Insane doodlings from a bored nerd on a train

Disclaimer: I’m not an artist. I’m pretty sure I can’t even spell pencil anymore. Chalk is for crime-scene investigation. Paint is for walls. Sculptures are just messed-up furniture.*

I’m not even sure I want to publish this post… It’s easy writing about the things you love and you spend ages of your time honing to a sharp point, but this post contains stuff that’s a little more left-field.

You know that field, we all have one. It’s the one behind the shed, with the unmown grass and scraggly bushes and hidden dog poop everywhere.

Ok, fine, no more stalling. Short story is that I was on the most boring train of my life, travelling to the wilds of České Budějovice in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. I was invited to give a big talk at an institute there, and also frolic with a collaborator a bit. But I’d finished preparing my presentation and I had nothing to read, so I was bored witless on the final leg of my journey.

At that time I was still obsessing about gut bacteria – the bugs that live in your intestines – which I wrote about in two other posts. They’re crafty little buggers, gut bacteria. They live together with us, influencing our cravings, our body weight, and possibly a whole bunch of other things that we think we’re completely in control of, but really we’re not.

Are you craving cake? Well maybe it’s because your gut is filled with microbes that want to digest all those delicious cake nutrients… and every time you feed them an apple they starve a little bit more. So they try to influence you, make the cravings stronger, drive you towards that fluffy, creamy, layered cake heaven.

I was on the train. I found a pencil, and then a tiny notebook. Dum dum dummmmmmm…

Cue ‘sketching on a train’ movie montage.

So I drew this…


There’s a whole bunch of different microbes that live in our gut. I kinda imagine them having a big party, which kicks off into the stratosphere 20151203_110031once some choice food arrives.

And if food arrives that isn’t what they want – or isn’t what they are capable of digesting – hoo boy then we’re gonna have some grumpy party-goers!


The good thing about sketching microscopic stuff, is it’s microscopic and you can be all abstract-y and draw like a child.


Accurate sketches of anything will never happen in my world. I’ll leave that up to the medical illustrators, visual geniuses that they are!


I’m not sure what to do with this little notepad anymore… maybe it’s gonna be packed in the boxes with all my other crap I don’t need in Africa. Or maybe I should keep working on my sketching while there, really expand my neurons into another world?

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…


*Duh, obviously I’m exaggerating. I’m not completely uncultured. 


3 thoughts on “Insane doodlings from a bored nerd on a train

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