Friday, April 20, 2007

So, I had written this really great post on arriving in Calgary, and how big everything is, and how excited I am about the snow... but the internet in the Travelodge does NOT work, so the post is trapped on my laptop.

I'm currently on the free computers in Eau Claire Market. So this'll have to be quick...

Having a fab time in Calgary - went up to Banff yesterday and it is spectacularly beautiful. Though we nearly got stranded when we forgot to buy our bus ticket home before the ticket office shut...thankfully all turned out ok and we didn't have to stay overnight! (I was upset by lack of clean knickers...) We've been eating out lots and really enjoying the snow! (Bought myself a great new jacket so am suitably attired. Also purcahsed the last pair of gloves in Calgary as lost one of mine out of my hand luggage...then found it in my suitcase. Grrrr.)

Off to Prince Albert Island Park now, when Kaos tonight to watch up some jazz! Oooooo! Than Lake Louise tomorrow!

PS I love love love Canadians. They are so helpful and friendly. I haven't met anyone rude yet!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In Calgary and it's SNOWING!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Arrived in Calgary! Got a plane from Heathrow on Tuesday afternoon, and arrived 9 hours later to Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Yeah, my body clock is also having difficulty with the maths! I have decided I officially hate planes. Maybe that’s a little strong – I would say I hate take off and landing, but cruising is ok. Oh, and I love love love plane food! It’s all so cute!

So first impressions of Calgary… well, everything seems so big and open. The roads are so wide, the cars huge, all the buildings square and looming, and the sky… the sky is enormous. I don’t think we even have that much sky in England! And there is no colour, and so few trees. England is so green, and it is odd to be without the constancy of greenness. And the newness of everything! All the buildings are shiny and new and have no history. However, the city is incredibly clean. And the people are so friendly and helpful. I also greatly appreciate the indoor walkways to everything, though they are a little confusing! I was chief map reader, as I LOVE maps, and had much fun and games! Though never getting more than a little confused… we have not been ‘lost’ today.

We (Di, Mirabelle and I) spent today in Downtown Calgary. We set off at 9am this morning (jetlag playing havoc with our body clocks, we’d been up for hours!) and took the C-train from the Travelodge into town. We first went up Calgary Tower and the views were absolutely amazing. I was absolutely terrified of the glass observation deck, over the edge of the tower’s top, but for the sake of ‘art’ (ie taking the picture you see below…) managed to just stand on it.

(The cutesy trainers are Mirabelle, the pointy toes Di and the hefty boots mine! O yes I am a classy broad….)

We spent the rest of the day pottering in the town, and I bought a lovely new waterproof jacket, greatly reduced in the end of season sale. Very pleased as have been eking out the useful life of mine at home, and decided that I would not bring it and buy one out here, preferably before doing any walking! Somehow I’d managed to lose a glove out of my hand luggage, so I also had to buy a new pair of gloves, which was a absolute mission. Eventually found some, the last pair in an outdoor wear shop! Finally, I accidentally bought a new ring, which I do not need – but that I love! It’s a huge purple stone set in silver, and I found it in a bizarre shop in the Eau Claire Market. I’m wearing it now, and loving its weight and colour and gorgeousness.

We also went and had a potter around the Devonian Gardens before heading back to crash in the hotel room. Wow! How amazing to have a tropical garden on the 4th floor of a tower building. I thought it was fab – loved the turtles and the water features! I think we may be going back there.

The most stand-out thing of today has been the people of Calgary themselves. Everyone we’ve met today has been so lovely and helpful. They all wanted to know where we were from (Australia?!) and what we’ve been doing, and what our plans are! The folk in the outdoor wear shop where I bought my coat thought we were hilarious, as we are crazy excited about the possibility of snowfall. They all want summer to arrive… However it’s raining now, which makes me feel right at home!

Monday, April 16, 2007

One more sleep...

This is just a quick one, mainly to say I had a fabulous week in Skegness at Spring Harvest, and also that I love bloggers!

Spring Harvest was a fantastic experience, both spiritually and socially. I don’t think I am completely back on track with my faith, but I feel much better equipped to know what to tackle to get there. The music was also absolutely fabulous! And the social life…well, I don’t think we had one night in the chalet! There was a lot of socialising and a lot of drinking! Especially from the church elders, who then proceeded to discuss their sex lives in detail. I thought that was a student thing, and that my friends and I would one day graduate to more worldly and inspired topics, but no, it seems not. Nevermind eh, twas all good fun!

