Category Archives: London
2014-02 London: Instagram and Retrospective on a busy month!
And there we have it folks! 16,004 views!
This is a bit-post lookback on some of the strides the blog has taken over the course of the month. As photos are the name of the game I’d thought I’d mention briefly that I’ve joined “formally” the ranks for the Instagramers. Don’t expect great shakes from this one – i still hold the idea about 4 feet away from my face like a slightly putrid sock – but I’m increasingly aware of the opportunities presented by our insanely well connected world in sharing artistic moments. Here are a few of my “selects” from the month gone.
I can hear the “hurrms” from the crowd muttering about quality….So I think I’m going to get a pocket camera instead with some kind of connection to facebook ability… Thus a side project for now.
In other news the viewer numbers on the blog have skyrocketed from a meager 8000, doubling to 16,000 over the course of the last month. With some 6000 garnered in the last 3 weeks! As an archive or repository of my photos I’m glad to see some clicks on the smaller posts on my blog but the lion’s share of attention goes to wide bracket popularity of the Ball posts and naturally popular posts such as those photos of Soph and Ducan’s wedding.
As this is an archive I’ve made the decision to put the “published on” date as the date or next nearest appropriate day as the time of the event happening rather than the time of writing which will be heretofore 2014 and onwards. To somewhat contextualize the writing time I’m attempting to remember to tag the posts with the date and location of the text. Thusfar my adherence has been somewhat mixed!
So… in the last month I’ve been successful in almost completely scripting my first 3 weeks in Japan from May 2006 into June 2006. Have re-canted one of the old UCLU Garage shows I took the dress photos for “Honk” (and thanks to Clovis for pointing out the wrong year posting) and have at least behind the scenes finally finished the edit for the epic India trip that Adam and I under took in August 2010 though there are something like another 15 posts pending publication here!
So, thanks for those of you who take the time to read the prose (thanks B!) and for those of you who like all pretty pictures – cheers to you too!
— — —
Seb 28-02-2014 Old Street, London
2013-12 Wimbledon: Christmas With the Family
Over the christmas period I took the short straw with nights running over until the morning of the 27th. In my downtime between shifts on the 25th my brother drove down to pick me up so that I could join in with the family Christmas festivities. I slept most of the day, Tobi took over the dinner duties and we had our traditional 100 present pile up under the tree….I woke to fit some of this in before whipping back down to Kent to join in the next night’s battle. Curiously A&E having been something of a ghost town on the 24th was heaving the night of the 25th. I guess moving your accident and emergency to fit around Christmas is possible!
2013-11 London: RUMS Alumni Annual Ball 2013
The 2nd Annual RUMS Alumni Dinner was held at the start of November. I was invited for the 2nd year in a row (100% of all the dinners ever!) to attend the event and to capture a few snaps of the guests over the course of the evening. It’s always a great pleasure to trip down memory lane with old faces. This was also the first “official” outing for my new lens – something which I’ve been desperate for years to own: Canon’s 70-200mm 2.8 IS II. In relatively low light settings I was able to get some incredible candids with absolute ease. I would also say that my editing skills have improved in the intervening year and together with the new lens the photos came out on a level above compared with year before. The photos of the 2013 event are available in full to download on my Website and also have been posted over to Facebook on my SEAR Productions page.
Last year’s photos (2012) can be seen here.
The night was enjoyable as always – a tasty meal and the old “so where are you now” cycle with the usual suspects. However compared with the previous year there was a sea change in the body of people that attended. Without meaning to profile based on only two years of running to date on both occasions there was a healthy cohort of “recent leaver doctor” who had graduated the summer just gone. Thus in 2012 the majority of the crowd in attendance were my year with the same holding true for the graduates from the 2013 cohort this year. Two things here: firstly it’s an ideal staging post to meet in November as most people by now have got through the panic of their first ever medical job and are looking to rebuild forgotten bridges between old compatriots. Notwithstanding the the need to rekindle these even more latent friendships into the second year post qualification there was a large dearth of my year returning to this even – realistically reflective of the and the “step-up” that is required for most people in their F2 year with busy rotas involving sets of nights and bridging on call weekend 12-15 day runs and the drift that occurs with these things with the passage of time.
