Purpose

5 panel comic. Panel 1: I am slumped in a chair saying 'I haven't been doing enough.' Panel 2: 'what's the point of me?' Panel 3: I am still talking, my partner approaches holding our cat. Panel 4: he dumps the cat in my lap and says 'He needs somewhere warm to sit'. Panel 5: I sit with cat, no longer slumped.

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Okay, so this one isn’t exactly fluff, but ideally it’s not a downer either. Despite my resolve to post fluff as often as possible through all this, I have been … struggling. My old friend depression has been circling. Which is not particularly surprising, given everything. So if you’ve been wondering why the comics dropped off even after I promised, or if you’ve been hanging around your own comment sections, wringing your hands, waiting for me to appear and leave inspiring words such as ‘nice! I liked this’ … sorry. I’m working on it. 

But don’t worry. I’ve got a major in psychology, antidepressants, and a decade’s worth of therapy under my belt*. I’ve passed through this before. I can do it again.

* and my cat, I guess. But despite this comic, I don’t think cats are in and of themselves the answer to depression. Sorry. They can help, sure, but for actual clinical depression probably get some medical advice.

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Safe stuff HERE.

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Beards

Panel 1: I look at my phone and say "everyone's growing an isolation beard". Panel 2: my partner appears with a glowing beard. Panel 3: I also have a glowing beard (we are both smiling). Panel 4: The cat also has a glowing beard.

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He’s so proud of himself and his appearance now. It’s lovely.

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Easter for Sadists

Easter is here, and that means it’s time for my two favourite things—excessive chocolate consumption and crushing my loved ones under the sheer weight of my competitive pettiness.

I probably need to explain that last one.

A few years ago I was so sick that medical appointments were one of the only reasons I left the house. Short version (and perhaps now the whole world is in quarantine you can relate without further elaboration anyway), this was very frustrating. By Easter, I was determined to do something.

So I came up with a Cunning Plan.

Me coming up with a cunning plan

I asked a friend to buy me a packet of Easter eggs (I was too sick to go to the shops) so I could make a surprise egg hunt for my partner. I would sneakily hide all the eggs—perhaps while my partner had his morning shower—and then not say anything. I would just wait for him to notice.

The day came. He got up before me because even factoring out the chronic illness I have never been a morning person. But I was committed to my Cunning Plan, and my religion of Cunning Plans has no room for divorce. Once I’m in, I’m all in. One time a friend kidnapped my iconic shark keychain and tried to ransom it for one of my partner’s kidneys, and I had a Cunning Plan.

Panel 1: friend says 'Joking! here it--' while I look on, unamused. Panel 2: I had over a kidney in a bag. Friend is surprised.

I trekked to every butcher’s shop in the suburb before finding one that had some sort of animal kidney.

Obviously it was from a butcher’s shop.

Point is, when a Cunning Plan is at stake, I put in the miles.

So, with super-human effort, I dragged myself out of bed, slithered down the hall, and oozed onto the couch to regroup. But then, as I blinked blearily at the living room cursing all times between 2am and 10am for existing and trying to formulate clever ideas for egg hiding …

Panel 1: I sit on couch clutching bag of eggs. There is an egg on couch arm next to me. Panel 2: zoom in of egg on couch arm, sparkling. Panel 3: zoom in on my shocked eyes.

Jolted into full wakefulness, I looked around again.

I sit on the couch, and on every conceivable surface around my there are sparkling eggs.

My Cunning Plan was not so cunning after all. I was not the only person to come up with it.

Before I was even awake, my lovely partner was already up and about making a fun Easter egg hunt at a time when I had very few activities open to me. How considerate. How wonderful. How sweet.

How dare he.

I am very cross

I considered abandoning my own hunt, pretending I never had any Cunning Plan, and being sickeningly delighted by what he’d done, but quickly wrote this off as a brain-misfire due to not having my morning cup of tea yet. I considered fessing up, handing over the eggs I had obtained for him, pretending to be amused that he got in first, and then finding the ones he hid for me. But that didn’t sit right either.

