The Adventure Continues...

Rants, raves and random observations from an itinerant epidemiologist.

100 in 1000
  1. Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
  2. Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
  3. Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
  4. Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
    1. Pilsner
    2. Staroprammen
    3. Budvar
    4. Velke Popovice
    5. U Fleku
    6. Gambrinus
    7. Krusovice
  5. Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are also acceptable)
  6. Travel across the Atlantic
  7. Return to South America
  8. Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
  9. Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
  10. Have my nose pierced
  11. Have my next tattoo drawn
  12. Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
  13. Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  14. Bake Viv's cheesecake
  15. Make David's casserole
  16. Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
  17. Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
  18. Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
  19. Attend a book group for at least two books
  20. Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
  21. Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
  22. Take an architecture appreciation course
  23. Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
  24. Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
  25. Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
  26. Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
  27. Have a pedicure
  28. Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
  29. Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
  30. Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
  31. Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
  32. Don't eat out for one month
  33. Find a flat and flatmate
  34. Purchase one Joseph sweater
  35. Purchase one of the following pairs of designer shoes (they MUST also be COMFORTABLE, and be able to be worn with 4 different outfits and 2 types of occasion): Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutin (Ebay or 2nd hand are acceptable)
  36. Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
  37. Go hanggliding
  38. Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
    1. Moll Flanders
    2. Everything is illuminated
    3. Madam Bovary
    4. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
    5. Catch-22
    6. Odysseus
    7. On the Road
  1. Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
  2. Send Christmas Cards on time
  3. Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
  4. Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
  5. Go to Africa
  6. Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
  7. Organise a 30th Birthday Party
  8. Wear a costume
  9. Sing on stage
  10. Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
  11. Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
  12. See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
  13. Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
  14. Win something
  15. Draft a will
  16. Take a roadtrip
  17. Go to Italy already
  18. Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
  19. Get plants
  20. Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
  21. Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
  22. Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
  23. Go to a dentist. *sigh*
  24. Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
  25. Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
  26. Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
  27. Marvel over lack of tiredness
  28. Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
  29. Bet on the nags
  30. Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
  31. Walk along the Champs Elysee
  32. Do 100 sit ups in a row
  33. Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
  34. Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
  35. Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
  36. Find a mentor
  37. Be a mentor
  38. Learn what mentoring is all about
  39. Meet an online person in real life
  40. Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
  41. Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
  42. Send a care package to someone
  43. Get a Tata Bojs CD
  45. Order new contact lenses.
  46. Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
  47. Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
  48. Back up the blog
  49. Put everything onto an external hard drive
  50. Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
  51. Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
  52. Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
  53. Join the Municipal Library of Prague
  54. Move to another country
  55. Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
  56. Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
  57. Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
  58. Get an agent (literary or theatre)
  59. Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
  60. Ride a rollercoaster
  61. Hold a snake
  62. Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!)
Imp patient!
Wednesday, 6 January 2010

So, while to all outside appearances, I am well, the golf ball sized tonsils, chesty cough and inability to maintain consciousness or thermoregulate belie the great makeup application that keeps me from scaring small children.

I had a bit of a 'different' New Years Eve. I spent the 31st December at work, till about 14:00. Then went for a drink until 18:00, which meant that by the time I got home to collect my bag, I was too 'tired and emotional' to remember to pack my toothbrush or phone charger.

Straight to Gatwick - the emptiest I've ever seen it (all the sensible people were partying in situ!) - where my flight was delayed due to bad weather in Dublin. Got to the hostel in the snow at 23:30, had a cup of tea in front of the fire and called it 2010.

The next morning, after the worst night sleep (despite my earplugs, the regular snore on Every. Single. Inhalation. emitted by the old woman two bunks over meant that I never really slept properly - and the fact I was scared my phone would die before waking me in the morning ensured that I 'slept' fitfully) ever, I got up and pulled clothes on over my pyjamas - TOTALLY intending to travel on the bus in this combination to my friend Nicci - who was already in a B&B in Mullingar - where we could get ready for the wedding together.

Ha! My plans were foiled. I walked/slid/skidded to the bus station at 07:30 to find there were no buses in their bays, no garages where they were hiding, just No Buses. No one was around to tell us what this meant, and there was no information on the boards (I have noticed this habit in the Emerald Isle...). I stood around for a few hours until someone (very hungover) in a yellow jacket told us that due to ice on the roads, the buses couldn't get to the station. "The weather's improving, so we should know more by 11:00." I returned to the hostel, wondering how I was going to get to the ceremony (at 13:00 in Mullingar) if the earliest bus was at 11:00. I begged them to let me use the shower, and went back to the icebox they called a dorm room.

After spending as long a time as possible in the (relative) warmth of the dribble of water that was offered to shower under, I got ready for the wedding, then pulled on my jeans and as many other clothes as possible. I headed back to the bus was almost 11:00. No buses still. However, the cafe had opened and had already run out of milk and hot chocolate powder, due to the unrelenting stream of stranded travellers attempting to maintain a core body temperature necessary to sustain life.

