There's a reason I'm not a poet

Archive for March, 2014

Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it

So hopefully you got my text with my new number, and so know I have a new phone! While Kevin and his Snake-playing-capabilities have certainly served me well, when Plato offered me his old iPhone once his contract ran out I kinda jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve always been a bit of a mixture between a techie and a Luddite: one minute I’m behind the TV playing with the leads and a big grin on my face, and the next I’m whacking the computer screen with the nearest oil lamp calling down the wroth of God onto iTunes. My odd relationship with technology is probably demonstrated quite well with my habit of naming my computerised things- I’ve gone through Roy, Dinky, Yoshimi, Kevin, Carl, Rambo, Rambo2 and now I’m welcoming Mycroft to the family.

Instead of working yesterday, I spent about two hours trying to get the thing unlocked and set up (the end of a six-week long journey) and then about five hours texting and snapchatting people, absolutely decimating my battery. I’m generally getting the hang of it, and hope to tread the middle ground between knowing how things actually work and not being the person who sits on their phone on the internet rather than interacting with the people in front of them.

But nowadays social norms have changed with these smart phones: what would have been seen as rude is now quite socially acceptable. I kind of got around the competing interests of texts and talking by developing the ability to text without looking, so I could maintain eye contact and have a conversation while sending anything I needed to say. Although with (a) a touch screen, (b) my apparently chubby thumbs and (c) apple autocorrect all stacked up against me, I don’t think this is really a possibility. So we’ll see how many people I offend by not replying to them, whether it’s in person or in virtual communication.

It’s wonderful how technology has advanced so much that there are more ways to not talk to people than ever before



My new favourite

A new mask


I’ve started a new placement, and am trying to immerse myself in surgical knowledge- my plan is to learn as much as I can and be efficient so I can focus on learning/revising everything else for the exams in June. I’m generally quite calm about them, but every now and then you remember all there is still to cover and the all-too-familiar waves of sheer panic come over you. It’s been a fun six years.

Thankfully though the hospital I’m at isn’t too far away, and so I’m commuting with a colleague who lives round the corner from me. Part of that decision comes from the pretty grimey accommodation. Unfortunately it means very early starts (surgeons start their day sooner than most other humans) to get to the hospital in time, but I’m enjoying not having to live out of a suitcase as I’ve been doing all year.

It also means I can go to events here- a friend texted me yesterday to ask if I was interested in going to “superformal” at her college. It’s one of the famous ones, and they only have a few formals a term so it’s somewhat of a hot ticket, meaning I was glad to be able to jump at the opportunity. I wasn’t exactly sure what “superformal” meant but it seemed there was a theme of Venetian Carnivale, and so I got my big-nosed Venetian mask out (yes I have one) and slipped into my tux- complete with Batman cuff-links might I add

It was a really fantastic night actually- as ever I enjoyed the food, and the booze flowed freely. The hall was (like many colleges to be fair) really beautiful inside, and they’d hung a few things overhead to make it look a bit more glittery. Partway through the evening, there was the “entertainment” for the evening, with some of the university’s Dance Sport team getting up in the middle of everyone and giving a performance (slash showing us all that there apparently are moves other than the robot and macarena)

There was a live band after formal for people to crack out their less-than-perfectly-coordinated dance moves, and I felt a bit more at home rocking out there to Don’t Stop Me Now. The only bad thing about the evening was having to get up at half six the next morning…



Sat outside in the sun this morning for a while, nominally reading a book but in reality working on my sunburn. I love the change of seasons, with the things you’d forgotten about in the past year; today it was the feeling of a hot forehead when you’ve been out for too long, and the smells of barbecues and flowers. Fingers crossed for the tan lines!

I really ought to convert this into a food blog: I’m heading to a friend’s house shortly for a Sunday roast, then later Millbag is having a few people round to make the cookie mix she got for Christmas. Yesterday I visited Bananemesis and we made some cakes, then in the evening Swoon and Yum and I went for dumplings. I can’t wait until I have an income and all of these don’t come with pangs of guilt. Although I suppose by that point my metabolism might have caught up with me, so it’ll be a different kind of guilt.

