Zombies and Koalas

Hello all,

I’ve been very busy with my art of late and thought I’d better post some of it! But first – don’t forget to check out my latest comics! If you like zombies click here and if you like kitties click here. Oops, I may have mixed up those links.

The below picture is an updated version of this and I am pretty happy with the result. It’s really interesting to go back over old work from when I first started using Illustrator. A lot of the time I’m thinking “Argh, what a mess!”

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I can’t go on a drawing frenzy without including some zombies 🙂

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Homesick

My latest vector art was inspired by my love for the Top End of Australia.

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I have never really stopped thinking of the Top End as my home. Not only do I love the steamy, wet weather of the tropics, but the incredible diversity of wildlife that comes with it – the frogs, butterflies, giant stick insects and many varieties of water bird. Another wonderful thing was each evening thousands of fruit bats would fill the sky, don’t ask me where they were going, but it was a daily event that I really miss.

Not only is there incredible beauty, but there are so many incredible sounds. I knew I would miss them when we left, but I didn’t realise just how much. Like the chirring of cicadas (which becomes louder as the humidity builds up), the sound of the evening downpour on the roof (allaying the humidity), the ensuing celebratory croaking of the frogs and the calling of the water birds returning to flight after the rain.

Here are a couple of my all-time favourite photos:

My son enjoying one of the local frogs.

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This was from the pond in our front garden. I had pink and purple lotus flowers growing and they gave me endless joy.

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These little guys hang around the pond a lot.

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The variety of butterflies in the garden was just amazing.

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We woke up in the middle of the night to drive to Alice Springs and found this beauty on the pool fence. Over 20 centimetres long!

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A local boy fearlessly fending off a deadly brown snake during the 2006 flood.

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Yep, I’m homesick as hell.

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Hypochondriac

I’m a hypochondriac. This basically means that when I get sick, or something weird happens with my body, I become completely unbearable to live with. It’s not that I am unaware, I totally get that I am ridiculous, but knowing this is not enough to prevent me from spiralling completely out of control into a crumpled mess of histrionics and self-pity.

It’s all about perception. For example:

Hey, I’d love to be one of those people who is totally stoic, never complains and just grins and bears it, but I’m not built that way! Can I help it if I’m just super aware of my fragility, my physicality, my mortality? I’m a control freak, so when my body starts behaving in ways I can’t control I pretty much curl up into the foetal position and await death. I’m hoping by exposing my craziness in a light-hearted manner that my long-suffering husband will perhaps understand me a little better and maybe someday forgive me for the weeks of sheer hell that I’ve just put him through.

It all started about a month ago with a sore throat and earache. After some Googling, I discovered it was most likely throat cancer. This knowledge prevented me from going to the doctor when I should have; I just wasn’t ready to hear my death sentence yet – it was nearly Christmas, for crying out loud. Just let me get through Christmas!

About five days before Christmas my husband made me go to the doctor (not my regular doctor, either, so I really didn’t want to go). I was told I had laryngitis (but I didn’t believe the diagnosis was correct) and was given antibiotics. I started feeling nauseated and dizzy towards the end of the course and blamed it on the antibiotics. A week after finishing them I had vertigo so bad that I could barely move my eyes.  My extensive Internet research told me that the ongoing nausea and dizziness must have another cause (as antibiotics don’t stay in your system for that long). The fact that the antibiotics hadn’t made me feel better only proved to me that the original diagnosis was wrong.

My regular doctor was away over the Christmas/New Year period and when she finally did come back to work she was immediately booked out for a whole week. Why didn’t I want to see another doctor? Because I’m loyal, dammit. I love my doctor. I trust only her and will never leave her (barring some kind of restraining order). Anyhoo, I made an appointment for a week’s time and spent the next seven days trying to find a cause for my symptoms like some kind of obsessive House wannabe.

It wasn’t long before my husband couldn’t take it anymore and marched me off to the walk-in centre. I didn’t want go, I wanted to wait and see my regular doctor (who is some sort of squishy, lovely, angel doctor with the logic of Spock, the patience of Buddha and the sweetness of Shirley Temple). I waited for two hours and paid forty dollars for a consultation that literally lasted less than two minutes. The doctor didn’t even sit down; he looked at my throat for less than a millisecond, said, “Yes, your throat is very swollen”, gave me a script for Stemzine (medication for the dizziness) then told me, and I quote, “If the dizziness does not go away in six weeks, get a brain scan because it might be a brain tumour.”

Might.be.a.brain.tumour.

My husband and I had quite different reactions on hearing this. It looked something like this.

It was just what my husband needed at this point. A doctor telling his totally manic, hypochondriac wife that she might have a brain tumour.

This is my perception of how the consultation went down.

I was absolutely horrified. What kind of doctor tells you that your throat is swollen and then does absolutely nothing about it? What kind of doctor tells you that you might have a brain tumour based on almost zero information? Walk-in centres blow. Big time.

The appointment with my squishy, lovely, angel doctor could not arrive soon enough. She put me on a course of stronger antibiotics and reassured me that I don’t have a brain tumour as the dizziness is most likely due to my hayfever and throat infection. I felt comforted and happy when I left her office. Everything was going to be juuust fine.

Or, so I thought. I woke up this morning with my right ear completely blocked and my left ear throbbing painfully. But it’s okay, I’ve narrowed it down to vestibular neuritis, Menier’s disease or referred otalgia due to a decaying tooth that desperately needs looking at.

I really should go see my dentist.