let’s catch up …maybe

These last few weeks have been pretty hectic. Everything’s a bit of a blur. I’ve been doing a lot of overtime at work because of this new arrangement in place involving other hospitals. (Can’t say too much, of course, because of privacy reasons or whatever.) I just worked six consecutive days – some of which were 11-12 hour days – and I am quite exhausted, but also not. I think I’ve just been running on adrenaline all week because I only had a total of maybe 3 cups of coffee and one cup of tea the whole week (and the most recent two beverages were probably unnecessary anyway).

Well, maybe we’ll call it adrenaline and fear/panic. There have been many times these last few weeks when I’ve felt like I was working as if my life depended on it. It’s like a fear of death (i.e. consequences) or fear of God (i.e. management – except I’m not really afraid of management; they’ve been very supportive). Continue reading

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’twas the month before Christmas

It’s not even December yet, and the major TV networks have started broadcasting Christmas-themed shows and movies. Well, to be fair, it probably starts – at least – by about this time every year. The shopping malls, etc all had their Christmas decorations up weeks ago, so I suppose TV isn’t really the first to the party anyway.

I only had a half-day at work yesterday, finishing up at midday. I stayed back to have lunch, and went down to the cafeteria to put up more posters for The Compliment Project. I was quite chuffed to see that, of the two I’d put up on Monday, one had had all the tags taken (or I assume so, anyway, since the poster itself was no longer there) and the other had most of the tags taken. There’s also been a good response at my pharmacy (I’d put one up in the staff tearoom) but the one I’m most pleased with is the one I put on my local community noticeboard:  Continue reading

it starts with 1

The other day, a friend of mine shared a photo of a large-scale sculpture of a couple of fish made mostly from plastic bottles. The sculptures are displayed on a beach (I think in Brazil somewhere) and were intended to draw attention to the amount of litter found on beaches and in oceans.

However, scrolling through the comments attached to the photo, I found out that the bottles were only glued on (with an apparently flimsy glue) and, over time, have begun falling off the sculpture. Kind of ironic, but I suppose the message was still getting through.

The photo was initially shared on FB by an organisation called “1 Million Women“, and came with the harrowing prediction that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. After browsing their FB page briefly, I followed the link to their official website, and actually ended up spending about an hour just reading articles there.

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eating my way through Launceston

So now it’s been three weeks since I first set foot in Launceston, and here I am still trying to get through writing about everything I want to write about my visit… Life has been busy, but perhaps it’s also a good reflection on my holiday if I’m still in the process of drifting down from it.

One of the things I was weirdly excited about when I returned home was being able to eat Weet-Bix for breakfast again. I mean, I could have eaten Weet-Bix during my holiday – it would’ve been as simple as walking to a shop and buying some – but there was so much other food; and even when I was just staying at my uncle and aunty’s place, they always had toast for brekkie, so I went along with that to save them the inconvenience of keeping cereal they don’t eat.

That was actually a bit of an unexpected/unplanned tangent. Maybe that was coz of the conversation I had with my assistant/student on Saturday about how she was looking forward to eating Weet-Bix the next morning after finishing the 40-Hour Famine… Well, either way, I can’t remember what I was going to write originally, except that it was supposed to lead into this post about food I ate on my holiday… I guess that’ll do.

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baseline changes

After posting my self-judged report card for 2015, I remembered that I’d actually written a post at the start of the year that was meant to be my baseline for this assessment.

I already addressed things like reading, fitness and CPD, but there were a few other items that I didn’t assess in that other post.

First things first: my only kind of “official” resolution for 2015 was to bake more. I don’t even need to think about this to know that I completed it successfully. Alongside cakes and cookies, I also made scones and brownies and truffles – so many truffles! (To be fair, truffles aren’t baked, but I still brought them in to work, so I’m gonna let them count toward the total – not that I need them to, and not that I’m actually counting)

I also had paragraphs about drinks: both the caffeinated and alcoholic varieties. I feel like I’ve been drinking coffee more often in 2015. Still not a daily or even a weekly habit, but more often the thought occurs to me, and I think “why not”. I still only drink flat whites. Still full cream milk, no sugar. I don’t think this will ever change, but I can be fickle sometimes, so who knows…

As to the other drink, I feel like 2015 has been a year for beer. I know a few friends who brew their own beers, and I’ve been to a few “tasting” events to try craft beer, and the variety is sometimes quite impressive. I think I’ve moved on from pale ales to IPAs and amber ales, and I do like the occasional chocolate or coffee stout.

