No 1206 2CC AM radio for a year

Mind the dust. I should have dusted before shooting the photograph.

No 2CC AM radio for a year

For nearly my entire adult life I’ve woken up in the morning and turned on the radio. When I was growing up in Brisbane it was 4QR (which is now better known as 612 ABC Brisbane). When I left home I listened to ABC’s Radio National mainly to get a more national perspective.

Between 1996 and 2007 in Darwin I listened to 8PNN (Parliamentary News Network) on the FM spectrum. It was a new news format and the presenters were interesting. It also pulled in feeds from the BBC (UK) and NPR (USA). I preferred it to Radio National which had a lot of boring programming that I couldn’t give a toss about. Mostly the music and arts stuff which held no interest for me.

Radio in Canberra

When I arrived in Canberra in September 2007 I thought I would change from ABC News Radio and try something local because I had little understanding of Canberra and the local scene. I first listened to 2CN (666 ABC Canberra). I can’t remember the host of the breakfast session but he was boring and uninteresting. Watching paint dry would have captured my attention better. Within a few days, I had switched to 2CC (1206 Talking Canberra). The breakfast host was Mike Jeffreys and he had a terrific rapport with the newsreader whose name was Jane. I liked the talkback format and being able to listen to what Canberra people had to say on various topics and issues of the day.

Mike Jeffreys was replaced by Mark Parton who brought a different style and approach. It took a while but I got used to Mark and we remain connected via Twitter. He’s a member of the ACT’s legislative assembly now so I avoid contact unless it’s purely social with no political dimension. Before Mark embarked on his political career he resigned and was replaced with Tim Shaw. Tim is a very well known personality in Australia), famous because of television advertising in the 1970s and 1980s. He’s a very capable and impressive breakfast radio host too. I grew to enjoy listening to him and his producer, Geoff Koop, as well as the various news readers on the program.

Up until 31 December 2016, I’d been happy waking up every morning, turning on the radio and listening in while I went about preparing for the day. Last year, I had a thought, what if I gave up something I was used to doing. What effect would it have on me? What could I give up?

I felt guilty giving up radio, it was like unfriending someone on Facebook or blocking someone on Twitter for no good reason at all. When 01 January 2017 clicked over, I didn’t touch the radio in the morning. Not even in the car driving to work. I haven’t listened to breakfast radio for an entire year.

I have listened to radio though during the day but it’s only been the Parliamentary News Network when the Australian Parliament has been sitting and when something I’m working on or interested in is being debated by politicians. Otherwise, radio is pretty much dead to me.

What effect has this had on my life?

The immediate effect was the silence. The only noise was from the kettle or food sizzling in a frying pan. The sound of water when I wet my toothbrush, the sound of water in the shower, and the sound of the toilet flushing. Otherwise there was silence. It was strangely peaceful. I felt more peaceful and relaxed.

I found I got through my morning tasks more quickly. I found I was arriving at work earlier because I was ready earlier. Rather than listen to the radio when driving to work, I listened to podcasts. Sometimes, I would drive with nothing playing, no radio, no music, no podcasts and no audio books. It gave me time to contemplate things. Contemplate life. Contemplate my day. Sometimes I found that depressing, other times it was nice to day dream about something I’d like to happen.

Will I go back to morning radio?

No, this year has been a revelation. I’ve enjoyed the time saving and the learning from podcasts. That’s not to say I’ll never listen to talk back radio again. When I’m 70 I will retire to the life of a curmudgeon. I look forward to insomnia and listening to the radio all night and calling in and arguing with the host and criticising others. I have opinions and when I’m free from various workplace codes of conduct I look forward to letting loose.

What else happened this week?

My ill relative has begun a slow recovery after some initial postoperative complications. The road to full recovery will require inpatient rehabilitation and then a lot of work at home to regain fitness and mental agility.

I returned to Canberra this week and missed being in Brisbane immediately on landing. It was good spending some time with my daughters in Brisbane and other close family members. It was also good being able to get around in shorts, T-shirt and thongs the whole time.

A week in Brisbane

The Last Jedi

I went and saw the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise. I really enjoyed it. It will certainly make episode 9 in the series very interesting.

The weight situation

The good news is that while I was in Brisbane I could maintain my low carb lifestyle even though I was also cooking for someone else too. When I measured my mass on Thursday morning after returning to Canberra, my mass had not changed. Better yet, on Friday morning, I measured myself at 79.9 kilograms. I’d temporarily broken through the 80-kilogram barrier. Of course, on Saturday and Sunday after some indulging, my weight was >80 kilograms. The trend remains though in the right direction.