Instead, I had a new Cunning Plan.

Me looking devious coming up with a cunning plan

Ignoring all the eggs he had hidden for me, I hid mine anyway. Only better. He hadn’t tried that hard. His was child egg hunt. His eggs were sitting in where foil would catch the light, on tops of books in bookshelves, in little clusters on tables.

I could do better than that.

I hid them in mugs that went back in cupboards. I put them in the tea tins. I stashed them in drawers, in high places, under things that were rarely moved. I made sure none of them were visible if you just wandered in and looked around the room. Some would be stumbled upon through daily tasks, others would take concentrated searching.

And then I sat back on the couch and read a book.

Panel 1: I read a book, surrounded by easter eggs. Partner looks at me. Panel 2: partner looks bewildered, I smile at him. Panel 3: I say "everything okay?"Panel 1: partner says 'yeah. of course.' Panel 2: I read. Partner waits. Panel 2: partner gives up, saying 'i guess I'll make us tea'Panel 1: I sit along, surrounded by eggs, reading. Panel 2: close up of my devious eyes. Panel 3: off stage, my partner shouts 'HEY!'

He acknowledged my genius. We had a good laugh about it. We did each other’s egg hunt. I found his in about five minutes. He took longer.

Panel 1: partner standing amid ransacked book shelf saying 'can I have a hint?' Panel 2: me, lying on couch, feasting on easter eggs, 'nope'

He found the last one over a week later. It was in his coat pocket.

Ever since, Easter has been an opportunity to destroy each other with chocolate.

Panel 1: me hiding egg in socks. Panel 2: partner hiding egg on top of ceiling fan. Panel 3: me hiding egg in board game box

And I always win. My time record, so far, is …

Partner bursting in on me showering (strategically blocked by towel rack, don't get too excited). He shouts 'TEN MONTHS?! How?"

But last year I decided to change the game.

We have a small end-table cupboard thing. It doesn’t have anything in it because for some reason it has both a door that will only stay closed if it is locked and drawers. Very awkward. But it came from my grandparent’s house, and I always thought I could paint it and change the inside or something. Of course, I haven’t got around to it. We don’t store anything in it. The key sits on top in a little jar of odds and ends.

The cupboard. My cat is sitting next to it. Just because my cat is pretty awesome.

Last year, my husband hid his eggs before I got the chance, and I found most of them before hiding my own. He hid an egg in that key jar. And as soon as I saw it, my brain sparked with my best yet Cunning Plan.

Me coming up with a cunning plan. I appear downright evil

As part of Phase 1, when it was my turn to hide eggs, I put about a quarter of them in the weird internal cupboard drawers and locked them in.

He worked it out within an hour. They weren’t even the last remaining eggs from that hunt. He’d remembered the key-jar from when he hid an egg in it, so he thought to check almost straight away.

… As I expected.

I acted disappointed. I can play a long game.

Over the next year, I primed him to think of that cupboard as the hiding place. In the weeks following, I reminisced about my failed hiding attempt often. I sighed wistfully and said if only he hadn’t hidden an egg in the key-jar first. I hid his birthday presents. One was in the cupboard, and it was the first one he found.

Good.

This year was Phase 2.

We decided it would be a special hunt. We ordered a box of extra nice eggs each from a local chocolatier (support local businesses through the Rona Ragnarok where possible, guys). Mine were coffee hazelnut crunch. His were almond praline. The deal was we’d each hide each other’s eggs.

I locked every last one of his eggs in that cupboard. Then I took the key and taped it to the back of the clock.

In its old place in the jar, I left a riddle …

riddle in jar: 'What must be broken to be used?'

… Which led to another riddle …

In a cartoon of eggs, a riddle says: 'What has many keys but can open no locks?'

