Archive for sunshine

The one with the Daily Diary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 25, 2010 by yvettemartyn

As 2010 approached I made several New Years Resolutions, now as the year comes to an end I’m going to reflect on why I failed almost all of them.

Being slightly over the top I decided to make a huge amount of resolutions and being unable to follow through with spur of the moment decisions, they didn’t go too well.

My first resolution was to give blood … I didn’t do it, no idea why I didn’t, but if it’s any consolation I did join the organ donor register.

Next there was to own a pet lobster, now I did look into this but came up with a few issues, firstly lobsters are quite hard to get hold of, the ones in fish shops die pretty soon after purchase.

Then there are the logistical problems, lobsters require a refrigerated tank, they tend to hide for their first year, live for a ridiculous number of years and since I have issues cleaning out the litter tray I don’t like my chances of cleaning a tank containing a sharp clawed animal.

My third resolution was very optimistic, as I tend to eat mostly crisps and bread, I decided to eat one apple a day, it lasted until mid-January when I found myself on a work placement, I am very fussy about having my apple peeled, cored and sliced before eating them and I didn’t fancy my chances of carrying a knife around central London to do the said apple preparation.

My next choice was to become a Goth for a week, ok now I didn’t manage a week but following the persuation of my friends I did get through one day, but after being followed round the local waitrose by a security guard, I decided it probably wasn’t for me.

I then decided to learn the dance to Michael Jacksons, thriller, no excuses for this, I just didn’t bother, I did attempt at finding a youtube tutorial, but I got no where.

My final resolution was to take a picture of one thing a day and upload it to a “daily diary” now this I actually achieved, every single day, whether I was in uni, at the hospital, on a work placement or in the Big Brother house (thanks go out to my friend Sam who added the pics during that time) I managed it!

And here in video form is: A year in the life of Sunshine!


Sunshine’s top five ridiculous UK holidays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by yvettemartyn

“It’s a night where we burn an effigy of someone who failed at blowing up parliament, we let off fireworks to represent the gunpowder which never exploded”, I said to a guy who asked me about the origins of November 5th, his jaw was dropped the whole way through my explanation.

Oh watch out sir, people might think you're a Guy Fawkes effigy and throw you on the fire. Image: Dominic's pics

The guy, an international student at my medical school had never been told about the tradition and he just couldn’t understand why we have such a morbid holiday.  I guess reminiscing about happy times I spent as a child stuffing my dad’s clothes with leafs to make an effigy before throwing it on the fire were a little too vivid.

So bonfire night has gone down as one of my five top ridiculous UK holidays, so what else made the grade?

The Queen’s Official Birthday

Despite the Queen being born on April 21st we celebrate her “official” birthday in early June.  Well the weather is usually better in June, pefect for a parade and isn’t it always a good idea to have 2 birthdays?

Royal Variety Performance

Every year the Royal Variety Performance is held for the Royal family to watch, except every other year the Queen doesn’t bother to turn up and sends Prince Charles in her place.  To make it an even more formal affair Simon Cowell runs a tv show which picks one of the acts who will perform.

Pancake day

Traditionally Christians gave up luxury food for Lent so in preparation they used up their ingredients by making and eating pancakes right before.  Now very few people actually give up anything for lent but that won’t stop them from celebrating this holiday and thus most people still gorge on pancakes.

April Fools day

There are a number of theories about the origin of April Fools Day (some say it was invented in the book Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).  Whatever the origin the unofficial holiday is a chance to play light hearted pranks on your loved ones, after all nothing says I love you like cling film covering the toilet seat.

Image: Dominic’s pics

A night at the bingo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 3, 2010 by yvettemartyn

After seeing adverts for bingo I thought I may be missing out. The thrill of the game with its bright lights and infectious laughter was beckoning me, so I finally succumbed and headed to the local bingo hall.

At the bingo, as you can see I fit in very well with the regulars

Registering was easy all I had to do was fill out a form and have my membership card printed off, understanding the game however was not.

