Sunday, March 30, 2008

Acrylic, ink and coloured pencil on Bristol board

(I really wish I had a super duper scanner, so you could see her in all her glory. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it was fun to mess around with. Did you know, photographing paintings is damn hard -this is the computer jigged version: brightness and contrast and cropping etc. None I really have a clue about, but she looks ok now I think.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Not working, but should be

It's my week off for Easter, and I'm faffing. Not really working, but not really relaxing either. Just blithering somewhere inbetween. Grr.

On the other hand, I have finished a painting (of a flying purple hippo) and re-read several early Discworld novels. Oh, and done muchos housework, dragged entire trees (in pieces clearly) up our garden and chauffered my siblings here, there and everywhere.

The weather's up the spout too. Even more bipolar than the usual British spring. We're have hail, snow, showers, downpours and glorious sunshine this week - sometimes all in one day. No wonder I'm so unsettled.

Currently very pleased with: my new foundation brush from the Bodyshop. It's wickedly good for even smooth applications!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Never go on a a home visit to a patient with D&V

Because you end up losing the better part of half a week to it...

I started my GP placment last week. We are attached to two practices - an 'inner' practice, which is city centre based (Birmingham, Dudley, Wolves) and has a group of final years, where we consult and have tutorials, and an 'outer' practice which is supposed more rural, but mine is basically still Birmingham, in a 'nice' area. I'm the only student there, and all my time is spent consulting.

I started at my outer practice last Monday, and instantly felt at home, becasue the practice is so warm and welcoming. I had a good first three days, and then should have gone to my inner practice on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, on Wednesday evening, after my choir rehearsal, I started to feel extremely nauseous. By 10.30pm, I had my head down the toilet puking my guts up, and returned there at regular intervals throughout the night. And I mean regular - every 20 minutes for the first four hours. It was the worse night of my life. Thank God for ensuites!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I spent Thursday day sleeping, Thursday night sleeping, and Friday morning sleeping. After that I felt much better, though a little wobbly. It wasn't until yesterday, when I was bouncing around with my usual vim and vigour, that my housemate remarked I 'was back to normal'.

Of course the moral of the story is: Don't bother your GP with diarrhoea and vomiting. You'll only end up sharing the joy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Last Concert

Last night was my last concert with Medchoir, the medschool choir. I've been a member for the entire time I've been at Medschool, a grand total of 5 years, and now it's finished.

When I started at Medschool, and went to the Freshers Fair, the first thing I wanted to be signed up for was the newly formed choir. Everything else could be considered, but the choir was the thing. Sure enough, I found it, and signed myself up. During that first year there were about 10 members. We sung simple music, and did a 10 minute slot in the Medschool orchestra's concert. At the end of my first year, when the choir was 2 years old, it was decided that it needed a committee. So I put my name down, and became the treasurer.

Over the next four years I remained on the committee, becoming secretary and then finally president. I watched the members grow to nearly 40, and our hard work bring together concerts in several local churches. We've even sung for the Lord Mayor and for the Free Men of the City in the Council Houses!

Medchoir has always been a choir for everyone - even if you've only ever sung in the shower and don't read music. This can make rehearsals slow and limit the music we can sing. So two years ago we started a chamber choir, for people whose were better than your average. It's transmuted into a female vocal group, of about 8-10 of us, and we have a lot of fun. It relieves the boredom of listening the altos learning the same line over and over for the tenth week in a row!

But last night was the last concert I'll ever sing with them. It was fantastic - a joint concert between all the music groups in the Medical school, including the orchestra, choir, chamber choir and flute group. It was just as it ever was and ever has been, but I'll never do it again. I'm going to miss all of them, my singing friends. But what a way to go! The first time the choir and orchestra have ever completed a joint piece: Handel's Zadok the Priest. It was an amazing high at the end of a long and tuneful road. And here it is, by the magic of the internet - not in perfect quality, half the orchestra seem to have disappeared, but here none the less, for your enjoyment!
(I've also included the female chamber choir singing the Dance of the Magyars, because it sounded great and we loved singing it!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008


It was the Medic's annual ball last night, in the ICC. I've been every year since I started - a grand total of FIVE of these things. They're great - champagne reception, 3 course dinner, then dancing and a casino after. Plus all your friends, all shiny and glam and gorgeous and having a good time!

I had a really good time, but I'm so knackered now... I'm way too old for this going out and staying up all night malarkey.

And I've just worked out that I don't have a free evening until the end of term - in two weeks time. And I start general practice tomorrow. At 8.10am. An hour's drive away.

It'a going to be a loooooooong fortnight.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I finished my medicine block today. Apparently I should know all the medicine I'll ever need for F1... I wish that were so.

On my role reversal form - based on me taking the F1's bleep and doing all her jobs for the day (under supervision of course!) - my team's F1 wrote in the comments section: 'polite'. On my PBA form (professional behaviours and attitudes) the Reg wrote 'always well presented, professional attitude'.

I may be going to be a crap doctor, but at least I'll be polite and well presented about it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Shallow but happy

I love make-up. It brings me more pleasure than should be allowed from mere frivolous pigment. And I really wear it...

I like to wear slightly off the wall make up. I love really dark soft smudgy eyeliner (Barry M does a fabulous one) worn in a heavy ring. Or precise liquid liner in an elegant wing. I adore brightly coloured eyeliners and eyeshadows - electric blue, golden green, punky purple. I wear them in intense blocks, or blended together in arching rainbows (a current favourite is 4 shades of blue, from kingfisher to almost black - mmmm). I also have a love affair with deep dark lipsticks - my favourites are a rich blue-toned red and a juicy blackcurrant stain. Obviously, I don't wear all of these items at once. That would be off the wall. Very off. Eyes or lips, people, eyes OR lips.

Because makeup is so important to me, it can often be the foundation of an outfit. I'll decide on the makeup, then fit the outfit round it. For instance, this weekend is the medic's ball, and I'm wearing the dark red lippy. So I've therefore picked a black dress with shiny silvery accessories to go with the lipstick....

My dear housemate Sylvia (my running partner - and yes, it is going well, we're up to 18 mins, which is prob about 3km) is gorgeous in a casual Cameron Diaz way. She has the coolest kookiest dress sense, and always wears fab necklaces. But no makeup. She can manage concealer and mascara, and that's it. So this year I have been teaching her how to apply makeup. Its been tricky - despite being competent and confident, she is completely cack-handed as soon as a mascara wand is in her hand. And also, what works on me (anything) doesn't always work on other people. God blessed me with large eyes framed with high open brows. Plenty of space to work with!

Anyway, tonight we finally got Sylvia's makeup perfect. Subtle, flattering, easily reproduced by the girl herself. And I was so immensely satisfied.

I love makeup.

Currently wearing: my new ring - a treat to wear for the ball on Saturday.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

She Came, She Saw, She Conquered... ish

Ah, the ECG.

That squiggly line on the pink graph paper that represents the electrical activity of the heart. The line that has struck dread deep into the heart of this medical student since the first time she saw one.

But no longer!

I spent Thursday evening revising everything I'd ever learnt about ECGs, and it made sense. For the first time ever. And on Friday afternoon, the hospital teaching fellow took us for some amazing ECG teaching that brought it all together, and I finally feel as though I understand.

It's only taken 3 years.

But still, no more will the ECG paralyse this student on ward rounds! No, instead I shall proclaim my diagnosis with confidence!