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!)
Sharing the Happy
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
In less than a week, I shall be touching down in the land of the long white cloud, where hopefully it will be blindingly warm (surely anywhere is in comparison to here), dazzlingly bright and extremely awesome. I'm going for a wedding, after which I'm taking off to visit Mamma & Pappa in the Western Isles.

I'm too, too, too excited, which remains undiminished despite the fact that the first thing on the list to do is to shop for a new swimsuit (three years is really too long, but really, who has the self-esteem to shop more frequently than that for something resembling slightly more adhesive underwear?).

Such a shopping trip is needed immediately, because no sooner do I arrive than we head slightly north to the wine country, whereupon we'll be lazing around the garden, possibly extending an arm to trail idly in the pool, or every now and then, casually topping up champagne flutes in the sun, sufficiently exposed to those terrible UV rays in a vain endeavour to be less the 'pale and interesting' English contingent and more the 'hey, it's Nomes!!' of yore.

I'm doing the makeup and hair for the bride. I'm thrilled that Em asked me last Christmas - and never deviated from holding me to that promise and have promised myself to take portfolio style shots. I'm looking forward to a good cry in the church, clutching friends hands in a miasma of exuded delight for Paul & Em.

Of course, once the wedding is over, I'm hoping to do a lot of catching up on girly gossip. I miss my mates so terribly: my life does feel quite empty without them. The coffee. The cake. The cosmojitos. Gads...I honestly can't remember the last time I felt this incited. And that's without the idea of seeing my kits.

Then, no sooner have I arrived and hopefully dispelled the drowsy remnants of jetlag than I'm back aboard another budgie, this time across the ditch to les viexes (!!!). They, too, have offered me the option of remaining partially submerged for the entire duration of my stay there - not least amidst the incessant downpour they're currently experiencing. With any luck (oh pleeeeeeeeeez), I shall pick up where I left off in NZ, floating with bubbles. I'm looking forward to seeing Mum's fridge, so filled with liquids there's no space for food - unless you look really hard to find secret stashes of all my favourites: boursin and dairy milk (not in the same mouthful...usually).

A peaceful time to be had, trying to see a bit of the area in which my parents are flourishing and happy, including taking in the (undoubtedly) resplendant verdant boughs of my mothers garden. I'm not sure what I can offer them, in terms of having a daughter around (hopefully not to regress immediately to my 17yr old self) but I can't wait to BE around them again: listening to them bicker and squabble - secure in each other's love for their future. That comfort of seeing them through my (supposedly) adult eyes, and hoping to have them see me likewise. Maybe. But not toooo much - let's be honest.

All in all, I shall be glad to be temporarily rid of the big smoke in the small town. It does sometimes feel as though England (in it's entirety) is a small town, the way people behave, the service provided, the cloisteringly over-protective nature of fear-mongeringly induced insurance premiums. While I love work, and am thoroughly revelling in the opportunity to use my (immeasurable - least of which is modesty) skills, the idea of three glorious weeks of 'not caring' seems gluttonously idyllic right now.

So. If I'm waxing drivel over the next few weeks, ignore me (or at least, forgive me). It'll be because I'm lolling in the warmth and adoration of friends and family long-missed, and THAT, if nothing else, can't fail to put a smile on this girls dial.


posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, February 13, 2008   2 comments
Fuch me: I'm blind!
Monday, 4 February 2008
WAY back when, in 1995, I was told by my (then) optician that there were some weird things in my eyes, and could I please get myself to an opthamologist poste haste.
He informed me (months later), that I had Fuchs heterochromatin iritis. A phrase that means the same as Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. I've written about it before - if you've been paying attention!

Essentially, my left eye is screwed. And since this is a hereditary condition affecting approximately 1% of the population, I feel special – albeit slightly blighted (or is that sightly blighted – ha ha).

Without trawling you through all the medical facts, it’s like having a dirty windscreen (permanently) in my left eye. There’s no nozzles that can spray it clear, no windscreen wipers to turn on instead of indicators…nada. Oh, no – hang on, there is one solution. A corneal transplant. A touch dramatic, no?

So I’ve only got this thing in one eye (the left – seemingly the side I inherited from Mamma, if my eyebrows are anything to go by) and other than a mosquito shaped ‘occlusion’ permanently in my field of vision (if I concentrate on it, I can make it jump around…though it may just be my eyeball revolving around it. Hot? Yeah, thought so!) I’m not really affected by it.
But lately, it’s gotten so I can be standing on the CORNER of the street, looking up at the street sign no more than 6m away, and I can’t read it. And THAT’S ridiculous (not to mention annoying). So off I went to an optician.

Who examined my eyes up close and decreed that she loved my eye makeup. Then she put those big googly eyed glasses on my face, and did the 1,2 test with the right eye. No biggie, same prescription as before. Left eye.
“Okay, now read the top line for me please, Dr Boxall.”
“The top line”
“No, I mean, are there letters on the board?”
“oh. Well, perhaps try the top line of this screen.”
“A pointy letter. A round letter. A round letter?”
“Now, can you see dots?”
“I can see the four in the middle, but the other ones are blurred.”
“Okay, um…are they blurrier now…or now?”
“Well…they appear in different patterns each time…but no more or less blurred…”
“I think I’m going to have to refer you.”
“Really?” panic creeps
“Lets try this…” (rinse and repeat x 5 then…)
“Oh my god…I can see!”
“Yes. All the dots. Clearly. What did you do?”
“hmm…is it better now? Or now?”
“And now?”
“And now 1 or 2?”
“The same.”
“Okay. Well…your previous prescription was well out. You used to be shortsighted. Now you’re long sighted. And your astigmatism has worsened three-fold. When you get your new lenses, it’s going to be a bit of a shock to the system, I can change you in stages if you’d rather not feel the discomfort.”
“Hell no. I can see. It’s joyful!”

Well honestly. In less than 8months, my eyes have changed from -0.5 (I’m not really blind at all), to +0.75.

Now do forgive any typos, but clearly, I can’t read as well as I will be able to in a few weeks…


posted by Nomes @ Monday, February 04, 2008   4 comments

Name: Nomes
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