Day 6- A tranquil apocalypse

Does’t this feel like the proverbial calm before the storm? Do you sense the worse is yet to come. Like we are seated to watch a blockbuster movie, and the pre- movie trailers and adverts keep running on. If this is truly an apocalypse, it’s seems quite tranquil at the moment no?

I had a neighbour knock at our door today, she stood a metre away from our doorstep and asked if I knew where one can get tested for The Virus. She then went on to talk about how she couldn’t wait for these 21 days to be over. Ah! Naive optimism or blissful ignorance?

I do not have a clue as to what might happen in the coming weeks. Nobody truly does. We can make scientific conjectures, historical predictions; but they are all guesses. Italy and India had their first reported cases at about the same time. Granted, they have tested about half a million people, while we have less than 30,000. Yet, the picture seems curiously suspect. I feel like we are heading to the edge of a precipice- the path to which is flat and non- threatening but at the endpoint of which we are met with a yawning bottomless depth. I hope I’m wrong, I’m but a pessimist after all.

Anyhoo, for now I shall describe something so mundane that it may momentarily confound your cognition into forgetting The Blockbuster Mr COVID-19.


How am I coping with my fitness fervour you ask? Not as bad as expected to be honest. Yes, I have not had a barbell on my back for precisely 17 days now. *Has it been only that long since?* I have not run for 10 days. I have not even taken my bicycle out for my *now rare* grocery runs *and risk having a lathi thrown at my back, no questions asked!*.

Ugh, the early days were hard. But the withdrawal symptoms are abating. Also, about ten days ago, I was at wit’s end in terms of keeping the progeny engaged. I ended up searching for a box of games from my childhood days *Domino, UNO, BUSINESS?* and lo and behold, I found a couple of rusty, squeaky dumbells. The heaviest being 15 kilos, I think. That, coupled with some resistance bands, the kids play mat, my night stand and an Ikea stool- boy am I sore!

The beauty of strife, is that it strips life down to the basics. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and my family is safe. The rest, we shall deal with as they come. If people can get jacked in prison, who am I to whine for not having access to a squat rack. So my friend, we shall get ripped in quarantine. No more obsessing over lift numbers, nay. My goals now are:-

  1. Increase push up strength. Do more and do it better
  2. Master the pistol squat (almost there, just working on the ROM)
  3. And try and keep as much of the gains as possible. Strength can be regained back quite quickly.
  4. And try to do this-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GMr8xV4IY4&t=51s

I have hacked a lot of exercises, and am really having fun with fitness again. I wish I had one of those pull- up bars though. Also, maybe a pair of heavier (20 kgs+ anyone?) dumbbells/ kettlebells. Why can’t a human ever be satisfied?

Oh yes, and also; the progeny have PE time everyday as well. I do the half an hour with them. It’s a perfect warm up for me, as its a good one to get the heart rate up and get a light sweat on.  It’s insane, chaotic, very noisy but loads of fun and giggles. We all like to follow the Joe Wicks kids workouts on YouTube. Trust me, when done with the right heart, these are not as east as they might look to the physically uninitiated!

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay fit folks!

Till next time.

J.

 

Don’t wait.

We are a restless generation, I’m told. We are impatient they say. We cannot wait.

Nobody seems to get the fact that we CAN NOT wait. This is the pace that life dictates. If you haven’t noticed, every succeeding generation is more prone to impatience.

Why wait anyway? Our lives are most likely going to be short. Our productive life I mean. Not the cancer ailing, hypertension controlled, medicated life that is waiting for us sooner rather than later.

An old senior of mine, back from my undergrad days has been in touch with me in recent days. She is 37, an OB- GYN with a busy private and hospital practice. She runs triathlons and has a Great Dane named Albus and cat whose name currently skips my mind (I remember ‘Albus’ only because of the Harry Potter reference). Her husband is a 40 year old bodybuilder who also happens to be an orthopaedic surgeon (so cliched!). They waited to get married. Surgical training came first. They also waited to have children.

