Canary

This is probably my first or second proper attempt at street photography involving people!

There’s an internal monologue when you stumble across something that you really want to shoot but aren’t sure whether the people there will be cool with it, especially in a city like London where our indifference towards strangers and other members of the public is a tourist attraction!

Today was an especially good day, probably the best day we’ve had all year, and after a relatively relaxed morning I was in a good mood. Since I got back the guys at King’s Cross put up this massive bird cage. The boulevard is normally crammed with people over lunchtime and there’s a couple of street food vendors around, so people were walking around and a few brave souls decided to take to the swing (admittedly, it did look really fun, and the 10 year old inside us all would think the same I’m sure). This guy was more than  happy to let me take his picture!

In the interest of full disclosure, about three people took to the swing set before I managed to pluck up the courage! There’s a first time for everything! Although I genuinely think having a DSLR is a slight disadvantage due to its imposing look, especially if you’re rocking a larger lens! A rangefinder is definitely on the cards for the future, maybe if I pass exams I’ll treat myself like last year..

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canary

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Summer

Sorry for the radio silence! Life has been pretty hectic since I got back!

London’s sure changed since I’ve been home, everything’s lovely and green and the city looks completely different!

It seems summer is definitely here to stay!

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summer

This tree is outside my window, My tripod came today, yay for long exposure!

Another first

DSC_0849

 

After countless hours spent watching the Great British Bake Off, I was adequately inspired to try bake at least once before I went back to uni, voila!

I’m pretty happy with it as a first attempt, although it was a bit doughy (I could literally hear Hollywood’s voice in my head) but It’s way more fun than buying bread and probably cheaper too, plus it was warm, so warm.

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Something I thought I would never do…

Yesterday was a very stressful time, pro tip – never leave stuff to the last minute, ever! 

In what I can only describe as a zombie-like stupor due to being locked up in the house for four weeks, I stumbled hungrily into my kitchen and spied out of the corner of my eye, the free sample of coffee I got in town. No one was around, no one could see me slyly tease out one of the sachets, slip it into my mug and proceed to craft my very first coffee. 

For someone who habitually hangs out in coffee shops, it’s unusual that I’ve never enjoyed coffee. I tried my dad’s a couple of times as a kid and the taste was always horrible, despite the heavenly smell that flooded the room every time the pot went on. So I guess it was curiosity too that led me to this. There’s also a huge culture about coffee, and I’m slightly jealous of people who appreciate it, because it does look delicious, and to have a coffee machine making that delightful aroma each morning, that is the dream. However, I’ve never been able to get over the horrid taste. 

I was at the point of no return, the water was in and foam swilled around the spoon in my cappuccino, copious amounts of prophylactic milk and sugar were added, I wanted to give myself a fighting change of withstanding the beverage. This was it. 

One reason I’ve given over the years for my indifference to the beverage was that I didn’t want that monkey on my back, a valid assertion as I know several people, especially medics, who started taking coffee and now are as near as makes no difference, taking it i.v. Given, one of my good friends, Ben, does manage most days on 3-4 hours sleep, but I do quite enjoy mine… 

I was in utter disbelief, I didn’t spit it out straight away, It wasn’t disgusting, it wasn’t as vile as my childhood memories would have me believe! I still didn’t make it through the whole drink and for the entire time I was subconsciously expecting another drink to get rid of the taste before my next sip, so I wouldn’t say I’m completely converted either. 

It won’t be replacing my stalwart hot chocolate anytime soon, it’s not going to peg hot cocoa off the post, it’s not even a threat for warm milk, however, I wouldn’t mind giving it another go.

Does this make me an adult now? 

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Medical mondays – Global Health

Two years of the traditional medical degree are preclinical, the science behind all the ins and outs of the human body. The final three are clinical, hospitals DREs and all the lovely stuff people associate with being a doctor. During the third year, we have the opportunity to “get out” of medicine, and take a slightly different degree.

