Sunday, October 22, 2006

Autumn

I hate this time of year. I don't mind full-blown winter when it's cold and frosty and you can warm up warm with a scarf and gloves but I don't like autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness as Keats once said. Mist is all I seem to have seen over the past 7 days when I went on my little wander up to County Durham and now I'm back in the South it has been decidely more 'Soggy South East' than 'Sunny South East'. Maybe I've been spoilt by being in Newcastle for 4 years, after all it snows every year there and by November when it's raining in the South, it is either snowing or sleeting in the 'toon'. It makes deciding what to wear a whole lot simpler; coat every day, umbrella in the bag most days and thick jumpers. At the moment, with temperatures approx. 4degC above average for this time of year I can't even bear to wear a wool jumper or cotton polo-neck yet for fear of over-heating.

Also, what is the obsession for all things Christmas in mid-October? I went into a garden centre near Stockton on Tees the other day and as soon as I had walked through the door I was accosted by light-up reindeer, giant polar bears and then after walking further on I ended up in a darkened room full of Christmas trees covered in lights, and all-singing all-dancing light-up models of penguins and such like. I found it quite scary, not to mention mesmorising, in fact I think I almost knocked 5 small children over in my rush to find natural light, just because they were standing dazed and confused by the whole issue. In the end I ended up in the aquatic section of the garden centre and found looking at the goldfish quite calming after such an experience.

At this time of year, if it's not Christmas then it's Halloween or Bonfire Night. I cannot believe the number of people who are setting off fireworks already, there were about three lots going off last night alone. Maybe though, they were ex-Royal Navy and celebrating the 201st anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, although I doubt it.

Whinge over now, until the clocks go back next weekend, which is another of my dreads. Roll on April!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Holidays = washing & ironing

Sorry for the rather long pauses between posting but I've been on holiday for the past 2 weeks. The first week I travelled round Spain, well I saw Barcelona, Seville and Madrid and the second week was spent in Cadiz on the beach with my Mum. It was lovely to get away and to be in the sunshine after such a damp August. However, have come back to piles and piles of washing and ironing which is not so fun.

Job hunting has ceased for a while whilst I put my 'thinking cap' on and decide what I really want to do rather than clutching at straws. Although I take the view that if you clutch at so many straws, surely after a while one of them has to be the right one. Unfortunately, so far, this isn't the case.

It is so sad to hear the news about Richard Hammond. I am a great Top Gear fan and Richard (or hamster!) is one of my favourites on the show. I hope he makes a good and speedy recovery. Leeds General Infirmary is a good hospital and I am sure they are doing everything they can.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm Back!

I'm not sure if anyone actually reads this blog anymore, but if they do hello and welcome back. A lot has happened since I last posted (which was November so undoubtedly a lot was going to have happened), so here's a quick rundown.

I have finally graduated from the University of Geordie Land and got a 2:1, so am officially graced with a BSc (Hons) degree in Pharmacology which all sounds very posh but doesn't seem to have landed me a job yet!

Have moved South for a while, mainly because of the reason listed below, but also because after 4 years in the same city at uni and having spent the 2 years prior to uni living in the same region of the UK (the North East) I fancied a change of scenery. Plus, I thought my job prospects maybe a little better here. I'm possibly not stopping here permanently, but definitely for the forseeable future.

The boyfriend I had, J, became my fiancé in April but then became my ex-fiancé about a week ago due to facts that he seemed to be finding a certain FY1 doctor more attractive than myself, so not being a glutton for punishment, or prepared to be made a fool of, he was swiftly dumped.

Am presenting looking for a job related to pharmacology that doesn't involve me working for an evil drug company, not that drug companies are evil (well there are a few exceptions...) just that I know I would hate working for one. So far I haven't really found anything and guess I may be being a little fussy as I know that I want to work in toxicology and the majority of posts require post-graduate training, but a girl can dream, or try desperately hard to convince the interview panel that I can do the job without the requisite MSc after my name.

Other than that, things are pretty much the same. Went through a bad patch last winter and in May but that was related to the research project (dissertation) and then the prospect of facing finals. My GP referred me to psychotherapy, where I underwent 2 assessment appointments and vowed never to go back for the third, I don't think the concept is for me. Since leaving university I have had no contact with mental health professionals and have recently come off the happy pills that were prescribed shortly before the end of term.

I am trying to make a fresh start, I am not sure how far I'll get, but it involves maintaining this blog more.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wowee...

I have just noticed that this blog is less than 50 hits (at the time of writing) off having had 1,000 people visit it. I don't think that's bad considering I never seem to write anything here, and anything I do write tends to be of no importance.

Anyway, thought I'd just mention a few things including the fact that I think it was 2 weeks ago (or maybe last week) was National 'Know Your Limits' Week, i.e. alcohol awareness week. Now the nice kind union officers and some other students who had been roped in to help were handing out bags of goodies in the union including alcohol unit calculators, information leaflets and a lollipop (everyone knows that students will only take things if they have something edible/drinkable and free attached). The funny thing is that on the Wednesday of that week, the union officers went out for a night out and ended up in Attic (a very posh bar in Newcastle with extortionately priced drinks) where upon the Welfare Officer got kicked out for being absolutely hammered. Now I find this quite amusing as she, as Welfare Officer, was meant to be supporting the campaign for students to drink less and not go out binge drinking. Sadly to say it didn't make it to the front page of The Courier (Newcastle Uni's student paper) and I think she's trying to be very hush-hush about it. Which is even more reason to post it online and display it to the world.

