used it as an opportunity to catch up with a few other people, and also to go to a lecture (I know, I’m wild) about the exam I have coming up on Friday.
I’ve also recently been to a gig- the first one in fricking months actually! It was Stornoway, an Oxford indie-folk band who specialise in sea shanties. I went with two other course-mates and had a bit of a boogie. The crowd were really interesting: there were quite a few young teenagers (around 14 years old) and then a range of adults from students through to people with grey hair. Which meant there was quite a discrepancy between how people were acting: some were sedate, others playfully heckling and others (myself obviously included) having a bit of a boogie. The band worked well with them all, and knew how to get people excited. It’s always good when there’s a bit of chat, and they had plenty of interesting instruments on stage, including a saw working its way through a plank of wood at one stage. As you do.
I’m really enjoying A&E at the minute too; as I’ve said it’s pretty much the ideal placement as you get to see patients on your own, get hands-on, and not only do you feel like you’re part of the team, doctors listen to you. Which is an unheard-of concept in a few placements. There have been a few times where I’ve picked something up or done something that was the right thing to do and okay, yes, if I wasn’t there things might move more quickly and it’s likely that a doctor would have ALSO picked the thing up anyway, but it makes me feel happy that I did it. I might not be making a difference, but I feel that I’m at least contributing, which is pretty awesome.
I’d like to write a bit about some of the stuff I’ve seen on here, but patient confidentiality and all that ties my hands, and I’ve got a general principle once I’ve left the hospital of not talking about medicine on the internet (and only carefully when in person). So you can imagine in your head what I get up to. Hint: think of me running around frantically looking windswept-and-interesting and saving critical patients without ever breaking a sweat.
Cause it’s nothing like that.
But all in all it’s a really positive experience, and I feel like I’m where I should be as a medical student at this stage. The knowledge is clicking into place, and it’s about being reflective and examining myself, keeping myself in check so that I keep developing along the right tracks and learn from any mistakes I make/things I do right. I’M SO DEEP YOU GUYS.