… Which also led to another riddle …

A piano. Instead of sheet music, a new riddle says: 'Where does today come before yesterday?'

You get the gist.

A dictionary. Next riddle says 'what has a head and a tail but no body?'

Until the final note …

A piggy bank with coins. The final note says: 'You solved all the riddles! Too bad they had nothing to do with the key. Keep hunting!'

And no, that was not too evil. Even if he really struggled, the longest the hunt could possibly go would be until he changed the clock for daylight savings time.

Unfortunately riddle number three didn’t go quite as planned.

Panel 1: partner runs over holding clock saying 'I solved it! Today comes before yesterday in TIME!' Panel 2: he looks happy, I look horrified and say 'but ...' Panel 3: partner looks happy. I look even more horrified, saying 'That's not how time works!'

Panel 1: I look very stressed, and shout 'or logic! Or riddles!' Panel 2: partner goes to unlock cupboard. I melt onto the floor screaming 'AAAAAA'. Panel 3: Partner looking happy eating chocolate, saying 'What's wrong? It was a great hunt!' I am a puddle.

And thus my Cunning Plan was thwarted by sheer dumbassery.

I just … just … still don’t know how to process this.

I thought I’d covered everything. I took the key a week early so he couldn’t use it for his hunt before I got to it. I made sure ‘egg’ was the first riddle-answer because it was the most likely to be stumbled upon by mistake, and if it was I didn’t want it to mess up the riddle-chain. I had back-up hiding places for all my riddles in case he had used any for his hunt. After I arranged everything, I even went around the house slightly tweaking cupboard doors and moving things to mask my actions. I mean, he didn’t even try googling the answers! That he might do that was half the reason they were a red herring! I had contingencies for cheating, but not for him being terrible at riddles.

Serves me right for overestimating him.

Fortunately, this will just make Phase 3 even better.

I can play a long game.

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Responses on my last comic indicated my cat is in fact very appreciated, so I made sure to include him in one of the comics. You’re welcome.

Other safe content HERE.

If you love my stories and comics, check out my store and my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!

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Nice Bed

Me holding cat: You can sit in this nice bed while I'm working! [there is a nice cat bed next to my laptop]. A series of panels of the cat sitting anywhere but the bed, including on my head.

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I promise I’ll do something not about cats soon.

Other safe content HERE.

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Games

My partner plays a game with our cat [man puts dino toy on table, cat looks at it then knocks it onto the floor]. Whenever the cat finds the toy dinosaur on the coffee table, he knocks it down [cat sees dino on table, looks at it, knocks it down as man laughs]. But sometimes I wonder ... [man sees dino on floor, picks it up, puts it on table while cat watches] ... who is playing with whom.

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Other safe content HERE.

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More cats

Most cats: person sits reading with sleeping cat on lap. Person reaches to turn on lamp, cat looks up and says "how dare you move". Cat leaves, person is sad. My cat: I sit reading with cat on lap. We both look up to above panel where cat is saying "how dare you move". My cat says to me "holy shit, a talking cat."

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This one’s a sort of follow up to my last comic.

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Stage Five Clinger

Other cats: [person reading with cat on lap. They reach to turn on lamp, cat looks up says, "How dare you move". Person is sad as cat walks away. My cat: me sitting reading with cat on lap and I think "hmm, tea.'. I get up, but cat latches to my front. I make tea with cross cat latched to me.

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… But he is a big fan of all his humans social distancing and hanging out at home.

Other safe content HERE.

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Forward

WOW 2020 SUCKS HEY

Generally for everyone in the entire world, it seems. My personal suckitude began in November 2019 when I had my fourth consecutive miscarriage, and then continued as I evacuated from bushfires threatening my home, watched the rest of my country burn on the news, visited the ED for a sudden and scary bleed, had an array of blood tests and scans and finally a (very minor) surgery, and has now peaked (fingers crossed this will be the peak, anyway) in a fucking pandemic.

