Sampling the Stereotypes

Coffee, croissants, baguette, strawberry jam. It was a very Parisian breakfast, and I couldn’t help but smile at the way our whirlwind tour of UK and France has covered a good number of stereotypes. We had steak and guinness pie in England, haggis/neeps/tatties in Scotland and potatoes in Ireland. We visited castles, drank warm English ales and cold Irish Guinness (some of us),  rode the Tube in London, the Metro in Paris, got stuck in traffic on the M1 and  listened to Irish music in…Continue Reading “Sampling the Stereotypes”

The Mystery of the Wandering Bear

It happened near Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Jaded and jetlagged after arriving in London at 5 AM, we were stumbling around Trafalgar Square and the London National Gallery waiting to be able to check into our hotel. It would be a stretch for any two year old to remain interested in countless artworks, no matter how significant. Her complaints changed though at the Van Gogh – from “I want to go home” to “I want my teddy…” We looked under the pusher where we expected to…Continue Reading “The Mystery of the Wandering Bear”

The Care Plan – super or superfluous?

For GPs in Australia, an increasing amount of time is spent managing patients with chronic health problems using tools called care plans. There are GP Management Plans, Team Care Arrangements, Health Checks, Mental Health Care Plans, Asthma Management Plans, Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care and others. Most of these involve filling out a lengthy document outlining the patient’s health issues, medications, progress and goals. Often these plans are produced collaboratively between the practice nurse and the doctor. At the end of the process, the patient…Continue Reading “The Care Plan – super or superfluous?”

The Streets of Bourke and other stories

We made a hasty and earlier than expected exit from Bourke today. The flood waters have been rising steadily since we got here, and the flood peak was due to arrive just as we were leaving tomorrow. Thanks to a tip from Gay, who is related to someone who knew something, we heard that there was a good chance that the road out of Bourke would close. This was despite a whole week of most people saying “Nah, she’ll be right, the Sydney road won’t…Continue Reading “The Streets of Bourke and other stories”

I thought it was time that we had a gossip about Bourke, as it seems that gossiping is one of the town’s official recreational activities. We are in Bourke for 4 weeks. Andy is doing a stint of locum work at the local clinic, hospital and Aboriginal medical centre. It has been good fun getting to know the town and the area. Bourke is about 10 hours drive from Sydney, near the Queensland border. It’s right on the Darling River, and has a history of…Continue Reading “The Bourke Gossip”

Catherine in Katherine with her wandering family

For the last week we have been based in Katherine, doing some hospital obstetric work and checking out the town. It has been good to explore more of the Territory and wonder if our wanderings might bring us back here. We had some fun highlights like swimming in the rain at the beautiful Florence Falls in Litchfield Park and meeting some really welcoming people in Katherine. Somehow we found ourselves tagging along to watch the RAAF jets taking off for their night training flight. We…Continue Reading “Catherine in Katherine with her wandering family”

Goodbye to Nhulunbuy

The bags got packed, the house got cleaned, the goodbyes were said and we left Nhulunbuy. On the plane we felt sad to be leaving. It’s a special place, even if somewhat surreal. After being there for three months I do feel a sense of longing to find out more about this part of Arnhem land, to get under its skin, and to learn more Yolngu Matha language. We’re off on a bit of a discovery trip now, exploring some other places and thinking about…Continue Reading “Goodbye to Nhulunbuy”

Woolworths University

“He’s still sniffing.” a soft voice said. I looked up from putting the veggies on to the conveyor belt at the checkout. “My son,” he repeated, “he’s still sniffing”. I finally realised this was the father of one of my patients who had a nasty injury as a result of a fight. This was a really brave kid, and it was sad that he was petrol sniffing. It struck me as such a different type of “aisle four” consultation that I usually get in the…Continue Reading “Woolworths University”

Christmas in Nhulunbuy was a laid back time of cooking and spending time with friends. Note to self: gingerbread houses become gingerbread puddles in the tropics! We had a great time splashing through mud on New Year’s Eve and managed to avoid getting bogged. We’ve been sailing with friends and watched a great sunset over the bay. Our banana tree produced such a good harvest that it fell over from the weight. We’ve become  frequent flyers at the pool as it seems the monsoon had…Continue Reading “What we’ve been up to”

Toilet Frog

More frog dilemmas here in Nhulunbuy. Sometimes it is helpful to turn the light on before you sit: it’s amazing what can jump out of the bowl! On that note, I thought I would seek advice from you, dear readers.