Work stuff

21 Feb

I’ve been busy at work. I will be until August because I HAVE to finish my MD thesis by then or else I probably never will!!! I’ve finished two chapters, drafted the third and have started chapter four. There are going to be about eight chapters all together… Chapters four and five will be relatively easy though, becuase they are the methods and results chapters. So I know what I’m writing about there (at least I should!).

I’ve been doing interviews too. I posted about the whole application process before I think. Well I had my interviews in January, and I find out if I have any offers this week!!! I’m hoping to get offers from both the deaneries I had interviews at. In theory I should, I’m definitely qualified for the job, but you never can tell how interviews go. Apparently 183 of those interviewed (2300ish) were unappointable!! Lets just hope I’m not one of them!!!

I’ll keep you posted :)

C x


21 Feb

I know, I haven’t written anything here for AGES!!! I’ve been meaning to, just not quite getting round to it for various (mostly rubbish) reasons. But this evening I’ve been doing painting with the Flopsy, and I had to take pictures, of course, so I thought I’d share them.

I’ve been busy doing some quilting too. This is more or less a quarter of a star  burst quilt for our friend’s wedding. I’m working on another one too, but I can’t show that one because it’s for someone who will look here!!! The photo’s not great because I took it at night using flash, will try to get a better one before it’s finished…

C x

Here is the finished art work by the way!!

New babies

12 Nov

A friend of mine (from primary school!) had her second baby a few weeks ago. Her first little boy was born just a few weeks before my girly, but she has well and truly beaten me to it with the second one! I need to send her something for the baby, and have been totally hopeless, not even having thought about it really until now. We also have another friend whose baby is due at the begining of december on my  lovely boy’s birthday. They are having a boy too, so that’s two bouy gifts to make. I have an idea for a quilt to make for one of them based on crazy mom quilts idea for triangle free zigzags. She makes squares pieced from two different  coloured rectangles, and it turns out that this simple block can make loads of different patterns!!

I have a Robert Kaufman jelly roll of muted solids, so I am going to pair the oranges, blues and greens with one each of the neutral colours, and have a go at that!! I have done the pairing of fabric, photos to follow soon.

On a totally different note, the garden is finished (for now!) The boy has done an excellent job of laying a patio infront of the outhouse using old bricks, left over slate and crazy paved stone in stripes. It sounds horrendous, I know, but it looks great!!

C x

To be (academic) or not to be (academic)

8 Nov

I think I am going to apply to an academic training job. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? In medicine there are the normal ‘clinical’ jobs that the majority of doctors do, which get your through all the junior house officer years (aka F1 and F2), senior house officer or basic specialty training jobs, now known as ST or CT 1 & 2, then the higher specialty training years once known as registrar jobs (and still mostly referred to the same way) officially called ST3-6 (or more depending on the specialty you choose).Then there are the academic jobs. That doesn’ mean you have to be especially clever to do them or anything like that. They are academic in the sense that you spend part of your time working with an academic institution more usually referred to as a university. In other words, you learn how to do reseach properly. You can do academic training jobs right from the outset in the foundation (F1 &2) jobs or step into academia later as I will be.

I have spent the past year doing a research fellowship, and this job will finish in August next year, hopefully culminating the acceptance by the university of my MD thesis, making me a doctor of medicine (!). That puts me in a slightly weird position in terms of applying for academic jobs at my stage of training. In a clinical sense I am pretty junior, having completed only my F1 & 2 years and part of the core surgical training CT1 year before going on maternity leave. So I will be applying for an academic core rotation at CT1 level. The anomaly occurs because I will already have a higher research degree (most people have a PhD rather than an MD, but they are similar). Traditionally the academic basic training jobs are pre-doctoral and the trainees spend three years working to win substantive funding for a piece of research which will culminate in a higher research degree such as a PhD. Post-doctoral people can work for funding towards post doctoral research, and this is a recognised use of the ACF (academic clinical fellow) posts, but it is not the norm. Paradoxically, I think that rather than putting you in an advantageous position when applying for academic jobs, as you might expect, previous research experience and higher research degrees might actually be a disadvantage as it pushes people out of their comfort zone in terms of how your training will take shape.

I have been in contact this week with a professor of surgery in the deanery I am planning to apply to (there are only a couple of surgical ACF jobs in the coutry, proabably fewer than 10 in total) and I get the feeling that he thinks I should just do normal training rather than going down the academic route…. He told me that they have admitted post-doc doctors to the programme before, but he had a PhD from a previous life, eg unrelated to medicine, and I really get the impression he’s not that keen on post-doc applicants. Maybe that’s just my imagination, and I don’t intend to let that stop me from applying, but it makes me wonder about how likely I am to get the job….

