Friday, 26 June 2009

footloose and fancy free

5 years ago I had a couple of months left in Malawi, the country I was calling home during my year out. I had lived there for 10 months by this time and was pretty much settled into life there. I left a young wee peely waly 17 year old and was already a rather browner, fatter 18 year old version of the same self that had left Scotland the year before. I'm not sure what I expected during the fashionable, if a little common, "gap year."
-did I want to discover my true self? (not really, not my sort of thing.)
-did I want to be someoneelse? (yes I was desperate to not be me.)
-did I want to see the world? (apparently not as I spent much of the year in one place in one country, a wee road trip to South Africa aside.)
-did I want to save the world? (yes, I had a vague notion this was entirely possible)

But even now I'm not sure quite what made me so sure I wanted to take this rite of passage getting on with life. I just knew I really really wanted to. I decided that nothing less than 12months away would suffice so Project Trust it was. None of this namby pamby 3 month business. I wanted the real deal and nothing less. I can't remember even properly asking my parents if I could go; I had sort of decided it all already in my head: I would go for the selection week and take it from there. I could then spend the next 9 months or so fundraising before leaving for year out country (now known as Malawi-Project Trust don't tell you where you go until after the selection week) when I finished my last year of school.

The letter with my assigned country and project arrived and I had to go and find Malawi on the map. And then it was time to start raising the £3500. Car boot sales, car washes, guess the teddy's birthday, bag packing, name we were onto it. And I was amazed by everyones genorosity and words of encouragement. But I don't think I ever knew just how hard this year would be. I wasn't going to suddenly grow into this confident, skinny, go getting girl who could speak to anyone and have any man she wished. Oh how I wanted just that to happen.

I went on the training week, met the girl who I'd be spending this year with as we'd be working on the same project and packed my rucksacks ready to fly away the next morning. I said my goodbyes. Not so emotional. A quick hug, words to take care and have fun and that was me. Off to Heathrow where I'd meet the rest of the Malawi group and where we'd board South African Airways Johannesburg flight before connecting to Blantyre in Malawi. I desperately wanted to tell the businessman next to me I was going to Africa for A YEAR, A WHOLE YEAR, BY MYSELF but instead I buried my head in Shopaholic Goes Abroad and lost myself in Becky Bloomwood's perfect life.

I'd not been so sure of my project partner for the year when we met on training-she was everything I wanted to be and I was intimidated to say the least. So we muddled by, both afraid to say what we were all thinking: would we get on and survive the year or would one of us crack and leave? We were in the air, we were gone.
Listening to: James Morrison - The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 21 June 2009

mornings as they should be

I'm a sucker for Sophie Kinsella's books, an avid fan of becky bloomwood of Shopaholic fame and I've just finished this one curled up in bed on a Sunday morning with the sun streaming through my window. Bliss. Well, bliss apart from deciding in my infinite wisdom it would be a great idea to go and cheer on my moon walking friend ( Now this 26.2 mile extravaganza was scheduled to swing near my flat so I thought why not, she's walking the marathon, least I can do is drag myself up and walk half a mile. Plan. Not so much, misjudged all the timings, got up at 3.30am, got to the top of the road only to discover that they'd all long since past and they were clearing away the road closure cones. Ah ha, mobile phones have been invented so I ring moonwalker and she does indeed confirm they are now on the other side of the city. So I made my back home dodging all the party animals (read: ever so slightly tipsy souls teetering back home after a hard night). As I stumbled through the door and into bed, I caught a glimpse of the sun just starting to creep up and that glorious glowing sky that comes with it. I guess I should thank my lucky stars, it's not every day a taste of an African morning is on your doorstep. After all the naturey ponderings, I decided, in my substantially better wisdom this time, it was time to go back to bed. And so I started reading Kinsella's latest number (as seen above) and promptly scoffed it much like a good old bar of Dairy Milk (minus the calories...score)

Saturday, 20 June 2009


So today I started flat hunting and flab busting. Both evoke something along the lines of blargh eugh and eugh again for good measure from me but I will try and stay optimistic. I could do with finding a decent one bedroomed flat for a decent price and I could certainly do with loosing at least a stone. I predict the flat hunt might go more smoothly. Off to prepare some goodies for my moonwalker friend-26.2 miles over night-quite a challenge but all in aid of a good cause.

Friday, 19 June 2009

and so it really is.....

I passed my finals and I'm now a doctor! It still hasn't quite sunk in. Now for the world of work....ahhhh!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

getting it together

Last night was bad. Well not all bad. I did watch Alfie, not that great a film but filled in an hour or so. But then, I did also cry, a lot. Something which I haven't done for a long time and you know what, it was kinda cathartic. It did sort of wake me up and realise I need to get myself together. Whether these exams go well or not, I need to find a way to cope with the downs as well as the ups. I need to cope with change, with responsibility, with LIFE. I guess there's no time like the present, huh. And, I can't let myself go back into those dark spots where there seems to be no way out. Or if I do, (which is the more realistic side of the bargain) I need to learn how to get out preferably the speedier the better.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


I'm frustrated, bored, fed up, knackered.....I could go on but I'm just not a happy chappette. I can't drum up any enthuiasm for anything. I just want to curl up in bed. Why? I have no idea. The next few months fill me with dread. I think I'm going to come down with a fatal illness. I think the worst in everything-people around me, places around me, anything = disaster. I guess I like a neat explanation for everything in life. I like straight lines, sharp edges, organisation. I guess you just can't get that. You'd think I'd have that worked it out by now. But it seems it's just the beginning. I need to do some soul, soul searching what a yuppy concept but I think it might just do me some good. As Elizabeth Gilbert discovered in the Love part of her Eat, Pray, Love journey, balance is something worth going for. And right now I feel all off kilter. Right off balance.

