Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Last Day" in Althorp / HCPA ward

It's been such a long while since I've last written on the blog. Unfortunately, it's not at all because we have been away travelling this summer. In fact, it has been a miserable summer. It is probably THE WORST summer I've ever had in the 11 years I've been in this country. For the past 3 weeks or so, it's been raining almost every day and that has pretty much quelled any desire I have for travelling, writing, photography or being creative.

Enough of that rant, on to the story.

Today was supposed to be our last day in my current ward and our last day as a team together. It was meant to be a sad day indeed. We officially finish our endocrinology post at the end of this month but due to several circumstances (read: poor planning) they (read: the monkeys) are closing our endocrinology ward, and distributing the team to other wards to help out. Don't even get me started on the politics or the logic behind this, because it appears to us there is none.

Anyway, it was meant to be our last day together as a team and it was meant to be a sad day. Looking back, on these few months it's a real pity I didn't blog more about my fun days at work as almost every single day has been such a pleasure with my friends and colleagues in the team. In retrospect, I should have written more on the various things we were up to, stuff we talk about, all the jokes we shared and mischievous activities. Ah, mischievous activities .... :)

So to celebrate our last day together, as usual we all bought food and drinks to share after the ward round. It was wonderful - we had Thornton's chocolate cake, a rich variety of (rich tea) biscuits, chips, pretzels, jelly beans, tea, hot chocolate and coffee. It was a pity that two members of the team could not make it (Suboohi for being "slightly" under the weather and Anand for oncalls) to our epic journal club today.

The following are pictures of our supposed last day together, taken earlier today:

The Thorntons Chocolate Cake. The taste of this cake is beyond this world. I'll let you guys know on something about me: I'm not a very big fan of chocolate (yes, literally as well). So, to me the chocolate cake was a bit much - I had to have plenty of tea to wash down the sickly, hyper-sweet taste.

Dawn had the honours of cutting the cake. Pictured are the various goodies we shared today.

This was our team today - only 4 people including yours truly. I have just realised something as I downloaded the pictures onto the PC - I forgot to include myself in the pictures! Nooooooooooo! Oh well, there's still tomorrow.

Sarah and Abhishek

Sarah; she's one of our two registrars. I really look up to Sarah - she's extremely clinically sound, diplomatic and friendly.

Dawn is her usual happy, bubbly self.

I have always looked up to Abhishek too - he's another Senior SHO on our team, but several years my senior. Abhishek is very organised and responsible. Extremely intelligent and detailed too. I've learnt and copied so much from Abhishek.

In the end you know what? It turned out that last night's oncall was so packed with admissions that the hospital could not afford to close a medical ward. So, they alerted all of us that they are not closing the ward for another week! All the emotional turmoil we've been going through has been premature! Oh well, at least I have another few days with my lovely team:)

I'm looking forward already to go to work tomorrow!

Photography sidenotes (i.e read only if you are into photography, otherwise please ignore:)

Today, I took my 9999th and 10 000ths picture using my Canon 400D, or Taka Arashi as it's more affectionately called.

This is my 9999th picture:

This is my 10000th picture:

Now that I've owned Taka Arashi for around 9 months I've grown to really, really enjoy and like my Canon 400D Digital SLR camera. I remember when I first used Taka Arashi, I was extremely unhappy with the unsharpness and lack of detail especially when using the kit lens. I was also unhappy with the exposure, which to me tend to err towards producing dark photos. Having learned the nuances of the Canon system though - I've come to really enjoy using the camera and nowadays, I am usually very happy with the results. Here are the reasons I really enjoy using the Canon 400D:
1. It is relatively cheap; cheaper than Nikon's D80 or the Sony Alpha.
2. It has relatively more features than said Nikon.
3. I absolutely LOVE the professional grade L lenses. So far I only have the 24-105mm F4L IS lens and using it has been an absolute pleasure.
4. Picture quality, especially with the L lens is MAGNIFICENT.
5. The colours, provided with good lighting, are vivid and attractive.
6. If I stick with buying L lenses I have to option to upgrade to a full frame 5D or 1D mark III.
7. The 1D Mark III DSLR is ONE HELL of a camera. It costs around 4000 pounds and could take 10 frames of 10 megapixel, almost full frame pictures. The image quality is reported as one of the very best for a DSLR.
8. The 400D is small - perfect and as if custom made for my small hands. It's also relatively light.
9. The Canon range of accessories are extremely varied: wireless transmitters, various speedlight flash, batteries, battery grip and ooooooh the lenses. Especially the L lenses *drool* and the superwide EFS 10-22mm *DROOL!*

There are of course things I don't like about the Canon:
1. the pictures are still less-sharp. This is a "feature" of the Canon system. It features anti-aliasing to reduce moire artefacts. At the expense of a sharp picture. True, it could still be sharpened in Photoshop.
2. the exposure, to me, is still less than perfect. To me, they still err towards under-exposure but I've come to learn how to compensate.
3. the kit lens is rubbish.
4. contrast, under the default setting is way too high.

An extra note:
Lately I've migrated from using aperture priority mode to using manual mode. I am loving the manual mode, I tell you. I really like the extra control over exposure and consistent looking pictures. I am loving it, loving it!!

I do have qualms about using manual mode though, and that is - it's too slow to set up especially when you (a) want to capture fleeting moments (b) to change aperture or shutter speed on the run.

In other words, I really like the exposure I get from using Manual Mode and you can say I hate the inconsistent exposure using Aperture Priority, but for photographing moments, I still have to use Aperture Priority I'm afraid.

Thank you for reading. Until next time :)