Farewell, Gillian Mears

This is a sharp departure from my usual posts. No drawings. No jokes.

It’s a tribute to one of my favourite writers – Australian author Gillian Mears – who died this week, aged 51.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing her and corresponding with her for a while in 2003-2004. If you have the stamina, here’s a long-form article I wrote about Gillian Mears during that time.

Continue reading

Advertisements

My two favourite Doctors

Since Doctor Who is celebrating his 50th anniversary this weekend, I’m paying tribute to my two favourite doctors.

However, I don’t mean my most loved incarnations of The Doctor. I’m talking about Doctor Who (in his various guises) and someone you would recognise another doctor entirely…
Cartoon of the eleventh Doctor Who throwing open the door of the TARDIS to greet the Cat in the Hat.
Namely, Dr Seuss.

Continue reading

Predilection for fiction

Cartoon of a garbage bin with high heels, books and cans inside.

I have a friend who no longer reads novels.

She used to, but that was before we knew each other. When we met, she had a pile of books stacked next to her coffee table, up to the height of my thigh.  She’d read all of them, except the one on top, which she’d gotten partway through and stopped reading – not only it, but all fiction, altogether.

A few months back she did a spring clean and the books disappeared along with the expired cans of food, obsolete paperwork and an incredible array of shoes that were easy on the eye but extremely unkind on the feet.

Continue reading

Bending the rules

Soon after returning from our European adventure, my boyfriend and I were telling travel stories to a group of friends. We were explaining how we had serendipitously found ourselves across the road from the Arc de Triomphe one evening, courtesy of yet another wheelchair versus public transport complication.

When we got to the part about crossing the infamously busy Place Charles de Gaulle intersection, one of our workmates interrupted to say, “But you’re not allowed to cross the road there! You’re meant to use the pedestrian underpass.”Photo of the Arc de Triomphe behind a nearly empty street.

“Nonetheless,” I countered, “We did cross there…” and my boyfriend continued the story.

Afterwards, I chuckled to think that someone would feel compelled to stop a narrative dead in its tracks simply to highlight a breach of pedestrian protocols.

Continue reading

The joy of anticipation

Anticipation can be one of the best parts of a holiday. Planning where you’ll go and what you’ll do can stir up a sense of excitement long before you go away. And it can colour the way you experience the holiday itself.

Cartoon of a girl saying, "I've looked forward to this for so long and now I'm actually doing it!"

The internet heightens this experience, exposing us to troves of photos and stories that help us plan and visualise the holiday. It also simplifies the logistics – because these days you can book almost every aspect of your holiday online.

Unless you have a significant physical disability, that is. In which case you can book almost no aspect of anything online, ever. Including holidays.

Continue reading

The massage parlour manicure

Photo of a girl's manicured hand, holding a lotus bud.While we were in Ho Chi Minh, I visited a brothel for the first in time my life. With my 13-year-old daughter in tow.

At least, I think that’s what happened.

We’d been walking for hours in the stupefying heat – first to Saigon Square, a shopping centre my daughter wanted to visit, then on a circuitous route down to the harbour. We planned to check out our options for a family boat trip, taking in the sights of the city along the way.

Continue reading