Hi, happy new year, how’ve you been?

I am back in the library.

The shape that a horse’s cheek teeth (ie. premolars and molars) make if you are looking at it side-on (and with its face taken off) is called the ‘Curve of Spee’.

Not sure why I enjoy this so much (I hate horses), but I am saying CURVE OF SPEE, CURVE OF SPEE, CURVE OF SPEE over and over again in my head. It’s making me need a wee, so BYE!

x

Edit- Just Wikipedia’d it, turns out humans have a Curve of Spee as well!!!

Like a coconut but not.

A Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery¬†is truly an enlightening degree. Today’s lecture on ‘The Sporadic Sick Cow’ involved our lecturer handing out a mystery object that was found in a cow (I assume a sporadically sick one). Said object was about the size of a coconut, but was very light and smooth, with almost a felt-y feeling to it’s surface. It was brown (also like a coconut) and rattled a bit when you shook it. Weird.

At the end of the lecture, after several fruitless guesses from the more forthcoming students in the class (you know the ones… Always sitting at the front and getting things right and being good at stuff), it was revealed that the mystery object was in fact a HAIR BALL.

It was also revealed that if you give them a wee polish, they make really nice coffee table ornaments. Fucking wonderful, thanks vet school.

x

Word of the Day.

SABULOUS (adj.)- sandy, gritty in texture.

Courtesy of my equine medicine lecturer, in reference to urolithiasis (bladder stones)… Yum. He kept getting the giggles throughout the lecture because we were talking about wee.

You look sabulous, darling.

x

Cinnanomonmonomnomnom

I am still without my trusty phone- Carphone Warehouse kindly informed me that there’s no hope for him. It is slightly liberating not feeling the need to constantly check Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp, but I don’t have a way to post photos, which is a shame. I’ve made lots of tasty vegan things recently (after falling off the wagon faaaaairly heavily in Dublin at the weekend, sorry ūüė¶ ) and I want to show them to everyone!

My big fancypants camera is in the Borders, so I guess photos will have to wait till Christmas.

For now though, I am concentrating on motivating myself to start studying again (but cardiology is legit a foreign language to me), and yoga and Muay Thai classes! Our welfare rep and all-round superhero up at the vet school has got funding for free yoga classes, so I’ve been doing that on Mondays for the past few weeks. It’s great- I forgot how much I enjoyed yoga and how much my body appreciates it. I can go in to a class feeling like a creaky old woman, having sat on my ass all day, then come out an hour later feeling so chilled out and like my muscles have been bitch slapped by Buddha (in a good way… what?).

Muay Thai is another venture by vet school welfare- unfortunately not free, but SUPER fun nonetheless. I didn’t really know what to expect when I went along for the first time last week. It was hard work in a totally different way to yoga- punching, kicking, jabs, and trying to look cool in boxing gloves. It involved a lot more balance and coordination than I expected, and was a hilarious stress-reliever- “think of someone you hate, then kick the shit out of the pads!”. Maybe this week I will not fall over whenever I try and release my rage…

x

PS. Vegan cinnamon buns to help you get back on the wagon:¬†http://minimalistbaker.com/the-worlds-easiest-cinnamon-rolls/¬† SO FRICKIN’ TASTY.

Pun

Grave delinquency re. blog updating as per…

It’s nearly November, which means soon it will be¬†VEGANVEMBER again! I have kind of been half-arsing being vegan since coming back to uni, but I’m going to go full on for November and see how it goes. There’s some soy smoked cheese in the fridge waiting to be made in to pretend mac ‘n cheese, fingers crossed.

We’re going to Dublin next weekend for AVS (Association of Veterinary Students) sports weekend, so expect much debauchery and Guinness, exciting!

Sadly my phone had an ‘incident’ after a Halloween party at the weekend, so I’ve got nothing to take photos on (also just looked at Google backup thing and it hasn’t backed up my photos since August, shitter). Here is a kitty to tide things over:

(This was in the Big Buddha temple/Wat Intharawihan in Bangkok, I accidentally stumbled upon a kitty heaven round the back and had a great time)

PROMISE more blog fun next month- maybe if my phone gets fixed I’ll even do photos of tasty vegan things. I’m definitely going for a Stereo pizza or burger at some point, they sound so good:¬†http://www.stereocafebar.com/menu/

Lotsa love

x

PS. GRAVE delinquency… Because it’s almost Halloween… Get it?!

Hindsight Post #1- Udaipur.

RIGHT THEN. I’m back in Scotland, enjoying the shite weather and abundance of free food- today I went to the village hall with Carol with intentions of helping feed cyclists (I don’t know, there was loads of people cycling around the Borders, possibly because there’s fuck all else to do here), but instead made small talk for half an hour then left with 6 macaroni pies. Classic.

I am going to write all my feelings about India and South East Asia over the next few days/weeks/months, because they are all still inside me and I want to tell everyone about them. So. Might post some photos as well, but we’ll see how it goes.

Let’s start with India. It’s really big. We spent five weeks in Rajasthan, with a wee bit of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi thrown in, and we barely even scratched the surface.
What we did see was amazing- the whole time we were there I felt like I couldn’t open my eyes wide enough to see the chaos, the people, the animals, the buildings, the everything.
You literally do see everything in India. Gnarled old women in intricately embroidered, jewel coloured saris; tiny fat babies with kohl-rimmed eyes (to ward off evil spirits) and bangles on wrists and ankles; wedding processions; funerals; abject poverty rubbing shoulders with the wealthy elite and their flash imported cars and Rolex watches.
I feel like it would be appropriate to focus on on thing per post, just because there’s so much to talk about. So for now: Udaipur.

