Thursday, 29 April 2010


It's been an age since I've written, but the world hasn't stopped turning and I lost impetus. Busy isn't a valid excuse but maybe fun is ?

Shortly after my last post I resigned from my rather average job in Vancouver which caused no end of commotion. I've realised that most people on this planet think they are either better than they really are (or more attractive, interesting or thinner but I digress). And I know that no one is really good at dealing with criticism however we like to think we are (package it right, make it constructive blah blah blah, but at the end of the day if you had worked it out yourself and changed it, no one would have to tell you in the first place?), but this experience took it to a whole new level. Talk about lack of insight. Should you choose to put yourself on a pedestal and live in a bubble then at some point the bubble will burst. Suffice to say that some of my senior colleagues got emotional and unprofessional. Upsetting and unnecessary. I've never experienced resigning before, and hopefully never again as it wasn't pleasant, but it shouldn't be a drama. Life changes and either you move with the changes (or preferably ahead of them) or you won't survive (prettily at any rate). Darwin was brilliant on so many levels.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Farewell to the Olympics

The Olympics are over. Yesterday's finale of the hockey gold was the perfect finish for Canada - the result of the game was how Canadians would remember the games - glory or disappointment (USA scored to equal 2-2 at 24 seconds to go, then golden goal into extra time - I'm a hockey fan don't you know). Downtown was crazy last night with a mass of red and white supporters, flag wavers and cars honking their horns. The level of patriotic outpouring that emerged over the whole games has certainly surprised even the most cynical of Vancouverite (a poll released last week suggested that 70 per cent of residents of Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor believe the 2010 Games will have a positive impact on Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver)

It has been a fun couple of weeks, and while I've been mainly at work, olympic fever has gripped all conversations and after work activities (and I was lucky enough to have my own personal news hound returning from Whistler daily with an update on some of the races). Uplifting and powerful have been regular words used in the press. The first few days of trouble and negative attention gave way to a good spirit of competitiveness with Canada's 'Own the Podium' being a clear success. Team GB have some work to do (err how much money was invested into curling?). The UK have managed to give themselves a bad name with Guardian articles making news over here and how we Brits shouldn't be too quick to judge as 2012 is likely to be without incident either. Unfortunately the Canadians are not familiar with our liberal opinionated journalism as everyone here is too nice and they simply don't understand it.

This blog has been quite good, but also for the comments underneath if you have a spare 10 minutes to read, it is quite interesting

Either way, the torch is now in GB's hands, and like it or not, the next Olympic games will be in London 2012. I say we might as well embrace it and start practice our flag waving now. It may unite us and bring a new pride.


Monday, 15 February 2010

Olympic Fever

Olympic fever is finally upon this wet city. There has been a lot of negative anticipation, primarily over the elevated costs, but the city is embracing it's role as host. Right pic is of the torch in Whistler last Friday with token First Nations representative. Despite the tragic events of Nodar Kumaritashvili's luge accident on Friday morning with the general opinion that the track is too fast and that the visiting teams weren't allowed enough time to practise on it, the town was alive with good cheer and open hearts on Friday night for the opening ceremony. The city and most of its inhabitants are immensely proud and thrilled to be hosting the event and are fully decked out in the red and white national colours. It feels alive (not the Vancouver nor Canada I have come to be familiar with it has to be said), vibrant and is partying hard. It is a special time to be in a city uniting the world and it feels good. Not even the dull wet weather which has melted most of the snow in Cypress detracted the Canadians to celebrate finally win their first ever gold medal yesterday. I hope to venture out more in the next few days after my final week of on call (ever!!!) London 2012 is going to be exciting. Olympic fever is hot.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Green and Pleasant

The flying visit back to the UK was an overwhelming success! PHEW!