Everybody is entitled to make their own choices. I’m not here to berate or judge. In fact I have made some bizarre, downright stupid choices in life. And I have paid/ or will pay for them. But the choice to postpone our lives, to delay family issues in lieu of a surgical/ medical career is sometimes encouraged or indirectly imposed (poor maternity policies, stigma, patriarchal heads of departments, discrimination).

This triathlete OB friend has given me permission to write about her. She believes it the waiting that did it (science may not agree). She wants people to not wait. The public in general and the surgical trainees in particular. After 5 years of “trying” to have a baby and two more years of failed infertility treatment- they are disillusioned and tired.

She is almost a role model to me. A woman travelling the world acquiring special surgical skills. Publishing dozens of papers, when peers struggled to have one to their name. I was a teeny bit jealous too. I thought, not being encumbered by young children must be a great thing for her career wise.

She does not think so, not anymore.

I was acutely aware that my mommy- rants and constant whining about sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue might not sit well on the ears of a woman who seems to have everything except the one thing that she desperately wants. For the alpha- surgeon types being denied something makes one aggressively pursue it.

She and I both think that it is absolutely fine for a woman to chose career over having a family. That is her prerogative. We are not discussing them here. Here, we talk about those who do want to try a hand at having both but are forced to chose or delay one in order to further another. Our sincere advise to such women is- DO NOT WAIT. Go for both, it is possible and someday you will be grateful for it. That “someday” you will also wonder, how in hell did you manage all that sh%* together!

I seemed to have slowed my pace, while my male peers and colleagues are scurrying to attain training goals. But I do believe I will catch up. And surpass. Call it cockiness or confidence, I have to believe it to keep moving forward. (Our fraternity values confidence above all else.)

So ladies, do not wait. If you feel like it, go for it. Don’t wait. Train for that marathon, marry that gorgeous man, backpack across India, have that baby. Surgery will wait. Life will not.

Till next time.

J.

P.S. Cautionary warning- Yay for having a family and a surgical career. But let me warn you, the sh&^ will hit the ceiling on many days. Buy a long handled mop or wear a raincoat- that choice too is yours to make! 🙂

I never said it is easy, only possible.

The last laps and my survival kit.

There is no way around it folks, the next few weeks, nay months, will be all about baby. I cannot help it. It is such an all consuming life event. I once thought that nothing could be more consuming than taking the post- training exams. Boy! this is waaaay bigger.

Anyhoo, I digress (like always).

So, like the previous instance, this time too I have the feeling that things might progress earlier than expected. My poor babies, just cannot take it anymore at the end. Limited space in the tiny torso, too much movement, limited rest and haphazard nutrition I guess 🙂 So, they decide to take matters in their own hands and decide to “get outta there”!

Or will there be a final twist in the tale?


Everything involves a bit of gymnastics these days. Getting into my car (a car that is even otherwise too big for me and a 4X4 no less) involves holding onto the steering wheel and literally heaving myself into the seat. Making sure my midget legs are close enough to brake effectively while maintaining a safe distance between the tum and the steering wheel (and possibly the airbag in the unfortunate event of even a minor collision) is another conundrum. And waddling through the hospital corridors (albeit in  my apparently ‘small for 34 weeks’ tummy) makes me feel like a very conspicuous hippopotamus.

Pregnancy clumsiness, toddler carry- requests and the nature of my work means that I constantly have to bend toward the floor.

Of course I cannot bend over straight. Thankfully,  I have mastered the Bharatnatyam squat ..

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There are things though, STUFF- that get me through my days. Sometimes very long days. ’28- hour -days’.

rennie

I have these everywhere. Literally.

Bedside, couch- side.

Car, husband’s car.

Work bag, out- bag.

Every clinic table I have sat at in the past few months…

The boys at work have in fact started popping them in their mouths like mints these days because they find them randomly lying around.


knee-high-compression-stockings_78430bge_zoom0These are compression stockings. Never thought I would need them.

