Monday, 30 August 2010

Back to School Blues...

This time last year I was so excited about going to medical school. Jump-up-and-down-on-the-bed-can't-stop-smiling excited. I had lists and checklists and timetables and agendas. Every second weekend was spent at Ikea or Asda or Home and Bargains comparing the prices of plates and clothes horses.

Not feeling it this year.

I mean, I am looking forward to going back. I've been off for ten weeks now and I haven't really done anything interesting. I have, however, watched so much television that I know what they're going to say on the advert before they say it. I got excited when the new BT adverts come out. I voted on whether or not Jane should be pregnant (yes, obviously). I have reached ultimate sadness levels, according to the brother. So yes, I want to go back, if only so I have something to do.

Yesterday saw the start of the annual stationary shop, in time for the new year. I bought twenty black ball point pens for £1.49. Once upon a time such a small detail would make me smile because it was linked to uni. Yesterday - nothing. I also bought new trousers for GP days. Again, nothing.

I don't know if it's because I'm a "veteran" now but I'm really not feeling it this year. Maybe, in a week or so, something will click and I'll get all excited. Until then, more television, less eating and idealistic dreams that I'm going to be thin before I go back.

Just read: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Amazing - heartwarming, elegant, poignant. Just ignore the fact it's aimed at children.

Reading: Left Hand of God by Phillip Hoffman. Terrible, despite The Times calling it "well told" and Eoin Colfer saying it was "Magnificent". It isn't. Don't read it.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


After boasting about my skill at baking this happened yesterday:

They got burnt. Turns out that it is a fan oven. And they taste all chewy. This is what happens when you try to be healthy and make fruity muffins instead of chocolate chip. Of course, it could just be karma telling me to keep my mouth shut...

Toodles :D

Monday, 23 August 2010

Resits and stuff...

I passed my driving test!!!! With only one minor! Made me very happy, I have to say, especially since the examiner was telling me off for being too cautious. We did have a nice conversation though about the deminse of politeness and decency and how hospitals should bring back matrons. I agree, by the way, about the matron thing. Would help with the superbug problem if there was someone in charge of the ward in that way. A Madam Pomfrey kind of figure, or someone from an Enid Blyton boarding school book.

I also got a new camera. It's a Fujifilm JX530 and is very nice. Black, sleek, thin enough to fit into my pocket, takes photos nice and quick unlike my last camera which would jutter, sigh, then pull itself together whilst moaning about it's arthritic knees before clicking. I'm going to do the 365 day challenge. You take a photo every day to sum it up. Or I will do, if I can decide on a photo for today. I'll try to post some up here. The one's that are as unpersonal as possible.

So it's resit week this week. At least, it is at Birmingham. There are quite a few medics with resits, about 10% somebody said. Good luck to everyone who has resits. One of my best friends has quite a few, so she's been pretty much non-existant during the summer because she's been revising so much. If I had gotten resits I would have taken it as a sign that I wasn't meant to do medicine and dropped out, because there honestly wasn't any more revision I could have done. Well, there was, but I wouldn't have slept. I'm sure that says something about my revision strategy.

I'm sure that paragraph was going to go somewhere better.......ummm.......

Update on the house: we're now sorting out TV and broadband. Turns out we're going to pay more for high speed broadband than it would have cost for the joint broadband, TV and phone package. That having been decided, quite undemocratically I have to add, we're now buying a freeview box and arguing over whether or not you need an ariel or a dish.

Just finished reading Neil Gaiman's Nevewhere. He now holds the position of "Favourite Author" alongside Steven Moffat who it "Favourite Screenwrite". Amazing book, by the way. He writes fantasy without creating whole new worlds (like Terry Pratchett, who I still like). Instead he takes the real world and alters it and adds to it to make it fantastical. Sigh, I wish I could write like that. At the moment I'm toying with shifting dimensions that slip in and out of focus like 3D pictures. And I had a great idea about dreamwalking but Inception came along and stole the patent rights to that novel. Oh well. Let's just see how it goes.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Kitchen Disasters Both Now and Next Year...

I think it’s sufficient to say that I will never cook Asian food like my Mum does. Actually, I think that I’ll never be able to cook Asian food. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. Unless my Mum is standing over me the entire time. We made butternut squash curry (with mushrooms and chickpeas) together at the beginning of the summer. It was so good I’m salivating just thinking about it. Yesterday I tried to make it on my lonesome. First I put the garlic and ginger in at the wrong time. There wasn’t enough oil. There wasn’t enough salt. And then it burnt. There was a layer of...stuff at least a centimetre thick coating the bottom of the pan. It was depressing. I cried (I’m blaming lack of food for that momentary lapse of composure). Mum drained off the veg and made it again from scratch in what seemed like half the time it took for me to fry my onions.