I’m not someone who’s ever been into inspiration as a thing. I don’t have ‘live, laugh, love’ emblazoned on my couch cushions. (Fine if you do, just not for me). I do not like, share or even relate to any quote that has ever been super-imposed on soothing nature photography. (Again, fine if you do). When my wedding celebrant said with delight that, as someone prone to writing, I would surely come up with something beautifully inspiring to say to my soon-to-be-husband during our ceremony, I told her I wouldn’t because just getting married was enough for me.

But, still, sometimes I say to myself,

forward

Just the one, lone word.

Forward is exciting.

It means the future is coming. It means keep going, there’s more. It means you can’t go back, so don’t wait around.

I said it to myself when I decided to propose to my now-husband. I said it to myself when we started trying for a kid.

The word 'forward' in yellow letters on a big block arrow pointing forward

The last few months I’ve started so many stories and comics. I start them with big ideas and enthusiasm, but then somehow they twist off the path I imagined and end up somewhere darker. What I’ve created here is heavily autobiographical, and right now I can’t tell you anything about my life without talking about my miscarriages. They touch everything inside me.

Sometimes, that’s okay. It has helped me process, and it comforts me to hope that sharing creates a degree of openness on a difficult subject, makes even one person feel less alone in a giant mess of trauma, or at least semi-prepares someone who doesn’t yet know they’ll go through this too.

But other times, it isn’t. I don’t want everything to be tangled and dark. I don’t want to rehash endlessly, lost and unable to re-find the path. I don’t want to soak everything I make in pain.

Forward is healing.

It’s picking yourself up of the ground. It doesn’t have to be about rushing to do or achieve things; it’s just about taking the next step. Maybe the next step is taking some quiet time or establishing a habit of getting outside in the sunshine.

I said it to myself after my first and second miscarriage.

The word 'forward' arranged in a semi-circle around a flower.

I’ve always had anxiety. Insomnia has been a huge problem throughout my life. I have had panic and anxiety attacks. There have been days I couldn’t make myself leave the house. Sometimes I get so worried around people I can’t speak, no matter how much I want to. My voice just shuts down.

For the last few years, my anxiety has been focused on my health. I’m only 30, but my body has betrayed me so many times. I can’t trust it anymore. Any time I get a headache I’ve have to be talked down from self-diagnosing a brain tumour. Every twinge is cancer. Every cough is death.

Covid-19 isn’t bad in Australia (yet), but I can open my phone and see tweets, articles, footage from China, Italy, France, South Korea, the US, everywhere and peek into potential futures.

I need some balance.

So over the next few weeks, months, whatever, I’m going to try and create some nonsense.

It won’t be easy. Fluff has been a challenge for me lately, even pre-pandemic. I’m probably going to have to push out some absolute clankers just to keep the gears turning. I can’t promise how regular or successful I will be, but I’m going to try really hard to make this little corner of the internet a softer place for a bit.

Forward is grinding.

It’s for when you are lost. It’s for when you don’t know what happens next, but you know it can’t be nothing. It’s for when a whole journey seems impossible, too big, and you have shut everything down to the next step.

I said it to myself after my third and fourth miscarriage.

The word forward made out of arrows and surrounded by a tangle of arrows pointing in all different directions.

I’m worried.

I’m worried about what happens when I run out of toilet paper because everyone else has panic-hoarded it. I’m worried about my older relatives. I’m worried about my chronically ill friends. I’m worried about my siblings—both of whom are doctors working in hospitals. I’m worried that next fire season a bushfire will reach my town, my home. I’m worried I’ll just keep miscarrying forever. I’m worried about lurking tumours. I’m worried about living in a country with a marginal environment and unsustainable habits while the world gets hotter.

It’s scary outside, and it’s dark inside.

Forward is not about choice. It’s going to happen anyway. The future is coming, and you can’t go back.

One more step.

Dark tunnel, small glimmer of light at the end, word 'Forward' written simply in white

P.S. Wash your damn hands.