One good thing to have come out of this week is that I feel more in control again. Ah no, that’s the wrong phrase. I think that I feel less out of control. I don’t think I have ever felt totally in control of my life, but at the moment I feel as though whatever happens, I will make it through. Friends can be found in the most unlikely of places….

Places such as the internet. Thanks for your kind words of support Marysienka, Tall and MedNeo.

Anyway, I am all packed and ready to go at 9am tomorrow. I’m still scared, but it’s not the blind terror of before. It’s a tremulous wonderful frightening feeling, a feeling of fear and excitement all bundled up together. How I will ever sleep I do not know! But I must at least try, so I am signing off for now!

PS Have wireless internet in all my accommodation in Canada so will be updating regularly I hope! Next one from Calgary…..eeeek!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sometimes its all a bit much, this 'life' business

I’ve had a good couple of days, but can hardly believe the weekend is gone already. My post-exam chill out period is over, and now I have to get on with things. And I can’t explain why, but my stress levels are through the roof. I am on edge, feeling very tense and anxious, and unable to concentrate. Everything is worrying me.

I think it is a combination of worrying about Canada (some details are yet to be sorted out, plus the travel, plus anxiety over my placement), worrying about Spring Harvest (church camp…) and the lost of my support systems (family still in NZ, all my friends and housemates gone home).

Everything makes me cry. Phone call to my parents, programme on telly, song on the radio, a very silly film… I just want it all to go away. I want to feel on top of everything, in control.

And imagine what happened when I sat and watched My Girl yesterday, after buying it in a fit of nostalgia from HMV. That's right, I nearly drowned in my own tears.

Anyway, I am going to Spring Harvest this week, well Tuesday to Sunday, and I hope that I will feel better once I am there. Ha! Who am I kidding? I’m hoping to get out alive, and not be eaten alive by the Jesus Freaks. When I said yes to this particular adventure, I was feeling positive towards Christianity and my faith. Positive, in that faith might eventually come back to me. Now I am certain that even if I do find it again, it won’t be this week. I will endeavour to write posts by hand that can be posted dated, but in all honesty I think the next time I post will be slipped in between unpacking from Skeggy and packing for Canada. So probably a short one!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Made it!

Yay exams finished! Today’s was considerably less excruciating than Monday’s, but I make no predictions of passing or failing. I’ll wait til results day for that (4th May!).

I’ve had the most wonderful afternoon. Mirabelle and I went to the Birmingham Nature Centre, and had so much fun! I fell in love with the pygmy goats, and we also saw lemurs, otter, tortoises, owls, snakes, fish, rats, mice, big hairy spiders, meerkats, o, everything. Best £1.30 I've ever spent in Birmingham! Then we pottered into the park and lay on the grass reading and people-watching. It was a perfect afternoon.

I do feel lucky to have Mirabelle as a friend. I have never in my life had such a close friend. We are so happy in each others company, and I cannot imagine now not being friends with her. She keeps me sane! And I think I do the same for her…!

Anyway, exams are over, I had a wonderful afternoon with my best mate, and this evening we (a bunch of lovely people from my block) are all going to have dinner together at a great Chinese restaurant, then join the rest of our year at a pub and then got clubbing and get mightily merry! Woot!


We didn’t make it to the club. We were tired, and after a few drinks in the pub, drooped far too much to be dancing. So Mirabelle, Sylvia, Lily, Laura, Tom and I went to the all night supermarket and bought cream cakes then came back to our house for tea. It was lovely. Genuinely lovely.

Monday, April 02, 2007

2 down, 1 to go...

O dear. Today was the first exam – MCQ on CRU (cardio-renal-urology), EDEN (elderly care, diabetes, eyes, neurology) and CBM (community based medicine ie general practice).

It was horrendous. I hope that I’ve passed EDEN and CBM, but God only knows how I did on CRU. Most of the stuff I didn’t have a blithering clue about.

I also had a poster presentation to do in the afternoon, which was surprisingly good. First, seeing your mini study all printed out shiny and big as an A1 poster is so exciting, and second it was very cool chatting to two consultants and them actually engaging with you, listening, and discussing, not teaching. It felt really good.

O, and I have finally spoken to my family in New Zealand – I have desperately missed having my mum at the end of the phone during revision stress, so it was great to have a little catch up. Although the 3 second delay on transmission is a little troublesome! And it is so weird to speak to them at 10.30pm Monday here, when its Tuesday morning there. Technology is a wondrous thing.

Currently eating: those shrimps and bananas again…