Out of Focus - the diary of a student radiographer.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Blogger's Block

Dammit, how do so many other blogringers manage to find something to blog about every day? OK, I know you all don't. I really, honestly can't thing of anything blogworthy from today's activities. The day went like this:

1) Had a lie in
2) Did cache maintenance
3) Did a 11 stage multicache
4) Watched Casualty whilst consuming a Chinese takeaway
5) Logged cache, caught up on my blogring reading, read other misc internet stuff

I mean, what is blogworthy about that day? Humf.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Take one brain and mix thoroughly

I don't know if anyone's noticed, but I've probably not displayed the degree of excitement and enthusiasm at winning my university place as you might expect of someone who has spent a lot of effort achieving said place.

That's partly because it coincided with my bad back and subsequent drug-induced nausea, and partly because I'm still not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing.

Everything seems right with this career path - I stay in healthcare which I love doing and I get to go back to playing with machines and computers which I miss (my brain has stagnated a little since leaving IT 18 months ago). I get to learn new things which I always enjoy doing and there are plenty of opportunities for further learning after I qualify - in other imaging techniques and clinical reporting. Career prospects are excellent.

I what is worrying me is the studying. Not the learning - I'm sure I can handle that - I mean the studying i.e. writing essays and dissertions and that kind of stuff. I really am not the best organised person in the world. I manage fine at work, but at home, in my own time, I can waste time with the best of them. I get distracted by the internet, the TV, contemplating my own navel - anything really other than get anything productive done. It's always been a flaw of mine and I'm sure its got worse as I've got older.

I have good days and plenty of bad days - often this depends on what my hormones happen to be doing. I don't have any idea what steps I can take to sort myself out, consequently I'm worrying whether I'm going to bite off more than I can chew. Thing is, if I don't give this a try I'm going to hate myself for not trying and I'm going to get bored out of my skull staying as an HCA. Oh, what a mixed up person I am.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Tom and Dick

I've had a pretty miserable week so far with my back hurting, and on top of that, the medication I've been taking for it has made me feel sick. Today was a lot better as my back is a lot more bearable and I decided to stop the tablets, so I have had a nice nausea-free day.

I had some nice post today - a couple of Lush swaps and more importantly, the confirmation of a University place at Canterbury, along with the first of a load of forms I'll have to fill in before they let me anywhere near a lecture theatre. This one was a health questionnaire - I hope my damned back doesn't count against me. It shouldn't - they let me have my current job even though I hurt my back a year or so before.

Next thing to think about is what I do with myself until February. I want to give up the shift work as soon as I can but I can't for the next 8 weeks at least as I am doing this 'Improve Your Study Skills' course at work. After that though, I can more or less do what I like. I wonder if they have any vacancies at my local Lush...

Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Bad News and the Good News

The Bad News
I was merrily getting ready for work yesterday and put my back out. I wasn't doing anything particularly back-putting-outy but it happened nonetheless. I did this before about two years ago getting in the car but this was much worse. I was literally crying with pain. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the back with a particularly large and pointy knife. Not that I've ever been stabbed in the back with a large and pointy knife but I expect that was what it feels like. I collapsed into bed and couldn't move all day. Having a wee was, well, interesting. I'm just glad Adam stayed home with me. Luckily the doctor phoned a prescription through to the chemist and, thanks to the wonders of pharmacological science, I am now mobile. My mobility is limited and my back is now painful, rather than in agony, but at least I can go to the loo unaided. Still, at least I have a new insight into the problems of bed-bound patients at work.

The Good News
I thought I'd check the UCAS tracker on the off-chance and I was delighted to see the words 'Unconditional Offer'! I'm not going to break open any champagne until I have the official letter in my hands in case someone's made a mistake but it looks like I will be a student again in February!

Thursday, May 20, 2004


I started writing this blog yesterday evening but got too tired and gave up. Amazing how much an interview can take out of you, especially if it takes nearly all day.

I left home at 10am for a 12pm start (plenty of extra time added for traffic, having lunch and the fact that I have to drive into Canterbury and out again on another road to get to the park-and-ride - 6 hours parking in Canterbury is expensive) and got home at 5.30pm.

We started off with some people from the admissions department checking who had bothered to turn up (over half of the people on their list hadn't) and checking paperwork we had brought as part of the Criminal Records Bureau check (occupational hazard in healthcare). Some first year students showed us around campus, then another chap from admissions went over some more admissions stuff which I won't bore you with. The group was partly Occupational Therapy hopefuls and Radiography hopefuls so we parted ways at this point and went off to talks by tutors on our respective subjects.

I had confirmed what someone had told me before - the course is going to be split between Canterbury and the new campus in Medway and the placement locations will depend on what campus you go to i.e. if you study at Medway you get a placement in West Kent, Canterbury East Kent. So I chose Medway as I want to get placed at Maidstone if I get the choice. That also meant I won't be starting my course until February (if I get a place, that is).

Lastly to the interview. I had been reading an excellent forum, Student Midwives Sanctuary, to get general interview advice and was expecting a panel full of stony-faced interviewers asking questions like 'name three of your worst points'. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find the interview was fairly informal - a chat with the same tutor who gave the talk in the x-ray lab who was very nice and friendly.

I think it went well, though I suspect most of the interviewees thought theirs did too. I shall hear from UCAS in a couple of weeks, apparently.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Guest blog (sorta)

Instead of boring you rigid, dear reader, with today's exploits mainly involving geocaching, I shall simply treat you to the following observation of my Better Half, uttered whilst we were looking for somewhere to eat:

'There is something obscene about drive through restaurants. We may as well have a drive through life and be born straight into a coffin'.

