When I was summering in Canberra one of the refreshment options at the hall of residence we were in was this lurid green cordial. We referred to it as “violent green”, as in, “would you like a glass of green?”, or “violent green anyone?”.
Since starting my ED term I have discovered that the hospital also stocks violent green, and I have found that every time I have a glass of it I have the most vivid olfactorily mediated flashbacks to the fun and games that was my superb summers in Canberra.
Who would have thought something so simple (and bad for you) could have such powerful effects.
The other night we had a patient come into ED who subsequently died.
He was an elderly aboriginal gentleman and his relatives told us that during his life he had been a pastor and a renowned artist and an elder in the community.
When he died I had to lift his head up in order to remove the oxygen mask, and I was surprised how heavy his head was. The rational part of my brain said that it was because there were no longer any muscles supporting the weight of his head, but the sentimental part of my brain couldn’t help but pipe up and suggest quietly that perhaps the reason it was so heavy was because he was an important man, and that his was a head that was full of an awful lot of wisdom.
I always find it very hard when I remember or am reminded (as I was at James’ wedding) of the degree of animosity that my ex-girlfriend Jess feels towards me, and it always leaves me enormously saddened, because she was for a long time an immensely important part of my life and I still find that I miss her company, even just as a friend. I also have great troubles with my conscience which points out that the degree of ill will she feels towards me is a direct manifestation of how much she felt hurt by me, and I literally hate the fact that I could have unintentionally hurt another human soul so deeply, let alone one whom I had always previously sought to nurture and protect.
It has been many years since I last saw my old high school friend Rebekah, and while I had always appreciated that she was smart, given that she was on the school’s top debating team with me, and was better at it than me (as was the other girl on the team, which frequently left me with the paranoid suspicion that perhaps I was only there as the token male), she had always managed to be smart in a quiet and unassuming way.
Then she went off to uni, got her law degree, and got a job, and I didn’t see her for a number of years.
Today I ran into her in the lead up too James’ wedding, and in the evening watched her do a crossword as part of a group. Now almost the entirety of the group had university degrees, but Rebekah was leading the pack, and you could almost see the cogs of her mind flying around, and I was left with the inescapable impression of being in the presence of something of an intellectual giant.
It’s kind of odd being back in Canberra, the scene of so much of the fun and mischief of my youth (don’t I sound like an old man…). It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve last been here, yet wherever I go I’m reminded of the good old bad old days, and the (often foolish) things I did back then (such as walking from the airport to the city one time because I was poor and I could).
At the same time the constant flood of memories is far from being an entirely good thing, as it reminds me not only of the exuberances and pleasures of the past, but also of my misguided indiscretions and personal shortcomings that occurred in this town during that period. Still itâ€™s nice to see it again, and catch up with friends who I havenâ€™t seen in far too long a timeâ€¦
It’s kind of odd being back in Canberra, the scene of so much of the fun and mischief of my youth (don’t I sound like an old man…). It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve last been here, yet wherever I go I’m reminded of the good old bad old days, and the (often foolish) things I did back then (such as walking from the airport to the city one time because I was poor and I could). At the same time the constant flood of memories is far from being an entirely good thing, as it reminds me not only of the exuberances and pleasures of the past, but also of my misguided indiscretions and personal shortcomings that occurred in this town during that period. Still it’s nice to see it again, and catch up with friends who I haven’t seen in far too long a time…
In the last few weeks I have been suffering from quite frequent bouts of inexplicable sentimentally and nostalgia (particularly great word that, from the Greek Nostos, “Return home”, and algos, “Pain”, so literally “the pain of returning home”) in relation to my time in Dunedin when I was doing my first degree in biochemistry.
Firstly, while re-exploring the Otago university website I found a bunch of great semi-abstract, very memory provoking photos which change to something new every time you reload the page (go to the site, let it load, then hit the F5 key and see what I mean).
Then I specifically went looking, and found some more galleries of photos from around otago, which of course only exacerbated the problem.
Then today, while looking for some long lost friends, I found my way to the Knox College site, which was the hall of residence I lived in for the first two years of my university life. On it there was all manner of great stuff, but I particuarly liked the Garden party page and the page entitled Four Seasons at Knox, which has some great photos of the college covered in snow. Man does that bring back some superb memories.
I also just found a page with links to a number of webcams located around the city (although by and large I couldn’t see much (given that it’s 1:15am there at the moment).
Anyway, it’s funny how you can look back on a period that clearly had some pretty significant shortcomings (most obviously being freaken’ cold, because it was snowing) and still think it was pleasant and memory worthy.