There's a reason I'm not a poet

Posts tagged ‘bundles of joy not peace’

Is this thing still on?

Now that it’s 2018, I’ve found myself and my friends realising that “it was ten years ago that we..”

I’m nearly a decade out of school, and it’s almost been ten years since I started university. A few of my friends have been saying that they can’t believe this, that time’s flying by etc. But for me it really does feel like ten years ago. When I look back to the person I was in school that genuinely feels like a lot of time between then and now.

People had always warned me about time going quickly, and I remember hearing that time speeds up as you get older: when you’re 4, a year is a quarter of your entire life. At twenty, proportionally a year is a fifth of that size. So years ago I started trying to keep an eye on time passing, to ensure I wasn’t letting life pass me by. One of the tools I used for this was blogging. Back in the days of LiveJournal, my friend Poor Little Rich Boy referred to using a blog as an “Anchor in Time”. And I think it helped: I charted some major events in my life, I was able to spend a moment and in writing things down, take stock. A month felt like a month, and a year a year. Now, a decade feels like a decade.

Scrolling down on this page, there are significant gaps in between blog entries in recent times. Partly as a result of not blogging, to me it feels as if life is speeding up a bit. So I’m hoping to try and blog a bit more regularly. To help keep stock, and because it was always something I enjoyed doing, and something I liked being able to look back on (although looking back at blogs from being 18 admittedly is a little bit painful).

Other objectives include dealing with my friends being in multiple places. Thankfully I don’t have too many friends in other countries, but it’s even difficult trying to semi-regularly see friends who are based within the UK. I was over in London last weekend and while I got to see a fair number of people, I didn’t get to spend as much time with individual people as I would have liked. There were a couple of ones I properly did get to hang out with, and I really really enjoyed that. I miss being able to lounge about in the same living room as some of those lovely people, and so any opportunity I can get to emulate it is much appreciated.

On a similar vein I had a uni friend over visiting for a weekend a fortnight ago. She’d been over before, so the emphasis wasn’t really on touristy things, and was more on enjoying what Belfast has to offer. And filling our stomachs until they perforated. This included a belated Chinese New Year party and around 300 dumplings (the remnants of which are gloriously still in my freezer.. I can’t wait). She was one of the first really good friends I made at uni so I relished the opportunity to catch up in what was embarrassingly the first time in about 18 months..

Speaking of positives, I continue to be obsessed with my nephew. The wee man is just over a year old now, and is bossing the entire family around. His excitable, cheery self is a real joy to be around, and with the blizzards in Ireland and a few other things he’s actually spent a good amount of time in Belfast recently, allowing me to hang out with him more than normal. The quest to becoming his favourite is in progress.

The other new baby in my life is something I’d been working towards for a while: a new car! By new I of course mean used, but it’s a 2015 Corsa with only 12,000 miles on the clock so I figured it wasn’t far off from being new. My original plan was to go find a nice boring sturdy car, but this souped-up Corsa with its whistles and bells changed my mind pretty instantaneously. Yes I’m aware it’s a Vauxhall and not a Ferrari, but it’s a significant improvement on my 15 year old Fiesta and I’m kind of in love. There is a bluetooth and a touchscreen and because it’s me there are colour-coded floor mats. With its JAO registration plate I’ve affectionately called him Chairman Jao.

Onwards and upwards through the gear box.

M

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Examine that

On Wednesday and Thursday I had the pleasure of sitting some exams. I thought it was two three-hour papers, but I found out on Sunday that it was in fact three papers. So you can tell the extent of the preparation I did for them..

It’s a bit annoying sitting professional exams- necessary hoops to jump through in order to progress in any speciality. Unlike exams at university, there’s no-one else really going through the exams with you, and other people don’t really understand what the exams are, so there’s a distinct lack of sympathy for attention-seeking people such as myself. Again unlike at university, you don’t get any time off to revise/learn for them, so all your work is being done in the evening when you’ve just come home from a (usually tiring) day at work. There’s also no sense of relief when you finish or pass them, as you’ve gotta go back to work and again, there’s no-one else doing them. The benefit of them not being university exams is that you can resit them if you fail. It just costs you several hundred quid each pop.

I shouldn’t complain too much though. It is useful learning things, and I’ve found myself using some of the new information in work. And any difficulty with passing them is probably down to my laziness more than anything else. They were difficult, but they were always gonna be difficult, so we’ll see in a couple of weeks time how they went.

