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First Friday in Derby

Written on: Saturday July 28th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Today we met our listed supervisor for the first time, after hearing many a bad word spoken about him. John Boulton is a paediatrician at Derby Hospital, but seems to spend most of his time out in various other regions of the Kimberley. We were a little nervous about meeting him, after hearing all this bad press about him, and how arrogant he was, and how none of the staff liked him. To be fair, he wasn't that bad when we met him, although he did come across as a little patronising, and he insisted that we were only there to do paediatrics, which was not what we specified at all, but we humoured him and agreed. Seen as he won't be there most of the time anyway, we figured we can just do our own thing when he's not around!

First on the agenda for the doctors, was checking the baby of the lady who had the emergency C-section last night. Looking a lot better, the baby girl satisfied the doctors' health check, and the mother seemed to be doing fine as well. There were a couple of other babies on the maternity ward that we needed to see, and then I went through into the delivery suites as there were two women in labour. One woman had only just begun labour, and so nothing was going to happen for a while, and the other lady was waiting to fly to Perth, and so the staff were trying to delay her labour. We didn't hang around on the ward for too long, as there wasn't much else new to see, which is usually the case in small hospitals.

Friday afternoon was spent lounging by the pool, catching a few rays, and having a shivering swim in the freezing water. The sign claimed that it was 22 degrees in the pool, but I certainly beg to differ. In all fairness though, the water is nice when it's baking hot, and it's a clean and pleasant pool, so we can't complain!

That night, we had arranged to go out with the other med students to the Spini (pronounced 'spinny') - the local watering hole. We had drinks beforehand at house 4, and then made our way over to the Spini at around nine-thirty. I suppose the best way to describe the Spini would be like a working men's club. Cheap and cheerful, it was packed out with most of the town from what we gathered. There was one bar inside, that was pretty crowded, and then a small outdoor dance floor, where a lot of the crowd were congregating. We were totally bemused to order vodka, lime and soda and receive it in can-form, pre-made. It didn't taste bad though, so we just got on with things. 

It quickly become apparent that this particular Friday night was karaoke night. Normally I would balk at the idea of singing in public, but we got persuaded to go up as a group and exercise our vocal chords. Once we did it the first time, we were all keen to sing again, and we performed quite a few numbers as the night went on, including classics such as 'Blaze of Glory' by Bon Jovi, and the disturbingly popular 'YMCA', which went down a storm with the locals, particularly as we were all dancing as well. Oh the shame.

The night flew by, and by midnight, we weren't ready to go to bed, so went back to the house for 'after-party drinks', as they were being referred to. A couple of the nurses from the hospital joined us, and we scared them with the frozen shark. I don't know if I've actually mentioned 'Sean the shark' before? In house 4, before the people moved in that are there now, a couple of other students went fishing, and caught a tiny baby shark. They planned to eat it, so took it home and put it in the freezer. Clearly, it was forgotten about, and when Duncan turned up, he was surprised to discover a frozen shark in the freezer, but fondly named him Sean, and occasionally gets him out to share a beverage or two with us. Bizarre - Derby sends you a little bit crazy I think! Anyway, enough about the shark, and back to the nurses. One of the women was from Manchester, so we had a good old chinway about home etc etc. Another nurse, called Karen, was an absolute mentalist. At 52, she was the most crazy person I think I've ever met. She was constantly screaming, pulling faces, playing up to people to get their attention. By the end of the night, most of us were pretty weary of her, and so we were glad when the nurses retired for the night. I stayed up until around 2am, before getting off to bed with nothing but a very lazy weekend to look forward to.