Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekend in Ukraine

I have three friends visiting from home and we took a trip to Ukraine for the weekend.
We got a coach from Košice to Uzhhorod/Ужгород just over the border which took about 3 hours and stayed in Mala Praha, a local hotel.
We had a massive suite with a bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom for €5 a person.

I was surprised at just how different it was to Slovakia considering how close it is. It was like stepping back in time 50 years with lots of old cars, buses and a cobble stone road!
They use the Cyrillic alphabet so I struggled to read but luckily Mika is a language god and so translated for us.
We spent the evening at Uzhhorod Castle where we had a three course meal with drinks for €7 a head, the food was surprisingly good and the castle was massive.
 Later we took a wall down to the river and sat in a bar where a beer cost 14 hryvnia, 42p; cans in the shop on the way home were even cheaper at around 20p!

My friends got the train from there to Budapest for a few days and I had to wait a few hours for my coach back to Košice.
On the way back through the border I was pulled off the coach to ask where I was travelling and why I didn't have a visa... I explained I was studying in Slovakia and didn't need a visa; they checked and I didn't need one but it was a sweaty palm 10 minutes.

I'm really glad we went, especially at such an important time in Ukraines history, but won't be rushing back any time soon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Freshers Fundraising - UV Party

A couple months ago we thought it would be a good idea to arrange an event get all the Vet, Medic and Dentist Freshers together and raise some money for charity.
We started with the idea of a UV Party and it all went from there booking the venue, DJs, security and started advertising.
Tickets sold out before the night and Medics were selling glowsticks to raise even more money for charity.
The event was held at Tabačka Kulturfabrik on Wednedsay and was a great night which went down really well with everyone out.

All the proceeds from ticket sales went to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières providing medical aid, food and water to refugees in Greece and the Balkans areas who have been forced out of their homes due to war and human rights violations.

Sarah and Max some of the Medics were the driving force and overall we managed to raise €1,413 which is an amazing achievement!
They donated the money today, the International Day of Peace; here's the guys making the donation:

Friday, September 11, 2015


Over the last few months I've become really interested in Taxidermy, particularly birds and skeletons or bone studies.
I guess it's because we use bones in Anatomy self study every week, skulls and vertebrae are the most interesting to look at and I think it's pretty cool that we can label all the parts of each bone in the skeleton.

We visited the Natural History Museum in Dublin which I loved and the Nature and Science Museum in Ueno, Japan, which was equally amazing.
I'd love to start a little collection like the photo below but I don't have the funds or a place to display it.
So for now I've just been looking at skeletons and bones. 
n my room at Uni I have a dog skeleton which I got from the clinic and I've just bought a Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) to add to the collection.
I had a few chicken skulls from my Poultry Dispatch course which I left in warm water for maceration but the bones were so fragile and just fell apart, I guess as they were so young they hadn't fused together properly, so I scrapped them.

I'd love to make a lamp like this, but it would have to be done properly or it could end up looking even weirder than intended!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Poultry Dispatch, Pluck & Gut Course

I headed back to Wales this weekend to run another Poultry Dispatch, Pluck & Gut course. I started doing them about 5 years ago now after friends asked me to show them how to prepare excess cockerels for the table and it's grown from there.

We drove down on Sunday and stayed in an awesome little cottage - the previous tenant was a vet and the landlords dad was a vet, which was a nice little coincidence.
The course was held at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre just outside Lampeter which was a great venue.
I had eleven attendees, so one of the biggest courses yet, who all dispatched two chickens, learnt how to dry and wet pluck, skin and joint a bird and then how to gut them. 
They take the second bird home un-eviscerated to hang and practice the gutting process again.