A very kind person trusted me with their beloved shiny: a Canon EOS 5D MK11. It tears strips off my own little camera, but it will take some getting used to. I went for a 3 hour walk around the lake yesterday; it was fairly overcast so the light wasn’t great. It is of course, easier to fault the weather when you’re an amateur using an alien camera.


A week has already passed, and in the emotional cycle of an expat, I’m in the ‘OMG everything is awesome!’ stage. I spent the first couple of days in Auckland, which I’m told is not strictly part of New Zealand, but for argument’s sake I’ll let it slide and tell you that having eggs Benedict and decent coffee for breakfast, followed by a visit to the bakers and walk along the beach does wonders for jet lag and the soul.

Having lived off a main road all my life, it was somewhat disconcerting coming to an area where birdsong is the main sound, and not police sirens. The pace has cranked right down compared with London, but it’s very easy to adjust to, if you let it. I’m a stone’s throw away from a lake which doesn’t get any tourists, which is nice (yes, I know I’m a foreigner complaining about foreigners) and while I can’t yet chop firewood, I do a good enough job of crunching up the newspaper, ready for lighting.

I’ve been asked if I want any creature comforts sent over, namely Marmite, but I couldn’t justify the carbon footprint, and I want to get to grips with New Zealand’s version of things. What is loooovely is walking through the fruit and veg section, and 99% of produce is local to the country. It’s winter so there are no red bags of water sold as strawberries. Deal with it and harden the f*** up.

Lake Tarawera


‘Harden the fuck up’ is actually the product of an Australian comedian, not the Kiwis. Please don’t hurt me

Creative prescription procrastination

Today would have been my first day on the job as a junior doctor. I feel somewhat wistful about it, I would have worked in obs & gynae; the only specialty in medicine I enjoyed. However, just re-reading that sentence tells me that now would not have been the right time.

Medicine is a vocation though; you can be on a plane moving away from the life you had, but people still get sick and they’re not going to care about your internal turmoil when the stuff hits the proverbial. Two entries ago I wrote hoping that no one would fall ill on the flight… oh.

While flying over the middle of nowhere, a passenger announcement requested medical help for an unwell patient. No one moves. I recall swearing quietly under my breath, and made my way to the galley. I introduced myself to the cabin crew and they showed me to the patient who looked unwell, but in no immediate danger.

As I took her history, her symptoms set off some alarm bells and it was impossible to examine her properly given the cabin noise. I felt completely in over my head, and I asked the cabin crew to put out another tannoy for a doctor, otherwise I would have requested the pilot to make an emergency landing. Fortunately, help came in the form of an experienced anaesthetist and he said she was stable enough to continue flying but we should keep an eye on her.

So somewhere over India, I sat in darkness in Business class with a chamomile tea, looking eagle-eyed at the O2 sats monitor while my first patient slept opposite me. I don’t know what the universe was trying to tell me, but it sure has a sense of humour.




I can only afford to fly economy (there goes the tiny violin) so as far as clinging onto comfort is concerned, I’ve chosen my seats (aisle for the first leg, window for the valium-induced second) and the Hindu non-vegetarian meal, buon appetito.

Here’s hoping that none of my fellow passengers fall ill on the flight.

M25 sunrise

Revision break at uni. BT tower peeping through

Trees, Eye, Clouds


Elephant Parade, Marylebone

St Giles in the Fields

Reflecting the building opposite

St Giles Central

The whale photo would suit this post, but here is the Lady Knox geyser instead. Just add soap

Inspired by this post I decided to look at popular Googling trends in New Zealand.

I should explain that when I studied Anthropology, I wrote a 10,000 word dissertation on the subject of fetishism, so my searches relate to that and not my own perversions.

New Zealand’s most popular search term is… New Zealand. In Italy and the UK its Facebook.

New Zealand’s biggest fetish-related search is the foot fetish. The highest number of hits are in the Taranaki region.

Auckland is the only region to search for whale porn.

Worldwide, Tunisia is the number 1 country to do a Google search for Google

Happy hump day!