Thursday, 30 August 2007


I tend to go through phases where I really get into a particular food and eat it constantly. After a few months I find another craze, and move on to something else. Sometimes I go back and re-visit previous crazes. I'm doing that right now with bagels.

I think we're a bit bagel-deprived here in Australia. We don't have the plethora of bagel bakeries that they do in NYC or all across Canada. We don't have the opportunity to walk down the street and be tempted by the fragrance of freshly cooked bagels. Nor do we have the sheer variety of flavours available; from plain to seeded to jalapeno-cheese all the way through to chocolate or maple syrup you think of it, Canadians have made a bagel out of it.

The supermarket bought bagels we get here just don't measure up. Bagels are a fleeting treasure; get them fresh and they are chewy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. A day later and they are just tough, dry and nasty. Not worth the effort!

So I was delighted to discover that a sourdough bakery just up the road has freshly baked bagels. They also do great take-away coffee. My latest thing has been to go the gym and grab a coffee and bagel on the way home for breakfast or lunch depending on what time it is. But you have to get in quick; their supply of bagels is usually all but gone by mid-morning.

Blueberry bagel with cream cheese

Here's my perfect breakfast: a blueberry bagel with extra light cream cheese and a coffee. What a start to the day.

Cheese bagel with cream cheese and vegemite

Another brekky favourite is a cheese bagel with a smidge of cream cheese and vegemite. Divine!!

Plain bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket

This creation is superb and does equally well for breakfast or lunch. I'd even eat it for dinner if it had managed to survive the rest of the day uneaten! It's a plain bagel topped with cream cheese, rocket and smoked salmon drizzled with lemon juice and cracked pepper. I now keep some smoked salmon in fridge purposely to make this little treat!!

Poppy seed bagel with haloumi, tomato and rocket

This one is great for lunch and can be adapted easily with whatever ingredients are on hand. The staples are rocket, tomato and some kind of cheese (preferably haloumi or feta) with chilli. Olives, roasted capsicum and pesto are a great way to liven it up as required.

If anyone else has any great bagel ideas please let me know. I'm always up for another way to celebrate the humble bagel!

UPDATE: Having had a cheese bagel for lunch today I decided to take yet another photo to make my bagel collection complete. I was having trouble capturing the cheese one though - it somehow didn't seem to be as photogenic as the rest. A decided to help me out, but by the time he'd crossed the room I was already stuffing my face!

Scoffing down the bagel

I'll also come clean with the details of the purveyor of bagely goodness since M asked: they're from rise Newtown (the same shop used to be called d'ough which is just *the* best name for a bakery) on King St Newtown, right next door to Franklins. I'm a bit confused though, because according to yellowpages their name is The Bread Connection, but I'll go with whatever name is on the shopfront.

And yes, I am worried that they'll disappear but every time I go I stock up, making sure I have enough for at least one of every flavour to sit in the freezer. Some days I clear them out of all remaining bagels!! Though having consumed several over the last few days, my supplies have dwindled down to nothing, so looks like I'll be going for a walk tomorrow morning!!

Monday, 27 August 2007

mon afternoon

  • tired when I got home – CHECK
  • already dark – CHECK
  • muscles still sore, knee still bruised and jaw still aching from netball on sat – CHECK
  • my turn to cook dinner – CHECK

  • got off my ass and did 45 mins yoga before cooking – CHECK
  • felt a hell of a lot better afterwards – DOUBLE CHECK

yay :)

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Lemon seeds - take two!

I've started working on one of my 43things again - to grow a lemon tree from seeds.

Last time I lost my seeds in a little accident on the verandah - I decided they weren't getting enough direct sunlight, so I thought I'd move them from their safe spot on the kitchen bench to the verandah for an hour or two on sunny afternoon.

Minutes later when I went to check on them the paper towelling had blown away, taking my precious seeds with them.

Since then I've been avidly collecting seeds - I have about 50 by now, so surely some of them have to pop!!

This time, thanks to a great suggestion from little miss ruby, I'm using cotton wool instead of paper. Hopefully that'll mean less drying out, and less blowing away.

(I didn't have normal cotton balls, so I'm hoping those cotton wool make-up pads will do the same trick)

Fingers crossed this time is more successful. However due to the nasty and greyness outside I don't foresee there being much verandah-time put in - today at least!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Some reflection

I've just completed the second essay I had to write for this silly portfolio we have to hand in tomorrow. The first essay was infinitely painful - writing up a case report on an ethical issue we had witnessed this year - and I've spent the past few evenings struggle to get that one done.

The second essay I wrote tonight - a reflection of my personal and professional development over this year. It was actually quite cathartic; writing this essay actually felt quite similar to writing a blog entry, so I'm cheating and using it as both. Here goes!!

