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?