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.
Last of the Gin
Failed attempt to capture the moonrise
Barming station: Favourite hangout
Obligatory food related post
Post-nights 8am breakfast
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!
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Seb 28-02-2014 Old Street, London
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Every month the Consultants at QEH pay a small amount of their monthly pay cheque towards throwing a party at the end of the year for all the junior doctors they’ve been working with. For my year at QEH the location of the party (as is the apparent tradition) was the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. A beautiful location and as you can see from the photos – a fitting and light and night to say adieu to our consultants from the year the year. I was particularly glad to be able to have a last and in some cases first informal chat with the “big bosses” who we’d all been working for. My three jobs had allowed me to get to know most everyone in the hospital. I filtted through the event and took a few staging photos whilst enjoying the canapé tours through the modest crowd together with the odd glass of red wine. The evening later accelerated and we danced the last of the hours of a permissible “late” closing in Greenwich away in the bowels of “North Pole South Pole“.
It’s always said that your first year as a doctor is your most poignant (before you become a jaded depressed cyncic)….The nostalgic kickback is quite smarting as I sit here now midwinter betwixt A&E night shifts in the Outer rim banlieue ajacent Maidstone hospital – in reverie listening to Who Knows where the time goes? by Fairport Convention.
As usual the Photos are available on my Facebook page
The Perched Town
In the Temple
Running Mountian stream
Umbrella Top Down
Valley View IV
Valley View III
Valley View II
Adam in the rain
Sunset before the storm
Train north from Amristar
Stalls in the rain
Trinkets in the sun
Evening Sunset before Manali
In the Rain
Adam and Ryan
Dont be shocked by the message
By this stage in the journey we were delirious from travel. Adam and I had both endured two weeks of “Delhi belly” with Adam almost going under with actual delerium in Agra. It was high time to gain some fresh air. We travelled from Amristar with our fellow Ryan who in contrast to our six weeks weeks was on a two year travelling quest adventuring round the world…. I suppose he should be back now (2010–> 2012).
After some negotiations down by the train station we organised a taxi from a town at little north of Amritsar and began the next leg by car. Climbing out of the plains up and up we hit into quite a spectacular storm. Storms are always more impressive in the mountains -perhaps because you are inside them (?!). It was probably just on the edge of was possible to drive through.
We eventually made it to town late into the night. Together with our motley crew (we negotiated to team with a few other tourists at the foot of the mountains to lower our overall costs) we stumbled into a hotel perched on the edge of the hillside. Experientially the drop in temperature coming from the heat of the summer in North India to these lowrise mountains was remarkable. That night we slept under heavy blankets that night with humid dampness heavy in the air.
The next morning we explored the tiny town of MacLeod Ganj, home of the Tibetan government in exile. There was not a huge amounts to do if I’m absolutely honest – a scattered collection of trinket shops, restaurants and yoga centres abound none of which I was particularly interested in… But it was such a fantastic experience to see mountains again. There is something about the majestic height of these structures which draws the eye both for photographs and, in an almost philosophical sense, causes one’s aspirations to achieve great things suddenly to ripen. In helpful fashion In the afternoon the sun broke and I was able to steal a few heavenly shots across the valley.
One thing I’d like to emphase about these photos is the postprocessing required to really bring out their actual beauty. By this stage having travelled through almost 7000 km of India my sensor has built up a robust layer of dust. I can’t begin to think of what difference in quality this would have made to my former and also later shots. These days program such as Lightroom are able to handle the task in such a powerful fashion. The pre-and post-image manipulation demonstrates the amount of work required to salvage some of the shots from the scrap pile!
Although digital technology means you can instantly see your photos very difficult to get a sense of these kinds of problems whilst taking a photo. Certainly bears no influence on once composition (although when dust settles on the mirror that’s a different business). The impairment can be so gross in certain cases the photos do become unusable.
I’m thankful for my gear these days which is many levels above the gear I ported around India however even on all these layers of filth and still able to see that my original intentions for the image did not lie. MacLeod Ganj was certainly a heavenly place and a welcome respite from the humming plaIes of North India with their crowding onslaught and hot heavy nights. We escaped that very night, so our next journey via overnight bus to Manali to begin our next adventure and Adams last before heading home.