We spent three weeks working at Animal Aid shelter, just outside the city. I’ve talked about the shelter in previous poorly-spelled (blame the keyboard) posts, so I’m kind of over revisiting it. The fact that I have to write a ‘reflective commentary’ on our time there for the purposes of Vet School also contributes to my reluctance… I mean really. Does anyone actually read them?
Whatever. Animal Aid is a brilliant organisation who are doing important work through their ABC (Animal Birth Control) and rabies vaccination programmes. The street dogs we encountered throughout our stay are unlike any dogs I’ve ever met before- they are tough, but they want love. They get kicked, and have rocks thrown at them, but there are always people who will slip them a chapatti, or stop for a cuddle. The dogs are proud and territorial, because the streets are their home, but they would all make fantastic pets. Some of them do- local adoptions are encouraged after stringent home checks.
While there were some aspects of the shelter that were hard to come to terms with, such as the fact that it is illegal to euthanise cattle in India, we tried our best. Communication with the Indian staff was occasionally difficult due to language barriers and the fact that our veterinary training is very different to theirs. However, we all had the same things in mind- namely what was best for the tens of dogs, cattle, donkeys and goats that passed through the shelter’s gates each day. It often took a long time for a treatment decision to be made, which was frustrating, but that was India time- things were never rushed. This sometimes felt like no one was willing to make a decision, which meant that animals were suffering for extended periods of time, but this was often a good chance for us to make our voices heard and try and help make the decision that would benefit the animal most- be this a treatment plan, surgery or euthanasia. It sucks that sometimes that’s the only option, but something I think we all realised was that often in severe cases, euthanasia is the kindest and most practical treatment option.
We were pleasantly surprised by the drugs available- lots of things that we use back home were found in Animal Aid’s drug room, along with lots of interesting Ayurvedic remedies.
The surgery was something else- no inhalational anaesthetic, and just a rickety ceiling fan to keep everyone (human and animal) cool. We all had the opportunity to observe some surgeries, from bitch spays to a tail amputation, to anaesthatised examination of a stray dog with a pathological fracture of the jaw, caused by an oral carcinoma.

While work at the shelter was hectic and busy- we were in 9-5 most days- we did have days off, which gave us time to explore Udaipur.
It’s a beautiful city- we stayed in the old part, which is right next to Lake Pichola. Ghats surround the lake, and every morning they’d be full of laughing children, parents and pretty much every other citizen of Udaipur, as they came down for a wash and a swim. There was always one or two daredevils who swam out in to the middle of the lake. We never ventured in to the water ourselves, because it was minging- rubbish and weeds filled the water, but none of the locals seemed to mind.
Every evening as the sun set over the lake and the Monsoon Palace perched on top of the distant hills, hundreds of bats would fly over the lake. This was incredibly cool to see- the bats cut eerie shapes across the water as they swoop around silently. Pretty much every guesthouse in the old city has a rooftop restaurant, so we could usually find a good view of the aerial show. Almost every place we ate at had fantastic food- from veg thali to aloo gobi to wholewheat breakfast burritos when we just couldn’t face another curry… Possibly Indian FOOD will be the subject of the next blog, because fuck it was good. For now though, consider the wise words of our Udaipur yoga teacher: “For good health, you must eat less food, drink too much water, and make toilet two times every day. And remember: no yoga, no chapatti”. Legend.

x

Gollum- Cutest puppy there ever was, mange kennel resident and recipient of many cuddles over our three week placement at Animal Aid. The vet thought her name was HILARIOUS, and could often be found chuckling to himself and saying "my preciousssss..." as he examined her. Amazing.

Gollum- Cutest puppy there ever was, mange kennel resident and recipient of many cuddles over our three week placement at Animal Aid. The vet thought her name was HILARIOUS, and could often be found chuckling to himself and saying “my preciousssss…” as he examined her. Amazing.

XYZ

Oops again, no blogging for SO LONG. Again, in my defence, I have been very busy doing fun stuff and not being on the internet (also India and Thailand hate WordPress/SSL certificates). 

Apologies for the previous blog as well- I have no idea why it’s entitled ‘W’ and why there are so many spelling mistakes… Must try harder.¬†

We (being Terri, Gemma and Abi and I) are now in Sihanoukville in Cambodia. I don’t even know where to start on blogging about anything, because I still have A LOT of India that I want to talk about, then Thailand, then here. Cambodia is pretty cool- it’s less touristy and ‘polished’ than Thailand, which means that the bad stuff is a lot closer to the surface. Poverty is more obvious, but the people seem to have a sort of self assurance about their identity and the kingdom of Cambodia, which is nice. We saw Angkor Wat on Monday, which was amazing- it’s colossal and definitely has a mystical air about it, even with hundreds of tourists snapping away at every detail. Getting there for sunrise is a fantastic shout though, as it’s cooler, quieter and very beautiful.¬†

I think I am going to save all the blog chat for when I’m bored at home (mostly because it’s nearly 10am and I still haven’t eaten anything today, HANGRY), so I can actually go through all the amazing experiences we’ve had and write them all down and think about them properly. It’s weird, I feel really antsy when I don’t write anything here or in my journal (aka. feelings book haha) for a while, but I’m also always reluctant to write. I think it’s because I’m afraid that my thoughts aren’t quite as eloquent on paper/screen, and I’m usually right. I can but try though, so prepare for screeds of India laments as of the 5th August…

 

x