Sunday, 28 October 2007


Thanks to not realising it was daylight savings, and turning up to my yoga class just as it was finishing, I was a little more awake (and in a slightly worse mood) than usual when I got home and watered my plants this morning.

Perhaps that’s why I noticed that they had been attacked by evil caterpillars!!

Image thanks to flickr.

It was the mint that I first noticed. Mint is nothing if not hardy, so I was immediately suspicious when I saw that a few of it’s leaves looked a little moth eaten. Evil plans don’t just make themselves, you know.

Closer inspection revealed a couple of dark grey looking caterpillars. Ugh. After having lost a battle with caterpillars on my rocket earlier this year, I wasn’t relishing the though of having to repeat the experience.

Observation of my other plants revealed a similar invasion. My basil had been all but demolished by a number of the green suckers.

Despite the copious foliage, my tomato was also under similar attack by a mixture of green and brown suckers.

This particularly disturbed me, because the first of the plant’s fruit had just started to appear. I’m desperately hoping I get some to eat before I got to Vietnam!!

The only herbs that are (so far) immune to the caterpillar’s attack are the lettuce, chilli and parsley. Fingers crossed they stay that way!

1. Lettuce, 2. Chilli, 3. Flat-leaved parsley

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to take this lying down. When my rocket suffered a similar fate earlier this year, I lost the battle despite using slug and snail pellets, and a combination of soap, garlic and chilli (a method I devised, but must have read about it somewhere though surely?).

I was aware this wasn’t going to be easy, so I pulled out the big guns – Google – where I stumbled across this recipe for an organic bug spray. Deciding it looked suitably caterpillar-toxic, but person-friendly, I thought I’d give it a go. After all, should it survive, I do want to eat this stuff!!

Spraying it onto the plants certainly had some effect. At least 10 caterpillars dropped off and died. The tabasco also went right up my nose, and a few hours later my hands and lips are still tingling.

The question is, how many caterpillars remain?

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Me not dead

Whew, it's been a while. A lot has happened in the 17 days since I posted.

I'm now nearly halfway through my Obstetrics & Gynaecology rotation, and am enjoying it thoroughly. I've yet to witness a vaginal birth, but I've seen about 7 Caesarean sections. The first one blew my mind.

I was scrubbed in, and after the initial abdominal incision it was my job to hold instruments that help keep the tummy open, giving the surgeon a clear view of what he's doing. All of a sudden, instead of looking at fat or muscle, I was looking at hair. From then, it was my job to push the bulging mother's belly towards her feet - in other words, to move the baby so that its head popped through the hole. And it did! All of sudden I'm staring at this tiny face, still inside the mother. At the same time amniotic fluid is gushing everywhere, over the side of the table, and down my front.

I couldn't remember anything that happened after that, so dumbstruck was I by what I had witnessed. The next 6 Caesareans weren't as mind blowing as the first, but they were all pretty damn amazing. I'm not tired of them yet, unlike how I felt after watching 7 colonoscopies or 7 laparoscopic cholecystectomies earlier in the year!

I've also enjoyed the ante-natal clinics I've sat in on. It's fascinating seeing the range of different issues that pop up in pregnancy, and how different each pregnancy can be for each mother. Every mother is different too - from the 14 year old who didn't want her baby, not realising she was pregnant until she was 28 weeks along, to 40 year olds who'd undergone IVF treatment and were cherishing their pregnancy.

It's also made me acutely aware that the proverbial biological clock on my own eggs are ticking away. I'll soon be 32. That'll make me a mere 3 years from being considered "Advanced Maternal Age". That's a slightly daunting prospect.

An even more daunting prospect would be having a baby whilst studying, or doing internship. But is there ever an "easy" time to have a baby. Or is it just something that happens, and you fit whatever else is going on in your life around it as best you can?

The thought of having kids scares me. But so does the thought of not having them, and regretting it once its too late to do anything about it.

Wow this has become a rather meandering post hasn't it? Certainly ended out in a different direction that I'd thought it would when I started this brain dump. Still, better out than in hey!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Bay run!

I finished at hospital early today, so decided that despite not having run any distance for a while, I’d give the Bay run a go. It’s perfect running weather at the moment – not too hot, but still nice and sunny. What better track to run and admire the slowly setting sun?

It wasn’t all peaches and cream though. 15 minutes in I got a stitch that lasted a good 20 mins. It wasn’t too bad that I had to stop and walk though, so I just pushed through it. With 15 mins to go I also noticed my knees were hurting – I hope that is something that will go away rather than continue if I try to do this more often.

All up I did the 7km in 45-50min (I forgot to look at my watch until after I had finished stretching). I was pleasantly surprised that I made the whole thing without having to stop and walk.

A few hours later and I can feel my calves are tightening. It feels good knowing that I pushed myself today.

Let’s see how tomorrow feels though eh?

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Catching up

It's been a busy time since I checked in here last. I don't have the energy to write a long, detailed post describing it all, but here are the highlights of the last week or so of my life, in roughly chronological order.

  1. Eating dumplings, drinking much wine and singing lots of Guns 'n Roses at Karaoke.
  2. Waking up still drunk the next morning and having to pack my bags for a morning flight to Cairns.
  3. Making it to Cairns in one piece and enjoying a cruisy day wandering the streets, sussing out what had changed in the 5 years since I'd been there.
    By the water
  4. Spending 3 days on a boat staring at a view like this non-stop. Note the lack of blue sky.
    View from boat
  5. Doing 10 dives in 3 days, including 2 night dives. Never done a night dive before and was expecting it to be very scary - it wasn't! Best dive was the last morning - there were 9 sharks right underneath our boat as we descended. Then we saw 7 turtles in the one dive!
  6. Making it back on dry land and discovering that blue sky still exists.
    By the water
  7. Getting home and unpacking. Such fun - not!!!
  8. Finding out I passed 3rd year and am now officially in 4th year - woohoo!
  9. Realising this now officially means I have 9 weeks before I head to Vietnam for 3 months. Buying a Lonely Planet (still not opened it though)
  10. Picking out a new pair of glasses. They'll be ready to collect soon.
  11. Visiting my Babushka and getting to eat prawn dumplings at the same time. Yum.
    Baba's verandah
  12. Starting my first 4th year rotation - Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It's going to be an interesting 8 weeks, and I am loving being able to walk to hospital in the mornings.
So I think that pretty much brings us up to date. I need a rest from all this excitement!!