Monthly Archives: July 2010

Best Before

Consider this a filler post while I work up the energy to write about the vascular ward, please.

Tonight I made the mistake of doing the supermarket shopping after a twelve-hour work day and before eating anything. Under the circumstances I think i did well, with fruit and veg making up much more of the basket than icecream. And after I ate dinner and ironed enough clothing to see me through the week, I ate a single serve of Sara Lee chocolate icecream. There is something innately sad about a single serve tub of icecream. (I’m talking about a genuine single serve tub, a cup if you like, not a 500ml tub eaten by one person watching Bridget Jones and surrounded by a box of soggy Kleenex). My icecream screamed bachelor at me. But it was tasty, and it had a little stamp on its side: “Best Before 13 March 2011 10:15am”.

Yeah. In the unlikely event that I don’t eat its twin pack companion until say, 12:04pm on the thirteenth of March next year, I may forever wonder whether it would have been just that little bit better if I’d eaten it a couple of hours earlier.

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Letting Go

I get nervous going downhill fast and riding on loose surfaces or between objects. So facing a gravel gradient steep as a slippery dip and stretching a good 150m down, I squeezed the brakes.

I’m not so dumb as to squeeze the front brake, I know where that ends. But squeezing the back brake wasn’t all that helpful either. This hill is so steep that little things like gravity, momentum and various related laws of physics dictate that one descend at a certain speed. And if one’s rear wheel is incapable of keeping up with such speed due to overzealous brake application, one will skid and skitter and fly down the hill with or without the bicycle.

I stopped, once, near the top. And started again at a more sedate pace, which naturally picked up, and as I gently squeezed the brake again and felt the tire slide, and squeezed and slid and sped, my friend Octavius reached the bottom of the slope. I sped and squeezed and slid and knew I should let go and ride it out. And so I squeezed and slid and tumbled my way into a soft pile of leaves and some sort of burrow in the ditch.

I don’t recall how I reached the bottom of the hill, though it was probably on foot. I do recall that Octavius was riding back up the hill towards me like a kid ready for another go on the Big Dipper.

I would like to ride up that hill. I know I’ll need to oil the chain, fix the derailleur, lose some weight, and gain some fitness.

I would like to learn to ride down that hill. I’m not afraid of flying, I’m just afraid of dying. And that is what I need to let go.

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… and, exhale.

The big news today is that I passed the exams and can pass Go, collect $200 and move on to Phase II of the degree. This consists of seven five-week hospital based rotations through surgery, medicine, paediatrics, obs & gynae, and mental health. First up I have vascular surgery. But before that, I have a couple of weeks break.

Today I shall apply one twentieth of said break to the art of pretending to be a chef. This will entail dressing as a chef, lugging lots of tables, cooking equipment, food, etc around a conference venue, and directing pharmaceutical reps as they prepare a delicious surprise buffet dinner for themselves. The other chefs, who are actually chefs and not big fakers, will be advising the punters on how to prepare food. Prior experience suggests that I will be advising them on how to wash dishes.

Before I do any of this, though, I need to somehow fix the headlights in our new Fancywagon. Driving home without them last night was, um, interesting.

It occurs to me that I gave some serious consideration in my final year of school to taking up an apprenticeship as either a motor mechanic or a chef. Had I taken a different path, I may well have found myself today a qualified chef pretending to be a medical student while implanting jumper leads in a side of beef.

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