The man in the yellow jacket - looking slightly less grim now - told me that they'd know what the deal was with the buses by 13:00. I asked from where it would be good to hitchhike and made myself a little sign - but they wouldn't even tell me, saying, "you don't want to hitchhike..." - er, no, actually, I really bloody do!!! I informed them that having missed the ceremony (well, there was no way I'd get there now) - was it possible to make it to Trim (also 1hr30mins away) by 15:30? "we don't know when the buses will run, but their cancelled on most routes now." *sigh*

Eventually, at 13:30, a man approached me, "are you the girl trying to get to the wedding in Trim?". Replying in the affirmative, he said I could get the bus to Navan, and then get a taxi to Trim. Which I thus did - losing my earmuffs en route - possibly having shot them out of my pocket on the warm bus when the bus started sliding backwards down a hill, just outside of Dublin.

Finally, I made it to the reception venue - at 15:55 - about 5mins before the bridal party did. *phew* Just enough time to pop into the bathroom in the lobby, change boots/remove jeans, extraneous clothing and the used newspapers that I was using to line my body for warmth - and celebrate with Nicci, Helena's beautiful, amazing day!

Like any good Irish wedding - it went on till I slept a few hours till checkout at 11:30.

Got a lift (ha! Sensible, no?) back to Dublin, and Nicci and I had BK for late lunch. She left that afternoon *sob* and I went pretty much straight to bed with some out of date gossip mags and a bag of Maltesers. The following day was another frigid shower, followed by another interminable wait at my favourite bus station for the bus from the Irish Ferry port (which never did arrive, in the end) before deciding (30mins after the expected arrival time had passed) to share taxis with other stranded passengers. A ferry, two trains and a tube journey home - by the time I arrived, my throat had two things in it the size of golfballs (they used to be tonsils, I believe) - probably not helped by the lady who sat next to me coughing the entire journey. I kept moving my water bottle out of the vicinity of sputum spray - but I don't think it worked. Damnit.

Now, I've 18 days left at work, and I really have a fair amount to get through, so being sick is not really in the schedule. Thus you find me, sitting up in bed, REFUSING to go anywhere near the window, let alone outside, because the temperature in London is approximately -gazillion degrees. For some reason, I'm colder here than I ever was in Prague, despite it being -double gazillion there. What's with that.

Bring on the spring.


posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, January 06, 2010   0 comments
Me and a Penguin...
Monday, 20 July 2009
...are much maligned for doing our own thing, being our own person/penguin.

She does, however, have more houses than I. Bitch!


posted by Nomes @ Monday, July 20, 2009   0 comments
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
It's a truism known to all single women with cats. The longer you live alone, the weirder you get.

Personally, this is one of my reasons for always finding someone to put up with me in the form of a flatmate. This keeps me from becoming the drama queen I could be (yet), you know, the one who knocks back a sleeping pill in Triple Sec each evening, before covering her eyes with a frilled eye-mask (embroidered with "diva", "princess" or similar), shoving earplugs in, and thinking it's normal to sleep in this fashion.

However, when alone, I've always had the habit of talking to myself.

So it was, when I stood in the window trying to write a text message the other day (there's about 1m of network availability in the house. Good if you want peace, bad if you want communication!).

A wasp flew in and knowing the queens are out looking for nesting sites at the moment, I just said to it, “this house isn’t big enough for two queens” and it actually flew out of the window about 30s later.

I am the wasp whisperer!!


posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, July 08, 2009   0 comments
I promise...
Sunday, 5 July 2009
...that the next time it's a rainy weekend, I will sort out the CSS of these pages.

However, I really don't feel you can berate me too much for spending good portions of my weekend a) lying in the sun alone with the Sunday Times*
b) lying in the sun with a friend
c) lying in the sun with TMAME
d) watching Wimbledon (!!!! OMFG, the final is nail biting!) and reading the Sunday Times*
e) eating and reading the Sunday Times*
f) visiting Columbia Road flower market and scoring myself a bunch of lilies and two orchid plants in bloom for £7!!!!!
g) did I mention eating?
h) drinking cider in the sun and reading the Sunday Times*.

I am totally LOVING the East Side. I don't feel as though I'm in London at all. I don't know whether it's because I've an entire park as my backgarden (with none of the upkeep required of having one of your own, plus, plenty of opportunities to express my inner exhibitionist!) or becuase we've got proper bloody sun, but I am TOTALLY enjoying my new place.


*This is one bloody big paper!
posted by Nomes @ Sunday, July 05, 2009   1 comments
Just when I think I can't get much lower...
Thursday, 25 June 2009
...I find a new reality television series to waste my life on.

Oh yes, folks. From the girl who watches A/BNTM and Come Dine with Me...we give you, "Date my Ex".

It's awful.

I'm hooked.

My self-loathing is complete!


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, June 25, 2009   0 comments

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