Well, I’ll keep you posted on whether I get an interview. The deadline for applications is December 3rd and interviews are at the end of January so it can’t be that long until I’ll know!!!


Twins and Kittens

26 Oct

Over the weekend some friends visited with their 5 1/2 month old twins, a boy and a girly. The girly and I had spent some time before they arrived sorting through her clothes that were too small, and making a pile to give to the ‘bebes’. She was quite excited to give the clothes to them and was really happy when they arrived. We had only had a small breakfast because they were coming for brunch, so I had been saying we would be having sausage and bacon when the babies came. She kept repeating to me ‘eat bebes’. I assumed (and am pretty confident) that this particularly unfortunate turn of phrase on her part was a result of her 22 month old language use quirks rather than an expression of desire to actually eat the babies!! As it turned out, she really loved them and kept coming back to stroke them and give them kisses, and if one of them cried she came over to give them ‘pat pat’ on their back or head and say shhh shhh…

How cute is the girly?!

Also cute and wonderful is the fact that while wondering round a random tesco on Sunday to find a newspaper, we found that they had a buy one get one free offer on Disney DVDs including the classic ones (although unfortunately they didn’t have Jungle Book or 101 Dalmations wah…) So we chose The Aristocats and Dumbo instead… How cool? Here are some pictures from the Aristocats that I took while we were watching it on the laptop. The animation is so old fashioned and gorgeous.

I LOVE it :)
Caroline x

Food for thought

25 Oct

I randomly read this post while opening word press to write something else. It’s interesting. While I’m not sure I entirely agree with everything Heather said, I think it is something definitly worth thinking about. Should we talk about our family and friends on the web where anyone can read what we write? I am fairly sure the comments about frustrating behaviour and funny moments aren’t likely to cause long-lasting damage to children should they read them, I think it is a good idea to restrain from making comments about wishing they hadn’t had children and that sort of thing… I think they are totally different things myself. Anyway, I will definintly think even more carefully about what I write here in future. The comments on that post were really interesting to read, too. Go and have a look.
On a completely different note, I went to my first SAVES meeting last night. SAVES is the Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service. It is a croup consisting mostly of doctors (of which most are GPs) who respond to serious emergencies along with the ambulance service. Most of their work consists of road accidents and other trauma rather than medical emergencies and I got involved because of my doctoring work at horse trials… On that note, I am doctoring at the Aldon Horse Trials this weekend which are taking place in Yeovil on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. Anyway, SAVES is a branch of BASICS which is a national association for pre-hospital care and trains doctors in the techniques and skills of pre-hospital care. I am really keen to get involved in this aspect of medicine. I can’t become BASICS acredited until ST3 level, so at least another couple of years from now (probably more when you take babies in to account) but the two monthly clinical meetings are good training opportunities and I am definitely going to keep going along.

The garden is going pretty well. We have managed to take the larger patio back parallel with the front of the house and have outlined the patio to go in front of the out house, so that should be done soon. The gravel (for temporary cover of the rest of the courtyard) is being ordered today, so it should all be finished soon!!! The water and electricity are being finished this week and we have nearly finished painting the units to go in the kitchen side of the outhouse, so we’re nearly there!! Once we finishe the outhouse we will be able to get some of the furniture from the downstairs bedrooms out there (office stuff) so can finally re-arrange these rooms as we want them and get everything (read the whole house) painted. We are determined this will all be finished for christmas, at which time the entire family (both sides) will be coming for Christmas day! Wish us luck!


PS no phots because the (new) camera seems to have regected the memory card for some reason after getting along with it fine up until this point! Soon, I hope…

The beauty of nature in the garden?!

29 Sep

Well… The garden has undergone a few transformations in the past week. It has gone from in one piece (though far from beautiful) through haveing a bisecting two foot deep trench, back to in one piece. By this, I mean there is at least no longer a trench into which babies, dogs and visitors may fall on their way to the front door!! That at least is progress. In its place, however, there is now (judging by the torrential rain outside the window) likely to be a deep and joyous (for those in the canine species) mud bath/quagmire begging to be transported to all corners of the house. No doubt T will love digging, stamping and otherwise covering herself in this sand, dirt, gravel and water mixture too!! Perfect :)

And so, I am in search of some sort of flooring solution. I have my eye on reclaimed stone setts, which I think will suit the stableyard history of our house. They don’t come cheap, however, especially as it appears only grim northerners reclaim such things and they therefore have to be transported here from Manchester or Yorkshire climbs… One company has quoted £1700 to cover 50m2, which is copable with I suppose, but also wants £650 to get them (17tonnes worth!) to the house. This, admittedly, is a fairly important step in the aquisistion process, but over a third of the cost of the stone? Really? I think not, especially as a local rival seems able to do it for jsut £250… Hmmm

On with the planning, photos to come soon.

C x


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