Monday, January 31, 2005


Is your blog an indication of how interesting your life is? Should it worry me that I can't think of anything to write? My brain is currently full of stuff - work, planning a wedding, trying to create space in my diary by writing in the margins - but somehow none of it seems interesting enough to write about. I'm not convinced this blog is going to be 'like seeing a therapist' as Dave (now-then.blogspot) promised. Infact, I think it might send me spiralling into a deep depression when it makes me realise that there is nothing worth writing about.

No - hold that thought - I've thought of something to say. Tonight I'm going to have pizza fingers, smiley faces and peas in order to revisit my student days. Just thinking about making ketchup squirt out of a little smiley mouth so it looks like it's been in a fight is cheering me up already. And I've somehow managed to write two paragraphs about absolutely nothing. Amazing.

Friday, January 28, 2005

No Dogs or Jews

I've avoided writing anything political so far, but the current talk about asylum seekers has got me so worked up, I just wanted to make a couple of points which are hopefully blindingly obvious to anyone who reads this. By the way, you've got to admire the irony of newspapers who ran touching stories about the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz alongside articles saying that asylum seekers are not welcome. God bless 'em.

1) Anyone who manages to escape from terrible conditions and travel halfway across the world is not a lazy dosser who enjoys sponging off the state.

2) Immigration is good for the economy. Mark Steele wrote a great article in The Independent a few years ago pointing out that places with high populations tend to have much greater prosperity than those with low populations. All of my friends contribute to the economy: both of my friends who are doctors are Asian.

3) Immigration is good for the culture of a country. British culture is already a mish-mash of cultures from its many immigrants / invaders. More immigrants can only spark off new and exciting takes on the exisiting culture. It's always helpful to see something through a new person's eyes.

4) Economic migration is fine. People want a better life for their kids - so what?

5) Islam is a compasionate, loving religion. Muslims are normal people. None of my Muslim friends wear a hajab (sp?), are beaten by their evil Muslim fathers or hate the Western world.

6) It's just as important for Britain to learn about new cultures as it is for immigrants to learn about Britishness. Just living in a country means that you've already adapted your life 99%. I lived in China for six months and know what it's like to be the weirdo whitey foreigner. It is really disorientating to live in a totally different culture to your own and the only way I kept myself sane was to listen to music from my country, wear Western clothes and talk in my native language on the bus.

So, this just leaves me with Meg's 'Theory of Bigotry', which is basically that racists, homophobes and sexists are just people who don't have enough friends. All it would take is for these people to make some friends from all walks of life and they'd realise that their views are so obviously wrong. Of course, there are people in the UK who have no black friends but are still normal human beings, but then racists are stupid as well as friendless.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Being a person of a normally cheeful disposition, I'd just like to exorcise (and exercise) some demons. This is my hitlist of people who have really pissed me off but I haven't been able to think of a witty or violent comeback in time and have been rendered useless by their evil machinations. I don't want to punish them exactly (apart from the afore-mentioned exercise), just to name and shame them and get it off my chest.

1) Man at taxi rank in Glasgow. I've only been to Glasgow once and I really, really liked it. Unfortunately the first person I met on leaving the station was this man. He pushed in front of me in the queue (which on its own makes me want to stick a kniting needle in his ear) but then, when I tried to sidle back to my place, turned round and shouted at me in front of everyone. He was a big, evil alcohol-smelling man and used his size to intimidate me by standing up close and towering over me. It really shook me up and I've been pissed off with him ever since.

2) Man who pushed me off a tube. That kind of speaks for itself really. I was at Holborn station and there was a massive crowd trying to get on. He was one of these people who decides to get off at the last minute and meanders slowly off the tube looking confused. As the doors were about to close, I put one foot on the step, but left him plenty of room to get out of the doors. He slowly wandered up to me, stopped, looked me in the eye and then put both hands on my shoulders and pushed me off the tube. The comedy value of doing a karate throw in response while shouting "Help! I'm being assaulted!" only occured to me later on.

3) The weirdo group of men with matching tatoos on my flight to America last week who refused to put their seats up prior to takeoff when my boyfriend asked them. Instead, they turned round in creepy unison, gave him the look of death and spent the rest of the flight chasing me around the free seats on the plane so they could sit in front of me and put their seat right back until their head was in my lap. The only time I have ever prayed for the plane to crash was when they refused to put their seatbelts on for landing. They also pushed in the queue for immigration, throwing old ladies and little children out of their path until they were at the front.

I think I can stop now because already I feel much better. This is very cathartic. I'll add more if I think of any.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Viva Las Gaygas

So... I'm back from a week in Las Vegas, Nevada! It was FANTASTIC. Vegas is the most wonderfully eclectic, sinfully tacky place in the whole world. Where else could you see Saint Mark's Square, the Eiffel tower, a pyramid, a volcano and Medieval England all in one day?

Going to Vegas is an assault on all your senses. What with the jet lag aswell, I spent most of my time feeling halfway between sleep and waking. You find yourself thinking 'Did I really sing karaoke in a cab last night or did I dream it?' ('Cab-e-oke' apparently). Perhaps the funniest moment happened even before I got there; I had a migraine on the plane and they gave me oxygen from a tank and everyone said I looked like Mr Burns. What a compliment...

Anywho, the highlight of my trip was that my boyfriend proposed to me at the top of the Eiffel tower. How cool is that? And it gets extra points for being a fake Eiffel Tower - much more classy than that silly thing in Paris. So, not quite an Elvis wedding, but the next best thing.

Friday, January 14, 2005

First Aid

After a four-day course, a sequence of nightmares about dead bodies, and two exams, I am now a fully qualified First Aider at work.

Although it sounds really stupid, I never really thought about what a huge responsibility it is to be a First Aider. I only signed up to the course because it sounded interesting but now I've realised that if someone were to drop dead this minute (pleeeease don't....), I'd be duty-bound to leap to the floor and give them CPR (after all the appropriate checks, of course). Which is a pretty huge responsibility.

It's made me look at everyone in a different light. I've found myself sitting on the tube forcing myself to come to terms with the fact that I would and could give mouth-to-mouth to anyone of those weirdos. I've thought through every possible scenario I can at home and at work (apologies to all the people I've killed off in my head just so I can practice CPR).

I learnt all kinds of exciting things about the human body and the wonderful (and gross) things it can do. Probably the most important thing I learnt was just how important it is to protect someone's airway. You can die within 3 minutes if your airway's blocked but virtually anything else would take much longer. The second most important thing is how vital it is to stay calm. And the most surreal thing I learnt was that if you sing 'Nelly the Elephant' while doing chest compressions, you'll get to exactly fifteen by the end of the first verse.

At the moment I feel all fired up with my four days of knowlege (which, let's face it, practically makes me a doctor) but in reality I'll probably have one cut finger to deal with for the next three years.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Never one to disapoint with my chirpy optimism, I thought that funerals would be a nice topic for the day.

I've just got back from one which has got me thinking about what I would like mine to be like. First off, I'd definitely like to be cremated and have my ashes scattered by the crematorium themselves. I don't want a plaque, urn or silly scattering ceremony. I just want a funeral and for it to then be over. I think that having a grave to visit puts too much pressure on the family, and the thought of someone vandalising it is just too horrific to contemplate. I also think it's important to remember someone through the places where they've been rather than focusing all your grief onto one place.

As for the funeral itself, I'm not too bothered. As long as it's kept secular and isn't too miserable, that's fine by me. I like it when people use funerals as a celebration of someone's life rather than mourning their death. I'd like people to wear bright colours and have a proper knees-up at the wake. I'm a bit gutted that I'll have to miss it really.