by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Spare-Room Dalek Update

Posted 13 April 2009 in by Catriona

Tonight, we had friends over for dinner.

As I was preparing dessert, I looked over and saw that the Dalek was moving down the hallway . . .

I screamed and screamed and screamed.

Eventually, the laughter stopped.

Later, I noticed that an attempt had been made to ameliorate the Dalek’s ferocious demeanour:

Do genocidal cyborgs not also deserve their dignity?

You Mean You Don't Have An Inflatable Dalek In Your Spare Room?

Posted 13 April 2009 in by Catriona

What on earth do you keep in there, then?

Nick’s sister sent this to him for Christmas, and I’ve only just inflated it, because I needed to get a new pump (the old one finally succumbing under the strain of reinflating my plastic palm tree).

And, honestly, hand inflating a Dalek is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

I have a somewhat conflicted relationship with inflatable objects. My best friend gave me an inflatable palm tree for Christmas the year before I moved the Brisbane, to get me into the tropical spirit, and it stood in the corner of my kitchen for years—until it starting deflating faster than I could reinflate it. I’ll need to locate that puncture at some point.

Prior to that, my parents bought me an inflatable version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” which was fabulous—except it brought out the worst in my mother. When I was waitressing and coming home late at night, she’d relocate it from my bedroom to places like the toilet or the bathroom, so I’d open the door and scream.

She found this endlessly amusing until the day she set it up just inside my bedroom door, forgot about it, and scared the living daylights out of herself when she went in with some washing.

But there’s a simple and special kind of joy to having a Dalek in the spare room. My absolute favourite part of the Dalek is this, though:

Well, now: that’s something of an understatement.

I Shouldn't Be Out On My Own When I'm Ill, I Suspect

Posted 2 April 2009 in by Catriona

Ear infections are horrible. The cold, as well as settling on my chest and giving me a racking cough, has led to a secondary ear infection: a middle-ear infection, no less. Why? I have assessment to mark!

Plus, driving with a raging cold and a burgeoning ear infection is not fun. Driving with a raging cold and a burgeoning ear infection when it’s also pouring with rain is even less fun.

I also find it terribly difficult to concentrate when I’m ill.

When the woman in the chemist recommended that I take some kind of probiotic in conjunction with the antibiotics, to prevent all sorts of unfortunate side effects that I won’t go into here because they’re actually quite horrible, I paid no attention whatsoever.

Partly, it was because she was recommending Inner-health Plus, and I despise their advertising almost as much as I despise Lynx advertising.

(No, that’s not fair: I despise Inner-health Plus advertising in the same way in which I despise Dodo Internet advertising. Seriously, Inner-health Plus, if you’re going to use a seesaw to show how your product “restores balance,” your last shot probably shouldn’t show all the weight resting on one side of the seesaw, you know? And Dodo? The slogan “Internet that flies” is really stupid when your company is named after a famously flightless bird.)

Partly, this was because the illness and the increasing pain in my ear had made me spacey—and the increasing pressure of the infection meant I could only really hear out of one ear, anyway.

But mostly it was because I was suddenly gripped by a terrible fear that “probiotics” and “antibiotics” might just cancel each other out, and I’d be left with this ear infection forever.

See, having someone else take you to the doctor’s isn’t just to stop you from running over pedestrians.

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