Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Day 4 Whistler

Sunday 20 December.

Deep slightly wet powder but lots of it. Loving my Mynx skis.
Will's first day and we probably hadn't anticipated how deep the powder would be on his first run of the season, but he did well and we didn't break him. All long bones intact. Dawna my housemate was our local guide which was great.
Much fun had by all. 2 more days of work then Christmas literally has arrived.
Life wouldn't be half as fun if skiing didn't exist.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Extra cream with that?

A busy few days sticking tubes in (literally) every orifice. Suede shoes safely in wardrobe.
Yesterday I put a PEG tube (feeding tube into the stomach from the skin) into a 52 year old man who had had 2 massive strokes resulting in him being unable to speak or move let alone swallow safely without aspirating. His wife was holding it together remarkedly well. What a bum deal to end up with a vegetable of a husband when you should have at least 20 years of good life together still to live. And I guess you aren't meant to leave them as that would seem callous; but at what point does for better or worse really not hold up anymore? It seems like a hell of a commitment to the unknown. Should you have thought about all these possibilities beforehand or is everyone in denial and just winging it and crossing their fingers and hoping they don't have to deal with such issues?
Maybe that is why some women turn into such nagging wives as once committed they don't want their husband getting fat, high cholesterol or hypertension. I'm all for quality rather than quantity and I don't plan to expire at 52, but should I be knocking on the pearly gates with no quality of life, ask them to let me in and carry on enjoying your life (particularly in the deep powder!) on my behalf please.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Small Things

There are so few things that really do actually matter. I'm one to stress about the size of my gluteus maximus as much as the next neurotic female but in reality I control my life and if I don't like it, I can and should do something about it. A recurring theme of the choice thing again I suppose.
I like to think I am good at looking at the bigger picture and the reality is that i/ life is short and ii/ most peoples' existence on this planet is utterly superfluous.
So, I'm not going to win the Nobel prize for medicine or even get a Knighthood for services to radiology (never say never but unlikely); but perhaps the little things can make a difference; in the smallest way to making the world either a better place (and I don't mean that in a nauseating smug moral high ground stand point as I like to think I've never been there and shoot me if I ever do) or just to make someone feel good about themselves (in a genuine way where no one else serves to gain) or make someone smile. And often by doing those actions, you can make yourself feel good about yourself too. Making someone a cup of tea in the morning (next week's ski team please take note) for example.
The Canadians do it well; it may not always come across as well meaning to the cynical Brit writing here but actually they would be deeply offended to think it wasn't received as sweet and genuine. I'm starting to enjoy having random benign chats with Canadian people (ok so most of them are waitresses or servers after a tip as minimum wage is so awful here but that ruins the theme of this blog..)
My mother wrote me an email saying I will be missed at the family get together on Saturday for Christmas turkey (I'm the product of undemanding parents who don't expect physical presence at religious feasts + value independence + a decent carbon footprint thank GOD!) and my sister emailed to say that in the chaos that is our family trying to eat together a plate of food got made up for me by mistake. The small things do count.
All the diamonds in the world (obviously a few are acceptable) can't replace that.
I thought a dear friend had forgotten my birthday and I got home from being on call and flowers had been sent from England.
Friends picked me up and drove me to Whistler and another friend dropped me home yesterday.
Karaoke machine has been purchase for NY festivities to be brought out by Deepa, but now at the mercy of BA..
I ablated a patient's liver metastasis today and he was so thankful in his broken English; whereas actually I felt good because he was so nice about it and he was the one with colorectal metastases and I have no idea what that really must be like.

I hope we are not all being too busy and too hurried in life to either take the time to do them or take the time to appreciate someone doing them for us.