A couple of months ago, on a particularly long theatre day, one of the nurses noticed (they “SEE” everything!) that I was contastly flexing my toes and was restlessly hopping from one leg onto another. She kindly cut up some small sized Tubigrip and asked me to put them on. Nurses are brilliant at these sort of hacks, so I asked no further questions. She even helped me put them on.

The gentle compression made a huge difference. Why did I never think of that?

Then off I went – in search of size X- small knee length compression stockings (which are surprisingly hard to find in Doha – even at the hospital)

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Calf soreness, restless leg syndrome and terrible leg cramps at night have been a constant with both my pregnancies. Only  this time, it has gotten worse. On a 24 hour call, by around the 12 hour mark, I can barely take my mind off the pain. The compression stocking/ Tubigrip on call days- really help.


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I have cartons of mini- sized bottled water in my trunk. My acidity/ reflux is worsened by consuming water with meals, and I cannot seem to remember to stay hydrated in between meals. So I try to always keep one of these mini bottles in my lab- coat pocket at all times.


pillows

The weird c- shaped maternity pillows don’t work as well as these generic ones, at least for me. My fancy, pink maternity pillow lay forlornly forsaken at the corner of the bed, while I tuck these humble, generic ones at every crook, crevice and contour of myself.


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Another surprising hit. I am never good with taking supplements. I used to forget to take them about 5 days a week, until I bought a cheap, gimmicky (as per Mr H), uncool looking pill- box. I have no logical explanation, but at the end of the week, I find it therapeutic to fill up the darned, little compartments. My motivation to take the pills is the emptying of the boxes so that I can fill them up at the end of the week. Does that make any sense at all?


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I am not sure why I waited as long as I did before ordering these. I wore XL sized, boxy, ugly, humungous scrubs at the hospital when my own ones stopped fitting me. The arm holes on those are the size of gunny bags and they were very, very unflattering in general.

As, a second time mum, things start “showing” much earlier but I refused to invest in maternity scrubs.

Some time after week 20, I gave in and ordered them over amazon (the US site, hence paying a ridiculous amount for international shipping). But they are worth every penny I say.

I bought the Cherokee ones, the exact top in the picture. The sizes seem to run large, but I don’t mind. The side panels are a soft, stretchy material and the bump- elastic on the corresponding pants (which you have to order seperately) are really soft, and doesn’t dig in (all the folks who have ever worn maternity clothes at some point would know what that means).

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I wish the pants were less flared though. I was never a fan of the boot- cut trend even when it was cool (sometime in the 90’s when I was in school).


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I don’t care if this actually works, they make things less dry and itchy. I slathered it on the last time, and I continue to do so this time as well. For equality’s sake!


Till next time.

J.

The pregnant, surgeon-in-training.

If you google ‘pregnant resident’ or ‘pregnancy during surgical residency/ fellowship/ training’, you will be privy to a select few articles that occasionally appear in mainstream media about this small, unique subset of working women. Even medical/ surgical journals occasionally like to amuse themselves by publishing articles such as :

Pregnancy during residency: II. Obstetric complications.

Pregnancy during residency: I. The decision “to be or not to be”.

An article quotes a female orthopaedic fellow on how she scrubbed in for a long haul case at 37 weeks, with two lead aprons and carrying twins!

Doing 24 hour calls, even the better ones at 31 weeks now makes me wonder if she or the newspaper was stretching the truth a bit. At least I rarely have to wear a lead apron, or lift and hold limbs weighing half my body weight. Then I immediately think of conversations that I sometimes have with my non- medical, female friends who cannot believe I can stand and walk and run and bend and stretch and lift, for sometimes over 24 hours with hardly any breaks in between, all while being heavily pregnant. They too might be wondering if I’m “stretching the truth”.

Mind you, this isn’t a whiny rant. No.

If pregnancy were a man thing, it would be considered a great, life- altering, occurrence which warranted special consideration at every instance. The “boys” often talk of crashing for 12 or 16 hours straight during the day after a mediocre call- day. For some of us, even after the worst of calls, we go back home to moody toddlers who need to be picked up from nurseries and then bathed and fed and “poo-ed” and put to bed after reading Room on the Broom about 16 times.