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Update: I have created a  NO  VIRUSES HERE page. I will collect all my new fluff there as well as gather other fluffy creations from the past few years. 

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A Phrase I Imagine Wrong #2

A Phrase I Imagine Wrong #2 "he plundered her mouth". 3 panels. First panel, man in feathered hat leans in to kiss woman with gorgeous messy blonde hair. Panel 2, instead of kissing her, he sticks an arm down her throat, and she is very, very surprised. Panel 3: he pulls out a treasure chest and says "YOINK"

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Feathered hats are a pre-requisite for plundering. It’s just a fact.

Toss a coin to your witcher! Check out my store and my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!

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Number 4

I’ve had a fourth miscarriage.

I drew journal comics to process the experience. I’ve decided I will post them here. I have written about miscarriage before, (first two here, comics drawn after the third one here and here) and I don’t think I can do it again. Not like that. To do that, you have to revisit it. And I can’t.

On that note, you don’t have to read this. In fact, if you’ve had similar experiences and know that reading about this will bring things up for you, please don’t. Don’t do that to yourself for me. I would never ask it of you.

Some notes:

  • I changed my drawing style a bit, mostly in regards to colouring and use of text. This was to make it easier for me to get things down and move on rather than spend all day every day on colour schemes and shadows and details.
  • I recently had my hair cut differently, and this is a journal, so I drew it the new way.
  • I drew in ways that felt right at the time. If things felt like a mess, I let them look like a mess. If it felt like lots of small words jammed in, I wrote lots of small words jammed in. For better or worse, the occasional illegibility is a feature not a bug.
  • Dates are in the order we do them in Australia. Day/Month/Year.
  • This wasn’t drawn retrospectively. Although I didn’t always draw the comic on the actual day, I always planned it on the actual day and usually got it done within a few days.  I didn’t start this knowing what was going to happen on the 20/12.

Ready?

Here we go.