Three employees tried to explain the price structure to me: “£5 for early and mains, then extra if you want sapphire and the national game, if you want to play the table game it’s £1 a go”. With my jaw dropped, I looked at one of the employees and said: “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about”.

Thinking the game was mostly frequented by old ladies for their weekly trip out I decided to attempt to fit in with the formal attire with my faux fur coat, vintage pill box hat and blazing red lipstick. However my friend who had just come from the gym without showering summed it up nicely when she told me, she felt overdressed.

The bingo hall was a mass of plastic tables with fold down chairs, mostly people sat on their own with pairs of elderly mothers and grownup daughters dispersed and the odd pair of love birds.

I had gone for the basic package which involved 14 games, obviously I had come unprepared and not brought a pen so I was using a pencil I found in my car.

The numbers were called out over a tannoy system rivalling those installed at supermarkets, you know the ones where you haven’t got a clue what’s been said.  Not only were the numbers hard to hear but they were read out so quickly that I snapped my pencil lead within seconds and had to invest in a bingo dabber.

People don’t even say “bingo”

Gone are the days when bingo numbers are called out by a youthful dad at the local PTA meeting with comical one-liners and an associated reaction from the crowd: legs 11 anyone?

Instead a monotonous voice read out the numbers in a logical but boring manner, eight and eight, 88, where are the two fat ladies? or is that no longer politically correct? To top it off people don’t even say “bingo”! Instead they shout: “over here” or “oi”.

I have no idea why the adverts portray the place as fun and exciting as most of the guests looked like they were waiting for a funeral to start and as soon as someone wins the whole crowd mumbles in disappointment.

The most confusing aspect of the place is the food ordering system, you can’t go up to the bar and order, you have to sit on your fold away chair and hold your menu in the air, I held mine for about ten minutes before someone came over.

Because the numbers are called so fast people attempt to eat main meals in-between the games, I amusingly watched one person taking a bite of her food only for the next game to start unexpectantly causing her to throw her fork across the table in preparation.

Surprisingly my friend and I didn’t win and left empty handed, I have to admit I am a bit disappointed, I expected a fun filled evening of whimsical excitement. Instead the night resembled a mass of people filling in forms in silence and paying for the pleasure of it.

Back to the hospital

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by yvettemartyn

After possibly the most disruptive year I could have endured prior to my medical finals, what with reading Medical Journalism in London and going on the biggest reality TV show in the country, I am now back at medical school.

I started back 2 days before the final of Big Brother and announced I had recommenced live on national television whilst wearing a panel cut-out leotard, layered with a transparent dress adorned with 4000 crystals, not exactly the image you would associate with a doctor, but hey this was my last chance to sparkle!

Before I went on the show the Big Brother psychiatrist told me that I would never be able to be a doctor, that patients wouldn’t trust me, that they would specifically ask me to leave.

In fact, I have experienced the opposite reaction, of the patients who have recognised me they have all said: “good on you” and since I have been working with cancer patients and children, I can’t see the negatives I was warned about happening.

I took every step I could before going on the show, I talked anonymously to the General Medical Council, discussed the pros and cons with as many people as I could and I’m very lucky to have had the support of my medical school before and in the aftermath of the show.

So what’s in store now? Well next year I sit my medical finals and who knows: I think there’s room on tv for a Doctor Sunshine.

Leaving the Big Brother house

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by yvettemartyn

Right before I found out I was leaving the house, showing the bracelets I had made

When I walked into the Big Brother house I instantly adapted to the new environment, I accepted the cameras, the restricted environment and the rules.  But leaving was a completely different story and much harder to adjust to.

In the house we were confined to a small space, we varied our time between the garden, living room and bedroom and had just 13 people to spend time with.