Day 2+3 Whistler

12 + 13 December. It is pretty special having the mountains right on your doorstep. Not something I will tire of easily. On the slopes by 0845 and it had snowed about 20cm on the Blackcomb side so found some fresh tracks under Glacier Express and Crystal and we had the mountain to ourselves. It was turning into one of those perfect ski days where I felt utterly contented and had deep inner calm - where you know that the uncertainty of next year and what is to come will be OK as right now everything is good. It then started to snow and close in but after lunch we headed over to Whistler mountain for clear blue skies and amazingly soft snow. Conditions far exceeded expectations of hard packed snow. Finished off the day with a long run down from the Blackcomb glacier (after a short but very breathless walk up). Whistler is expensive but the pistes are in good condition and there are lots of snow canons lower down. Young attractive Aussies are on hand to put your skis onto the gondolas for you and there is a general high level of service which the French could learn from.. The North Americans don't like my queuing technique however.
In the name of research, we hit the apres ski scene hard and did a thorough reconnaisance of several drinking establishments and hot tubs. Not a toffee vodka in sight but didn't seem to matter! Snowing and low cloud today so more gentle cruising but very pleasurable all the same. Happy Days!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Day 1 Whistler

Sunday 6 December

Got back from Chicago and went straight to bed. Woke at 3am excited (I felt like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve). Got up at 6, on the slopes in Whistler by 8.45.
Yeah Baby Yeah.
The first snow report of the season on this blog! Now I have a use for the people coming out to ski rather than the self absorbant drivel so far! This is why I do weeks of crap on calls, biopsy every normal thyroid going and put in every chest drain in every huge pleural effusion they want on ITU....

Hard packed snow; (base 200cm); hasn't snowed for a week, but found some really lovely snow near 7th Heaven (not sure what happened to 1-6 and where did the phrase 7th Heaven come from anyway? Anything to do with 7 deadly sins?) and the Glacier Express.
Pistes - very well groomed. Empty. No queues.
New skis carve amazingly; they like the softer stuff better and have a feeling they won't disappoint in the powder either.
Cold -20C and v windy, so more like -30C. Frostbite warnings on all lifts. Don't fret equipe Robinson - unusually cold for Whistler.
Clear blue skies and sunny.
Food - average but not awful. Canteen style. Not surprisingly no tartiflette or chocolate fondant but waistline won't mind. Therefore no Russian choppers required to get us home after big lunch from wrong valley. Apres ski report next weekend.
Peak to Peak gondola - amazing. Bit scary. No photos this time as camera battery didn't like the cold.
People in yellow checking you don't speed and take away lift pass if do so.
Lifts shut at 3pm.
The best bit (Grace will like this) so far... They have pretty much thought of everything here...

Tissues at the bottom of a chairlift for your runny nose!!

Number of snow baths - 0.
All long bones intact.

The Windy City

I've just spent the last week in Chicago at the Radiological Society of North America which attracts a world record 60,000 delegates. It is incredibly inspiring (I affirm my love of radiology at every conference I go to and am gradually overcoming my fear of presenting to the big cheeses) but massive - a huge convention centre with an airplane hanger sized industry exhibit hall all with the latest bits of kit to wow potential buyers. Great to catch up with lots of friends and colleagues from London and to make new friends too. Life is a bit uncertain for many of us at the moment with consultant jobs needing to be sort, so it had the potential to be slightly tense (and I did wonder I might get poisoned by my rivals) but all passed very amicably! It is so useful to chat to others about their world including experiences of radiology and to share ideas and values (doctors are not very good at 'networking'); and even better over a drink which a large multi national company wishes to buy for you. Our teleradiology company even got as far as getting a name. We ate well (predominantly oysters and large pieces of moo-ing cow; Sunda, Shaw's crab house, Wildfire, Kenzie chophouse), imbibed some quality martinis and showed the locals some of our finest shapes on the dancefloors, and kept the American economy on the magnificent mile afloat for a few more days. Got on the plane broken; I'm looking forward to a quiet healthy week - Vancouver is well suited to that!

Elisa, myself and Deepa before going into the Field Museum behind us for an evening amongst the dinosaurs.

Very good sushi at Shaw's.

Monday, 23 November 2009


The on call birthday weekend passed pretty uneventfully.
It rained here and snowed a lot more in Whistler.
The boys enjoyed knee deep light powder while I reported endless CT scans.
I accidentally fell into Tiffany's for respite.
We went out for a lovely supper and my pager didn't go off.
Dawna my housemate made an excellent mango cheesecake.
Quite a few people remembered by birthday which was nice (facebook reminders help) as I do wonder whether out of sight is out of mind.
I sometimes wonder how many people will turn up to my funeral (if there isn't a live web link by then).
I'm not sure I can even get away with lying about being 30 anymore.
Will continue to tick wrong age demographic box in questionnaires for a while longer though.
Found lots of grey hairs today - at least the expensive highlights are justified now.
Will stay away from the botox until the early mid life crisis kicks in.
Body clock clearly malfunctioning, or battery broken. Maybe will sell eggs, freezing too expensive.
Chicago in 4 days. Then skiing begins in earnest.
Hope not too osteoporotic yet.