Work’s been going well recently. Initially when I came back I was piecing together one-off shifts to get some money in, but since the start of February I’ve been working on a full rota in a hospital in Belfast. It’s been nice having a steady routine and income, and as well the hospital is small and really friendly which helps with job satisfaction. Got on a work night out the other week after some night shifts and had the standard slightly-awkward conversations in work several days later when people comment on my unexpected dancing enthusiasm.

I’ll be there until the end of this month, when I’m doing a couple of weeks in a lab doing voluntary work (essentially a studentship) to try and see what I think of research and whether/how much I’d want it to be a part of my future career. So at the minute I’m in saving mode to try and prepare for being unemployed again!

A pretty major positive over the past few weeks is that my sister has been able to come up to Belfast a good number of times with my new nephew in tow! The wee dude is doing really well, and is a very well-behaved child, rarely venturing anywhere near crying. I was really honoured a couple of weeks ago when I was asked to be his godfather! I said yes, as I figured any opportunity to further my mission to become his favourite should definitely be taken.

M

A child is born

Yesterday evening after work I flew down the motorway to Dublin where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my new nephew! He was born on Thursday and it’s a little bit    pretty   massively exciting.

I know we’ve had nine months to prepare for this moment, but I was pretty amazed at what my sister has achieved. It sounds like things happened pretty quickly at the end, and she did really well throughout it. In true form, at one point she apparently turned to the midwife and said “I’m sorry, I’m normally really in control”.

She’s always been my sister, and then she became a couple, and now the three of them are a family.

The end result is this tiny little human, who just seems amazing. It’s impressive how quickly you can feel a strong connection to a baby- the instincts kick in and you find yourself fascinated just by looking at them. Holding him in my arms, my mind was boggled imagining his entire life stretching out ahead of him. I’ll hopefully get to be a part of this new person’s life, get to know his personality and see some of his life experiences. He’s going to have hopes, goals, favourite foods and pet peeves, and right now he’s a wee sleepy newborn who gives the middle finger when you try to take photos.

I’ve had a decent amount of success into fooling my young cousins into thinking that I’m actually cool, and I look forward to attempting the same feat of trickery with this kid.

M

Coming soon to a hospital near you

Happy New Year folks! And next weekend, gōngxǐfācái!

Since coming back home I’ve been trying to earn some money to pay off the lovely debts that China has left me with, and so I’ve been doing a bunch of locum shifts in a few different locations. Around Christmas, I was back in haematology (where I was about a year ago), and I’m doing a few shifts in my FY1 hospital as well as a semi-regular job in one of the hospices. I’ve been describing a “locum doctor” as the medical equivalent of a substitute teacher, only thankfully without the abuse that a bunch of them seem to get from their students. ..For the most part.

I’ve actually enjoyed being back in some of my old wards, and I’ve been touched that people recognise me and are happy to see me. I’ve also been touched by one nurse in particular who felt that a hug wasn’t a good enough hello and decided that stroking my face repeatedly was more appropriate.

But it has been nice. Moving around a lot in your jobs can make you seem like you’re just another number, but it’s a good feeling when people not only remember your face but your name, and are pleased to see you. And it’s rewarding to know that my efforts going into being “a good team member” didn’t all go to waste.

I’m currently applying for more long term posts though. The ultimate goal is to become a consultant (ideally in some form of oncology) but the next step on that path is to get out of locum work and back onto a training programme, new posts for which are filled every August. So next Wednesday I’ve got an interview for Core Medical Training, where I’ll be asked by a couple of consultants what exactly I was doing in China and how ingesting a large number of carbs makes me a better doctor. Still working on my answer to that one.

Until then I’m looking for a more regular locum job so that I don’t have to worry about where I’m working next month, and so I can plan things slash work through my millions of lists of gigs and photography classes and NI Science Festival events that I want to sign up for. So we’ll see what turns up.

A slightly more bloody fricking exciting and awesome development in my life is the expectant arrival of a new niece and/or nephew! My sister tells me it’s not twins if Friends has taught me anything it’s that you never know. I’m really looking forward to greeting the new arrival, and my sister will be the first in this generation to have a child, so we’re probably all going to descend on little Norbert/Brenda/Quentin/Alexis with our various sailor suits, sheep skulls, sk8rboi shoes and other things we thought were good ideas when we were kids.

God help them.

M