Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Catching up

Three watermelons carved into the shape of flowers
Leamington Food & Drink Festival, Sept 2012
It really has been a very long time since I last sat down to do some serious blog writing. It's due to a combination of circumstances: weekends filled with duties to perform, weekdays filled with patients and students that I can't write about, and evenings recovering from both of these, plus extras like badminton.

Since last time, then, in brief.

  • Work: a meal out with some of my lovely colleagues, which was very slightly gate-crashed by Lola II and Mr M who turned up early for a family event. 
  • Family Event - thank you very much to all those who travelled many miles, some of whom returned home with a gift of tiny pathogens from Lola II and have been ill ever since (get well soon, mum and dad). 
  • Another trip to the Cotswold Falconry Centre accompanied by a subset of the attendees of the Family Event. 
  • The Leamington Food & Drink Festival, which far exceeded expectations, mainly due to the weather, which was glorious for both days. Most memorable was the Chilli Jam Man, whose samples ranged from very hot to almost unbearably hot. Having engaged in conversation with him, I was foolhardy enough to try the offered fresh strawberry filled with his most fiery jam, which actually made my sunglasses steam up on the inside. It really did.
  • After coming back from the Food & Drink Festival on Sunday, Mr A and I attacked the garden. We took four full car loads of unwanted vegetation to the tip, much of it viciously thorny. About three quarters of the garden is now in an acceptable state, with only one corner left to deal with.
  • Work again: we had another food tasting session, department meetings, wards and clinics as usual. Both our students passed their placements and have left us, and since then I have been inundated with referrals. It would have been a considerable challenge to manage the workload if this many referrals had come in while I was supervising 'my' student. The only real trouble I had was running my clinic together with the student, which didn't go all that well. A patient who arrived late was missed, ended up waiting an hour and then had to leave before being seen. I feel bad about that.

I decided to go to another Diabetes UK local group meeting, the first since I started my current job. The advertised topic for the meeting wasn't all that attractive: a personal account from a blind kidney and pancreas transplant patient, but these things come in handy when you're trying to construct an attractive CV. In the event, the speaker cancelled at short notice, and the alternative activity dreamed up by the group Secretary was to have us chat in small groups about various subjects, and then report back to the meeting on the most interesting or useful bits. This is the sort of thing that makes my heart sink in professional seminars or workshops, but in this case it turned out to be very interesting. At the other meetings of this group I have struggled to make any connections with the other people there, and barely spoken to anyone. This time, I could actually find out a bit about their experiences of diabetes, which is one of the reasons for going to these meetings.

The Bodpod capsule
Another work-related thing this week was that my body composition was measured in the Metabolic Unit's newest toy - the Bodpod.
"Air displacement plethysmography is a technique for measuring body composition. Subjects enter a sealed chamber that measures their body volume through the displacement of air in the chamber. Body volume is combined with body weight (mass) in order to determine body density. The technique then estimates the percentage of body fat and lean body mass through known equations (for the density of fat and fat free mass)." (from Wikipedia)
This came about because I have volunteered to be a subject in an academic research study which aims to measure inflammation in subjects given two different types of diet: either two large meals or five small meals in a day. I have been booked for two periods of 24 hours in which I must remain in a sealed chamber large enough for a bed and a table and a toilet, with all sorts of vitals being collected and measured. In preparation for this, I had to sit in the Bodpod for a minute or two dressed in a swimsuit, and the machine calculated that I comprise a whisker above 30% fat, which puts me right at the fattest end of the healthy range for a woman of my age. So that's good, I suppose. My colleagues think I'm a bit crazy for looking forward to being confined in a small room for 24 hours. I remind them that I went on holiday for a week on my own.

I can make no predictions about how soon the next blog post will appear. I have plans for a couple of posts which may turn up quite speedily, and then there will probably be another big gap. All I can say is that I probably miss my blog as much as you do, and I'm doing my best to keep it going.

Huge hunks of beef roasting over coals


  1. That jam sounds amazing - but I don't think I'd be brave enough to try it! I would be interested to try the Bodpod though, although the 24 hours in a confined space doesn't appeal, as I'm claustrophobic...
    By the way, you might want to read my latest post... :-)

    1. I won a prize! Thank you, eatinglikeahorsse!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...