Placed!

Placed!

As of last night, it’s official, I’m heading off to America!

I the letter two days ago from the director of a camp just on the edge of NY state. The work they do sounds really amazing, taking inner city homeless kids out into the woods for a couple of weeks to enjoy themselves, make some friends and be a kid again. My job is to lead a couple of the activities the kids get stuck into, and to oversee 6-8 kids over the time that they’re at camp, making sure they wake up on time, get to sleep on time, and have loads of fun in between!

Admittedly, the thought of committing to 8 or so weeks of constant activity is somewhat daunting. I did it for two weeks in a row last year and I was pretty much catatonic by the saturday. However, did I mention it’s in New York??

The only thing standing in my way at the moment is the minor detail of passing my exams…

Hmm…

B

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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!

B

Bryan, #19, male

Bryan, #19, male

I spent my valentine’s in lectures, getting horrendously soaked, talking about diabetes …and speed dating.

My friend is on the committee for a charity sponsoring medical students that otherwise can’t afford training and they were running one tonight. These types of things totally aren’t me for so many reasons, but with some coercion and something else I can’t quite put down, I decided to turn up!

It’s the weirdest, most surreal thing I’ve done for a while. You rotate around tables of people, who you talk to for 4 minutes, before you have to move on to the next one and indicate through a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ whether or not you’d be interested in seeing them more. The ‘dates’ fell on a spectrum, from the uncomfortably silent (only one, pretty impressed), to the they-already-know-you-but-you’re-completely-oblivious-of-their-existence, to the chatty, to the funny, to the hilarious! I thought four minutes with a total stranger was going to be really long, but often it wasn’t long enough, and you get cut off just as you’re getting to know someone!

If you, like me, have never done anything of the sort before, I’d highly recommend it, if not just to push yourself out of your comfort zone, as it did for me! You’re forced to talk to people you probably otherwise would never do, and like me, meet people on your course you didn’t even know exist! So give it ago!

B

p.s. In the interest of full disclosure, no, I very much doubt I did/will find love/fulfilment/’the one’ on tonight’s endeavour, it seems like the only thing that hooked up tonight is my coat!

A little sun goes a long way

A little sun goes a long way

We’ve had a very odd winter this year, no snow down here, just lots of freezing rain; a real pain to cycle through every day. Today, however, woke us up with blue skies and gloriously warm rays.

It’s hard to quantify or even describe the difference it makes just to know that you don’t need to carry an extra jacket or that temporary blindness as you turn the corner to face a magnificent sunset; a little sun goes a long way!

B

Decisions

Grandma

One bad thing about growing up, is the horrible feeling that every choice you make will define you for the rest of what you imagine is your life, that every decision could make or break something huge.

I miss the times when the only decisions we had to make were whether to eat all the red or all the orange Skittles first.

B

p.s. Yes! The pen did stay on the whole time!

We are family

We are family

Today was great! As second year medics we have first year ‘kids’ for the year, they’re a great bunch and today we had them over for christmas burritos, safe to say, we made enough chilli to feed a small town, which, given I made some more last night, means frozen chilli for a good while to come.. gotta love that student life.

B

The big day

The big day

This is somewhat of a sad post really, but I’m going for it anyway, as today is a massive day in the life of Bryan.

I shaved (two days ago), someone noticed.

There is hope.

(photo credit: http://homemakermagazine.co.uk)

Wheels

Wheels

A quick Google will reveal that there are few things worse for your health than cycling in London. This was exactly what was going through my mind as I set out on my 3 mile trip to The City, and I’m pretty happy to say, I made it!

Back home in the overcast mines of Manchester, cycling is the reserve of the Buxtonites, those who will brave any weather condition with their Cannondales, dressed head to toe in dirt gear, face caked with mud and a beaming grin after conquering the three peaks to get to work. When they’re not on the road they’re in the garage, polishing their derailleurs with one hand and reading it with the other. Most cycling is the reserve of these powerhouses. As such, as an average joe, you stick out, somewhat, from the rest of the imitation-preppy crowd. Not so in London.

Now it’s not Oxbridge where everyone and their mother owns a bike, but here bikes are cool. Suddenly owning a vintage racer is the done thing, fixies are more than an exercise device, going green and looking like a dishevelled, sweaty mess as you walk into lectures at 8:59 is celebrated; cycling is cool!

I managed the whole trip in under half an hour, factoring in time spent getting lost and hauling my unfit behind up the slow hills. It was liberating, watching 205 after 205 streak past knowing you made the trip in a fraction of the time. Admittedly, there were some hairy moments but they’re to be expected on my first day. All in all, I’m definitely gonna give this a second shot. And hopefully with the money I’ll save, I can upgrade from my 8 year old hunk of junk!

B

Stop

Stop

East London

Metro-boulot-dodo

Metro-boulot-dodo

It may not be as nice as the gilded streets of Mayfair, but Islington too has its quaint little easter eggs of charm