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13/11/2019 It's happening again.15/11/2019 Text: I just want to walk and walk and walk until I'm gone. (series of panels of me walking getting smaller and smaller until I'm not in the last one)18/11/2019 I haven't done a pregnancy test. (plausible deniability) But I'm about two week late. I had symptoms and they stopped. Now I have light cramps and spotting (just like the other times). I know how this goes.21/11/2019 Text: at least the lack of symptoms makes it easier to ignore (panels of me doing day to day stuff, making breakfast, reading, working in a cafe) Text: most of the time (panel of parents entering cafe with small baby)21/11/2019 - 26/11/2019 (series of panels of day to day things, catching the bus, going shopping, going to the bathroom...) Text: plausible deniability repeated many times, in the centre it says "maybe I'm wrong and it will work this time". (final panel: blood on undies. Speech: "FUCK")26/11/2019 Text conversation. Other person says "How has your day been?" My reply: "I probably can't have kids, hey." Boarder around panel is red.8/11/2019 Background is red with repeated old comic from the ‘expecting’ story repeated in the background. Text: I don’t want to go to the doctor. I’ve done this before. I know how this does. The 3rd time was horrible. (I couldn’t write about it) I know it was happening. I didn’t want any more scans than were necessary to prove I wasn’t about to bleed to death (unlikely, there wasn’t even that much blood). Watching things slowly come apart the first 2 times had been traumatic (I was still having flashbacks to the 1st scan—the moment I knew). But he sent be for 4 scans, multiple blood tests. And I had to watch it happen (again). I hyperventilated in waiting rooms. I cried all over nurses. It didn’t have to be like that (again). Panels showing phone conversation with my sister (a doctor): “don’t do it. We’re all visiting home next week anyway. We’ll look after you.”29/11/2019 Text: Better do a test since it's not worth getting my knickers in a twist over a (very) late period. (pregnancy test with two lines.) Text: 2 lines means pregnant ( except for me it means miscarriage)1/12/2019 Nine panels over a red background. 8 of the panels show me and my partner sitting on the couch, exactly the same. Text: Pain gets boring. We've done this so many times. It's the same. And it sucks. And I'm sick of it. (In the last panel I say "Can we just go to the movies?" and my partner says "Absolutely")2/12/2019 A plane flies across a red sky.3/12/2019 A series of panels over a red background show a car stereo, musical notes, food, a bird dropping a shell to break it, a beach, and a car driving.4/12/2019 (panel showing me and other happy people eating food in front of an xmas tree) Text: Since all this started 3 years ago Christmas (even early Christmas) has been ... (second, very small panel with me sitting alone in front of a closed door) Text: split6/12/2019 (series of panels showing me reading, behind me people carry things) Text: When we were little we used to decorate chairs for birthdays) (panel, my dad says "Is this an early birthday thing for Lucy?". Another panel shows my siblings have decorated a char for me) Text: I had forgotten.7/12/2019 A plane flies back across a white sky with some red clouds. 9/12/2019 Background hatched red. Two mes face each other. One says “Maybe you don’t really want kids”. The other says “Maybe that’s fear talking. Maybe you just don’t want to hurt anymore.” The first me then says “Well, maybe that’s just heteronormative social values talking. Maybe you only think you want it because on some level you’ve absorbed the idea women aren’t worth more than their breeding abilities. Did you think about that?” Text (in red): (Yes, I am worth more than this).11/12/2019 Text: I feel wasted (word hatched under with red). It’s not simply that I could have had a kid by now—more than 1 even. It’s not even the biological clock thing. I’ve been in survival mode (words hatched red) for years. I’m missing writing opportunities. I’m not building my readership. I’m not enjoying my life. I’m not thriving (word hatched red). I just want to be happy again (words hatched red). I don’t know how to be happy again (words hatched red).12/12/2019 I am waking up in bed, my partner is standing holding a (red) present saying "Happy 30th!"15/12/2019 Two small panels show a coffee with latte art, speech saying “annnnnd my latte art is a penis butterfly, isn’t it?” and people laughing. Text (in red) “…. Later 15/12/2019”. Most of the page is taken up by scribbled black. I sit in the dark. My partner is opening the door, backlit, saying “are you okay?” and I say “Nope.” (nope is in red).17/12/2019 (in red). Three panels of me talking to my therapist. In the first, she says “wait, you’re doing less work *while you are part-way through a miscarriage* … and this makes you a failure?” In the 2nd panel we just look at each other. In the third I say “Well, of course it’s stupid when you say it like that.” And she says “Have a rest”.19/12/2019 (in red). A doctor checks my blood pressure while I say “… also, I think it’s time I went back on antidepressants” and the doctor says “agreed.”Also 19/12/2019. A nurse is taking my blood. Text: I remember another blood test years ago—just before we started trying to check things (everything was fine)—and on the radio in the background hearing coverage of the 2016 US election. A radio behind us has a speech bubble saying “… and in world news we are minutes away from a vote to impeach Trump…” Text: timing is funny.20/12/2019 42 degrees Celsius, windy. Panels in red. Smoke twisting through one (in it, I say “I smell smoke”, then blotting the background. Four panels showing a phone screen with a map and a red area (red means it’s too late to evacuate, take shelter). The red area gradually spreads towards a dot labelled “us”. In the last, a wide yellow area covers the dot (yellow means enact your bushfire plan). Text, white on black smoke: “There’s a whole thing in Australia about being bushfire-stoic. Being tough, showing competence. But when the sky is all smoke, the sun blotted out, the wind oven-hot, and you only have vague reports to track the fire front … this isn’t my first fire, but it’s my first as an adult, the first where I have to decide. (in red) It’s scary.” Some extra panels with me and my partner. He says “The wind is supposed to change … in a few hours.” I say “We’re on the far side of town … but CFS building fire alerts show it’s already gone around of over other towns.” I say “I don’t know.” He says “I don’t know either.” I say “ Then we go.”also 20/12/2019. A series of panels show smoke receding as we evacuate (cat in a carry cage, us packing car, police directing traffic at a busy intersection, arriving and being welcomed at another house). And then watching tv, the reporter says "... temperature is dropping and the wind changing even as I speak..." Text: good for us. (small map showing wind change, fire front changing and spreading away from 'us' .... to move toward other dots) Text: ... but not for them.21/12/2019. I am getting blood taken by a nurse, who is saying “and confirming your address … oh. Are you home yet?” I say “On our way. My husband is in the carpark with the cat.” She says “Will I see you back again in another 48 hours for a 3rd test?” I say “Depends what the doctor thinks about my HCG levels.” Text (in red): “I’m still spotting a lot. My pregnancy hormone levels (HCG) are low, but not zero. People talk about miscarriages like they’re a single event, but mine have all been long drawn-out processes.”25/12/2019 Text, large: Merry Christmas I guess. Panel showing my partner opening a present, saying “It’s … an IOU”. I say “Sorry. This month has been a lot.” He says “I get it.” Text: “(although it is my first day since November with no bleeding)”27/12/2019 Another blood test. My doctor called with the results. My HCG levels still aren’t zero, but they’re so low she’s happy to say the miscarriage is essentially over. Besides, I’ve stopped bleeding. I might leave this here.29/12/2019 Red is pouring down the page. Text, white on red: "Psych! It's not over (it's never over)."30/12/2019 - 5/1/2020 Background red. I sit in front of the TV watching footage of more bushfires. I say "Hell". Text: "(Happy New Year, btw)"6/1/2020 A road running from unburnt landscape into burnt. Text, white on black: “I feel guilty the fires didn’t reach us.” “Everywhere I look I see bad things” “I’m not sleeping well”. Text, black on white on the road “I’ve started antidepressants but they’re still in that initial phase where they make things worse instead of better”also 6/1/2020. Text, white on black splotches: "But the bleeding has stopped. And it helps to help. Give (requested) supplies. Donate. Visit local businesses". Text, black on white: "Be ready. It will probably happen again."

