Monday, October 31, 2011


The only vein the anaesthetist could find to cannulate was on the patient's inner wrist - a location that can be quite painful.

From where I stood on the other side of the bed, I noted that the patient had a small tattoo on their arm and said cheerfully, "well you're obviously not afraid of needles in your arm!"

The patient just looked at me and then turned back to the anaesthetist, who deftly threaded the cannula into the small vein and undid the torniquet.

And that's when I saw the track marks.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lolly Drop

When I was much, much younger, the highlight of the local picnic races was always the "lolly drop". It was far more exciting than the races themselves, or even the horse high jump.

A local pilot would fly over the paddock in a light plane and release hundreds of lollies as us kids waited anxiously for permission to run out and collect them. When those in charge decided we were no longer in danger of being killed by Minties falling from 3,000 feet, we would all sprint out and fill our hands, pockets and jumpers with lollies, eating them as we went. Nobody ever missed out and missed lollies could be found in the paddock up to a year later.

And then as the years passed, the picnic races faded away and the lolly drop became just a fond memory.

Until a few years ago, it was reinstated at the Keith Show. As sponsorship has increased (mostly from locals who remember the glory days of the picnic races), the lolly drop has once again become the highlight of the day for local kids ... and their parents.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away ...

Wheh I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn't see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door ... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away

Not sure why, but part of this poem by Hughes Mearns popped into my head today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Comment on a news article about Australia's most admired women.

The list was compiled by surveying about 1200 Australian females, and included the likes of model Miranda Kerr, Olympian Cathy Freeman, actress Cate Blanchett, Fred Hollows Foundation director Gabi Hollows and our PM Julia Gillard.

I'm sure they all have very admirable qualities and I'm sure even the broad-accented Gillard knows how to use the word "use".

Time to find a new role model, Maria!

Friday, October 7, 2011


I can't pretend to be the greatest student in the world.

That said, when a fortune teller in Singapore told me I would top the class in October, I allowed myself to become quietly hopeful. As all my classmates started getting their grades for our first big assignment, I kept checking and re-checking the student system, waiting for my grade to appear.

And yesterday, it finally happened - a notification saying "New Grade - Evidence Based Medicine".

I hurriedly opened the link, to see ...

Zero! Reviewed by the Section Instructor and everything, so it couldn't be a mistake.

I quickly looked for an email telling me to pack my bags and find a different career, but there was nothing.

In a panic, I called the course administration unit to ask what to do about it.

"Oh, just ignore that" was the breezy instruction, "I accidentally put in a grade but yours isn't marked yet. I couldn't leave it blank so I put a 0".

Oh. Thanks.