Third year has been an interesting year; it’s a vastly difference experience to second year. It’s been busier than ever, but despite the busyness it has somehow managed to be less stressful, something I am immensely thankful for, because I am not sure if I could cope with the stress of second year and its barrier exam again. The third year barrier exam that looms in a mere months time somehow does not seem such a daunting task after having been through one before and passed out the other end, and after having successfully made my way through the Long Case exam that was the major stress-inducing object to deal with this year. I’m unsure of whether my reduced stress is due to improved coping, lower motivation to be able to induce stress, or heightened perspective of where I’ve been, where I’m going and what I need to do to get there. Either way, for my sanity’s sake, I am glad.

That’s not to say this year has been a walk in the park. Yes, it’s been very busy, and compared to the last two years, the busyness is less focused and frustrating, because it seems less outcome driven. The year had barely started; our first few days at a new hospital (in Orange) and already we were being bombarded with EBM, PPD and CDT presentations to prepare. Where was the time to study? And what did our lectures have to do with our PBL topics for the week? And what about our ICAs – when were we supposed to learn anything relating to them? And what about the ICAs we never got allocated – will I never learn anything about Respiratory or Neurology?

This year was filled with many unknowns and unanswered questions. I kept waiting for a mystical ah-hah moment, when everything would suddenly snap together and make sense. I continue to wait.

But comparing myself now to where I was at the start of the year, things have changed -just as previous third years, when imparting their wisdom to us - told us they would. Somehow this crazy and confusing system I’ve had to muddle through for the last 7 months has worked. Sure I’m still no pharmacist, but I know a lot more about many more medications than I did this time last year. Flipping through most patients’ medication charts I can make reasonable sense of what their main medical issues are, instead of the bewilderment I felt last year. And sure, I still stammer and give stupid answers whilst in the middle of an operation getting grilled about anatomy by surgeons, but now I welcome it, not dread it, because it’s a great way to learn.

One area I thought I would feel more confident about by this stage is procedural skills. Unfortunately they are something that I continue to feel that if I don’t do them with regularity, then I need to learn again. The only thing I feel vaguely confident in at this stage is venepuncture. Cannulation, ABGs and suturing are still stress inducing experiences for me. I have discussed this with my supervisors, who say don’t get caught up with these things now, that by the time pre-internship arises I’ll be bored with cannulating ten patients a day, that now is the time to be on the wards talking to patients and practicing history-taking and performing physical exams. Taking this advice on board is something I have tried to do, with varying success at times, and is something I am still aware of.

As third year draws to a close, I am stunned by how quickly it has come and gone. I am filled with awe about everything I have learnt this year, and disgust at all that I knew last year but have now forgotten. I’m also starting to think about next year, and all the new experiences that will bring with anticipation. Not to mention the year after.

Anyway, I'm glad that's over and done with. I'm going to go have a glass of wine now, and celebrate its completion, as well as the fact that instead of having a 7:15am vascular tutorial tomorrow morning, we're having it at 2pm instead. I get a sleep-in yay. Much more civilised!! I'm even going to try and go to the gym beforehand as well!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

The place to be

Over the last 2 days I have come to realise that the most popular place to be in Sydney must be my street. It's sort of like the anti-Bermuda Triangle because in the last two days within 50m from my front door I have met (within 10m of each other):
  1. A friend of my parents who lives 6 hours drive from Sydney, who happened to be parked on the side of the road as I walked by.
  2. His daughter who was across the road with her 10 year-old child visiting their doctor. The last time I had seen her was before she had ANY children.
  3. My friend and her daughter - although not entirely surprising since she owns the beauty salon which inhabits that 10m strip of land.
  4. A friend from uni who lives a few suburbs over and was visiting the beauty salon for the very first time.
  5. A registrar from hospital who happened to be visiting the chiropractor next door to said beauty salon. She lives half an hours drive away.
The lesson in this: you're never anonymous, not even in inner Sydney, and especially not when you're wearing ugg boots, old purple cords, messy hair and just running out to grab a coffee!

Friday, 3 August 2007

A sad sight

I just went downstairs to empty our bin. After opening the door to the garbage room I spied movement on the ground. A rat!!

Unlike most other rats it didn't scurry away in a flash and hide behind any object it could. It just sat there. I stood, frozen in the doorway not sure what to do. It actually was quite a cute little thing, with fuzzy whiskers and glossy dark brown fur. But still, it's a rat!! To throw away my garbage I had to walk past the rat, but what if it chose that moment to make a run for it and went right up my leg!!

I stomped my foot a few times, but that didn't have the desired effect of scaring it away. So with much trepidation I stepped past it and hurled my bag into the big bin. The rat moved maybe 5cm. I think there was something wrong with its hind feet. Maybe it got caught in a trap that didn't quite kill it. I know the humane (animane?) thing to do would be to kill it quickly and put it out of it's misery, but I didn't have the guts.

I feel awful about the whole thing. I'm now up in our warm apartment and it's downstairs on a cold concrete floor slowly dying no doubt in immense pain. Sometimes life sucks.