So I was catheterising someone this evening (at work, not just for fun) and as I was preparing all the stuff he said to me, ‘Do you have any scissors there doctor?’. Er, yes. Why? ‘Oh, I was wondering if you could trim my pubes for me…’. Ermmmmm…I’ll ask the nurses after. All that from a very sick guy in his 70s. He was being serious. Ha ha ha. Pretty fucked up.

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And then tapas with friends. And tomorrow all alone on the ward which means it’s going to be a stressful and long day and also means I can’t bitch slap my SHO for giving me his chest infection. I’ve got that wheeze and heaviness coming on and a catch in the throat. Bastard. Don’t want to be ill.

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Great weekend.

Decided to be a good son and go home home for the weekend. Spent Saturday hanging out with my little brother and we saw 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer which was about as good as I was expecting (a lot better than the first but not the Greatest Movie In The World). The Fantastic Four have always been young and goofy to me and the movie pretty much got that right. Story was silly and overblown, acting ok, effects great and not too long. Could have been much worse and the Silver Surfer spin off could potentially be awesome. Here’s hoping.

Didn’t end up furious with Mum so that’s a positive! Came close when she decided to point out ‘well, you are almost 30…’. WHAT! No. NO. No no no. I’m not. Jesus. She’s still not found anywhere to live yet though.

And then Sunday with my step-family and Dad for Father’s Day. Translated = the whole day either beating up or being beaten up by my two nephews. Ha ha.

Ethan

Spent a lot of time on the monkey bars and climbing frame (I really fucking want one of those – so much fun). By the evening I was so worn out and battered and bruised that I decided to end it in the traditional manner by thoroughly soaking the two of them with their super-soaker resulting in two sodden kids, a few tears and a victorious Uncle Andy! Ha ha.

Ethan

 

Josh

Being big is great! (speaking of which I’ve put weight on- in fact I weigh more than I’ve ever weighed before and have finally broken the 10 stone barrier! Ha ha. Never been that much before – go me. Of course, everyone I’ve told wishes they could be only 10 stone and then got moody).

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Skip forward 4 hours and I’m quite drunk. Got called by the Sarah and Maddie who are having an ant infestation and needed ‘a man’ to sort it. Guess Mike was unavailable so they called me. Turned up to find S wearing an item of clothes that really gives credence to the word ‘shorts’ and both near hysteria. But unscrewed the side of the bath – site of the infestation, discovered and destroyed the ants nest (not pleasant) and looked heroic! That’s my man quotient filled for a while. Makes up for the lack of any other masculinity.

Then Ulka came round and we’ve hung out and polished off a bottle of rather nice Rioja and some Cognac. And then I realised I’ve run out of alcohol (except for that horrible Welsh whisky Rob bought a while back). We arsed around on Facebook and t’internet, talked about animal costumes and generally had fun. Now I need to go to bed. So I shall.

Night.

It’s felt like a crappy day.  Felt like as I’m not entirely convinced it had reason to be a crappy day but that’s what it felt like to me.  I’ve been so tired.  Up early as we were post take and had a lot of patients to sort out, some quite sick.  My eyes were tired today and I’ve just been lacking energy.  Didn’t go to We will rock you in the end as I felt so drained when I finished I just couldn’t cope with it.  Plus I’d decided during the day that I didn’t really want to go anyway.  So got home and promptly fell asleep for almost 2 hours.  I need to start getting early nights.  I mean real early nights.  It’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I’ve noticed I’m clenching my jaw again which is something I do when I’m stressed.  I’m having to concentrate on not doing it as it’s making me tense and giving me a headache.

Probably the best thing to happen today was that I got to dictate my first discharge letter (opposed to just writing them out by hand).  Using the little dicta-phone thing was really fun.  I so want one.  God knows what I’d do with it but it’s fun to play with.

Sleep now.

Last week a bunch of us went to the Lake District to climb Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England (3205ft) as preparation for Three Peaks which is now of uncertain date as we’re all getting busy with work. Still. Not really knowing what to expect and getting freaked out at driving there between increasingly big peaks we gave it a go. And it was fine.

The final stetch of Scafell Pike

Got up and down in just over 4 hrs which is pretty good considering we weren’t rushing and rested for 20 mins, shivering with the bracing wind on the summit. Nice view and a wonderfully clear day to climb, which is apparently a bit of a rarity. Look how happy we all look (and ignore my terrible walking get up and rolled up trousers):

Us on Scafell Pike

We met a few guys doing Three Peaks and chatted to their drivers as they raced up. I think it’s possible for us to do it in 24hrs though more stamina training wouldn’t go amiss.

Anyway, we hung out, arsing around in a boat on Windermere on Sunday:

Windermere

And walked a gentle route on the Monday, looking around some very cool caves. All inter-spaced with time spent in places such as:

Pub

I really need to learn to like beer. Not for the first time have I thought this. It would make life so much easier sometimes. I don’t want to ‘acquire’ the taste though. I want it from the beginning. That’s why I drink wine and whisky and gin. All taste great naturally.

After that, the guys went back and I stayed up there for the week to relax. I’ve mentioned before about being really stressed at the moment. Work has been hectic recently and we’ve got some bad family stuff at the moment so I needed to get away from it all. And I’ve discovered (much like Wordsworth before me (but far less eloquent)) that the Lake District is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I’ve had the best week.