Yes. It is a choice we choose to make. And at every step, we seem to be berated and chastised for making it. Considering wearing adult diapers to counter the weak bladder, and wearing triple or quadruple- sandwich breast pads to counter leaky mammary glands are not glamorous Pinterest hacks, they are survival tactics in times of dire need.

THIS  video is funny satire at first sight, but it is the quintessential harsh reality of female existence, signified by the contrast in our reality and that of male colleagues.  A colleague who recently had a difficult birthing experience, is about 8 weeks post partum, healing, struggling; and is back to the full grind (on calls, surgeries, clinics). You know what her the biggest gripe is at the present moment?

Not the hours.

Not the fatigue her broken, yet to be healed body is burdening her with.

Not the boy talk.

Not the extra calls every month.

NO.

All she complains about is that she can never find an empty room of any kind to sit in and pump for a mere 15 minutes. To top it all, there is “joking- mention” of making up for missed calls during the measly 8 weeks that she was allowed with her newborn. Apparently maternity leave is “vacation”.

*OH, I’M CRYING HOT TEARS HERE.

I am hopeful though. Despite sniggers in the OR when my belly comes in the way or the talk of women being “stupid” for “doing this”, I shall plough on.

I know, even if I don’t shout it out to their faces- that I’m stronger, better and will survive this and probably outpace them all in the long run.

In the early years of my surgical training, having children never crossed my mind, I believed it would slow me down, make me less competitive, make my bosses (mostly men of course) see me as a weakling. What happened instead is surprisingly different. Yes, I’m often racked by mommy- guilt, and taking care of other people on days when my own precious one is sick at home is harder than I thought it would be but motherhood has also smoothened my rough edges (the ones that I once proudly thought were my badge of honour, my “edge” over the competition). I am more empathetic, better with paediatric patients, way better at multi- tasking and generally a tougher nut.

I hope one day things change. I am hopeful that the next generation of female surgeons will not have to masculinise themselves to fit in, and can be comfortable being a woman at the workplace.

My Fitbit says I waddled walked 25089 steps yesterday. Of course it cannot measure the hours I stood for. They are no less taxing than the walking at the moment. My ‘one day at a time’ mantra has now morphed into a new ’15 minutes at one time’ one.

Though I was delirious with exhaustion at one point, and could not string together words to type in my on call report, I kept telling myself – I AM FUCKING AWESOME AND IF ANYONE CAN DO THIS I CAN.

WE CAN.

We are built with stronger steel than we give ourselves credit for, ladies. Just when I think I have been through the worse there is, it gets even harder.  The crap piles on, and on some days I find myself swimming in it. I hold my breath, grit my teeth and wade through it. I ultimately find my way out of the crapmire and then give myself a thorough wash. And I survive, yet again. Better, a sharper version of myself. The next time life needs to work harder to scare me.

So, go ahead ladies, jump into whatever your heart desires. Scores of others are fighting similar battles across the world; discrimination, mockery and sniggers not withstanding.

Only you can define your impossible.

Till next time.

J.

The Ladies Lounge- Getting ready on a hot, hot summer day.

I just got out of some grubby, generic theatre scrubs. The kind that is baggy to the point of being dehumanising. In them, I feel like a scarecrow that is dressed worse than usual.

Anyhoo, I  digress.

I am in the mood to play dress up.

To get out and do some errands that definitely doesn’t require one to be dressed up.

I just went with the flow. Toyed with some daring, bright stuff and to balance things out kept the eyes minimal. The outfit and accessories just happened to follow a cream/white, brown and gold theme.

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Getting ready- summer edit.
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The base- Estee Lauder Double Wear in Cashew. 
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To hide the post- night bags and darkness
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Invaluable. Indispensable.
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Bright lip and cheek
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The eye edit. Skipped the usual kohl deal. (Reason- dark circles and kohl are uncool)
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This beauty needs a very light hand ladies.
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Simple, elegant.
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I swear, I ain’t so matchy- matchy usually!