The RUMS Alumni have several contact points online on the UCL Medical school Website as well as a Facebook Group to keep track of various events.
2013-10 Wimbledon: Mid October on the Common
2013-10 London: Zombie Run with 2.8 Hours Later
Back in October “List Writer” and old friend Mr Matt Hickman invited me with a suitable lead in to a “Zombie Run” – aka “2.8 hours later“. Matt has had the onerous duty of pushing the limits of discovery of London’s best hot spots, celebrating the weird, wonderful and fantastic in him excellent and rightfully popular blog “the List“. So after signing on the weekend eventually came and we met as a team of 4 – 2 guys 2 gals – together under the clock in Waterloo.
The event ran as follows: Teams of 4-8 people journey together using clues gathered at various check points through an area of London whilst being chased by actors dressed and behaving like zombies – and not the slow shambling types of yester-year – the fast lethal variety seen in the brit-horror classic 28 Days Later. As as a long term fan of all things zombie I was very keen to see what the night had to offer.
In the end we were joined with another team of 3 lads who had done the event the year before. They were hyper-keen and helpful members of the show. The first 1-2 miles of the run were quiet on the zombie front as we transited between check-points gradually ratcheting our internal tension up for the first zombie encounter. When it eventually came and despite the hype and tactical positioning- I was in fact the first in my team to get caught – so denoted by an indelible UV pen mark on my forearm that would only come apparent at end of the run in the “screening room”.
There were various set pieces in the run the most terrifying of which was a long run an a walkway in the dark with zombies sprinkled all the way along who would spring from hidden alcoves to case you down. In the excitement there were indeed a few tumbles, cuts and scrapes – Matt falling victim at one particular turn in this respect.
At the end of it all was of course a bar! The room steadily packed out as more and more people completed the course and packed into the warehouse complete with DJ and stage dancing zombies. Here’s a view of the aftershow.
My only disappointment from the evening was the lack of use of enclosed spaces which for those who have sat and thought – as I have – about what one would do in a zombie apocalypse – this presents a uniquely terrifying prospect. Recall the “escape the block” from World War Z. Apparently the previous year’s event had had such a stage inside a car park.
If any such future events come up I’d personally be keen to recapitulate the experience, though I fear as with concerts, my lack of financial liquidity and low awareness levels for such events taking place would probably surmount my ability to stage for this intentionally… I’m sure however the invite will come around again – especially if Matt “king of organised fun” Hickman has anything to do with it!
A final side note mentally is the link back to my 2011 show which I directed and produced: RUMS 4th year show: 28 Stations later. I’ll have to write about this, somewhat controversial offering, another time!
— — —
Seb 28-02-2014 Old Street, London
2013-09 London: Sophie and Duncan’s Wedding
Sophie and I have known each other since the very start of medical school. We were in “PDS” together and later on worked together through the 4th Year show 2011. She was brave and kind enough to invite me to take the photos at her wedding.
The day itself was a heart-warming affair in middling September. Soph and Duncan formally uniting what is clearly already a close family bond built up coming close to a decade! I tried to capture the event in a way that did justice to all the intense hard work that these two and their families put into the event to make it such a success right from the bridal prep through to the after dinner Céilidh.
If you were even toying with the idea of asking me about weddings – drop me a short message and we can take it from there!
Here are some of my favourites from the occasion.
2013-08 London: DUMP Full Moon Party
Not long after starting F2 at Maidstone Tunbridge Wells came my final photography session with the guys from D.U.M.P. Vowed at the time to be their last party running they actually recapitulated their hugely successful halloween party of the year before (My photos were posted here and there’s a brief mention on my blog from November 2012) The Full Moon Party venue was in Shoreditch-main which was great for access as the DUMP venues tended to be a bit “out of Zone” (part of the appeal). Photos went off without a hitch. There were two promising spaces – one where the main party took place and a second back area – leading on to the smoking area which could have served nicely as a “Second Room”.