(35 is a discrete semiprime (or biprime) (5 x 7); the tenth, and the first with 5 as the lowest non-unitary factor.)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Highway 1

Highway one is the pacific coastal road from San Fran to LA. It is part of the pan- American highway which starts in Alaska heading south through the Yukon province of Canada, into BC past Whistler to Vancouver (where it is called the Sea to Sky Highway) across the border, into Washington, Orgeon, California and then all the way to Panama and onto Valparaisao in Chile.

It is spectacularly scenic hugging the rugged coastline with crashing surf and remote sandy beaches, interspersed with towering redwoods.

Big Sur was the destination - a selection of high end lodges and eco cabins nestled amongst several national parks stepped in anicent redwoods on the pacific coast ; a calming place with excellent hiking and stunning panoramic views. Great burritos, quiet, and incredible stars as no light pollution. Cabin in woods (+ heated floor + internet for her) + wood fire outside (for him) made for a relaxing few days.

Always good to leave a place wishing you could stay longer. California is cool.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wet Dog Kinda Day

Without exaggeration it has rained non stop since I landed from San Fran on Saturday. I remain unadjusted as to how foul the weather is. I'm told that the yearly rainfall in Vancouver is similiar (sic) to the UK and I quite frankly didn't believe it. Cue Prof Google. With good reason - the average annual rainfall in Vancouver is 1117.2mm, with November being the wettest month with 167.2mm of rain. Average rainfall in London is 585mm with Devon + Cornwall receiving about 900-1000mm (another place to potentially live dismissed) and parts of western Scotland a tsumanious amount of over 4,000mm (not sure that is a word or not). In true British style I whinge daily about the weather whereas the Canadians continue to be ever cheerful and charming. They clearly know something I don't - hopefully about the amazing snow which is dumping in Whistler - a record 233cm base this morning. Total bummer that I'm on call this birthday weekend as my new skis are eager to play in the powder.
It has been a wet dog kind of few days - where even the dog wouldn't want to go for a walk and then remains damp and smelly for a while afterward. Perfect baking weather though. North American chocolate is like dog chocolate and I'm currently loving Reece's peanut butter cups which is strange as I don't particularly like peanut butter; however it is the combination of salt and sweet which works so well. Crispy salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies may just get me through a weekend on call and into a new age demographic....

Thursday, 12 November 2009

San Francisco

Just over two hours flight down the coast and the climate is totally different. For the humid obsessed amongst us (n=1), it is actually more pleasant than the dryness of Vancouver; the skies are clear and it is a very pleasant 16-18C (packing exam failed with too many jumpers and no sun cream). And not a rain drop in sight. HEAVEN.

Home of the Golden Gate Bridge and the huge bay, cable cars (brilliant invention on the steepest of hills - the cables are changed every 2-3 months as they wear out), Alcatraz (vastly inferior to Robben Island), the second largest Chinatown town in the States after NYC with amazing dim sum to name but a few attractions and of course the HIV epidemic where in the 1980s a third of the gay male population were infected.

It is a really lovely city; cities and water go together like gin and tonic. It feels a little edgy with an interesting melting pot of cultures, people and (importantly) cuisine. Not too much of America to sour the taste. Good discovery of a happy hour in this recession ridden country (with a headline the other day announcing unemployment at a new record high of over 10%) was 1$ oysters!

Anything goes here. It really is a uniquely distorted place.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pre Californication

Time has been playing tricks again this week. My perception of time passing is definitely abnormal. I still think I'm 25 and this week has gone on forever. I cycled to work this morning amid what started as light drizzle and progressed too rapidly to a heavy downpour and as I attempted to dodge the piles of wet slippery slimy leaves they don't clear away here (adds to the adventure I'm told when attempted to complain), I tried to think of the appropriate word to describe the weather (in an effort not to focus on the ever increasing paraesthesia in my terminal phalanges). I concluded on the appropriateness of the word filthy. Not in the smutty way either.