Till next time,

Dr J.

Stuff that changed my ‘getting ready’ game!

There are times when you meet someone or use something for the first time, and you are blown away. You hear bells ringing in the far background and you hear a choir hitting a high note. You think to yourself “where the hell was this all my life?!!”

Here are a few products that I have been religiously using for the past few months and now I cannot imagine how I managed without them all these years.


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This is my third bottle of this truly “extraordinary” magical potion. The Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil  claims to be a beautifying oil for coloured hair. With UV filters too apparently.

My hair is coloured, and I’m not too sure about the efficacy of the UV filters but this light, non- greasy oil (which isn’t the least bit oily), makes my hair soft and less frizz prone. It imparts a subtle shine without it ever appearing or feeling greasy. I use it prior to and post drying/ styling my hair.

At over 50 QAR, it’s isn’t cheap but the bottle does last a while. And honestly, I have used far more expensive hair products with far less impressive results.

*I have often caught sight of Mr H snicking a couple of squirts of this in the morning to set his “this- isn’t- styled- I- was- born- this-way” hair.


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This innocuous appearing, humble little tool has completely revolutionised my hair game (along with he Elvive EO). I am now a blow dry/ dry styler convert.


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These ridiculously priced, glorified make-up sponges have been a rage for a while now (The world has in fact moved on to even more ridiculously priced, weird oval- shaped toothbrush like  make-up applicators.) Never thought I needed them. I also did not want the extra hassle of washing and drying them. Finger-tips will do thank you very much!

I was wrong. Some foundations of mine have been languishing on my dresser, unused, for a while now. They just never look good on me. The shade matches, but the finish just doesn’t cut it. But these Beauty Blenders (the less pricey Real Techniques ones aren’t bad either) have literally made every single unuseable foundation useable. And the foundations that I already liked, I like them even more now!

The finish (best when used damp) is unparalleled in my opinion. And it definitely makes heavy- duty, full -coverage foundation look less cakey, especially when you use them damp.


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Fix + , the name connotes that this is a fixing or setting spray of some sort. Maybe it helps the make- up stay longer?

I use it for a different purpose though.

I hate appearing powdery and dull- matte. It usually happens to me with my ill- cared for skin and full- on foundations. Three spritzes of this, and everything sinks in, coalesces and the whole look appears more polished.

Seriously, no exaggerations. And thankfully, even if I go overboard with it, I don’t appear shiny or oily (which would defeat the purpose entirely).


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Use this as a color corrector, prior to applying concealer. No more dark circles, thank you.

No wonder my concealers always  appeared ashy on before *facepalm*.

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Insanely expensive, but the best eye- liner thinggy I have ever used. Period.

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Has two ends- thin and thinner. For that extra- precise flick.


P.S. These are not just my favourites, these are stuff that I would repurchase till they go out of stock/ production.

 

Till next time,

Dr J.

The one that stayed on.

This is going to be a lazy post. I am post- call and should ideally be sleeping. But the nursery run is in about an hour, and trying to get some shut eye now would be an utterly worthless exercise. I therefore decided to log on to the virtual world and say hello to the part of humanity that I have not had contact with for a while now.

How are you folks doing? The heat killed anyone yet?

Personally, I am not a fan of the dull, muggy weather that is doing business outside right now. I saw daylight today after a more than 24 hours, and this is not the weather I wished for. The natural light is inconsistent and therefore I shall use that as an excuse to not get my bottom off the couch and get some decent pictures of the stuff that I’m going to talk about today.

Here’s the deal people, I just got off a 30 hour shift and honestly cannot be bothered about impressing you folks with my virtually non- existent photography skills. So I shall be a lazy bum and use stock images. Deal.

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I decided to test something.


