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!)
Responsibilities and rodents
Wednesday, 18 January 2006
Should I be annoyed that it’s gotten warmer in Prague over the last few days? Hell yes! Because with that rise in degrees Celsius came snow - while I was asleep! So I could neither play in it nor had I anticipated it for my 6:45am uphill walk. And I’ve found out a ‘new thing’: more dangerous than snow, more dangerous than ice, more dangerous than an oilspill in open water it’s *drumroll* snow-covering-snow-that-was-snow-but-thawed-then-refroze-into-ice (SCSTWBTTRII – come on Mum, get your scrabble letters out and make me a word).

Oh yes. That stuff is TREACHEROUS. So says my left glute…not because it landed on anything solid (like the ground) yet, but because of the sudden extreme strain as it PREVENTS me from falling flat on my arse. Talk about ‘random’ on the ‘step-machine’. That, combined with the little foot shake (akin to that of a cat walking along the edge of a bath) that one must do after every other step (to get snow off the top of your boots) means that by the time I even got to Jim’s this morning, my legs felt like they’d run a marathon.

Still, I made it in time for the 7am spin class. The guy who takes (all?) the Wednesday class(es – it seems) looks how I imagine a Sonderkommando would: skin, bones, tendons (aka. stringy bits), but with more of the zealous glint in his ice blue (I’ve turned into Clive Cussler – but these eyes are really quite alarmingly light) eyes. Stringy guys aside (honestly, his thighs are the size of my forearms – only more stringy…blee!), the class this morning was one of the best I’ve been to. Namely, because I couldn’t see anything (and not ONLY because I couldn’t be bothered with contacts). That’s right – we spun (span?) in the dark. So, we were supposed to follow the instructions given by SS Instructor. Of course, those were in Czech, so I just had a reasonably pleasurable ‘Sunday ride’ through some imagined countryside.

But eventually, I got bored of that, so I tried to follow the pattern of motion described by Mr Stringy’s knees (bobbly – for those playing at home) and adjust the speed of my own to fit that rhythm. I was so exhausted after one song (Madonna – the guy HAS to be gay: he only plays Madonna or Kylie) that I couldn’t even summon the internal forces required to suck at my water bottle. Neither did I have the strength in my arms to squeeze said bottle – so I was left, sort of clinging to both bottle and bike, nibbling at it like a small rodent, while my legs continued their revolutions at 1498miles/hour going nowhere. Thank goodness it was dark.

Currently, I’m trying to write a study proposal that will investigate whether there has been an increase in the number of cases of adverse reaction following BCG vaccinations in the CR, specifically, to see if this has been affected by including a HiB vaccination at 12 weeks (3-6 weeks after the BCG vaccination).

Unfortunately, the second part of this project (i.e., the relationship to HiB vaccination) was only explained to me today. And the data that supports the theory that there might have been a change is not available (there was some, collected by a hospital, in one year…but it’s not on the central surveillance system). And then my dear boss, thinking that I was taking too long, wrote the questionnaire for the Dr’s last night. Oh, and to top it all off, the justification for the project has been pretty much written (but not in a sensible manner) and is ‘just’ in Czech. So, no wonder my boss wants me to do the project – it needs to be done. But why didn’t someone tell me this way back when?! How the fuck am I supposed to know these things? I’m intuitive, but not a fucking mind reader. (Sorry Mum!) Later on, it transpires that data for this justification has come in from about 12 different data sources, all of which are reporting incomplete data, that’s incomplete for different reasons. ARGH!!!

Felt very very very fed up with work yesterday morning when all this became clear. That and another matter had me incredibly angry (not contrarily malicious, but angry!) until I went to yoga.

And then I was just feeling sore. For anyone thinking that yoga is just ‘stretching’, I can assure you that it’s not ‘just’ anything of the sort. But it sorted out the inside of my head - for a while at least. Reading Andre’s story in A Beautiful Revolution ( helped sort out the rest of it. It’s amazing that those horrible voices can be impossible to ignore in one mind, while in others, they can be silenced following the liberal application of soft cheeses. To the stomach, people, not to the skin. Blee.

Anyway – as things wind down/up for the Berlin trip, I’m beginning to wonder whether my uber-suitcase will fit the following: wet-weather gear, party gear, touristy gear, office gear and studio gear. That’s 5 different sets of shoes!

Not to mention the novel I am, indeed, carrying around in my head (er, that’ll be the ‘story of Nomes’ life’ with the skimpy plotline and absolutely no conclusion whatsoever!). DJ Mike asks whether I have thought about writing a novel and then claims he’d read it. Well, my sweet, would you STILL read it if it meant that men in football jerseys would laugh at you on the tube? Unfortunately, the only genre that is likely to “froth forth from fingers mine” is liable to be published in colours whose names include the word ‘hot’. However, it’s lovely to have such a dedicated fan. I’ll put you in touch with Karo (my gorgeous girly reader from Prague) who is starting up the merchandise store…together, we shall rule the world! Mwahahaha.

Oh – and if we make enough dosh from the mugs/keyrings/stickers/t-shirts – do you think we can fly George over to cut my hair. He did a good job on Lira’s recently – she now looks like Natalie Portman. I’m in the mood for a touch of Keira Knightley (I’ve been practising my vacant expression even) since the media’s current british darling (Sienna) now has my old cut (concave bob – for those wanting to emulate). *sigh* It’s so challenging being a diva.

