Hello again. Been a while. You know, I’ve missed writing online – it’s been tugging away at thoughts and dreams for the last few months until finally I just decided to start again. Of course, as I went to do this the internet connection went down so this is on my laptop to be posted later tonight.

Life has been nice. What’s been going on? Well…

I got back 2 days ago from a 5 day mountaineering course up in Scotland with my friend Becka. It was AWESOME! Ha. Flew up to Inverness and then caught the train to Aviemore / Cairngorm National Park. I am now the (very) proud owner of an ice axe and crampons, not to mention rather a lot of expensive clothing: I own ‘technical trousers’ (even after wearing them for a week I’m not entirely sure what ‘technical trousers’ are though I did manage to put 3 holes in them with my axe). So yeah, climbing and generally arsing around in snow. The strangest thing: while half way up Jacob’s Ladder, barely able to see because my glasses were frozen and a mass of spin drift was tearing past us from below, the main thoughts going through my head were not ‘Fucking hell it’s freezing’, or ‘what am I doing here?’ but ‘This is simply amazing. I love this’. Yeah, turns out that along with walking I really like winter mountaineering. Shame I live so far away from mountains…

Me with an axe

I passed MRCP part 1 (first professional/post-grad exam) which was a genuine surprise. I mean I worked fairly hard but didn’t feel that confident and I’m usually pretty good at knowing how well I did after the exam. But I passed. Which is nice. However, now I’m wondering about sitting part 2. I mean I don’t need to sit these exams as I want to be a GP and I only sat part 1 to kickstart my revision and further learning (which has worked) but it would be nice to keep at it and build on the knowledge. The timing doesn’t work though as I can only sit it in July (too soon) or December (not in the country) and even then, if I passed I’d have to sit PACES within 2 years and I can’t guarantee that as I may not be back by then. Still.

So I won’t be in the country as I’m moving to New Zealand for the next 2 years. That’s the plan anyway. Annoyingly I can’t apply for a job until May as I can’t start until November which is rather worrying, especially with the job crisis here. However, I’ve got a pretty good CV now and it should all be fine. Katherine (my missus) has a job already in Christchurch which is where I’m intending to go too. Lots of reasons why I want to leave here. Maybe another time.

The reason I can’t start till November is I’m headed back to Nepal as part of a medical research expedition to the Hidden Valley behind Dhaulagiri – I’m acting both as a medical officer and research coordinator. Which should be cool. A 5 week trek to camp at 5100m for a week, studying various effects of high altitude.

So yeah, lots of stuff and much more besides. Plus the Los Campesinos! album has finally come out – and it is glorious.

For now though…