The longevity and performance of my current favourite foundation.*

* under extreme conditions


 

I would not use a heavy- duty foundation on a call day usually, but this was an experiment. So, I went ahead and piled on the stuff with a damp Beauty Blender at 0525 hours yesterday. This is the war- paint am referring to-

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I hate that it doesn’t come with a pump and I have to bother with the extra step of washing the back of my hand everyday. But apart from that grouse, I love this foundation for all the lovely things it brings to the table. The coverage, the finish, the sheer ability to not budge from where it was applied to…

I went about my call- day as usual. Running around, rounds, seeing new cases, admitting some, discharging many, going to the OR, post- op rounds, taking power naps whenever I could. I wore a mask for several hours too. But there was negligible transfer, almost zero shine (till about 0200 hours this morning) after almost 18 hours and the darned thing stayed put till the end. Dare I say, I’m mighty impressed.

It might sound gross when I say I wore this for over 24 hours (even slept!), but kindly give me some credit for the research spirit please.

I finally could not take the icky feeling anymore and washed it all off and went barefaced at around 0630 hrs this morning. 25 hours after I put it on, it was still almost 90% effective. It truly is “stay-in-place” make-up. Bravo!

The shade range that this comes in is worthy of praise, and compared to some other “high-end” foundations that I own, this isn’t that heavy on the pockets. The finish (in my opinion) is best when the foundation is applied with a barely damp Beauty Blender (versus fingers, brushes and dry sponges). It kind of sets/ sticks onto your face in a couple of minutes after you put it on and then does not budge. The downside to this, is the slightly “clogged” feeling that I cannot quite describe in words. The foundation looks great in person, but you definitely “feel” it on your skin. If piled on, or not blended properly, it can definitely look cakey.

In short, despite it’s shortcomings, I now understand why this one is a bestseller. Someday soon I shall do a post on all the fancy foundations I own/ use but for now I can tell you that this one ranks right up there. For sure.

What are your war- paints of choice ladies?

Till next time,

Dr J.

 

P.S. I should ideally be putting up before and after pictures of my visage for such a post- but let’s just say I’m camera shy shall we 🙂

Ambre Imperial.

Sultry.

Warm.

Intriguing.

Androgynous.

Quietly confident, subtly sexy.

There, but not quite.

Like the softest, most fluffy cashmere sweater.

Like an autumn evening in the smoky woods.

A woman who is supremely herself, and makes no excuses for it.

A man who doesn’t fit into pre- requisite boxes, yet knows his way around the world and daresay revels in it.

Starts off peppery and spicy, almost oriental. Settles down into a warm, powdery borderline edible character. As the hours roll on, turns into it’s true dark, woody self.

Here’s presenting my current fragrance obsession, and probably signature scent-Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection Extraordinaire, ‘Ambre Impérial’


 

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This is a master creation by talented perfumer Quentin Bisch. His version of the Amber Scent.


 

 

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Amber perfumes, mostly smell the same to me. Or they may all start off differently but end up with the same classic “amber” scent. Not this one. As an amber connoisseur, I can truly say that THIS one is different. Softer, yet edgier. Unique. And I love smelling dark and unique.

If one is generally a fan of sickly sweet, feminine, floral scents; this wouldn’t be up their alley. This is more unisex, and may even smell entirely masculine to some. I love  this on me, and I love this on my man- it is very, very rare for a fragrance to be able to achieve that!

At the pricier end of even the most expensive “high-end” designer perfumes, everything about the perfume- it’s bottle, packaging symbolises understated luxury.


 

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My only grouse with it- I was sure it would last longer. Don’t get me wrong folks, it will and does last a normal work-day aka 8 hours but it sure doesn’t stand up to my 30 hour on call day test. Now, now don’t shake your head in disbelief folks, there really are fragrances that stay that long on me (case in point- Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue).

It smells best on bare skin and even better in hair. It is definitely a warm, winter fragrance but I’m going to unapologetically wear it al through the year. It’s rich and indulgent but not sickly overpowering. It’s a thin line between the two, and Ambre Imperial does not cross it, but resides confidently on the line.

Do give this one a whiff the next time you are around a Van Clef & Arpels boutique, you too may turn into an amber convert!

