Monday, March 28, 2011

All around the world

Its been a big week or two for my family. By the end of the year our family will be spread out on both hemispheres, in  at least 4 different continents and a couple different states in Australia. Aaron got engaged, to be married in Canada later this year. My parents have returned to Africa and are in South Africa at the moment. They had picked up their car from customs after shipping it from Australia and were 220km away from Durban on the way to Johannesburg when the piston collapsed in the engine and it exploded so the car is on the side of the road somewhere being pulled apart and hopefully being put back together again in a way that will allow it to work without any future issues.

Mirrors at west kirby beach

Me? Well I'm really really enjoying Liverpool, making great friends and an awesome church network here which has surprisingly left me feeling like Liverpool is my 'base' in England! If I was to find more work here I would definitely take it and stay for a while. There is a temporary full time (1 year) position running at the Royal Hospital in Liverpool so I'm going to apply for that and see what happens. I would love to get more involved in music while living here, such an awesome vibe in this city.

My days (and nights) are being filled with French tutoring, random pub dinners and french films, running, connect group, music practice and then dancing as much as possible - preferentialy till day light! :) Sundays are definitely a highlight as there is such a great community between the young adults at the church I'm going to. Afterwards everyone heads out somewhere for lunch and then often keep hanging out all day after that whether to play pool, explore cathedrals, walk the docks or just chat over lots of cups of tea and cake. If I was to stay in Liverpool I'd definitely need to move closer because I am there all the time!

I went down south to Chester last weekend I think and had a bit of a look around there, its a bit of a cute town with a little bit ofa river and a wall going around. The weather warmed up nicely as well where you didn't need to wear a jacket or jumper so that was nice.

The river at Chester
In terms of dietetic work, the locum game is a waiting game as always! It fluctuates from day to day.  I'm really enjoying working in the oncology wards and sets actually. I was thinking the other day that if I was to gain more experience in this area it would be great because it is just a bit more specialised and opens up further opportunities else where. And also, if I am to get into international nutrition work, it would also be relevant because of the nutrition support and common symptoms present.
I definitely finish at Clatterbridge on the 15th after which I'm going to Manchester to fly over to Switzerland to catch up with my long time friend Rachel for a few days, then back to Liverpool for a young adults conference through the church. I was in Manchester a couple of weekends ago to catch up with my old house-mates for their new house-warming party themed 'rubix cube clothing'. So much fun :)

My favourite lambanana so far

Once Easter has past, at this point I'm not really sure what I'll be doing or where I'll be living. I'm learning to accept a bit more help though, and have been offered a couple of places to stay in the area too so that is good to know. As always I am overwhelmed with options. These options (currently as of 27/3/11) being Liverpool, England (anywhere as a locum), London (uni and locum), Switzerland (medair training and then somewhere overseas) and most recently Singapore!!

'unbalanaced' picture of the anglican cathedral

I have so far made it into step 2 of 3 of an application to work with Medair, a Christian relief work agency who work particularly in Afghanistan, Sudan, Haiti and Zimbabwe. If I pass this next step I will be completing training with them in June (in Switzerland) and be placed overseas after that.

The modern Catholic Cathedral aka tepee

I've also put in my application for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to complete their MSc Public Health Nutrition. It's similar to the MSC I'm registered to attend this year at the University of Westminister, just better.
Where I live at the moment

Singapore is the most recent option of somewhere I could go next. I was out last night at a pub in town watching a couple of bands when I got a call in response to a CV I'd emailed to say they are interviewing this week in London, I've been short-listed, and could I attend. I can't really remember much about the job to be honest. I think it's full time, for the Ministry of Health in Singapore so clinical dietetics. So I'll be in London briefly this week on Tuesday evening for that then back up for early Wednesday morning back to work.

famous icecream in parkgate

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A brief look at Liverpool

Almost a month past already! I quite like Liverpool, its a pretty cool place. Lots to do in the city and in the Wirral (where I'm living at the moment). Lots of young adults and students (apparently I look about 20 and like a student) to hang out with. I've been spending most evenings in Liverpool and weekends exploring a little bit, getting some guided tours by locals and learning more about the history of the place and how to (badly) speak scouse.

Albert Dock
Slavery has a big part of history in Liverpool - 40% of the worlds slaves and 80% of British slave ships docked at some point in Liverpool at Albert Docks. The first slave ship left Liverpool in 1699, with slave trading being made illegal in England in 1807.

The building with the birds
I forget the name of the building in the photo above. But apparently, the birds on top of it which are facing opposte directions. The closest bird is facing the water welcoming the ships in from sea and the bird facing away from the water is looking at the pub where all the men are going to end up once they land on solid ground again. They are tied down to the building because it was said that if they flew away (or fell down perhaps) then Liverpool would be doomed. Which wouldn't look too good for the city!

Fame wise,  a few names from merseyside are well known around the globe. Daniel Craig aka new James Bond is a local wirral man born in Chester I think (there's a signed poster at the hospital) and with the local music scene, Liverpool is also famous for producing the Beatles!

lots of lambananas

All around the area there are these lambananas. These are iconic works of art (each unique) with the biggest one being bright yellow and 6 metres high. They were designed by a japanese artist Taro Chiezo created to warn people of the potential dangers of genetically modified foods, and appropriately located in liverpool because of it's history trading lambs and importing bananas. Apparently you are meant to go around and get your photo taken with them all (something I am yet to do). I can't actually pronounce it right either. It is MEANT to sound something like lummbanana but I am yet to perfect that accent! These things seriously crack me up, they are so random and everywhere. We have one at the entrance of the hospital where I work as well.

meet a lambanana
On my first weekend walking around Liverpool I managed somehow to walk pretty much straight past the big Anglican Cathedral. Still don't quite get how I managed to do that, but I did. I managed to pop up there for a quick look just before the sun set the other day and had a look inside before it closed. Amazing, absolutely beautiful from the inside, a bit in your face on the outside, but definitely breathtaking and worth a look. I don't understand the green dude out the front though!

weird green guard of the church man

Inside the church just before the camera died