The rules meant everything was dictated:

  • We had most of our clothes taken off us a few days in
  • Emergency rations left us with chickpeas, brown rice and lentils
  • The hot water was turned off
  • Alarms sounded to wake us up and if we went to bed too early
  • We were often locked in rooms while tasks were set up

I know I was portrayed as a moaner in the house but I never once complained about the lack of hot water, or having my clothes taken away and although I complained about food I just wanted to be treated the same as everybody else by having soya milk, vegan butter and tofu.  And I most certainly didn’t complain the most in there!

Despite the rules I never once felt bored in the house or complained that there was nothing to do, I loved every minute of the experience! Although we had rules we also had amazing times like being given puppets that had been specially made!

Leaving was a huge shock to the system, an announcement is made and you have just 10 seconds to say goodbye to the people who have supported you and cared for you for weeks.

When the doors open the evictee sees hundreds of people waving banners and taking pictures.  They are then interviewed where they must justify their behaviour, regardless of not knowing what has been shown or the public’s perception.

For some the reaction is terrible and a few could even be hated universally by the public.  Others are liked by some but not by others for trivial reasons.  All housemates nap during the day, but some are shown doing so in the highlights all the time and made to look like that’s all they did.  Whilst some are edited to look like they moan a lot and others look like they talk behind peoples backs all the time.

Contrast between being in and out was the hardest

For me the hardest thing was the contrast between being in the house and out of it.  I remember hearing a Northern accent and thinking it was Nathan and seeing a man at a bus stop and thinking it must be Steve.  I was so used to just seeing these people that it was difficult to be surrounded by new ones.

The freedom was also really difficult to accept.  When I was in the house I ate toast and usually pasta with chopped tomatoes.  With the shopping list budget there was just no way we could afford to buy food so I could have a varied diet.  Then suddenly I’m out of the house and I can eat whatever I like, it was too much at once that it was really hard to cope with.

There is support there, welfare teams and psychologists but the biggest support I had was from the evicted housemates.  I needed to talk to people who were in the same position as me and one of the first things I did was get in touch with Dave’s wife.  When you are so close to people in the house then taken away from them it’s really hard, you get so attached as you are with them all the time.

Despite the restrictions in the house I loved it there, I exercised everyday so I could jump in the cold shower water and got ecstatically happy when big brother would surprise me with bread and crisps.  I loved everyone in there especially Mario, Dave, Corin, Ben and John and I’m still gutted that the whole experience is over.

10 things you didn’t know about Big Brother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by yvettemartyn

  1. You have to wait forever to go into the diary room and sometimes you don’t get let in at all.
  2. The wake-up alarm goes off at 9:30am and you are locked in the bedroom all night.
  3. You spend your time locked in either the bedroom or garden while tasks are set up.
  4. The only places to hide are: under your covers, in the bedroom wardrobe, behind the wardrobe door in the bathroom toilet.
  5. There are five toilets: bathroom, bedroom, outside, large task room and small task room.
  6. Only one of the toilets has a lock on the door (large task room).
  7. The bedroom, bathroom and garden toilets have heated seats and the outside toilet has a bidet.
  8. The economy shopping delivery provided better quantity and variety of food than when we won £200 on the shopping budget.
  9. They didn’t provide enough cutlery or spaces at the table for all 14 housemates.
  10. The stain on the carpet in the living room was from when Ben spilled tea on the floor then tried to clean it with a kitchen cleaning solution containing bleach.

How I ended up on Big Brother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2010 by yvettemartyn

A bit of spontaneous lead me to getting onto the last series of Big Brother

So I’ve been out of the Big Brother house for a week and I thought it’s about time that I write a blog so get ready because I’m going to reveal how I got myself in there in the first place!

Ever since Big Brother hit the screens I have been told I should go on it, I’d never had any interest in being part of the show but when I knew it was the last one I thought I would give it a go.

So I took my friend Becky who I met when I was travelling in Thailand and we went down to the Wembley auditions.  I didn’t really expect to get through but thought if I at least get to talk to Big Brother then it would have been a bit of an exciting weekend.

