A little something for everyone….


The wines of New Zealand…..

If you buy your wines in the US, there is probably a small section of your favorite wine store which has New Zealand wines.  This photo was not taken at a wine store, but rather at the supermarket.  I haven’t counted all the wines (yet) or tasted them all (yet), but there are hundreds and hundreds of New Zealand wines to try.  And this was only the red wine section (which, for some reason I’m drawn to).  That New Zealand has excellent Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir is well known (if you travel in those circles).  What was unexpected for me was the depth of the other offerings from Nz.  Their Syrahs are outstanding, and the depth and character of many of the cab/merlot blends rivals any California wine.  A slow stroll through the wine section of the New World (the supermarket where the photo was taken; the other supermarket in town is Countdown) shouts I have my work cut out for me.  So why the talk about wine tonight?  I’m on call for the next 72 hours, which means I can’t drink any wine, and so I thought I’d at least write about it.  I am keeping track of which wines I like the most, so stay tuned.

Speaking of being on call at the hospital….

Today (Friday) at 8am began my weekend of call, which will end Monday at 8am (and no, I won’t bring any wine to the hospital to celebrate being off call at 8am Monday…..I’ll wait until the evening.  Or at least late afternoon).  I still get surprised at some of the differences of the hospital care between here and the US.  At my hospital back home, the nurses start all the patients’ IVs; here, the house officers (interns) do ALL the IVs.  It’s been years (decades?) since I’ve started an IV (the kind in your hand or arm; I still put in the bigger IV that go in your neck- the central lines), and I doubt I’m any good at it.  There are phlebotomists here (the folks who draw blood).  They START their rounds about 8am, and it’s maybe 11am by the time they finish.  Back in the US, the phlebotomy team starts their rounds between 4 and 5am and they are usually done by 630am.  When us doctors go into to see patients at 8am back in the US, the labs are almost always available.  Here, often, the labs aren’t available until the afternoon. If a stat lab is needed here, the house officer has to draw the blood.  The house officers also place all of the NG tubes (tubes that go through your nose into your stomach) and they place all the urinary catheters.  Not many people here have NG tubes or urinary catheters.   It’s always been that way here; I’ve never seen a house officer even bat an eye about having to run and start an IV or draw some blood.  Pretty interesting.


Awhile back I mentioned our weekly Grand Rounds are held in this wood panel regal appearing amphitheater in the medical school.  Well, here it is…Pretty swanky, huh?


This has been my humble little abode for the last 24 days.  I have rented a 3 bedroom home in a district of Dunedin called Waverly, and move into that home in 4 days.  It will be nice to have more space (the photo above was taken with the Panorama option of my iPhone, so the picture looks MUCH bigger than it really is), but I will miss having a daily cleaner come in every day.  But apartments like this are, as they say here, quite dear (which means expensive), nearing $700 per week (parking and internet are extra).  The home I rented is $430 per week (everything here for rent is “per week”, or “pw”).  But beginning next week, I’ll have to drive the hospital instead of my very easy 5 minute walk (it will be a 10 minute drive), and I’ll have to find parking (often $7-8 per day).

Should be a pretty busy weekend at the hospital, so for now I’d better sleep while I can.  Those old intern rules still apply:  if you see food, eat it.  If you see a chair, sit down, and if you see a bed, go sleep in it.


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

8 thoughts on “A little something for everyone….

  1. Oh golly, if I needed more incentive to move to NZ, paragraph 1 took care of that!!
    How are your coworkers with your “funny American way” of doing hospital care? I’m expecting a few more good stories to come out of that. 🙂

  2. Enjoy reading your blogs, but do not understand why you have not been fishing with all that free time you have! Do you remember where you packed a rod? Do they carry any “Mogan David Wine” for Seniors?

  3. I found a lone bottle of NewHarbor Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2008, at BevMo. Opened it. Quite nice. Have you tried any NZ riesling?

    1. Hey there Lynda.
      I’m going to start trying the Nz white wines….I will…I promise. I did try several white wines at a winery I stopped at last weekend (Villa Como) and they were really great. I haven’t bought any white wines yet because I told myself I have to make it through more of the reds I’ve bought first (four more to go, and obviously, since I’m drinking this by myself, I have to pace myself).
      I’ll let you know when I get to the whites. And I’ll try to find you a real Central Otago Pinot in the States to try; trust me, you’ll really like it.

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