I digress.

It's been a long week.
The boiler broke (now fixed).
I spent more time wet than dry.
Mental note: never go and live in Wales or Scotland for prolonged periods.
H1N1 jab hurts (have it in your thigh not your arm).
I finished my 8 weeks of booty camp (with a 4% reduction in body fat) which I perversely enjoyed.
4 months is too long between holidays; they should be on repeat prescription every 6-8 weeks.
I'm off to San Fran tomorrow early (strictly still the middle of the night) to meet Will for a few days then driving down Highway 1 to Big Sur.
I'm excited but long distance relationships are hard. Hope we get on!
Trying to pack; which I see as a chore when it shouldn't be as it means you are going somewhere (usually) fun. Hence the blog writing distraction.
Having worn scrubs at work and cycling / gym / fleeces / uber casual clothes for the last 4 months; it is quite interesting looking through the wardrobe at heels (reluctantly) catching dust, and pretty nice clothes which I can actually wear next week; I feel deattached from them.

Have flowers for my hair at least.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lynn Valley

I had a quiet weekend as have been rushing around a lot with plenty of early starts for max-ing out the oh-so-precious weekends not on call for weeks and weeks on top of the early weekday starts. It was forecast to rain so that meant writing some blogs, catching up on emails, trying to write consultant application form, having a haircut etc. The people who clearly make up the weather forecast (as a job no less) got it wrong again and it didn't rain so I felt obliged to be outside and enjoy the unwetness of it all; particularly as I was beginning to get used to the unkempt drowned rat look and was wondering why I owned a hairdryer.

I trekked over to North Vancouver and the Lynn Valley Park - there is an Indiana Jones style suspension bridge over a narrow pretty gorge and lots of hiking trails. I went with Jules and her cousin back in September but wanted to come back and walk some of the trails. It was lovely; especially to be out in the crisp fresh air on my own with plenty of time to think (and dogs to say hello to), but rather wet and slippery and I had an good fall with a resultant rather impressive calf haematoma. I looked twice my age trying to sit down on the ferry on my return but rewarded myself with a Vera's burger on the journey home - I couldn't believe I hadn't tried this establishment yet; succulent juicy burgers with every possible topping you can think of. Perfect post walk anti ravenous fuel. In close competition with the gourmet burger company in my humble burgopinion for a high ranking.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Thunder + Lightening

A controlled eruption has occurred here...

A couple of last year's fellows have published their experience in the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologist's newsletter. It is not 100% accurate (the waiting list for MR is only 5- 6 months here now ! and the typists are pretty good and speedy!) but gives a frank and reasonably fair piece of writing about the job I am currently doing even if it is not the most politically correct of articles. Safe to say it has not gone down well here. Interestingly (and thankfully) my opinion on the article has not been sought by the powers that be. The boss is responding with a letter to the editor of the newsletter as they are worried that the Australians won't want to come and work (and perhaps the English too...); will be an interesting read...

Does everyone think they are better than they really are ?
Is not insight meant to be part of higher cerebral function?

Sunday, 1 November 2009


I began my radiology career aged about 6 when my mother made me an excellent costume for a Hallowe'en party where she sewed cloth in the shape of the bones of a human skeleton onto a black jumper and tights. Educational and scary. Brilliant.

Hallowe'en is big here. Commercial and all quite alien to us Brits (perhaps as the 5th November is around the corner?), despite it being popularised in the 19th century by the Irish and Scottish immigrants to North America. The exterior of houses are decorated with pumpkins, skeletons and puppets. Families with young children go 'trick or treating'. Dressing up on Hallowe'en is a national pastime here. Scary to ridiculous to say the least. And I mean everyone - I took the bus last night and was the only one not in costume - even the boring looking guy by the window had a Star trek costume on under his coat when questioned by an inebriated student dressed as a lion. It is a huge night on a par with New Years Eve festivities. As I walked back to the bus stop, the whole of downtown was filled with people wandering around in costumes. Isn't it odd to find such emphasis on an essentially Pagan festival when less than half of North Americans believe in evolution?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Autumn Hues

