Monday, 30 November 2015

The Cheshire Cat


Apologies for the lack of post last night, I was so tired when I got back to Liverpool and almost went straight to sleep after tidying my room and reading for a bit.

Yesterday we visited Chester to meet my sister Katie there, as it is her birthday today. We had a wander around the shops and the Christmas market, which is nowhere near as big as Birmingham but has different stalls and is definitely worth a visit. We ended up buying loads of Cheddar cheese for Christmas time!


Chester is such a lovely city to visit - there is lots of interesting architecture and lots of high street and independent shops to explore, as well as the more historical parts of the city.


The Cheshire Cat, Whitchurch Road, Christleton, Chester, CH3 6AE

Afterwards we went to The Cheshire Cat, a pub just outside of Chester in a village called Christleton, and part of the Vintage Inns chain.


The pub has a lovely menu of typical homemade British pub food, but a little more gourmet than your standard fish and chips. I had the garlic mushrooms with garlic bread to start, but also pinched some of Mum and Dad's camembert - which tasted delicious, especially with the chutney on top.


Their Christmas decorations were lovely and rustic, just like the decor in the pub.


I then had the butternut squash and stilton tart, and apart from a little mix-up in the kitchen meaning that it came a bit later than the rest of the food, it tasted really good and was really filling. I would also very much recommend their mash potato - very creamy.


And, of course, I saved room for pudding. I had the peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake, which was so rich but delicious.

I had such a lovely day with my family and was very stuffed after our meal at The Cheshire Cat. It is actually Katie's birthday today so I'd like to wish her a happy 20th birthday - I can't wait to celebrate with you next weekend! (PS stop growing up).
Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.



Saturday, 28 November 2015

#PLBSantasGrotto


Today I attended the #PLBSantasGrotto event in Birmingham for bloggers, organised by Adele and Kirsty.

It was held at the Rose Villa Tavern near the Jewellery Quarter, and I arrived just after 1pm. I was greeted by the sight of around 25 other bloggers in the upstairs room of the pub, which was decorated very Christmassy.


I didn't actually take many photos, as I was mainly spending time chatting to all of the other people, and catching up with the girls from the #PLBSlumberParty. However I did meet some people from a few brands, including the Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company, Friction Free Shaving, SkinSincere and DRYU.


We all had our Christmas jumpers on (you can see my garish one here) to get into the festive spirit, and Kirsty was playing Christmas songs on her iPod.


I had a lovely time chatting to everyone and am feeling rather Christmassy this evening - the goody bag was also amazing! Afterwards I went around the German Christmas market again for a bit, and then got the train home to meet my best friend Roxy for prawns and Asda pizza, whilst shouting at The X Factor and I'm A Celebrity. A perfect Saturday night in.
Never give up - believe in yourself and you can do anything.



Friday, 27 November 2015

Meet Sprout


Ignore my mismatched pyjamas, but meet our new baby guinea pig, Sprout! We have adopted him from a friend of Mum's and he is only 5 weeks old - and so cute. He's about 1/3 of the size of our other full-grown guinea pigs, or approximately the size of a Syrian hamster, at the moment. He seems to be settling in really well and keeps snuggling up to our other two guinea pigs which is a good sign.

Today I caught the train home for the weekend and have just been relaxing with my family. I'm off to a blogging meet up tomorrow, which is always fun, so hang on for a post on that!
You will never have this day again - so make it count.



Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Ultimate Christmas Fair


A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend the Ultimate Christmas Fair at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool, next to the docks. I got a couple of tickets for tonight, so decided to take my friend Hannah along with me.


The fair is on all this weekend and has over 200 exhibitors, as well as fashion shows and beauty demos.


The fair kind of reminded me a little of The Clothes Show in the way it was set out. All of the exhibitors had their own stall set up. A lot of them were selling various clothing items (mainly for women), but there were a couple of beauty stalls, and quite a few exhibitors selling items for the home.


I really liked these candles from Sublime Candles by Helen Morgan - they smelt really good and looked beautiful too, especially the ones with the shells in the top.


We watched the fashion show with clothes from Mark Melia. This was probably the best part of the fair.


There were also quite a lot of food stalls and vans set up, which all looked delicious.


We were given a complimentary cocktail from one of them, which is included in the ticket price, and it was actually really good. I had a Refresher mocktail as I was driving, and it actually tasted like Refresher sweets!


