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.

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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.

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Slaying Santa

Now that Christmas is in sight, I am once again readying myself for The Conversation.

It won’t be the first time I’ve had to do it, but it never gets any easier.

Each year they ask me about it, but no-one actually wants to hear the answer. As soon as the first sentence leaves my mouth, they swell with outrage, they call me a Grinch, they tell me I’m No Fun At All.

Mind you, these aren’t my kids we’re talking about – these are my friends and acquaintances. Typically they’re people with younger children, and they’re weighing up the best time and way to break the news about Santa in their household.

They ask: “When did you tell your kids?”, “What did you say?”, “How did they react?”

But I’m no help whatsoever, because I’ve never been in that situation.

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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.

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