Xray-ted has been quiet on the blog front. Very busy with my parents visiting which I will tell you about in greater detail and general lack of energy to write anything that would make interesting reading. Should have more energy in a few days after I finish another week of on call. 4 months down here (work doesn't feel like a sentence everyday) and in need of a holiday; luckily one more week until I fly to San Fran and head down to Big Sur for some R+R. Autumn is in full swing here - heavy wet downpours and plenty of wind. Slippery leaves everywhere which they don't seem to clear off the roads. Frost this morning. The colours have been stunning due to the long dry summer; here is a photo my artistic housemate Dawna took the other day.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Voodoo or Mynx?

Coming to live in Vancouver was meant to be easy enough; after all it was under the pretence of radiology but really with a lot of skiing in mind? That said I'm nearing the end of another full week of on have decided to look ahead excitedly to the ski season; particularly given that it snowed in Whistler last week!

I'm still obsessed with the choice thing. Thought I had dealt with it but it has reared it's ugly head again. I need a pair of skis. Simple surely....plenty of people here seem to know a thing or two on the subject. Thanksgiving sales are this weekend so a good chance to catch a bargain.

Complicated beyond belief! First of all you have to decide what type of skier you are in terms of performance and aggressiveness, then there is the terrain - groomed, powder, backcountry, freeride and how you ski it - cruise, carve, rip. If you can decipher and master all of those terms then there is the fatness of the ski ranging from mid to extremely fat, the radius, flex, dimensions, length, of course price and not forgetting the pattern of the front (which you spend a while looking for in the deep powder so really does matter a lot). The internet creates more confusion. Voodoo or Lady or Mynx? Provocative names indeed.

Time for an apres ski beer and a bit of the Proclaimers I think while I mull it over further...

Friday, 2 October 2009

Open Air BC

Even an exercise allergic overweight couch potato would want to get outside here (and it has nothing to do with the dreadful TV). . There is so much close by - hundreds of lakes and rivers, gleaming glaciers, piercing peaks, plunging gorges and a plethora of meadows abundant with wildflowers scattered amongst well signed and trodden paths to wilderness trails. And I haven't even mentioned the beaches. As someone who is yet to experience the dampness of winter and endless rain, it is easy to see why the locals max out their short summers. There are endless awe-inspiring views at the top of many a demanding climb here! I have managed to tackle some in the time I've been here. The top picture is near Meagre Creek Hot Springs north of Pemberton (north of Whistler) - classic BC scenery; the light was amazing. The middle picture is Upper Joffre Lake; a lovely walk and I seem quite happy to be there! Rugged rocks and an impressive glacier in the background. Garibaldi Lake is the bottom picture - big wilderness scenery with an amazing blue glacial water.

Magic. Rewarding Hiking. Mountains 1 Beach 0.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Choice : the act of selection which implies the opportunity to choose.

Life is full of them. Do I have the H1N1 vaccine? Whom should I vote for in the general election next year? Should I give up the cheese and wine consumption I truthfully (stupidly) told my booty camp instructor about in last week's food diary as she says I will lose 1lb a week in the process? Is Argentina or Nepal the next holiday destination? How long do I stay in a job in which I don't feel particularly fulfilled? How do I know what is the right consultant job to go for - how do I strike the balance between the job and the location?

I'm not very good at making decisions. Tapas, dim sum and tasting menus suit me well. I'm not sure I ever was, life has always been simple - I remember feeling lucky at school just knowing that I wanted to do medicine and therefore not being faced with a dilemma of options. Ditto with radiology.

Perhaps the right decisions come naturally without much thought?

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tofino Time

I've been lucky to have visitors - Jules and her cousin Emma from the UK. I took one of my precious 20 days annual leave on Friday to join them over on Vancouver Island. I took the ferry across to Victoria which brought back pre tunnel nostalgia of travelling to France as a child and spent a glorious weekend in Tofino, the Byron Bay of Canada on the west coast of the island, along with (the other) Sue Ferreira who is an anaesthetist working in Victoria. The weather was amazing - warm, sunny with clear blue skies. We took a windy choppy boat out to some hot springs and saw lots of whales on the journey. We steamed fresh crabs (killed thankfully by the unemotional woman in the shop for a well spent 1$ who said to think of all of them as nasty ex boyfriends - she had clearly had a few), compared and contrasted healthcare in BC and the UK, other important world issues (Jules's latest dates) over chilled sauv blanc. I wasn't tempted by surfing the crashing icy pacific waves but we managed a bit of stone 'art' and put Tofino on the beach art project map...