Jet lag, trying to be charming and sell myself to people I've never met before and persuade them that they want me as a work colleague for the next 25 years was surprisingly stressful. It was a wierd experience - it was a given that you are a competent radiologist but it was all about how you could add value and help develop the service in the future. All rather alien to me but clearly managed to convince them. Really tough as not the same as doing an exam (of which I consider myself an virtuoso after all these years!) where once you are above a certain standard you should pass, whereas this process was all about being better than the person next to you; who happened to be Deepa my lovely dear friend. An added dimension of stress. Thankfully (and rightfully) they offered us both jobs!! I'm about to be a consultant radiologist!! Sounds more grown up than I care to think about. Feels right too though. I'm ready.

England seemed a bit rude, lovely and green, small but overwhelmingly home.
I caught up with several of my dear friends on the evening after the job interview which was great. Felt like I hadn't been away which is how you know you are amongst real friends. Great home cooked food, inertia one side of the table, politics and the quest for the perfect woman the other. There is some comfort in predictabliity after all!! Perfect loud opinionated boisterous company.
Then whizzed up to Cambridge to my father's surprise 70th birthday party. Speechless my father is not very often. Double whammy of surprise visit and consultant jo goodb news ensured about 20 seconds of silence. No TIA incurred in the process. Another fun evening with his loud happy friends who definitely embrace life. Joked about weddings in Vegas with my mother (another silence ensued).
Back the next day to Vancouver, very confused bodyclock but worth it. Time for a mulberry handbag, trip to Argentina and a new house!! Maybe growing up isn't so bad?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Topsy Turvy

Can it be condition or a symptom? Or both?
I understand it is a type of tomato plant and a Mike Leigh film also.
I used to love the Mr Men books. Mr Tickle and Mr Messy were other favourites.
It sums me up well this week.

Reasons for being topsy turvy

Been on call all weekend.

Pending job interview back in UK next week.

Unsure about how I feel about going back.

Need outfit, convincing sentences, ability to sell myself. Alien.

One of best mates applying for same job. Only one job.

Perfect job. Can you want something too much?

Wierd to think that this is what I have been working towards since I started sixth form in 1991....

Just had big haircut. Will I be disappointed in the morning when I wake up?

Should I have a plan B?

Will is taking a 'sabbatical' and flying out in 2 weeks. YAY. Can't plan anything as no idea what is happening. Alien.

Need to find new place to live as current arrangement not suitable for us; everyone trying to cash in on the Olympics making that tricky.

Current housemate emotional and difficult.

Still raining here. Lots of snow in Whistler. Should I go skiing on Saturday??

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Good Intentions

I haven't really noticed the new decade. Fairly sure I'm in a time warp. I rarely write at work these days so haven't written 2010 much as I used to scribbling in patient's notes as a junior doctor. I remember at the turn of the last decade (on a beach in Mozambique) thinking 2010 was a long way away and I would be very grown up and adult like by then. Not sure what happened there. And I rarely make New Year's resolutions as a plan to do something doesn't have to wait until 1 January, and as January is usually a bit of a miserable month, red wine and chocolate are often a necessity. Plus I hate all those extra people in the gym in January huffing and puffing who I know won't be there by February. That said it is always good to set new challenges and goals. This year they include (in no particular order) - get consultant job, go to Argentina, resist botox, watch the Godfather (everyone can't believe I have never seen it), go heli skiing, consider marriage without freaking out, master decent pastry, skype more, listen better, don't sweat the small stuff. All controllables.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year

Blackcomb Mountain from Whistler Mountain

I would love to write a lot about a brilliant 10 days up in Whistler but this is going to have to be a quickie as unfortunately I have to read about world class commissioning for the NHS instead. Suffice to say that days 5-14 were excellent; with great company and some epic powder days, and quite a lot of beer. What more can a girl want? I will write more later about the cultural differences between apres ski in Europe and Canada and cooking a full Christmas dinner for 7 without a single oven proof dish.

2010 has started as it means to go on - with plenty of hard work at challenging myself both on and off the piste (quite literally). The rewards will be worth it.

Black Tusk from Whistler Mountain