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The bushfire I evacuated from on 20/12/2019 was the Cudlee Creek fire that burned in the Adelaide Hills (my home) in South Australia. It destroyed more than 80 homes and claimed one life. Although it didn’t reach my town, it did reach others in the area. Blackened trees and burnt ground are visible from (and sometimes very, scarily close to) the main streets of many of them.

And that fire has not been the only bushfire in South Australia over the last couple of months to destroy homes, the environment, and lives. Notably half (actually, literally, ridiculously half) of Kangaroo Island (a place I have holidayed,  a place my brother lived for a year, a place where relatives of mine own property) burned the other week, claiming two lives. That fire isn’t out yet, and as weather conditions are bad today it is spreading and several communities have been evacuated and are under Watch and Act (yellow) warnings even as I write this.

Meanwhile the fires in New South Wales and Victoria (which have made international news) are utterly horrifying and still going. At this time an estimated 1900 homes have been destroyed in NSW and at least another 200 destroyed in Victoria. Many lives have been lost. These fires will certainly not be controlled for some time, and they are expecting considerable fire danger weather tomorrow.

There have always been fires in Australia, but not like this.

If you are able, please consider donating to the fire relief. There are a lot of places to donate. Here are some basic ones:

People:

Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief. (Australia wide).

South Australian Bushfire Appeal. (South Australia).

Fireys:

CFS – Country Fire Service (South Australia’s volunteer firefighting service).

RFS – Rural Fire Service (New South Wales’s volunteer firefighting service).

CFA – Country Fire Association (Victoria’s volunteer firefighting service).

Animals:

WIRES – Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (New South Wales wildlife rescue organisation)

RSPCA (SA) – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (South Australian appeal specifically)

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