In my baseline post, I also mentioned cycling. In all of 2015, I think I went cycling maybe twice, so that certainly hasn’t improved from 2014. I don’t have high hopes of it changing for 2016 either, especially now that I’m more inspired to run (particularly after reading Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running). But I’ve decided that this doesn’t matter. As long as I don’t let my fitness slide, it doesn’t matter.

universal

I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that I don’t drink coffee very often, and I still don’t, but I’ve been yawning a lot these last couple of days, so I thought it was a good day for a coffee – just to finish off the work week.

Just as a bit of background, I’m one of those odd people who work full-time and never consume pre-work or mid-work caffeinated beverages of any sort. Caffeine seems to have very variable effects for me – sometimes it will make me hyperactive, sometimes it’ll do absolutely nothing, and sometimes I get the diuretic/dehydration effects without the alertness – so I never thought it was worth it to have a morning coffee routine. Generally, for me, coffee is a “now and then” treat, like how some people might have ice-cream or a milkshake or something (I would’ve written cake as well, but I’m not going to kid myself about that!)

Side note: I’ll eat ice-cream whenever the opportunity presents itself, but I tend to avoid milkshakes (and thickshakes) because the very thought of the empty calories makes me sick, but I don’t seem to care about ice-cream calories (???)

Today’s coffee came from Outer Space Espresso in the Valley, which, thankfully, is neither in outer space or weirdly space themed. It’s just that it’s outside. I like the name; thought it was clever. Anyway, it’s a lovely place, and it would have been perfect on a cool, sunny day like today except that we got full-on gale force winds or something, making outdoor activities of any kind just frickin’ annoying (except, I guess, anything kite-related).

For anyone who cares, Outer Space serve Toby’s Estate coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee very often, I don’t think I’m anywhere near qualified to distinguish between a good coffee and an amazing coffee, but I will say that that first sip put such a smile on my face. I have been told by coffee enthusiasts that the perfect coffee should be ready to drink – you shouldn’t have to wait for it to cool down a bit, and it certainly should not scald your tongue ever. By this criteria, I suppose my coffee today was “perfect”.

Well, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about a place just because they had great coffee, so for me to be writing this now must mean that they did a pretty good job, right? And the service was good too (always an important determinant of whether I’ll return or not).

While I sipped at my coffee, I started pondering about other people’s coffee routines and habits. I thought it was interesting that it’s something that’s commonly consumed alone, but also equally commonly consumed with company – both seem to be socially acceptable. This ubiquitous beverage is also perfect for just about every occasion: whether cramming for an exam or relaxing with a good book; having a business meeting or just a casual catch-up. And it’s served and consumed at all hours of the day. I know some people find the concept of post-dinner coffee a bit ridiculous, but restaurants must offer it for a reason!

What I do find ridiculous is that every morning on my way to work, I see high school students buying and drinking coffee. Every time I see a kid in school uniform (yes, you might be a teenager, but I’m going to call you a “kid” anyway) holding a coffee cup, I kind of cringe a bit. I certainly never had coffee during high school – never needed coffee – and didn’t know anyone my age who consumed it on a regular basis. It just makes me question what’s going on with kids these days. Maybe I’m just a bit out of touch with that generation?

Meh…

To be clear, I don’t have anything against people who drink coffee every day (perhaps multiple times a day) and rely on it. I won’t judge you (unless you’re a high school student, but then I’ll probably just wonder what sort of crazy schedules are being imposed on you that you need to drink coffee at your age).

There have been many studies conducted and articles written about the pros and cons of coffee in relation to health and well-being, but there’s so much conflicting research that I generally don’t pay attention to it. It’s the same for wine, chocolate and other good things in life. People want to try to justify it health-wise, but I reckon if you enjoy it, then it doesn’t matter – just have reasonable limits and stick to them (most of the time).