Day 506 – Sunday
We ate an early brunch with Vicki, Bec & Alastair. We walked down Church St, to Smith, and were seated upstairs. The server heard our accents (except for Vicki, whose Singaporean International School North American accent was interpreted as “no accent”) and asked where in London we were from. It was a relaxing morning, and food was shared between all plates; what one person couldn’t eat or didn’t want to finish was quickly hoovered up by somebody else. I had crepes but the caramelised nut fillings were hurting a left molar tooth, so Alastair finished them up. Vicki and Bec ate Alastair’s bread. I ate some of Bec’s pea meal bacon. Dan drank Bec’s woeful “hot chocolate” that the server had re-made twice, in futile attempts at satisfying an Aussie with Canadian hot beverages.
Dan and I caught the subway and then a bus to see the Clarks. Antony left with Josh (to catch up with Vicki; our friend circles all overlap as we all were at Med School together) while Dan and I caught up with Dave, and used our US Airways Frequent Flyer Miles to book reward flights home to Australia next July. I’m glad we chose two year-long fellowships; one year would not have been enough. Hopefully after this winter we’ll be ready to go home. I’m certainly not ready to go home yet, and the idea of booking a return flight to Australia, away from he new friends we’ve made here was gut-wrenching. The travel to the other side of the planet is not pleasant; it’s over 24 hours of flying and it takes up two day’s of your life. We’ll return, for sure, but it will be infrequent. We decided on dates and flight path and returned home with heavy hearts. I was also sneezing, in the presence of their two cats.
In the evening Bec & Alastair cooked roast chicken and had all the neighbours over, as well as Vicki, and Anna. Why hadn’t we thought of having a weekly neighbours’ dinner sooner? Pete & Royden came, and Julian too. It was a great evening. I declared it should be weekly and nominated Julian to cook for next Sunday. If only I’d brought my mah jong set to Canada, it would be just like Joy Luck Club. Except I’m the only half-Chinese person.
Day 507 – Monday
I was sick.
Day 508 – Tuesday
It’s a new month; Abdo Fellows changed hospitals again. I found myself freed of the stuffy box of constant interruptions and crushing reporting and protocolling lists. I was back next door in the Ontario Power (nothing to do with a hospital) building, in the OB outpatient clinic. It was a good day, especially because I had hugs from sonographers that had apparently missed me too. Mum and Aunty Gaye returned from Seattle and we ate dinner with them. I held Aunty Gaye’s hand as we tread carefully down the wet stairs in the light drizzle; she’s just had a hip replacement and is not 100% steady on her feet yet. I was the one that slipped.
Day 509 – Wednesday
Wednesday was academic, a much-needed day as it had been two weeks since my last (the wedding interrupted work somewhat). I met with Tae: my Abdo project from last year’s fellowship manuscript might finally be at the stage of sending out to the other authors for input. I worked on data entry all day for this year’s Abdo project before cycling home in the cold to meet mum (she was having a pedicure with Daniel) and eating an early dinner with Aunty Gaye before they left for the airport. Their visit was brief. I didn’t feel sad as we will see them again next year.
Day 510 – Thursday
Thursday was a long day. I got to work early, to work on my research project before the first ultrasound scans were complete. I managed to escape the reporting desk to physically go re-scan a few patients myself, which made me happy. By the time rounds had finished I was exhausted and walked East with the other fellows, and up to College Subway Station as everybody peeled off towards their buildings. The train waited 10 min at the platform as there had been an alarm at Wellesley. Overseas fellowship experience is like a condensed version of Medical School, living on campus; our lives revolve around the hospital sites we rotate through, and short commutes back to our temporary tiny accommodations. It’s been good but I’m starting to yearn for what’s next.
Dan and Fiamma had left me home alone as they’d gone up to Algonquin. When my left nostril ingrown hair pimple finally pointed (with a lot of help and determination) I was overjoyed, but had nobody to share it with. This ingrown hair had appeared the weekend before the wedding and removed any hope that I’d actually look my best for our wedding photos, so I had simply accepted that I wouldn’t and to have no expectation at all, which made me consider caring less about how I looked and more about whether my guests were having a good time. Still, it was a welcome relief when a sore lump a millimetre wide that made me wince every time I bumped my nose (I subconsciously touch my face constantly) was no more. I had to settle with texting Dan the gory details.
Day 511 – Friday
My ears stung in the cold evening air as I cycled home. I’d stayed late after work; our gleeful purchase of ski boots a few weeks back has necessitated overtime protocolling work to pay for them. It was 2 degrees Celsius above zero.
Fiamma and Daniel returned from their 24-our trip to Algonquin. We ate dinner with Fiamma (I cooked – tacos) before Dan drove her to the airport and I went to bed.
Day 512 – Saturday
Conference web attendance is the best thing since sliced bread; while Jhaveri was talking about MRI of liver iron overload I tackled my ironing overload of the entire wardrobe of un-ironed shirts. I swept the floors while listening to MRI optimisation suggestions. If an interesting point was made, I’d step over towards my desk and type notes on my laptop. No uncomfortable conference room seats or air conditioning. I was still in my tracksuit pants. It’s raining again and it’s almost time to recycle the balcony plants and pack away their pots. Our Halloween pumpkins (Mum’s was the only one carved) are slowly shrivelling. Hopefully we won’t have one in slow-motion decomposition throughout winter like last year.
Ur & Is had invited us over for dinner (Ur went to the effort of cooking a delicious pumpkin and bacon soup, and a chicken and rice main so I went to the effort of baking a flourless almond chocolate cake but it turned into a crater after I used baking soda instead of baking powder). Julian came too. We played Cards Against Humanity. I didn’t find it as funny as the rest because I was saddened by the realisation that this time next year we’ll probably be home in Australia and unable to just drop by for dinner. We were a little late but managed to say goodnight to Etye, who was superkeen to ask about our wedding, whether we’d kissed, and was Niagara on the Lake on the lake!? He seemed disappointed that it was really Niagara next to the Lake. Israel is growing a moustache for Movember and is currently looking straight out of the 70s. It’s only been a week.