Randomly the calls continued and I kept getting through all the audition stages and had passed all the medical tests.  All that was left to do was to stand with 80 other hopefuls to see if Big Brother had chosen me.

There had never been a medical student or doctor on the show before or a vegan, certainly not one who ate as few ingredients as me, and coupled with a love for glitter I thought I was certainly different enough to get on.

I was worried it would affect my career

I wrestled with the idea for a very long time, discussing whether I should do the show with all my close friends and family, I was worried that it might affect my career.  And I was warned that I might end up in a situation which I couldn’t prevent that may end up jeopardising everything I had worked hard for.

I wanted to do the show for an experience whilst showing everyone that there are normal people behind doctor’s faces and that anybody can be one, no matter what their background, interests or personal lives.

My final decision was made when I talked to a very close friend who was working as a doctor, she told me I had the rest of my life to be serious and that I should take this once in a lifetime opportunity while I had it.  So I made my final decision and went to take part in the launch show.

When we were brought together I realised I probably wouldn’t get on the show, most of the girls were absolutely stunning and everyone had an interesting story to tell.

So when my name was announced I was in shock, Mario was standing next to me he kissed me and said, “Sunshine that’s you” and I can’t even remember what happened in the next few minutes.

I didn’t know the other housemates when I went in except for brief run-ins in the days before the launch.   I had only briefly met Shabby in a queue and Mario from standing next to him during the launch.

I had met Josie when waiting for a medical check and I had told Ife that I thought her natural hair made her look beautiful in a brief encounter.  Ben knows one of my friends in the real world but she hadn’t told me anything about him.

People know who I am right now

So 24 days in the house later and a week back in the real world and my life is pretty much the same, the only difference being that people know who I am right now.  It was always my plan to go back to medicine and so far I don’t think I have done anything to warrant not doing so.

There will always be the odd person who criticises my ability to be a doctor but if they want to stop me from doing something that I’m interested in for all the right reasons, then I think that’s really sad.  I feel that the response has been really positive from the public and people have said such lovely things.

I became really close friends with people in the house.  Dave supported me the whole time I was there, he’d tell me I reminded him of his eldest daughter and I’ve been in contact with his lovely wife Donna since I’ve been out.

Mine and Ben’s friendship grew into one similar of siblings, we were either having a serious conversation or bickering.  And Mario used to tell me I was like his little sister.  Corin was so bubbly and has such warmth that she became almost a mother figure in the house.

So around four months after this whole process started and my time in the house is over, I’m gutted to be out as I had so much more sparkle to give.  But I’m really glad that nothing bad came out of the situation, that I had a great time and that I can now return to the profession that I really love.

Had I not done Big Brother I wouldn’t have met the lovely people I met in the house and I would never have realised just how nice people can be.  The messages I have received have been touching, I just find it incredible.

Follow me on twitter

2009 according to Sunshine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by yvettemartyn

Amniotic fluid, the fluid around babies in the womb. Three women actually consented to me delivering their babies this year. And as always I proved to be the master of small talk, me to a new mother, “wow your make-up is still on perfectly.”

Birthday, believe it or not I had a birthday this year, 24-years-old. At my student ball a greasy fresher heard my age and said, “Alrite granddad” damn youth.

In the cabriolet

Cabriolet, yes my dad finally succumbed and bought me a flash car. When I press a button the roof comes off. Unfortunately we live in the UK and it is only useful for around two days a year.

Dragons Den, I shall say no more!

Engagements, it’s probably saying something that several of my friends have become engaged this year. And I don’t blame them, I like diamond rings too! Unfortunately they usually come with a husband. But don’t be disheartened if you are given an engagement ring and the marriage is called off you get to keep the ring (thanks law student housemate Charlotte for that gem of advice.)

Flu, Swine flu became a global pandemic. I was doing paediatrics when the outbreak started, when the first child came in we were all gasping at the “query swine flu” note. I am happy to say I have managed to avoid contracting the influenza strain all year. I am thus due a more virulent strain in the future, damn immunity.

