There's a reason I'm not a poet

Posts tagged ‘fancy dress’

Michaelday XXVI

My birthday was last week. I think. I was on nights this weekend so I’ve no concept of which way is up never mind what day it is. But the birthday was fun! As is my way, I had three birthdays: first was in work with pizza and cookies (I do actually do work I promise), the second was Eurovision party on the Saturday, and then the actual birthday itself on the Monday. Went out for drinks and lunch with the family and in the evening saw Derren Brown!

The man made us promise not to put spoilers on social media but needless to say the guy got up in front of everyone and performed blatant witchcraft. People of a delicate or religious constitution need not apply. I spent my time trying to work out exactly how he manipulates people. After communication skills training at uni, my knowledge of non-verbal communication and cues etc. has made me more aware of how these things work , but this was a complete other level. Like Super Slytherin times seventeen. It was interesting when he looked at people and assessed (or at least pretended to) how easy or hard it would be to manipulate them, but he was pulling off ridiculously complicated stunts that it can’t be anything remotely simple. So eventually I decided it was actual shamanic ju-ju.

Eurovision was also brilliant craic! I went out shopping beforehand to try and get a bunting of different flags but couldn’t find anything. This being Northern Ireland, the closest thing J could get was a bunch of red white and blue flags. Which is fine, I passed them off as France. My housemate had the national flag of the gays though so we had a nice relevant rainbow sitting above our fireplace in honour of Eurovision.

We’d crafted a bunch of drinking rules to make the event go by smoothly (or not smoothly) and they ended up being bloody well brutal. By the end of the night I’d lost my voice from shouting DRINK every time lasers or a granny came on screen. I’d dressed up in my Lederhosen so it probably didn’t make a very imposing sight. But the night wdnt on until about four in the morning so it was a success anyway. And more importantly I had fun.

As a birthday present, I got some money together from the fam and myself and bought a DSLR camera! It arrived the other day amd I’ve been playing about with it today. The aim is to be able to take semi-decent photos by the time I get to China so I can come back and not only be annoying talking about what a wonderful time I had and how much of a voyage of self discovery it was, but also be annoying and upload 732 photos in sepia onto facebook and make people sit down and watch my PowerPoint show.

Don’t go thinking you’re safe.



Pull my finger

I’m starting my first set of night shifts on Monday. Dun dun dunnnn. In my hospital, we cover both medicine and surgery, with a total of around 10 wards. Speaking to others, it sounds like it’s pretty much down to luck as to whether or not it’s good or bad. Regardless, I will be busy, however there’s a difference between being busy and being unhappy- but we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, last week was a bit more of a stress-free experience: I made the familiar easyjet trip over to uni for graduation round 3. Out of 4, in case you were wondering (and no, I don’t really know why I have so many). Thankfully I managed to meet up with a fair number of uni friends over the weekend (I also squeezed in a London trip to tick a few other faces off) and naturally I ate pretty fantastically while over there (figs with parma ham and honey, whiskey ice cream, burnt cream, a Greek mezze, haggis brunch and the world’s biggest piece of apple crumble).

The actual ceremony itself was exactly the kind of ridiculous pomp that you want: people walking around in robes, carrying sceptres and shouting things in Latin. At one point I think they were running through a list of the new research fellows, and the head honcho guy had to delcare- in Latin obviously- that the appointment pleased him, so essentially a list of names was interspersed with a rageful “PLACET”, making the whole thing sound like he had a very strange form of Tourette’s.

The highlight obviously was walking up yourself. Rather than going up in a queue like in any normal university, we were presented- again in Latin- to the man on a throne while holding onto a sixty-something year old man’s finger. That’s right, four doctors each clutching on tightly to a different digit and waiting their turn to kneel down and swear allegiance to the crown or sell our soul to Mephistopheles or whatever it was we actually agreed to.

But it’s all good craic like, an excuse to meet up with your friends and a reminder that while you’re slugging away doing paperwork there’s some professor somewhere sipping brandy and trying to come up with Latin puns to amuse the guests at their dinner party that evening.


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…


Black tie Friday

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