My RING?!?! I have just applied hand cream and noticed that my hematite ring – which resides on the middle finger of my left hand is no longer where it ought to be (namely; the middle finger of my left hand). I know I've lost a tiny bit of weight recently (hurrah!) but that's ridiculous! Did it break? Was it telling me I no longer needed it? DO I need it? Can I put my faith in myself instead? What about the others I’ve (occasionally) lent it to? Polly!!!!!?!? Replacements welcome…size O. *sob*

Recently, the topic of censorship has cropped up (in e-mail following a blog entry – not ON the blog – else that defeats the purpose somewhat, doesn’t it?). Would I? I don’t actually think I will. The purpose of the blog is to publish (not just publicise) my personal thoughts. Some of which are written down to amuse me at a later date. Some are just in response to what people write in the comments. Consequently, if someone is spending their time writing comments on this blog rather than dealing with a friend who has serious health issues (I could provide links to several resources, all of which claim that threats are not just emotional manipulation - apparently), then I feel at liberty to gently cajole them into sorting their priorities out. Unless of course, they HAVE already sorted out their priorities and are thus parading them. If OTHER people get annoyed/upset/hurt or angry by anything I’ve written: that’s their problem. They alone make the choice; to read or not to read. They could even boycott the blog. Ooh…or start ‘picketing’ it. Or grow up. Regardless, and not being contrarily malicious here (now that I’ve gotten over my initial feelings which were very much in the tune of “Fuck Off”), I shall remain free to write what I choose to write. If anyone has any problems with this: stop reading. The end.

And in the music meme:
Name three songs that chase away the rainy day blahs. Linger, Cantaloupe and Lucas with the Lid On.
Name three artists that cheer you on a rainy day. Skunk Anansie, Tom Jones, Underworld.
Name three albums with sunny titles. Sunshine on a Rainy Day, Walking on Sunshine, In the Summertime
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006  
  • At 6:11 am, January 19, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi Gnomes,
    Even the swearing doesn't get to me - some situation are just crying out for expletives..... So you just carry on writing how you feel, after all it is YOUR blog, and that's rather the point isn't it.
    Personally I think it's great cos I get to hear about your life, interspersed with some pithy (well occasionally there have to be, don't there?) comments about how you see the world around you. For use as a parenting tool I definitely subscribe to the idea. It even beats Mother's idea of making half a bedroom wall into a chalkboard upon which the chldren can scrawl "I hate Mummy" as many time as they like. This too I recommend for parents, unless you are too precious to realise that your children also need to let off steam; and we all get on the nerves of the ones closest to us..... some times. The art of growing up is to recogise this and remove yourself from harm's way when your lid is about to blow.
    Glad to enjoyed the Yoga. And I agree, anyone who says just Yoga, hasn't actually done any. Even the mind exercises or the breathing ones are far from just.
    Is "In the Summertime" an album? The only song I know of that name was done in 1969 by Thunderclap Newman. On the flip side of the 45, yes, we had those, in the dark distant past, was "Wilhelmina is plump and round", which my dear quasi brother, Richard, used to sing at the top of his lungs (and he played the euphonium, so we're talking seriously loud) as we walked to the busstops. Love you too, Rich. This is the same Richard who threw copper sulphate all over my red bedroom carpet - way to go.
    Have fun with your trip to Berlin. Your schedule is in my pda, so I know where you are and when so I'll txt at appropriate times. Meanwhile I shall be GMT+13.
    Spoke on msn briefly to Verity. She apologised for missing you in Edinburgh. She's been accepted at Sandhurst, starting 10th Sept. So that's the military side taken care of. Now we "just" need a priest in the family. Though come to think of it, I believe there is one in India. All bases are covered then!
    Love you loads, Mums

  • At 12:11 pm, January 19, 2006, Blogger Dad said…

    Hi, Nomes, I fully support yer Ma's observations, particularly the one about getting on the nerves of those closest to us!!!! I learnt a long time ago not to compromise my own integrity by apologising, or chasing after, someone who has a cob on with me. It's their problem, not mine, so get on with it. If you don't like it here, piss off. I'm not stopping you. I might afterwards think a bit about matters, to see if I've been wrong, but, if I have, that's okay too. I make mistakes, and if you don't like that either, I'm not stopping you from leaving. Can get a bit lonely, though, being an arsehole!!!

    I know about the ice under the snow, I used to ride a motorbike on it! Plain water ice on the roads and pavements is known as black ice, because you can't tell the difference between it and black tarmac. What you've got is that, with a snow covering. Real fun, if you're a child, it's terrific for slides!
    Anyway, I've taken enough of your blog, lotsaluv, Dad.

  • At 4:11 pm, January 19, 2006, Anonymous Karoline said…

    Wow, it's so nice to have your parents respond to your blog, huh?
    Well, Karo is very happy to have herself mentioned on your blog.
    You bet we'll think up of some great merchandise!
    We need to think of a slogen first! ;)
    Ta ta for now,
    Look forward to enjoying some new adventures with you in the future (and perhaps they'll be mentioned)

  • At 9:06 pm, January 20, 2006, Blogger mx said…

    Hee hee - rodent on an exercycle - had to go back and read that bit again... I don't know it was so much "laugh out loud" as "snort and grin with an inward giggle" (but then, SAGWAIG doesn't scan so well. Alternatively it sounds like kind of how I'm feeling about now before going to the gym - squidgy from wagging gym, sorry, Jim!). Loving the blog. Don't stop. mx

  • At 9:33 am, January 23, 2006, Anonymous Mens Health News said…

    I came past your site while I was searching through Blogger, it is not really the information I was after about Health Fitness but I did stay to read your blog and found it interesting and well done, I do like what you have done with your site. Keep up the good work and hopefully I will visit again sometime and also find the information on Health Fitness that I was looking for in my travels.

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