What have I been eating this week?

Celery sticks

Celery and cheese products are a nice refreshing low carb snack.

Celery and cream cheese
Celery and cream cheese
Celery with salmon and avocado with a little cream cheese
Celery with salmon and avocado with a little cream cheese

Eggs

Cheese and herb omelettes are a great breakfast as are poached eggs with crispy bacon and avocado. It’s also hard to beat scrambled eggs made with just eggs and butter.

Cheese and herb omelet
Cheese and herb omelet
Cheesy scrambled eggs and crispy bacon
Cheesy scrambled eggs and crispy bacon
Relaxing Sunday breakfast. Poached eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.
Relaxing Sunday breakfast. Poached eggs, crispy bacon and avocado.

Crusted salmon and chicken

I’ve become quite a fan of encrusting salmon and chicken with a dry rub made from crushed nuts, iodised salt, black peppercorns, chilli flakes, paprika and onion powder.

Chilli crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Chilli crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Herb and seed crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Herb and seed crusted salmon with stir-fried kale coleslaw with horseradish cream
Spicy nut crusted Chicken Maryland with pumpkin and cauliflower with cheese
Spicy nut crusted Chicken Maryland with pumpkin and cauliflower with cheese

Steak

Because I’m now a first degree relative of someone who has had carcinoma of the bowel, I’ll cut down the amount of red meat but every once and a while I’ll enjoy steak. I crusted this one with crushed Queensland nuts, almonds, iodised salt, black peppercorns, chilli flakes, paprika and onion powder.

Chilli, herb and nut crusted rib-eye fillet steak with kale salad stir-fried with horseradish cream
Chilli, herb and nut crusted rib-eye fillet steak with kale salad stir-fried with horseradish cream

Christmas lunch

I’ve posted about Christmas lunch elsewhere but it was too good not to show again.

Special Christmas tool for crushing nuts
Special Christmas tool for crushing nuts
Roast lamb, roast chicken, king prawns, pumpkin, onion, and coleslaw
Christmas lunch. Roast lamb, roast chicken, king prawns, pumpkin, onion, and coleslaw.
Pavlova with whipped cream and mango
Pavlova with whipped cream and mango

Coffee

I’m letting myself have the occasional milk-based coffee. It’s so good.

Flat white coffee
Flat white coffee

Double shot latte

Treats and temptations

When I broke through 80 kilograms I had six nugs (McDonald’s McNuggets) and blogging friend Mabel tempted me on Instagram to have a bucket of KFC popcorn chicken. I didn’t go a bucket, just a regular box.

Nugs or McNuggets from McDonalds

Nugs or McNuggets from McMcDonald’s

KFC popcorn chicken
KFC popcorn chicken

A mistake not to be repeated

On Saturday I felt like making myself a refreshing drink. I had some frozen strawberries and mint. I also had some bird’s eye chillies. I’ve been eating these chillies pretty regularly lately so it didn’t dawn on me that putting them into a drink would be a problem. I’ve been eating at least two a day with dinner for a few months and have enjoyed the extra flavour these small chillies add to my meals.

I had not thought that adding two raw bird’s eye chillies and blending them into a drink would intensify the heat. OMG, I was in extraordinary pain for 30 minutes. My lips and tongue swelled, they became a bright red and they felt like they were raw and on fire. I treated the pain by applying ice wrapped in a washcloth to my lips.

Never make the mistake I made. Chilli mint strawberry drink.
Never make the mistake I made. Chilli mint strawberry drink.

Last supper before 2018

I wanted a Moreton Bay Bug Thenus orientialis but had to make do with lobster.

I cooked a piece of Chicken Maryland in the oven and served it with some stir-fried kale salad mixed in with the lobster meat and flavoured with horseradish cream and Dijon mustard.

Chicken Maryland with lobster and Queensland nut kale salad with horseradish cream
Chicken Maryland with lobster and Queensland nut kale salad with horseradish cream

Resolutions for 2018?

Do I have any resolutions for 2018? Not really. I hope to stabilise my weight around 77 kilograms. I hope to see my daughters more often in 2018. I hope to be a better public servant and work harder. I hope to increase my professional development as a pathologist and attend a couple of relevant conferences.

I also hope to be more consistent with blogging and podcasting. I’d like to see this diary blog maintain a steady weekly schedule. I’m keen to see the Medical Fun Facts Podcast grow its audience. I also hope this year to add some more reviews to Yummy Lummy.

The Medical Fun Facts Podcast episode 99

The show drops on Monday night, 01 January 2018, at 7 pm Canberra time.