Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wimbledon 2007

Wimbledon 2007 was an impulse decision on my part, to escape the long recriminating thoughts about how badly I'd done in my prior exams. A day of fun on the grass lawns of SW19 was in order. By a minor miracle, I managed to get cheap travel tickets, and found an unlikely hostel to stay in, and Tues morning found me at the back end of this:

The queue, I found, would wind in and out of Wimbledon Park and was close to, if not more than a km long. And they were serious affairs, these queues. Each of us was given a queue card noting our place in the queue and if we didn't empty our bladders before arriving, woe betide us, because it took us the better part of 4 hours before actually reaching the gate.

800 yards to go!


After being cajoled into trying for Court 2 tickets, (Centre Court and Court 1 seemingly being snapped up by the brave folks who'd stayed overnight under and on top of newspapers and tents) I stepped into Wimbledon, the first thing I saw being:

V. Spadea and I. Ljubicic ( a name I still can't pronounce with a straight face) were scheduled to play first on Court 2, so that was something to look forward to. Meanwhile I met up with Jane and Jan Hoong, who had skipped audit and classes respectively to come.

We walked around the grounds. Housing 18 courts and two separate buildings housing Centre Court and Court 1 respectively, it had its own bank and 4 or 5 different places to eat. Strawberries and cream, champagne and Pimms' being out of our budget however, we trudged around, picking spots to return to later.

Centre Court - the south end

Around noon, I snuck away to Court 2, where I was fortunate enough to get a seat 3 rows away from the court.

Arriving early, I chatted with a friendly Indian chap sitting in front who had come yesterday, but was driven away by rain. Looking upwards, we convinced ourselves the good weather would last the day out.

After watching the ballboys/girls march out to take their positions, and seeing the net being measured and erected, Ljubicic marched out from the opposite side to great applause. Vince followed after, affably waving back to the crowd, a stark difference to Ljubicic, who, it seemed, was of a particularly stony disposition. Or perhaps he was getting ready for the match.

Ballgirls at attention

A tight match followed. Vince seemed a bit taken aback by the raw power of Ljubicic's serve and single-handed backhand, while not being able to fire himself up enough. After losing the first set 6-4, he tried to perk up a bit, with increasing crowd support, but still ended up losing the second set. Ljubicic, sensing victory, was on form and hitting winners past Vince every time the latter charged the net.

Spadea in action

The tide turned as Vince started to step into his shots, forcing himself to return Ljubicic's topspin serves on the rise. This saved him enough points to force a fourth set. Fired up, he came out firing and started holding his serve while attempting to break Ljubicic's almost-invincible service game. However, he was denied a few line calls by the umpire, whom he later suggested of being against him throughout the game. This break in concentration seemed to distract him just enough for Ljubicic to close out the final set after a nearly losing it at 4-6.

A comeback

Ljubicic after victory

Having wandered around to stretch my legs, I stayed for a set of David Nalbandian's game. My sister being more of a Nalbandian fan than I am, I decided it would make interesting storytelling. However, Venus William's match against Alla Kudryavtseva was coming up, so that took precedence.

Nalbandian in action

Court 2 was again full, with a crowd seeming to expect Williams to take apart her opponent. However the crowd was shushed by a first set loss by Williams against a girl who matched her stroke for stroke, and who made far fewer errors. Cries of "Go, V!" were heard as she took the second set. Line calls seemed again to decide the outcome of this match, when, as Alla led by 6-5 in the decider, she challenged the umpires and linesmen, shrugging her shoulders in the direction of her supporters. Venus managed a dodgy 7-6 win in the end.

Venus Williams getting ready

Wimbledon was my first time seeing scores of British get behind their countrymen and cher them on. The hill outside Centre Court was packed with people watching Tim Henman's marathon with Carlos Moya. More than one ferocious "Go it, Timbo!" was heard from an otherwise looking sweet-looking granny and the collective sigh when he lost a point was very well choreographed indeed. You can imagine the chaos that erupted when Moya double-faulted on match point.England unites to support Henman

When I have more money, more time and maybe someone else to go with (it gets boring standing in a queue alone), I'd like to return and see Centre Court for myself. All in all, Wimbledon 2007 will be one of the things I'll remember about the UK when I've left.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

When Thursday comes

It will mean we have finished our written papers and the dreaded LOCAS...feared only because its our first exam where we'll be tested on real patients.

Then we can all breathe again...until Monday after, where we'll tackle our OSCEs, and hopefully, come out smiling at the end.





Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's still cold

The amount of hair I'm pulling out on a daily basis is starting to get worrying, even for me. Trouble is, I don't realise I'm doing it at the time. At this rate, I hope I won't have to resit this paper, or i'll probably go totally bald.

Then I might never finish using up the Johnson's Baby Shampoo that I'm using now. Papaya flavour, or something like that.


Not too long ago, David posted 'you know you're spending too much time in hospital if...'. Now, i'm not doing nearly as much work as those guys in US, but today I was searching around for a way to secure my unfinished biscuits.

So I suppose its a sign of too much time in my room cramming...I wish.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weather's turned cold again

Which would make it brilliant to sleep in a bit longer in the mornings, were it not for exams.

One of those rainy days which makes you feel like nursing a hot mug of something and watching movies under a blanket. Exams make me want to do the weirdest things.

Made beer can chicken again today. Had to run to the hospital canteen to get brown sauce and salad cream, but everyone was full in the end.

Lord of The Rings on my laptop is keeping my spare time filled now, in between youtube.
Favourite bits include the siege scenes, the bit in the Mines of Moria and scenes involving Gimli and Legolas. Youtube, on the other hand, gives me a mix of comedy and drama, depending what I'm in the mood for. Old cartoons like the Dungeons and Dragons series and Scooby Doo keep my lunchtimes occupied, though catching the 10 or so pages of Anaesthesiology in Oxford Handbook took precedence today. Honestly hope not much anaesthesia comes out this time around.

'Patience', was what I got from this morning's reading of 1 Peter 4. Patience, indeed. Not just for exams, but for a whole new working of God, as long as I remain faithful.

And its time for another round of studying again! Funny how doing questions always makes it seem like you've not actually learnt much at all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

You just never know

What lies around the next bend in the road

What surprises the day has in store

What patients the examiners will have in store for us

How much time we have left

Whether the next person we talk to may be the last

Or for that person, we may be the last person he/she talks to

Sunday, June 03, 2007

2 weeks to go

And as always, I'm beginning to feel that this may the time when I won't make it. Somehow it always seems to be a cycle - I've felt this way before every major exam I've sat for. Nevermind all the times when I've escaped unscathed or by the skin of my teeth, I'll still feel worried to bits the next time exams come around.

However, this is indeed the biggie, the one that stands between us and the right to have a prefix before our names. And hence my feeling of inadequacy - for as much as I know (and that in itself is pathetically frightening), there's always more to read, to memorise and to understand.

But the hours don't stop ticking down, and time does not wait for me to grow up. So its full steam ahead, trusting that a miracle will happen, just like every other time.