Archive for December 4th, 2008

London Calling [Part 1]

When I came back from NZ, I put a self-imposed moratorium on travelling. That I wouldn’t leave the country for a year or two. This on the background of 7 or 8 years of globetrotting, and more CO2 emissions than you could shake a stick at. To be honest, I don’t really mind, I love Ireland, I don’t see the point in going on holiday anywhere else (now living somewhere else – that’s a different story…) – all I wanna do is drive round Ireland in the Volvo and sleep on the beach. Ireland rules. Anyhow

So I’m in London.

Which doesn’t really count as leaving the country. Even though I’m travelling on an Irish passport to the UK and leaving the fair isle of Eire. I never really strictly defined the old moratorium on travelling anyhow.

2 months into the new job – me and young Dr Carson have abandoned the A&E department for 6 years to swan round London, sit in coffee shops and… oh yes go to a couple of medical emergencies courses….

So with terrible preparation of a night on call with 4 hours sleep, followed by a day’s work, an evening out with the ever wonderful JHOs (the guys I did my first year as a doc with) and another 4 hours sleep on Knoker’s floor in Belfast.

I sort of remember the flight over here, though I was a tad on the sleepy side. I woke up in Liverpool St Station. I remember that. I still love travelling alone, I still love airports and coffee shops and newspapers and sitting in the corner watching everyone.

Medical courses are odd. Full of coffee, croissants, data projectors, consultants in “casuals”, all of us there listening to lectures on lists of data of primary PCI vs thrombolysis and when to use a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor – and all of us really quite enjoying it. People like us should be kept in small groups in seminar rooms and not let into the real world I know.

img_2715Slightly overloaded on cardiology, we roamed the streets of London, soaking up the atmosphere (as I soaked up the damp through the shoes I tried to super glue back together) of London in the run up to Christmas.

We stumbled upon Trafalagar square just in time for the switching on of the Christmas lights on the Norwegian Christmas tree. Apparently it’s been a tradition that the Norwegians have given us a big tree every year since our timely assistance in the second world war. Though I’ve read some Churchill and I’m pretty sure we invaded Norway at one point – the Norwegians were glad yes, but we definitely invaded them… Anyhow.

Boris was there. Boris rules. I’d vote for Boris. Boris was funny.

There was a terrible rendition of some classic carols – the choir and Sally Annes were good, it was just the crowd that was feeble. Times have changed I suppose.

By 7pm i was fading fast, and Gilly’s dodgy “one leg longer than the other” wasn’t doing him any favours either. img_2719

I booked into my hotel (50 a night with “shared bathroom outside room” – i didn’t expect much and i’m not disappointed. Oh well, the door locks at least…) and took a brief dander round to Russell Square and found a pub to write this and use the internet (finally pretty much everywhere in London has free internet).

So i’m back where I’m happy, in the corner with the tunes going, people-watching. Of the three tables near me, only one group are speaking English. There’s a group of young eastern europeans sitting next to me having a drink. This is fascinating. Why? Because most everywhere you go it’s usually the Eastern Europeans serving in the bar, not drinking in it. It’s good to see that maybe times are changing.

Right it’s 9pm, time to sleep me thinks.



December 2008
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