My application for the iBSC was late! (quel surprise!) which pretty much spelt doom for my aspirations to take up physiology were pretty much dashed as it is normally already oversubscribed, and so a big late stamp on my CV isn’t going to help my standing. Global health was my second choice, and considering people still got turned down for that, I’m really happy to have got in!

After two years of rote learning, having to argue, debate and write essays about opinion after 4 hours of contact time is going to be a big change! But I am really looking forward to learning more about the world we live in and broaden my horizons. I’m also looking forward to being able to talk about my subject at the dinner table without totally grossing people out (although this still isn’t guaranteed!)

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He is risen

He is Risen .jpg

Today, Easter Sunday,  Christians everywhere celebrate the wonderful story, preserved in tens of thousands of historical copies written within lifetimes of his life, death and resurrection.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed – Isaiah 53:5

Afflicted with sin, with an impossible task of aspiring to be with a God who is all good, God, despite our iniquities, saw that we couldn’t do this by ourselves, indeed, we couldn’t. In his infinite mercy, sent Jesus so that he could reveal himself and his nature to us and so that He could take the punishment we so very much deserved, and triumph on the third day!

One of my personal favourite bits of this story is found in Mark 14, the garden of Gesthemane, where we truly see Jesus’ human side as he contemplates his upcoming death. The stress of it so intense the man sweats blood, pleading with God that the cup of wrath meant for us be taken away from him

My soul is very sorrowful, even to death”
– Mark 14:34

Abba, Father, all things are possible for you, remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will
– Mark 14:36

Yet he went along with it, for you and me, the very people who hung him up on that cross, as his organs slowly crushed him from the inside, all the while still praying to God on our behalf

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do
– Luke 23:34

And today, we celebrate the day that he rose again, fulfilling the predictions of the old, and proving once more that he was the Son of God in this great exchange.

 

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Weekly photo challenge – On Top

I’m quite enjoying these!

On our way back up from the beach we spotted a couple of people tombstoning from the pier. This guy in particular was absolutely loving it, and literally looked like he was on top of the world.

Check out some more of this week’s entries

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Tombstoning

Persephone

The weather today was incredible, to the detriment of any attempt of productive work. To top if all off, after coffee, the library was closed, it’s like everything is conspiring against my degree! Oh well, spring is happening!

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Medical Mondays – the transition

First year was a lot about cramming, you crammed (what you thought was a big) list of drugs for conditions such as malaria, alongside lots of other seemingly irrelevant conditions that 1/100,000,000 people contract every ten years and anything that seemed likely to cause you any extra work was disregarded with a quick “I’m sure we’ll cover that next year”. Well, this is next year, and I totally regret it…

It’s quite tricky, in a sense, training to be a doctor. On the one hand you really want to pass the exam so you cram niche facts for the sake of it, but another facet that’s becoming more apparent is that one day, I’ll need to use this knowledge to actually treat people. This really challenged me because every time I skipped over an “additional information” box so I could have an extra ten minutes watching The Great British Bake Off, could be the difference between nailing and missing a diagnosis in clinics.

Ok, so that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point! I’m hoping that with my last week of preclinical medicine fast approaching, the fact that people’s lives may very well be in my hands one day, will spur me to change the way I learn.

One thing that makes second year that much different, is that the stuff we learned this year is more of what I always expected from medical school: limbs, drugs, chronic diseases, the brain – Stuff people would be more willing to discuss (I mean, would you really sustain a conversation about the diarrhoea you just got over from that holiday in Spain?). This does, however introduce an odd dynamic to everyday chat.

An old friend of mine recently told me she was diagnosed with a pretty serious condition, and having just finished our repro module, inside I was buzzing with tonnes of questions in the standard, slightly morbid medical student fashion, about symptoms, causes, consultation, treatment, surgery, but you have to balance this out and be there for them, meeting them where they’re at, rather than playing twenty questions.

This has become increasingly common over the last year, but I guess it’s experiences like this that’ll ultimately shape the doctor you become, and trying to find the balance between between them will have a big impact on a patient, making them feel less of a case and more like a valued individual; We’ve all had enough experiences with good and bad doctors to know the difference it makes!

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