This does not bode well for the future. No prospective suitor (and I am talking waaaay in the future here) wants a wife who can’t cook. And makes chapattis that look like different continents.

Actually I lie. I can cook. I cook great when there’s a recipe to follow and, in the case of yesterday, the squash is peeled and chopped before anything goes on the heat. But Mum, like most other Asians, doesn’t do exact quantities. Instead it’s “a bit of curry powder, a bit of garam masaala” or “put some oil in the pan and fry some onions”. Well, how much is a bit? Some oil? How much oil? Hence why I need parental supervision.

But I bake a treat. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I make the nicest chocolate fudge brownies and apparently really nice Millionaire’s Shortbread. But you can’t live off confectionary at uni. Well, you could, but you would be huge. And that isn’t a good thing. Can you imagine telling a patient that they need to be healthy and lose weight when your office chair has to be custom made? However, I did enjoy watching “The Great British Bake-Off” yesterday, even though I was fasting and it was Hour Fourteen. Some of those chocolate celebration cakes looked yum. I really hope the recipes are on-line. I see a giant bake day in the very near future.

Ah yes, cooking next year. You see, last year when I lived on the Vale, I was in catered accommodation. Mum said it would help with the transition to Uni and it did. I have huge respect for my fellow medics who had the same 25-27 hour week as me and cooked as well. Next year I’ll be one of them. Part of me is really looking forward to it – I’ve ripped out loads of recipes from the Asda magazine and spend the first day of Ramadan fantasising about all the lovely risottos and leek tarts I was going to make. Part of me is dreading it. I can see myself living off gypsy bread and beans. Or takeout. All this Ramzaan weight loss is going to be for nothing.

But moving into the house in Birmingham is still a month off. I’ve got packing to do before then, text books to buy, long facebook conversations with the housemates about who’s going to bring the bleach and who’s bringing the iron. They want to buy bread and milk as a house by having a tub in the kitchen for us to put money in. I can’t see it happening, least of all because I’m drinking lactose free milk at the moment. But we can dream. Arguments within the first month? Yes, I think so too.

I’m off to watch Richard Dawkin’s “Faith School Menace” on More Four. Boy I hate that guy. Sorry, dislike him immensely.

Toodles :D

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Hi Everyone...

Hi everyone!!! Welcome to “It’s Complicated”!

Last year I started my medical degree at the University of Birmingham and decided to blog about my experiences. I had loads of fun writing the blog but at the end of the year decided I needed to make some changes in order to make it better. And, because I like to do things the long, complicated way, I didn’t just change the title of the old blog, I made a brand new one. Voila.

It’s Complicated is my attempt to make sense and write about my complicated world. Things aren’t just straightforward with me. During fresher’s last year I realised that when people would ask me questions, especially about my family, I would reply by saying “it’s complicated” (where the blog title comes from). It’s not actually that complicated but compared to some, and especially when you start trying to explain things to total strangers, it can seem that way.

So, the succinct version. I’m a second year medic (or at least, soon to b
e) at Birmingham Uni who hates science with a passion. Especially physiology. I don’t mind the clinical stuff, I love doing the practical stuff but, although I find it kinda interesting, I can’t stand pure science. I did medicine for the people. But when you’re in the pre-clinical years the people seem a long way off and you spend most of your time learning pathways and molecule names and the answers to every single “why” question you can think of. I don’t ask why. I just accept.

But I love English. Favourite subject at A-level: English Lit. Favourite hobby: Reading. I write. Or at least I did write until my creative spark decided to evade me during this stupidly long summer. If you could do joint honours in English and Medicine I would. So I spend most of my time wishing I was in English lectures and trying to find a way to balance both halves of my life.
Not your typical medical student.

Then there’s the family. My parents are divorced. My dad got remarried without telling me. I have a love-hate relationship with my younger brother. I didn’t really deal with everything that well the first time round and I’m now having lots of déjà vu moments/episodes.

It’s not all that bad. At times I love my life. And then, like most people, there are times when I hate it. It’s Complicated is so I can have somewhere to write about it – medicine, English, the family. Kind of like a journal, but people read it (and hopefully comment on it). There will be posts about medicine and the medical degree here. There will hopefully be bits and bobs about books I’ve read. There will be rants about the family. And, if I get any followers, there will be a Twitter page too. Sound like something you’d like reading? Follow me. Tell your friends. See if you can work out who I am.

And thank you, for reading this far at least.

I’ll blog again next week, probably something about moving out of halls and into a house, or something about resists (which start soon).

Until then, toodles :D