Before leaving for my Australian adventure, I mused over the vast and various ways in which I could meet my untimely demise. A few of which I (panic-strickenedly) outlined here.

That said, I thought that my hang-ups would seem farcicle upon arrival…

However instead of my fears being banished to the realms of horror films and urban legends, I was introduced to a whole host of new creatures to worry about – each one more frightening than the last.

This may all sound distinctly melodramatic, but you have to remember that the most dangerous animal we have in England is a swan… and, as John Bishop recently pointed out; despite the constant warnings from the likes of Butlins and over-protective mothers, no-one actually knows anyone whose had their arm broken by a swan.

Having an overactive imagination leaves me nervous at the best of times (not to be confused with paranoid) so, over the past couple of weeks, my once pleasant and occasionally erotic dreams about Tony Soprano have been replaced by harrowing encounters with the ever-growing list of terrifying beasts.

Last night, after waking a from a particulary ugly brawl with a giant cassowary, I woke in a cold sweat. Someone once told me that, should I ever encounter a saltwater crocodile, I should zigzag as I flee – a piece of advice I’ve adopted when dealing with many animals, (including spiders, the angry chickens at the animal rescue I volunteer at, and an angry pregnant cow that chased me across a field when I was 14.) As I lay there for hours, staring into the darkness, it occurred to me that I hadn’t packed any appropriate footwear to take on these animals. By the time the sun came up the contents of my suitcase was shrewn around my room and I was queuing outside Woolworths with a shopping list of ‘zigzagging shoes’ and ‘diet coke’. The $40 I spent on a distinctly unattractive pair of ‘plimpsols’ (a word that has haunted me ever since my brief and traumatic stint on the school’s under 13’s netball squad) was worth every penny when, after spending three hours paddling in the sea, I stumbled across this sign…