Had two exams on Friday- one a mock and the other a prescribing exam that we just have to pass. They weren’t too bad, it’s comforting that I do know stuff as I come to the end of my degree. But similarly there was plenty for me to still learn, so that was useful for me to see too. Rather than work however, this weekend I’ve been sorting out stuff for going back home to NI: we were presented with an excel document (here if you’re really keen) of the 238 jobs we have to rank in order from 1 to 238. Great.

I’ve been going through it colour-coding, cutting/pasting and of course cursing- I get easily bored at these things. The problem is that I’m trying to weigh up a few different things in making my decisions, and so as a result the rotations I want don’t often look anything like each other! Some of my factors:

  • Desire to do specific jobs (oncology, A&E)
  • Desire to specifically not do other jobs (obs & gynae, paeds, psych, GP)
  • Want to be out of Belfast for first year, and in Belfast for second year
  • Living with my friends (preferably first year) would be great fun
  • I’d like to minimise moving between hospitals as much as possible

The problem is, there isn’t really any specific rotation that ticks every single one of my boxes, it’s about picking the ones that tick 5 out of 6, and deciding between millions of shades of grey. But at the end of the day, I’m kinda just delighted to actually have a job!

In other news, I’ve been listening to Pharrell Williams’ new album. It’s entitled GIRL, supposedly to take a stand against some of the chauvinist connotations of him singing in Robin Thicke’s song Blurred Lines. Saw a bit from him the other day saying he wanted to be on the side of women when (as Beyonce says) they run the world. Wasn’t sure if it was a genuinely good message or a move instigated by some PR guru, but it’s a decent album with some good tunes.

Anyway, best hop on the old bike and get some roast dinner in me. Hope your days are just as sunny!


Aw yis

“We are pleased to inform you that you have been allocated to Northern Ireland UoA”


Rolling down the road

It’s all go at the minute. Tomorrow we find out where we’re going to be for the next two years, so understandably there are a few people whose nerves are a bit on edge.

Things are also wrapping up on placement- my last day is on Tuesday. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot over the past nine weeks or so, and am feeling a lot more confident for that first day introducing myself as one of the doctors. Of course though when it actually happens I will be wetting myself with fear. Next up is my surgery placement, which will be useful in that I know next to nothing about surgery, but if I’m honest I intend on spending a considerably smaller amount of time on the ward and a lot more time in the library. Hardcore as ever.

I’ve had another fat weekend (aw yeah) with pancakes, a birthday party at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants and a trip to a new dumpling place that has just opened up (maaaaaaan they were tasty). The birthday party last night was great craic, as there was a good crowd of about thirty people and freely-flowing alcohol kindly paid for by the birthday girl’s mum. At one point Karate Kim and I decided to have a joint birthday party with LASER QUEST which inevitably turned into a competition to see who could get the most badass killer-instinct people to sign up to be on their team. May the odds be ever in my favour.

Another change is the arrival of my shiny new iPhone! I say new- I’ve got it off a friend of mine, Plato, who’s had it for two years before upgrading to something else. But seeing as I’m used to extremely basic Nokias, it’s a big step up. He’s called Mycroft, and is currently without a SIM card as I’m waiting for it to be unlocked. So I’m basically just sitting in libraries on Snapchat and competing against my sister on Harry Potter quizzes (which of course I’m winning). The big decision was what phone cover to get and one is on its way from China towards me now (I MEAN LOOK AT IT)

The last change is that today was the first day I’ve gone outside with only one layer on in months! I think we hit 17 degrees today, which is pretty great considering four days ago I was still wearing gloves and a scarf. WINTER IS FINALLY DEAD. And pretty soon this will be me.

Anyway I’d best go pack for placement, I’m heading off soon. Have nice weeks! Hopefully I will have good news soon