It helped that the weather has been great (even better that it’s rained back here). Spent the entire week hiking, climbing mountains, spending time outside and generally being quite active. After trekking in Nepal I really grew to love walking, especially as a way to escape and find peace but never considered England could compare. Ok, so height wise…not so much, but scenery and splendour: absolutely. The rugged, wild and open spaces, the mountains and peaks and tarns, the solitude of the long distance walker, the brief but friendly interactions you have with complete strangers 5 miles from anywhere up a mountain. It’s all just perfect. I’ve found it to be a form of mobile meditation. I can let my mind go and just enjoy being out, walking, concentrating on the experience as it happens rather than going back and dissecting it later. It’s been really good for me.

So, some space to myself, relaxation and fresh air. I’m really getting old! Ha ha. I’ve even bought walking poles (saving my knees). One step closer to joining the ramblers.

Stayed in Grasmere and climbed Helm Crag:

Grasmere from Helm Crag

Before completing a 12 mile ridge walk to Pavey Ark and Harrison Sickle:

Stickle Tarn seen from Harrison Stickle

and arsing around with ducks:

Lakeside friends

Went to Grizedale Forest and saw a lot of the natural sculptures scattered throughout. Some favourites:

White picket fence Ferns

But I think my absolute favourite over the week was the penultimate day climbing Helvellyn, the third tallest mountain in England. Favourite why? Because to get up to it you have to walk along the awesomely fun and scary Striding Edge Ridge:

 

Striding Edge

It really is narrow and steep, with the edges just dropping away both sides. You have to scramble over the ridge top, carefully picking your way from outcrop to boulder, trying not to get blown over by the wind or trip. It really was fun. From the other side with shitty zoom it looks even better – look at the tiny people:

See the little people

 

I had to turn around very carefully to take this:

 

Note the less hairy me

And now I’m home.

So, yeah. I had fun and really surprised myself. So much so that I’ve decided not to go diving in July but to go back to the Lake District and climb even more mountains. It was that good! If you want to see all the other photos, go to the usual place.

Later.

Wow, I’m shattered.

I’ve been really stressed these last two weeks.  It’s not been good.  We’ve got some bad family shit going on (the really bad kind, the potentially never to be fixed kind) and work has been tough as I’ve been by myself a lot.  Plus, job application stuff, end of year assessments and paperwork and then trying to sort out a holiday.

Holidays for me used to involved randomly deciding to go somewhere, booking a flight and then leaving the next week.  It’s the way I prefer it.  I’m not very good at planning things and getting things done on time (in my personal life – for work I have to) so the last minute thing works.  I booked my flights to Cambodia the week before I went.  After a whole year of thinking about working in Nepal I finally got it all sorted out 2 weeks before leaving.  I stayed there for 2 months.  It’s also this that led me to be halfway across the Atlantic, embarking on a 5 month jaunt round the States, before I realised I’d forgotten to change any money to dollars.  Things always worked out, I got ideas, I acted on them.

I’m not used to having to book leave in advance and seemingly arbitrarily.  I really don’t like the way you end up having to ‘plan’ fun and relaxation.  And sometimes, when that holiday has turned up I’ve not actually felt any desire to go anywhere.  I’m not a planned person.

This holiday however has come at the right time.  I need a break.  Badly.  I’m not me at the moment.  I don’t feel myself.  My apathy and procrastination are building in unhealthy levels and I’m beginning to wonder whether this is the latest incarnation of my intrinsic self destructive streak.  Destruction through sloth.

I’ve also noticed that all I do these days is complain.  Now here, that’s fine as it’s a vent for me but I’m doing it so much in my daily life that it’s even starting to piss me off (and I’ve noticed at least one of my friends gets annoyed by it and that affects me more).  I’m just so negative and I don’t know how that happened.  I’ve always been so positive.  Life seems to be getting to me.  I need to go away and reassess a few things about where my life’s going.  There’s someone I work with who is just so miserable and sour; she constantly moans and complains and bitches and blames everyone else.  I really dislike her.  She’s venomous.  Yet I feel it spreading.  Thankfully she’s leaving in a few weeks but I can’t let myself become that person.

I can’t.

So, I have some things to work out.  Which is good as my holiday starts tomorrow and I’m off all next week.  We’re climbing Scafell Pike this weekend in preparation for the Three Peaks Challenge (whenever that actually happens – it’s all up in the air right now).  So, I’m bunging some stuff in my car and heading up there Friday with the guys and then staying in the Lake District for the rest of the week.  A week of hiking, climbing and reading.  Looking forward to it.  No phone, no internet.  And tomorrow I have Things To Do.

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I’m shattered because we went climbing tonight.  There was a point when I was half way up what turned out to be a really tough route when I actually felt like a real climber.  I was hanging from an overhang 7m up by one arm, legs tucked right up under the rock, the other arm reached back into my chalk bag, thinking, ‘if only every woman I’ve ever liked was below me right now because I must look SO COOL!’.  Ha ha.

I’m aware that my mental version of how I must look probably doesn’t correspond to the awkward, sweaty, scrabbling reality of the situation but, hey.  I got up it and it was tougher than anything I’ve climbed before.  I felt great.  Of course, I won’t be able to use my arms tomorrow…

Saw 28 Weeks Later tonight and liked it a lot.  Go read about my thoughts here.

Then saw this and got uber excited.

Joker

 

 Seriously, this has so much potential.  It could be so dark.

Crappy day.  Crappy week.  Fixed the sink.

Start it all over again.