23 Aug 2017

what's in my bag #21: work!

Throughout my clinical years at medical school, I've decreased how much I carry around with me. Most of my clothes now have pockets which mean I can fit the bare essentials.


This is pretty much what I carry around with me most days (sometimes in a cross body bag if I can be bothered):

- An A6 Pantone notebook
One thing we're continuously told is that the learning never stops and this is true; hence the presence of this notebook.

- Cards in a Kate Spade holder
Because some days, you just wanted something different and easy for lunch/a snack.

- ID!

- My trusty Lamy Safari in Petrol Blue

- A stethoscope

- A snack (usually some bland crackers for when my blood sugar feels low!)
I try not to snack if I can help it but maybe once or twice a week, when the tank is empty or near empty, it gets eaten.

- Eye drops 
Staring at the computer doing discharge summaries can be harsh on the eyes!


Sometimes, I like to have a bottle of water on me too and will carry this in a bag (along with the bits shown above). It can be so easy to not drink enough during the day so I've been trying really hard to look after myself just as much as I look after the patients.

20 Aug 2017

my week #279

After coming off a mammoth week, I had this week off in return. I spent it catching up with friends, doing some life admin and just relaxing! It's been nice and in a weird way, I'm looking forward to going back to ward work this week.


On Thursday, I met up with a good friend at Dominique Ansel's bakery in Victoria, London. We chose three pastries to share and they were delicious (though pretty pricey!). We opted for the DKA, the Lime Me Up Tart and the Paris-London pastry because the Cronut was sold out by the time we got there. Good company with good food is always a winning combination :)

16 Aug 2017

my summer holiday in canada: vancouver highlights

Last month, I went to Vancouver for a week's holiday. I booked it back in February using some air miles and it was a graduation present to myself for finishing medical school after goodness knows how many years of having this dream. (Though I know that the hard work only begins now...!)

I packed my Instax camera but kept forgetting I had it with me (doh) so only took a few pictures. Here are a selection of them: from the day I left home, to the neighbourhood I was staying in to some amazing views (and botched selfies) on Grouse Mountain.


Tourist Hotspots


My sister leant me her 'Top 10' guidebook and I used it with a pinch of salt. When I went to Stockholm last year, I used it to the T and regretted not doing some random exploring instead. Instead, I only allocated a few days to the guidebook. On one of these days, I went to the Waterfront where Canada Place (the photo above) is. You could see over to North Vancouver from there and little did I know I was also looking at Grouse Mountain - a trip planned for another day.

After wondering around Waterfront for a while, I headed up Granville Road and towards Robson Street where the major shops are. After a spot of food, more walking was done and towards Gastown I went!

Gastown


Gastown was streaming with tourists and tourist shops. It was a pretty part of Vancouver but I was on the hunt for more hidden gems in the city so it felt pretty underwhelming to me. I'm glad I took the time to visit this part of Vancouver though. 

Stanley Park

I have a few friends from Vancouver and they all said the same thing: Stanley Park is a must-do. A detour was taken into the Aquarium where the dolphins, otters, penguins and sea lions were the highlights! 

The park itself is extremely tranquil. Opting to walk the sea wall, the views were incredible. None of the photos I took did the views justice so there are none in this post unfortunately. 

Because walking the park wasn't a long enough distance, I then walked to English Bay Beach. 

Granville Island


As I was staying in Cambie (a suburb south of the city centre), I opted to take the Sky Train to Yaletown and then walk the bridge over to Granville Island - with regret setting in about halfway along said bridge! It was super windy and super high, and as someone with a fear of heights, I spent the whole walk repeating 'don't look down' in my head to myself.

It was worth it though. Graville Island was, again, another tourist hotspot but it was big enough for it to not feel too busy (aside from the public market). There was also a lovely smell of fresh sea air; very different to the London air I'm used to.

I took the bus back to Downtown after though - walking along that bridge once was enough!

Richmond

Richmond is where all the East Asian foods and stores are and I'm not going to lie - it felt like I was in Hong Kong. Cantonese was the main language here, though most shop assistants were bilingual. The best part of Richmond? The many food outlets. My friend, who is a huge foodie, recommended countless places and none of them disappointed.

Grouse Mountain


Before I landed in Vancouver, my main goal was to see some grizzly bears. Whistler is the recommended place for nature but the foodie friend mentioned previously said Grouse Mountain is smaller but just as good in the summer.

I spent a good ninety minutes stalking these two grizzly bears (Grinder and Coola) and got a few cute shots, including the one above where Grinder is looking straight at me. (Grinder is the smaller one.) I did catch Coola having a little bathe in the pond too!


The views were incredible from Grouse Mountain - the Sky Ride up was a tense one but so worth it! I even managed to look down which made my heart pound a bit faster but with it only being a few minutes ride, I decided to take that risk of raising my heart rate ;) 

The view you see above is looking south, over the city centre and beyond. 

But the holy grail picture is the next one...


A photo with the lumberjacks! There is a thrice daily lumberjack show where two guys compete against each other. There was a fair bit of adult humour and quite a lot of kids in the audience which meant some of the jokes didn't get the recognition they deserved. One of my friends, who had visited Vancouver a few weeks' prior on holiday, told me that I really must get a photo with the lumberjacks so I did! 


All in all, the week in Vancouver was more than enough time to see everything, from the hidden spots to the tourist friendly locations. Other places I visited were the University of British Columbia campus, Yaletown and Queen Elizabeth Park. It was nice to get away from London and the hectic nature of my life here but at the same time, I was also happy to come home. Solo traveling is nice but there's nothing quite like being back with friends and family.