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!
The lengendary Gullati
A little into starting our final jobs at QEH a mass gathering of doctors headed down to “Lakeside Karting” late on a Friday. The expedition was the brainchild of Anaesthetic colleagues who turned out in force. A prudent decsion which I was made aware of was to avoid a local outfit and reach to this further afield site. The local track whilst geographically proximate to Woolwich had an alarming proported incidence of splenic injury many of the surgical and anaesthetic doctors reported to have encountered first hand….
I must be clear – I am not a big fan of go karts. The concept just doesn’t grab me. Nevertheless after some persuasion about the need to balance teams I signed up and matched with one of my fellow F1s and one of the local Neurology consultant legends. My senior teammate made an impression by driving extremely aggressively and having several warnings issued for sliding in a dangerous fashion all over the track!
The evening concluded with the awards which were of course gifted to the zippiest anaesthetic team (I suspected this from the offset) – closely matched by a gang of racer F2 lads. My Hodgepog team came in a respectable middling bottom a full minute or so slower than the fastest racers…The Boobie prize was for “girls” team lingering a full 5 minutes behind everyone else. An amusing evening followed my some yet more amusing drinks later in Greenwich with the survivors of the event!
The Slide corner
Thumbs up for 2nd place
2nd Place 🙂
Welcome back to the blog. It’s been almost a year since I wrote anything significant on this page. I put up a couple of videos just to show that I was still alive beyond the realm of Facebook where my most prolific online presence spouts out… but other than that the lines were silent. I figured from here on out that this blog should be fewer words and more pictures as I’d always intended for it to be. Although this means less of listening to my own voice (I dictate the blog).
The great yawning gap between this and the last post has taken me through finals, the summer afterwards (the recovery) and into my first two rotations as a junior doctor. I work at the most esteemed Queen Elizabeth hospital Woolwich. It’s an interesting place to work and has been an excellent proving ground for my first year. The work is generally pretty tiring and stressful – demands on our time are really quite intense. I can’t of course complain when I think of how hard my forebears worked (100 hour on calls) and there certainly a great deal more protection of our time than previously… There are different stresses and strains for our generation not least of which the dreaded “portfolio” and the constant demands on throughput and background drone of “what about your CV what about your CV” leaves you often exhausted and demoralised at the end of the day when you leave late again. One thing is certain in a place like Woolwich the concept of a 48-hour restricted working week is incompatable with safe and sensible service provision. Pure fantasy!
Anyway more musings on being a doctor later…I’d like to celebrate the recent successes of my friends blogs. Ali M who mainly writes about her fanatical running, Matthew H who started a very successful blog about idiosyncratic places to eat and drink in London “The LIST”, Cassandra Coburn scientist of no ill repute whose debut article was a well levelled entry about her expert area of ageing and Max I who holds the enviable status as most-lived-abroad-in-most-number-of-countries (Currently Mexico) amongst our close friends.
I’ve also refabricated my website somewhat – have a look if you’re interested – and have created a facebook page which you can “like” if you enjoy my photos and films (it currently has NOTHING in it however!).
Finally…for those of you who have been hunting me down this is something of hello…. And yes I know you’re waiting. In the meantime please enjoy some of my favourite photos of the views from the Mess tower-rise overlooking the common to the south and the city to the north.
The city through the haze on a bright afternoon
A dusting of snow over the hospital – all too common!
Early Morning Mists from my flat