Monday, 25 June 2012

Any Other Woman

want to read me waffle about insurance, panic attacks, self-worth, sick bowls and redemption?

head over to anyotherwoman, where I'm doing just that...

Sunday, 24 June 2012

the LaLa mommy and me...

I won't be talking about work much on here- mostly because it is all too easy to breach patient confidentiality- but I've been in the hospital all weekend with the same families. The ward can be a lonely place for parents, especially if they have very young children and no company. They love student nurses. We have the time for a chat (although as a 'senior' student I have less time than I used to) and are a ready-made topic of conversation: "How far along your studies are you? Are you enjoying it?" I have these conversations a few times a day. I love them.

I had this very chat with a very lovely American mum yesterday. I told her I was 6 weeks away from qualifying as a nurse. She asked if I had a job yet. I said I was moving to the States. She asked where, I explained LA. Lovely mum laughed- she is from LA. It turns out she is also married to an academic, and has been following him round the world.
We chatted for a while about the move. I grabbed my thermometer and moved on to my next patient. Over Saturday night I thought of a lot of questions I could ask her, if she didn't mind my grilling her. She really didn't, and the day shift was a ghost town (for the first time ever.) It was so lovely to speak to someone as lovely as her about all the things that have been on my mind. She told me the ranking order of supermarkets (Tesco equivalent is Vons, Sainsbury's equivalent is Ralph's, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for luxury and fun.) She told me which stores stock decent teabags. We chatted about the different types of bank account and how they are different from here and which bank to choose.

Vons supermarket- the Tesco of Southern California. Terrible pic from wikipedia
She told me how hard the first few months are, and how lonely it can be, but said it was all worth it. The biggest surprise was that she didn't think it was the cultural or life experiences that made it worth it, but the positive impact moving overseas had on her marriage. She felt like making herself 'dependent' (as our visas say) had been a huge struggle, but her husband was so appreciative of all that she'd sacrificed to follow him, and she realised that the sacrifice wasn't so big after all. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but it made me so calm in the middle of so much chaos.

My colleagues were astonished that I had met someone so perfectly placed to put my mind at ease. It didn't surprise me at all. At every turn, something has worked out so perfectly to convince us we are doing the right thing. And my lovely mommy from the ward has left a lasting impression on me. We often wonder what impact we have on families- if they'll remember us. It definitely goes both ways. I'll be sure to toast her when I get there.

Friday, 22 June 2012

pack up your troubles...

I had to start packing eventually, and today was the day. It's hard to plan what I will need to move to somewhere that is an average of 19 degrees in January with 14 days rain per year. If I'm honest, I'm the kind of girl who looks better in layers. My wardrobe is largely wool-mix. Which will be fine some of the time in LA, I don't think I'll be in shorts constantly, but the sheer volume of £7.99 V neck jumpers from H&M was a bit worrying. 
I also have spent the last three years as a penniless student, and was only marginally better off before that, so my clothes are ancient (I actually found a t-shirt I bought in 2000. That's 12 YEARS ago. And seriously, how was the millennium 12 years ago?) Finally an interesting moth problem in my previous flat, the likes of which has not been seen since 1953, has rendered many things a bit hole-y too. It was time to get ruthless. 
After a frenzied hour, I had this-

wellies that don't fit, uncomfy flip flops, burst bags. a veritable treasure trove of crap

The strange thing about clothes, for me at least, is that I look at them and am instantly transported somewhere else. This pile contains a hen party, a wedding, my first business trip, my first music festival and many, many, many more memories. Ultimately though, it's just fabric, and if I get nostalgic about everything I will be a wreck by the time we leave. 
Sorting stage 2 is in full swing- the charity shop pile for the stuff I am never going to fit into again, the bin for the stuff that frankly I should have got rid of a LONG time ago.The plus side of all of the packing is that my wardrobe currently looks as it never will again-
I should throw the homemade dinosaur hoodie away, but my heart's not in it.

I'm hoping the sunshine will make my ridiculously stripy wardrobe more acceptable, however this may be wild optimism. Onwards and upwards. The beauty products are next on the hit-list...

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Here's the thing. Real people don't move to LA. Real people from Edinburgh don't move to LA. But husband and I are jetting off to California. He's going to work on curing cancer in a big fancy hospital. I have no idea what I'll be doing. I qualify as a nurse in 7 weeks, but still don't know how it's all going to work out. 
Mostly I'm blogging so my mum and friends know what I'm up to. I shall also be rather bored at times, especially since I don't know anyone out there. 
Manhattan Beach, California
I'll be here though, and I think that will make it all worth while...