Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kettering Hotel Randesvous

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a talk on 'Reducing multiple cardiovascular risk through obesity management' at the Kettering Hotel. The talk was organised by Orlistat, and was attended by hospital doctors, medical students, GPs, dieticians and various members of the multi-disciplinary team that make up the hospital staff. The talk was presented by my current endocrinology consultant, Dr K. Rizvi. Like me, he also did his medical degree at the University Hospital of Cardiff, Wales.

Overall, the evening was excellent. Dr Rizvi's talk was pitched just right and was interesting throughout. I'm sure all the attendees felt the same.

The highlight of the evening however, was the dinner. It was a full three course meal - the starter was a salad with grilled cheese, pasta as the main course and the dessert was raspberry cheesecake with clotted cream. The coffee afterwards was just heavenly.

Dr Rizvi delivering his talk

After the talk we were exploring the hotel and taking pictures at opportune moments.


The starter was grilled cheese salad

Anand and our organiser

Suboohi and Hanna

The other side of the story...

I had been looking forward to the talk last night for days before - the talk was scheduled at 7pm, and I was planning to stay at the hospital accommodation overnight. That meant after work I would have a full 2 hours to spend with my friends before the actual talk, and if the talk finished early - maybe, just maybe we could all go somewhere e.g. for a meal or the cinema I was hoping.

To my utmost disappointment when I arrived at work yesterday morning, everyone's mood was just "bleah" (translation: cannot be bothered) about the talk. In fact, by 5pm they even managed to drown my enthusiasm in their moat of indifference. One or two of us even decided not to go.

Suboohi was kind enough, and invited the team to her flat for tea and a light meal before we actually head for the Hotel. Tea at Suboohi's house was wonderful, but what I enjoyed most was the conversations I had with her husband Bilal.

My friends dragged themselves to the talk with heavy hearts - and I bet they didn't regret it as the evening was beyond legendary.

The talk and food was superb - but the best thing to me, was the time we spent laughing and making jokes at the dinner table - and that was *only* with three members of our team. Imagine if we had full attendance - the evening would have been phenomenal.

The icing on the cake was, literally and metaphorically, free.

I've also updated my Fotopages.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Amar doing the Boogie Woogie

For those interested, I have recently updated my Fotopages. My favourite picture being the one above taken by Puan Mama Sarah during Kakak Princess' birthday party (while I was busy oncall) recently.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

National Sea Life, Birmingham

These pictures were taken during the weekend just past. The weather had been dull the week and a half prior, and it was such a nice change to see blue skies and the sun again - a premium, in this country it seems.

Puan Mama Sarah and YT* have always planned to bring the kids to the National Sea Life Centre again, as the first time they went they were probably to little to appreciate the experience.

The great thing about driving in this country is - the roads are so well sign-posted that even without printing out the maps to our destination and without using GPS we still ended up spot-on.

The National Sea Life Centre was great, if not a tad expensive (money well paid and nominal in perspective I suppose, if to pay for the upkeep of the place). My other complaint is that the only restaurant available did not serve anything remarkable, unless if you consider chips remarkable. (No fish and chips at an aquarium??? come on! I'm sure they have cod in one of the tanks).

Food aside, it was a great experience for Amar and Sarah - especially when they "found" Nemo. Sarah was crying part of the time though - scared of the gigantic crabs and sinuous eels.

The other great thing about the National Sea Life Centre is its location along Birmingham's Canal. The Canal is beautiful - lined with Pubs, Restaurants and water taxi stops. I wished our children were behaved enough that we had the opportunity to taxi around the canal and stop by one of the strategically placed restaurants. Alas, our two small ones were very cranky from missing bed times, wet nappies and brain-over-stimulation.

*YT = yours truly

One last thing:
As some of you guys probably know, Alynn calls her D50 "Yume" which is a Japanese word meaning "dream". Since purchasing my 400D I have always wanted to give it a Japanese name too and seriously, I've been thinking about that name all this while (it's been many2 months since I purchased the 400D - around 6 months now?). I've finally found a for it:


... which is Japanese for "storm". I like the name for many reasons: I like the sound of Arashi. A storm could be both beautiful and devastatingly deadly at the same time. Storms make beautiful photography subjects. It also symbolises the turbulently steep learning curve of mastering the beast that is the 400D - even now I still feel incapable of full control of my Arashi. I also like the the kanji for Arashi, shown above. It has the kanji for Kaze (wind) which is another Japanese word I like.

The full name of the 400D is probably Taka Arashi, and for those in the know, Taka Arashi is a character in VF3 and VF is one of my favourite previous past-times (intentionally cryptic).