Friday, May 14, 2004

One step closer

My night shift Weds/Thurs was as boring as a really boring thing, so I got talking to one of the other HCAs (a bank one) who it turns out has been accepted to study Midwifery at Canterbury in September. I was telling my tale of woe i.e. that Canterbury haven't even got back to me yet - they keep telling me they are still processing applications. She told me to phone again so I phoned yesterday.

First time, I got voicemail and I totally ostriched up the message - luckily there was an option to delete it. Second time, I got the voicemail but I wanted to rethink what I was going to say in the message. Third time I got a human, hurrah! She looked up my application and said there were interviews being held on Wednesday - could I make it? I knew next week was going to be busy - I'm working 4 days plus Monday afternoon is the first day of a 'Return to Study' course I'm going on at work. Luckily Wednesday was completely clear, so - I have an interview!!

*Goes off to read all interview advice she can lay her hands on*

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Gosh, I'm tired.

I've been working my poor 'ole self hard the last few days. Friday and Saturday evenings were the play nights - fun, but tiring. The play went well. 'Steve' came good and was brilliant, although he didn't think so himself. The audience both nights seemed to enjoy themselves and nothing went (too badly) wrong. The bar took more money than last time which I suppose is a good indicator. Adam took some photos, but they aren't very good as the camera didn't seem to like the lighting conditions much. I'll try and fiddle with them on the PC to see if they come up better sometime soon.

Sunday was set-taking-down day - I had a good workout bashing out stubborn nails from the flats and loading them (the flats, not the nails) in and out of the van.

Monday I was back at work and I was busy the rest of the day with other stuff so today was really the first chance I had to recover - consequently I woke up at 11.30am. Which is not a bad thing I suppose as I am working overnight tonight. I'm also working tomorrow night so you probably won't hear from me for a few days - have a nice week everyone!

Friday, May 07, 2004


Well, Adam & I had a jolly fun time in Sainsbo's last night, buying £250 worth of booze.

It's OK, we haven't turned into alcoholics, we were buying stocks for the bar for the play tonight and tomorrow. It wasn't fun really, us wandering around Sainsbo's at 9pm filling up 2 trolleys with indecent amounts of beer and wine must have looked like Something Unusual to everyone else there, so I felt uncomfortable and sort of guilty - a bit like you tend to feel (well, I do) when you pass a policeman in the street even though you've done nothing wrong.

The booze filled up the boot and the back seats and I'm not sure the car was entirely happy. I'm really glad we make a point of keeping enough space in the garage to fit the car into, because we just drove the car in and didn't bother unpacking.

Right, I'm off now to chew my nails until tonight.

Thursday, May 06, 2004


I am a happier bunny today for the following reasons:

1) Steve came good last night with his lines - still some prompting needed but then, who doesn't? Atmosphere noticeably lighter.
2) Adam seems to be on the mend.
3) I finally managed to get my hand on some samples of perfume from my latest obsession, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Occasionally they come up as swaps on the Lush forum but are snapped up within seconds. I have bagged myself at least 2, maybe 4, to try. I could order my own but its a small outfit and have a huge backlog of orders. Also they aren't cheap and there are shipping costs from Americaland to consider so I wanted to try a few first.

I'm quite pleased to have obsessions for things from places like Lush and BPAL, because if I didn't, I'd have an obsession for something else, food probably. Or something more expensive like clothes or shoes. Like a lot of women, I like to treat myself to something when I'm feeling down. Much better to spend a fiver in Lush to cheer myself up than £50 in a clothes shop. Also toiletries/cosmetics are only temporary (i.e. use them and they are gone) so they don't clutter the house up and cause me to agonise at some point in the future about whether to leave them gathering dust or throw them away.

Oh, I can now add a 4) the postie just turned up with 4 (yes, 4) packets of things I either bought off ebay or swapped for on the Lush forum. Definitely a happy bunny.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Gosh - just realised how long ago my last blog was. I don't suppose anyone noticed my absence but, still, I guess I need to explain why. I haven't been terribly motivated to write as events have conspired to make me not the happiest of bunnies.

1) I did some night shifts last week which mess up my body clock and make me feel tired and grumpy. I've got to do something about this.
2) Adam hasn't been feeling well.
3) I've been really busy with normal work, charity work and lots of rehearsals as the play is this Friday/Saturday.
4) rehearsals are more stressful than they should be as we have a young lad (I'll call him Steve) new to the group. Poor lad was rather chucked in the deep end as we gave him a massive part that no-one else available to do this play was suitable for. Trouble is, he's still having major troubles with his lines and had to keep referring to his script in Monday's dress rehearsal. I know its only a little village hall thing, played to only about 100 people, and we aren't that serious, but its still causing a certain amount of tension in the air. Steve is very apologetic and has taken this week of work to study his lines (bless 'im) so I really hope this evening's rehearsal (I know, the dress is supposed to be the last rehearsal but we do everything differently) goes better.

On a happier note, I've taken this week off work too and I went to London yesterday for a bit of retail therapy. I spent a happy time sniffing stuff in Lush's sister shop B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful, bought some perfume and accidentally bought a few things in the next door Lush too. My trip happened to coincide with me being paid dividends from the shares the bank kindly gave me when I worked for them, so I can afford a few treats right now. I think I feel a mail order coming on.