If I'm really honest, the fair didn't feel that Christmassy at all. There were maybe two stalls selling festive items, and the rest had expensive 'gifts'. I looked at buying a woolly hat but it was about £30 - and even the candles were around £15. Some of the stalls could perhaps have offered a discount for those at the exhibition, just to get sales going a bit (not that I'm a sales advisor or anything!).

I don't like giving bad reviews but I don't think the atmosphere was quite right. Granted, it was the first day of the exhibition, but there were hardly any people there and a lot of the stalls were unmanned and therefore a little uninviting. All of the products on sale were quite pricey and I was actually quite glad I didn't pay the £8 for a ticket. We stayed about 45 minutes and that was more than enough tonight. The event hasn't been advertised overly well - I didn't hear about it from anywhere else but the email invite I received.


I am hoping that the atmosphere will improve over the weekend with more people. Tickets are still on sale - although they are £14.95 - you can buy one here.

I think unfortunately tonight just didn't work because there weren't enough visitors and nobody seemed particularly Christmassy. Even the carol singers were stuck outside in the corridor - basically singing to a wall! Hopefully the rest of the weekend will be a much bigger success; the Ultimate Christmas Fair could be a great day out if it was done right.

We did have quite a fun time and got a free cocktail, and afterwards I went back to Hannah's flat for some food and a catch-up which was lovely. Not the worst way to spend a Thursday night!
If life can remove someone you never dreamed of losing, it can replace them with someone you never dreamt of having.



Wednesday, 25 November 2015

6 things that have made me happy today

Today has just been a normal one, attending my GP placement and coming home exhausted, so I thought I would do a short list of things that have made me happy today.

1) Talking to patients
During my GP placement I get set my own patients that I have to go and talk to in a separate room (history taking), and then I have to report back my findings to the doctor. I am quite a curious person so I love chatting to patients about their lifestyles and illnesses, and today I felt like I did quite well. I also get to type up my history in the patients' notes, which makes me feel like I am actually on my way to being a doctor!

2) Chocolate cake
Of course some sort of food had to be included on here. It was my friend's birthday over the weekend and we bought her a chocolate cake last night - there was some left over so I had a slice after a rather lovely tea of egg fried rice this evening.

3) Singing along to music
I am currently driving on my own to GP, so I plug my iPod into my car and sing along as loudly and as badly as I like. I'm planning on putting Christmas songs on soon.

4) A couple of sets of tickets arriving
I am going to see Michael McIntyre live with my sister in a couple of weeks, and those tickets arrived today. I am also going to the Ultimate Christmas Fair in Liverpool tomorrow, and those tickets arrived today too - which was a lovely surprise as I had forgot that I had been invited!

5) Stroking a dog
So simple, but one of the houses I went to on a home visit with the GP today had a dog, and I got to stroke him for a bit. I miss animal company so much!

6) Getting into bed
Honestly, an earlyish night seems like heaven today. I am so tired and just getting into bed feels amazing and has made me so happy.
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
                 - Beverly Sills



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Perfectionism



Atelophobia [noun] - The fear of imperfection. The fear of never being good enough.

I am a perfectionist. Always have been, but I am hoping that I won't always be.

I remember in primary school I had to get every single word right in my spelling tests. I had to be able to complete a times table in the shortest amount of time. I had to read as many books as possible.

And since then that has just amplified: I may do well academically but I can't celebrate my results unless I get 100%, as I could always have done better. I can't always show off my humour as someone may take it the wrong way and not like me (God forbid). I always have to be as kind as possible, as generous as possible - the best person I could possibly be.

And you know what? That's exhausting.

I never feel like I can celebrate my achievements as I could always have done better. I'm constantly criticising my personality and how I look, or things that I say. I could always be better. My blog could always be better. I could always be a better medical student, no matter how hard I try, or a better writer or photographer.

Sometimes I think that one of the reasons I came into medicine was because it was the hardest thing I thought I could do. I always push myself and am constantly striving to be better, and think I will disappoint people if I'm not the best I can be. And hand-in-hand with that comes my depression - my perfectionism means that my self-esteem is naturally quite low, which then affects my mood and the way I think about myself.

I guess perfectionism is a form of all-or-nothing thinking. There is no room for negotiation or being anything less than the best I can be, which can be really damaging for my mental health. Striving to be a better person can be a good thing, but when that is drastically exaggerated it can become dangerous.

I spoke about all of this with my counsellor today, and we both agree that perfectionism could be an underlying cause for my depression. And for that reason we are going to start tackling it over the next few months - I will keep you updated as to how that goes!
Remember that nothing would get done at all if a person waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.
                         - Sheila Walters