A delightful weekend. Didn't want to leave. A refreshing contrast to my working week.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

BC Life Part 1

Have got bored with waiting for my computer lead so will post blogs in no particular order. The lovely Will came out from London a few weeks ago and performed an essential role of cheese smuggler (the plastic cheese is here is an offence to cheese and shouldn't be allowed to have the same name) and we flew up to Port Hardy at the top of Vancouver Island (along with lots of men with facial hair and fishing rods) and went to see the grizzly bears having a good feast of the sporning salmon before they hibernate for the winter. Do not be fooled by their cute fluffy coats; they are vicious and huge. The river was heaving with salmon, it was an incredible sight. The scenery here is absolutely stunning; it makes me feel the same way that mountains do - the expanse is calming and gives perspective. We had a lovely time. There will be many more BC shots for you to feast your eyes on.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Grind

They like exercise here. It was chucking it down with really wet rain this evening as I cycled to my kick boxing class (unfulfilling day at work but the object of my frustration got fantasy punched pretty hard in the gym) and there were a lot of people out pounding the pavements. In London, we go for a beer after work. Here, they exercise. Grouse Mountain is a local peak with an old fashioned cable car (a 'big bird' equivalent like Saulire in Courchevel 1850, or the type to feature in a Broccoli 007 extravaganza - On Her Majesty's Secret Service?) where one can ski in the winter and in summer walk up. The hiking books slate it as one of the worst walks in BC. We did it the other week. Now I know why. It is a stair climb of 2.8km and an elevation of nearly 1000m. It is relentless. And boring. Hence the name 'The Grind'. It is however a good workout and the view of the city from the top is pretty impressive (or awesome as they would say here). Wednesday night is allegedly singles night and a thriving pick up joint! Can't imagine why as everyone is hot and sweaty (a good place to test out your waterproof mascara if you are on the pull I guess). It should be open only on the 12 August to commemorate the start of the Grouse season. I have some photos of the path and us jubliantly exhausted at the top but am awaiting a lead from ebay to download photos onto my computer for your perusal so photo to follow. I doubt I will be going back.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Situation Report

Welcome to Vancouver - population of 0.5 millon (greater Vancouver 3 million). Reasonably (relatively to London) multi cultural - second largest Chinese population in North America after San Fran. It is consistently in the top strata of the most desirable places to live in the world according to the quality of life index living score (with not surprisingly Baghdad at the bottom). It is easy to see why - a stunning coastal location with a back drop of impressive mountains. The city feels small - everywhere seems to take about 20 mins to get to. The public transport system isn't bad (although the locals think it is, although I am relying on pedal power until the winter begins.) The mood is apparently typically 'west coast' (read laid back and friendly; not sure if that has anything to do with Canada being the largest producer of cannabis in the world or not). It is a dog friendly city with lots of chocolate labradors to nourish my dog owning fantasy (currently a choc lab called Nelson). The way of life here is honourable - healthy, (preferably organic and locally sourced) outdoor living. All extremely noble (it is illegal not to recycle your household rubbish) but I have sensed a marginal sanctimonious population if you don't conform to the Vancourite model of organic protein shakes for breakfast and regular yoga classes (preferably at 6am). Tattoos and body piercings are de rigeur (as is hepatitis and HIV) . Everyone seems more irritated than excited about the forthcoming winter Olympics. Healthcare + radiology will deserve another blog.

Scratch below the surface? Its diluted North America.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Finally It's Happening to Me

It has taken me a while to get to this metaphorical place in blogsphere.  Feelings of writing inadequacy for one,  but I've decided to take the plunge and see what happens (a not so unfamiliar way to do things in my life).  The experiment at best can be mutterings from the west coast and at worst a snow report (or vice versa!).  Nothing ventured nothing gained.