It’s been a pleasure working with George and the Gang! Hopefully they’ll go on to bigger and better things still though I suspect the tide-of-life that pulls all doctors through training posts as a teetering enthusiast for a given speciality into Jaded-registrars may put spell to that. Here’s hoping however…
Please enjoy a few choice photos from the night. The remainder as usual are posted in full on the DUMP Facebook Page.
2013-07 London: QEH Summer Ball HMS Belfast
At the tail end of my first year as a doctor we held the final big mess event of the year for QEH – the summer ball. As the president of the mess the buck stopped with me to organise the gig and with a little manoeuvring we managed to pull the event out the bag. Ultimately both the summer and winter balls required someone to grab the event by the horns and In both cases (to no small time expense) the job fell to me. However sales were significantly easier that the winter 6months ago which had given me so many sleepless … “how the hell can we find £2000?!”. By now I knew almost everyone in the hospital and so pushing tickets out was quite a simple process….. Furthermore we were more financially stable on this round having had a full 6 months of income to buffer the coffers.
Now – as regards the venue we chose – The HMS Belfast a grand retired battleship, permanently moored on the Thames as part museum and part function space. Overlooking Tower bridge directly and being in such a central location on the Thames held an inherent appeal aside from the pure idiosyncrasy of having a ball on a battleship! It certainly twisted the idea of a “boat party” in an interesting fashion…. which is so often the fall back for summer parties as the chance of a clear night on the Thames is theoretically higher. For me at least there’s something rather lacking in appeal to be trapped on a boat with no definite means of escape not least for the reason that one is obliged to hand over wads of money to keep up with the alcoholic pace so required on these nights out. The Belfast on the other-hand may sway and rise up and down with the tide but has its permanent bridge linking to the London-town.
The bowels of the ship have a distinctive smell of waxed models – evoking childhood trips to the imperial war museum. For those of you who have been to the “trenches” or “blitz” exhibits as a child will remember it well. Our event was split over two areas – the external bow deck for the dinner and reception and a debunk to one of the larger internal function rooms to dance the night out with the hire-band. A useful tip-off from one our resident F2s managed to connect us with a great covers quartet who provided the nights major entertainment for the afters.
The early part of the evening was challenged somewhat by a tropical storm detectable earlier in the day by the pregnant tension in the atmosphere. An amusing adjunct to our festivities was having members of staff with poles prodding the heavy sagging canopies to unload their collections off the side of the boat.
The food – a “buffet” style service was reasonable and I people enjoyed the balance we provided to have unlimited drinks in place for the first 3 hours versus a formal sit down meal – which of course has its place but does formalise a restriction to keep to the seating plan and consequent formulaic chat with people who you don’t really have anything to say to.
Overall it was a great night and afterwards we decanted to a “classy” joint just adjacent to London bridge to dance through till closing with our F1 colleagues. Friends for a year working the front line in Woolwich together soon to be scattered to the winds across the south as summer’s turn saw our upgrade from house to senior house officers.
As usual photos are on my Facebook page and are also free to download from my website. Enjoy!
2013-06: Lewisham Hospital Doctors Mess Summer Ball
In the summer 2013 Lewisham hospital mess held a ball in the very same undercroft of the famous “Painted Hall” in Greenwich as we had had our winter ball… I stole in as an imposter from the “Dark-side” (QEH) to take the photos. In the dissolution on South London Health Care trust in the coming autumn Lewisham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital were to join forces – much to the chagrin of most of the Lewisham lot. Much of the talk that evening pertained to the coming uncertainty. Most famous of the merger was the battle to save the A&E department of Lewisham Hospital and the successful repeal of the directive to have it closed.
Anyway a few of my favourites from the the event.