Monday, 15 June 2009

lazy days

It's almost 3pm and I've just got dressed. In the name of the flat maintainence company coming to fix the smoke alarms. Otherwise I was quite happy puddling in my pyjamas. Trouble is the less I have to do the less I do, till I'm, virtually, to all intents and purposes, a bum. I did sort out BT stuff today for moving, deal with dreaded bank stuff and well, darn it I thought I had done at least 3 productive things. Well, after these people come I'll go do a third. It's not like there aren't things to be done. Job Forms, pre registration, occupational health checks, disclosure stuff....gah, too much like real life so maybe tomorrow.

So at least the maintence people won't think I'm a bum....I'm dressed and the flat is spick and span after yesterday's rather late spring clean.
Listening to: Feeder - Tumble and Fall
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 14 June 2009

quiet days

I felt housewifey today. After watching Mama Mia and eating chocolate cookies at 8am this morning (if only I could sleep past 6am life would be easy) I felt energetic enough to tear apart the kitchen and get stuck into some cleaning. Surfaces, floors, you name it's washed. Then the hall, my room, the bathroom and bliss, desperate housewives in a spick and span flat. Nothing better. Then it was off for a shop and an attempt to didge the thunder and rain. What's with the tropical weather.....I have no idea but it makes me feel like I could almost be back in Malawi...mmhmm!

Planning a wee cycle trip I think to fill in the next few days trying to avoid this gruelling wait for results.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

there might be more to life....

Well, sometimes I wonder but today I had a wee snippet of what life after exams and results might be like. A good med school friend and her friend (up visiting) came round for lunch. A barbecue was planned but gah, the weather failed us. So the oven had to suffice. Not a problem. No revision to be thinking of just a good ol' catch up gossip. Then I baked. Something which I haven't done for almost a year but something which is precious to me. In between, I've been reading Eat, Love, Pray. If only I could find my spiritual side. Yes, I'm still looking but it's a real good read.

the wait

I think this next week is going to feel like an eternity. Next friday we find out our final results. I do know that I don't have resits for the clinical and the viva but the sipps exams have no resits so we don't find out till friday whether we passed them. So I have a week in a sort of limbo. Lots of good books and some quiet time I think will be the order of the day! I'm just trying not to think too much of the papers.....
Listening to: Taio Cruz - I Can Be
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 11 June 2009

the viva

Up bright and early this morning for the viva. Stomach was churning big time this morning. Worse than the sipps and the clinical (ok maybe the same as the clinical but ya know) I'm not sure how it went really. I feel a lot of waffle was had by all (by ME) but the half hour seemed to fly by. SO tomorrow I'll find out whether I have resits next week, then a week tomorrow we find out the whole chiiibang....more stomach churining? Oh yes I think so.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

the viva prep

Nutrition, psychological aspects of medicine, communication, personal development, public health, disbility, pain, pharmacology, ethical issues, the lifecycle, evidence based medicine.....

All the topics which could come up tomorrow. Oh how much I hope the verbal diarrhoea doesn't start....reflection and thoughtfulness is apparently the key. Would Scrubs count as valid revision then? I wish.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

the second sipp

And there goes another 2 hours of exams. Or 5 years of work reduced to 4 hours. It was tough (again) and I really don't know how it went. Next up it's the viva on thursday then on friday, I'll hear whether I need to resit the clinical and/or the viva. Sadly there is no resit for these sipp exams which makes it all the more nerve wracking. If I don't make it, it means another 6 months of study. Just now, I'm not sure I can take that. Back to the books.
Listening to: Matchbox 20 - Bright Lights
via FoxyTunes ----------------

Monday, 8 June 2009

the first sipp

I guess that makes me half way through these exams. There's another of these 2 hour extravaganzas tomorrow and I really don't know...tough questions and my answers are just not good enough. The viva needs some work too so my frazzled brain is sticking to looking at stuff for that just now. Same thing tomorrow....gah.
Listening to: The Killers - Mr. Brightside
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 7 June 2009

revision days

days slip one into another, weekends lose their meaning, mornings start a little earlier, nights stretch a little later and so it goes on reading, websites, practice questions, cups of tea, chocolate digestives.....but nothing over these five years has yet stopped those stomach churning nail biting nerves and afterwards I somehow manage to see it through those fateful rose tinted glasses-"it wasn't that bad after all." Well, it is- it's stressful-hair pulling gut wrenching days before exams and I just want to put it down here in writing. Something like labour pain I guess.....I just hope the result is as fabulous as a new born bundle.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

the sipp and the viva

This coming week brings these two delights: a safety in practice and prescribing exam (well, 2 of these) and a portfolio viva. Then friday we find out whether it's resit time.....then a week on friday find out final results. Ever so slightly frazzled....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

the clinical

so today was the day. clinical exam and now I just don't know. back to the books for next monday, tuesday and thursday. some things just keep going. loving the killers....."are we human or are we dancers"..... well, i'd argue we could be both...hmm, now for bed.
Listening to: The Killers - Human
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 1 June 2009

counting down the hours

less than 12 hours to go eeek til clinical. surrounded by a mass of odd bits of paper with bits of wisdom scribbled all over. pity my memory doesn't extend that far.