Also, me thinks it makes for a fancy gift, for any cool couples that you may know- weddings or anniversaries perhaps?

But then, it’s also a fragrance that is not for the conventional hearted…

Till next time.

Dr J.

The ladies lounge- New love.

I love mascaras. The good ones of course. And though some of the Maybelline ones are good and I’d been repurchasing them for years, I felt it was time to move on.

For a couple of years now, I have been on the hunt for a new “go-to” mascara. I tried several top rated, blogger favourites and magazine recommendations, none really stood out.

Then one day, a lady at an Estee Lauder counter somehow randomly caught hold of me and sold me a tube of this

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This is the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, and it truly does stand up to it’s name. A single coat makes a difference and one does not need more than two coats (in my opinion) of this during the day.

I love the big, slightly chubby wand. I am not of the fan of the weird- shaped, gimmicky wands.

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I like the simplistic gold tube and the normal looking wand.The formula isn’t too runny or clumpy, nor is it too dry.

And most importantly, it stays on for over 12 hours with no transfer; but at the same time is easy to get off without needing heavy, oil based removers.

Only con in my book- transfer prone in the first few minutes after application. But then every mascara does that.

On here, I really only mention things that I really like (or really detest!) so go on ladies, if you are looking for a decent (albeit slightly pricey) day-time mascara, this is one to try.

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I obviously purchased 01 Extreme Black.

Till next time.

Dr J.

Being a crappy mum.

I honestly despise the organic, organised- playdate obsessed, daily-trips-to- the- park, let’s bake teddy cupcakes to nursery, TYPE- A mums that are constantly posting holier- than- thou updates on Facebook and asking really stupid sounding (at least stupid sounding to more ‘go-with-the-flow’ mummies like me) questions on the half a billion or so “mommy forums” on the internet. They irk me no end.

I believe these mums and their presence on the web will be the death of women like me. The cause of the death of our sanity and peace of mind.

By their standards, I am an utterly useless, totally crappy mum. Yes. I said it- I am a crappy, crappy mum!

I let my child eat sweets at odd hours- if that is the need of the hour.

I let my toddler sit with the iPad- if that is what it takes for me to get ready for work.

I bribe my baby to the potty, because her being constipated bears far worse consequences.

I sometimes distract my little one while she eats, so that I can get a few morsels into her very active, but grossly underfed system.

Trying to tame my baby’s locks in the wee hours of the morning, long before she is truly “awake” generally puts my little princess in a particularly dour mood, so I sneak a hair tie into her nursery bag, hoping the teaching assistants at the nursery get the hint. And she goes to nursery a little sour faced and looking distinctly unkempt but less pissed off than she would be if I tried to put her in pigtails.

I let her stay up late, if that is the only time I might get with her in the next 36 hours.

I break a LOT of rules from the Guide to Organic Helicopter Parenting Handbook. A dozen a day, maybe more.

'You know at some point we have to stop swaddling him, right?'
‘You know at some point we have to stop swaddling him, right?’

 

I wish we lived in simpler times. I really do.

I don’t recall my parents ever obsessing about things the way we do, and apparently our grandparents were even less “obsessive”. The kids ate when hungry and slept when tired. They went to school to study, did a bit of homework here and there; and frolicked around as they chose for the remaining time. I remember doing that as a child.

I don’t have a problem with anybody raising their child a particular way. To each their own. But this crazy, hovering style of parenting, and it’s very vocal proponents are like an infection that creeps up upon you. Into your system, slowly; without you ever realising it. And if you don’t give into it, you might end up feeling inadequate and miserable.

Once you do give in, there is no end to it. Like a cancerous cell, it multiplies – grows and feeds on you until it consumes you.

My other half/  the father to my child is my vaccine against this disease. One who moderates almost all my parenting decisions, both big and small. One who usually aborts the fanciful, wasteful, gimmicky parenting actions. And reminds me, each day to try and keep things “old-school”.

I can almost hear him say, ” Our parents went with the flow, and we turned out okay, RIGHT?”

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Till next time.

Dr J.