A few other things that have caught my attention have been the comments related to my last post. I feel I have to put a few things straight here, tsurota made a comment about Northumbria's Student Union being better than Newcastle's as it is bigger and therefore has better gigs (although they do mention that Newcastle's union is pretty fine). To stop this discussion once and for all I leave a question:
Where would you rather be on a Friday night?
a) Solution at Newcastle union
b) Wiggle at Northumbria union.
Answers in the comments (preferably if you know what the hell I am talking about!).

In other matters it snowed today. Only the wet sort of snow that turns to rain again and then back to snow but there were still large lumps of white falling from the sky, in November. I ask you, where is this global warming? Obviously not over Tyneside as in the 3 years I have been here I have never seen snow in November. March, yes but not before December and usually only then from January onwards.

What an interesting life I lead when all I have to worry about is the state of precipitation over Geordie-land.

Monday, October 24, 2005

In relation to a southerner...

Following zarathustra's comments here I have decided to write 10 reasons about why Newcastle upon Tyne, contrary to popular belief (unless you're a North-Easterner) is fabulous.

1. Where else has so many iconic bridges crossing one small stretch of river? I speak of course of the Tyne Bridge and Gateshead Millennium Bridge primarily but also of the Swing Bridge, High Level Bridge and rail bridges.
2. The Angel of the North (not technically in Newcastle but close enough).
3. One absolutely fabulous university with an excellent union (Newcastle) and one pretty good uni with a fairly decent union (Northumbria) - no prejudice of course!
4. The Geordies are a very friendly bunch, the accent grates at times but their pretty much decent (unless they lose to Sunderland).
5. A city that is less than half an hour from the seaside and less than half an hour from beautiful countryside and yet has all the advantages of being a city as well.
6. Who else would try and put a metal slug looking building on the Quayside and then call it a music centre? Plus then hold a Labour party conference in the centre?
7. It snows every winter, you don't have to wish for snow, you get it from December to March every single year.
8. The Great North Run is the world's biggest half marathon and starts in Newcastle!
9. The Tall Ship's Race stopped off here in the summer, the only in the port to receive them.
10. Party capital of Europe.

Need I say anymore?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tagged!

I was tagged by Cat, so I am posting to tell you 20 random facts about myself and then apparently I have to tag the same amount of people as minutes it takes me to write the facts. Although it seems as if most of my 'obvious' people to tag have in fact already been tagged, but I'll tell you the facts anyway.

Time now: 15:10. May I begin...

1. I have a younger sister who is at Art College and a younger step-brother & step-sister (on my Dad's behalf).
2. I am technically half Russian and half Swiss but I hold British Citizenship and due to this had to lose one of my nationalities, but I chose to give both of them up so am now fully fledged British.
3. I skipped all of my lectures today, except my 9am because that was teratology (the effects of drugs in pregnancy) and interested me.
4. I have to see the Primary Care Mental Health Worker at my GP's surgery tonight to find out if I have been referred to the psychotherapy department.
5. I haven't cut myself for 8 months and one week exactly.
6. I can't decide whether to tell mental health professional mentioned in (4) what happened this weekend (which is that I took a large amount of zopiclone & Nytol on Saturday night to knock me out, which worked but I still feel extremely groggy now).
7. I have still to see my dissertation mentor, whom I was meant to see in the first week of term (it is now week 3).
8. I don't have any pets since my cat died earlier this year but I would love a siamese kitten in the flat.
9. I have ginger hair and blue eyes.
10. I am 5ft3, or about 1m 62cm.
11. I like having ginger hair as it makes me different.
12. I am sitting writing this whilst looking out at the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
13. I still have a great urge to qualify as a medic but am leaning more towards post-graduate study in toxicology.
14. Despite being half-Russian I cannot write, read or speak a word of it.
15. I can however speak French fairly fluently.
16. I have moved round the country an awful lot and do not feel as if I 'belong' to any city.
17. I took myself off my medication over the summer, and don't seem to have noticed any difference.
18. My favourite animal is a puffin.
19. The last book I bought was "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom
20. My birthday is April Fool's Day (1st April).

Time now: 15:18

I don't think I'm going to tag anyone, mainly because all my friends/blogs I read have been tagged by other people :(

Friday, October 14, 2005

The illicit fun of pharmacology

Finally I have the time, energy and inclination to post on here. Sorry it has taken so long. I am back at uni and just finished the second week of lectures which has proved to me that this year does involve one hell of a lot of work, and on top of all of that I have to start looking for a job. Although I seem to have solved that problem for mysef as I think I'm going to go onto post-graduate study in either medical toxicology (I'm taking toxicology as a module this semester and it's the only one I'm really enjoying) or try and get onto the post-grad medical degree scheme. Either way, I'm still stressed.

Should have gone and seen my dissertation mentor this week but I didn't because I'm scared of him. Not in a practical way, he is a lovely guy and is most knowledgeable but I'm scared of seeing him as I don't appear to have done that much work for my research project, the title of which is the most thrilling The usage and effects of psychtropic medication in depressive disorders which is going to include a part on the role of psychtropics in poisoning (well it has to be related to pharmacology in some way. I have to see him at some point as I need to get some more info on things and he has to approve my questionnaires. Questionnaires I hear you ask... well I'm not relying totally on NHS/Dept. of Health stats, instead I've roped in some members of the public (namely people who attend the local mental health outpatients department and patients of the Regional Drugs & Therapeutics Centre plus some very kind friends who have offered to help) to give me a patient perspective on the true side-effects/adverse reactions etc of these drugs.

It's all very fun... repeat after me... it's all very fun.

Maybe if I keep teling myself it I'll start to believe it, or does that count as turning delusional? I don't know.

Well I'm going to go now but I promise more posts from me as of now because I got broadband installed at home now so I think I may be online every waking moment of the day now!