Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas is coming...

You may remember in my last post I said:
"Tomorrow there's a doctors breakfast, carols on the ward (as opposed to Carol's on the ward - I'm sure tomorrow is her day off), a Primary Health Care party serving up Dugong and Turtle and a little bit of work in between."

As it happened it was even stranger than that! Unfortunately, Imogen was unwell, up vomiting in the night and through the day. (She's better today.) Jo was called in to do an anaesthetic first thing in the morning, so I took the girls, all 3 in the buggy, to the doctors breakfast at a local Motel. Emily and Charlotte had a lovely time eating croissants and fruit. Charlotte is very fond of men, and is unable to resist John Vaughan, the Director of medical services here. Every time she sees him, she asks to cuddle him, and yesterday was no exception. Imogen, meanwhile, was feeling pretty ropey, but did ever so well, spending most of the time wishing she could go in the small pool. ("When can we go here? You have to promise").

I didn't let the junior doctors off teaching, though - we looked at the evidence on injecting steroid into people (mainly, joints, tendons, etc, and not sports-people, which is a different and illegal activity), and I used it to sneak in some EBM teaching!

That afternoon, was a short 2 hour stint at PHC, which wasn't busy - everyone wanted to finish early for the party that evening. I spent much of the time opening work e-mails rom people I'd never heard of sending powerpoint Christmas messages. Hands up now if you'd like one. We didn't get to the party because of Imogen being unwell. However, we did manage carols at the hospital.

The carols were great fun. We stood around on the ward, all the children wearing cardbaord wings, singing. Jo sang wonderfully, I croaked loudly. The children all sprinted to the other end of the ward when they heard a helicopter landing. The patients all thought it was great.

Today was much quieter, the main event being a football (ie proper English-style football aka soccer) game for whoever wanted to come. Whoever wanted to come turned out to be the same people (mainly) who were at carols. Interesting... The children joined in again, distracted not by helicopters, but by a passing Santa Claus throwing lollies out of the back of a ute! Emily and Charlotte cried again, but still think he's a very friendly man.

For an Englishman like myself, I'll never quite get used to the heat at Christmas time. I keep having to pinch myself, look at our home-made tree, put Christmas music on, look at Imi's advent calendar to remind myself that it's Christmas. (And I'm looking out for TV, radio or internet broadcasts of the King's College 9 lessons and carols!) And then I worry about poor Santa in his Ute - will he get heat exhaustion? And this year will be a most unusual Christmas, as we're going for a picnic on Goodes Island nearby, with stockings beforehand and present opening afterwards.

But unusual experiences? That's why we're here.

I'll hopefully post again before Christmas, but if you're reading this and you haven't heard anything more personal from us, rest assured we have been thinking about all our friends and family and colleagues. Happy Christmas to you all.

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