27 September 2011

Money woes of a poor student

Once again I am writing while at work, instead of working, although it is technically lunchtime so it is not so bad. Except that I have been not working for ages really now, my concentration was destroyed after going to check the mail. I got a letter from my health insurance which I assumed was something about my being in hospital but no, it turns out that they are increasing the cost of insurance because the bloody crap government here is taking its financial retardation out on me (and everybody else with health insurance of course). They have upped the tax, which increases my monthly payment from 32 to 40 euro - that's 25%! That's a huge increase and I am so not impressed! It was going to be hard enough with paying higher rent this year and bills will cost more because they are only split between two now. Every year my pay goes up a little but it's not going to cover at all the increase in my bloody living costs! I would like to just quit health insurance but I can't because I'm always getting sick these days. Speaking of which, the other thing that has me all grumpy today is that in the mail I also got a letter from the hospital saying that a bed has been reserved for me, subject to availability, in November. That's 3 weeks later than what they told me! Not only that but it might still be just taken away if there is no bed available on that day! I know it won't get me anywhere, but I'm still going to ring up and complain.

So to top off my money woes, I was looking at domestic NZ flights for my trip home at Christmas and they are so expensive! In the last week the Air NZ flights for Christmas time have gone up by about 200 bucks! I was very worried, I'm already broke, I can't afford to spend 600 dollars just to get up to the North Island and back. But then I let my procrastination encourage me to read the news and there was a story about Jetstar, and their new flights from Wellington to Queenstown. I actually tried looking at Jetstar flights earlier but the website wouldn't work. But second time round there were no problems and I quickly brought decently priced flights before they disappeared. Now I hope that the bad things you used to hear about the airline don't happen any more, I don't want to deal with cancelled flights and delays. Another good thing that happened today - I just found a bunch of stuff that had gone missing. Turns out there is a hole in the lining of my bag.  It's still not as good as yesterday, when I got three comments on my food blog. Becoming well-known is really slow!

The end of the week will also be the end of September, and then it will be two months till my trip to NZ. I want summer and lots of warm weather, and maybe to win the lotto or something like that. But for lack of that, I would settle for just the nice weather, and good food. Which is why it is so important that this bloody operation gets done before Christmas! Until then though, I won't be going anywhere and I will be sticking to a strict budget as much as possible, which explains why I have nothing to write about other than complaints. Today however, I had to complain because there is no-one in my office right now for me to rant to. Now I have to get back to work. Will try hard to get a life and do something interesting so that I have more to say next time.

19 September 2011

Galway Gales

I have been very quiet the last two weeks, because there really has been nothing to talk about, except for the usual rant. After being released from hospital all I had to look forward to was work and cold, cold weather. Galway was visited by gale-force winds, apparently it was the butt-end of some hurricane or something. Whatever it was, it was freezing cold and constantly threatening to blow me over. It's lucky nobody ended up in the canal! Not only is the weather awful but there is nothing happening at work, so I spend my days bored and worried. At this point of my PhD I should be so busy, but I currently am at a loss and waiting for some expertise to come my way and teach me the molecular side of my project. So I have been pretending to be busy and reading lots of books (finally joined the city library). I would like to be planning my trip to NZ but I am too broke so it will have to wait. And if NZ doesn't deliver up an awesome summer I will be so unimpressed because it is so bloody miserable here!

For the weekend I escaped from work and saw a little bit of Sligo, where a friend was having a housewarming and it only rained one day out of two. I got to spend Saturday baking, then on Sunday I wussed out of swimming (it was freezing! Everybody else had wetsuits!) and instead went for a walk so I could take photos. It reminded me a bit of Riverton and Colac Bay, but maybe a lot of surf beaches are sort of similar. Sligo seemed to have a bit more going for it than Galway, as a county that is - there were mountains that looked a bit more like mountains than those here, and beaches in closer proximity. Of course, it's easy to see a place properly when you have a car at your disposal, and maybe if I had one I would get to see more of Galway. I think the high point of the weekend was not even necessarily the place, just the fact that it was not rainy, or even overcast. It was cold but there was plenty of sunshine.  Now the weather tells me it might be sunny here on Thursday but that probably won't actually happen. I should clearly just win the lotto and then buy myself a tropical island. But instead I will end with some photos of the beach at Sligo and work on finding interesting things to do so that I have more to talk about next time.

05 September 2011


It is Monday and after a week in hospital they are letting me out. It is so loud here you cannot get any sleep, the food is terrible and my arms are covered in bruises from the many needles they have put in me. I have been on IV antibiotics the whole time, and my inflammation has all gone. They were going to give me surgery tomorrow and I was so looking forward to finally having it all over an done with.

However, it turns out that they don't like to do surgery on females taking the contraceptive pill. Who would have thought?! Everybody is on it these days, so you think that for one it would be a more well known fact. And for another, when I first came into hospital they could have told me to stop taking it. I have to wait 6 weeks, but if I'd been told to stop last week that would only be 5 weeks now. So after being stuck here hoping that the inflammation would go down enough, it turns out that it doesn't matter. Maybe they could have let me out days ago! So I have been bored, stuck in bed, trying to keep busy, it has been an absolutely miserable weekend! All for nothing. I will get my surgery in October sometime and until then have to continue to eat as little fat as possible (though like hell this will stop me baking!). Then after the surgery another month of low fat diet just to give me time to recover! And I thought I would get surgery tomorrow and then after a month be back to normal, like everybody else.

So now it is 11 am and I must wait for them to get around to giving me a prescription, a surgical appointment and discharging me. Which knowing this terribly slow place will take all afternoon. Then back to work I guess because other than being terribly tired I feel fine, no longer sick at all. At least I get to go home! I want to take a proper shower, in my own bathroom, sleep in my own bed, look after myself instead of having everybody running around after me. I want to be in my lovely kitchen and cook stuff! This whole thing has just completely thrown everything into chaos, and turns out I could have gone to that conference after all! Too late now though, not prepared. So instead just the usual, back to work, watch as the vestiges of warmth turn into full blown winter. Because it turns out that Ireland is really weird and doesn't keep the same seasons as the rest of the world - I thought September was the start of Autumn but here it started a month ago! All the seasons come a month early! Weird.