Golf, Tiger Woods has exposed golf in the media like never before! It is gossip gold! He apparently got battered so badly by his wife with a golf club that he needed plastic surgery. And I thought golf was a moderately safe sport.

Hair, this year has been extra special on the hair front as it is the first year that I haven’t had someone else’s hair sewn onto my head (extensions).

IPE, the exam that made the library my home for around 3 months. As usual I lost copious amounts of weight for it. Fortunately I piled the weight back on in the week after by means of drinking vast amounts of champagne.

Journalism, a member of the National Union of Journalists, learning short hand and writing for magazines. I never thought I would do any of that.

Karaoke bar, I started a fight in a karaoke bar in Turkey after a group of Geordies offended my friend. Me and said friend decided it would be a good idea to stand behind the group whenever they sang a song and shout the lyrics over the top of them.

Location/Leicester/London, Moving from my five year home of Leicester to London. It’s been hard, after all there are some things in Leicester that you just can’t get in London, fortunately I was never that fond of curry anyway.

MBChB, nope I haven’t got mine yet but the people I started med school with all did, congrats bitches, damn my two gap years!

Nicknames, this year I acquired the name Dr Sparkle by a handsome consultant Dermatologist. “Dr Sparkle get this young girl a sticker”, me- “I don’t have any” him- “find some.” I would like to put a thank-you out to the good nurses of Leicester (they always carry stickers and now so do I!)

Offspring, my dad is 66 and has a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old step-daughter so I just wanted to congratulate him for a year without acquiring any more children, good job dad!

Jumping in the pool with all our clothes on

Pool, jumping in the pool with all my clothes on in the middle of the night drunk on holiday. This was actually on my list of things to do, go me!

Queasy, I have accomplished another calendar year of medicine without vomiting or collapsing. Although I did come close in bowel surgery, I was holding on to a piece of intestine and said I felt a little bit hot. This resulted in the consultant forcing me to sit on the floor for the remainder of the operation.

Reunion, I decided to venture to my school reunion this year and the highlights of conversation included, “If someone asked me at Kings, who is going to own a dog and carry it in a bag? I would have answered you.” And “Oh, I didn’t recognise you.” – courtesy of my ex-boyfriend.

Stethoscope, I tied a small elephant to my stethoscope for my paediatric exam. Unfortunately the small child I had to be competently examine to pass the test decided to grab it and not let go for the entire exam.

Tutorials, I have had numerous tutorials this year, I usually spend them partially hung over and not concentrating. In one such lesson given by a Professor London who tends to ask cryptic questions. I was posed the question, “What is the name of the religious cow that was slaughtered this week?” Me without thinking- “Daisy” Prof- “That’s right well done.”

Underground, is there any other type of travel that attracts such a vast amount of weirdo’s? My favourite incident is a dread lock clad stranger walking over to me and asking if I wanted to “swap ipods.” That’s right, swap ipods

Vans, this year white van men have continued to lavish attention on me, usually in the form of honking. But one driver went beyond the others by pulling over and stunning me with his amazing chat-up line. Which was, “are you ok?”…kind of weird.

Weather, ok so England is going to have ice, wind and snow, but I didn’t think the weather would blow the back door into the wall at 3am breaking all the glass in it. I heard a loud smash looked out my room and saw the back door open with glass everywhere. So I woke my housemate and told her I thought someone was in the house at which point she grabbed a knife. Turned out it was just the wind.

The night I hurt my hand, doing the splits drunk, dressed as a sailor

X-ray, as always this year has had a number of A&E visits. My favourite is the one that occurred after I fell on my hand drunk, doing the splits, dressed as a sailor.

Yvette, she’s gone, now it’s all about Sunshine.

Zips, zips have continued to cause problems in my life. I turned up to a bar to meet friends around four hours late after a zip broke which left me stuck in a dress.