The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

Last week, my parents set off on a road trip.

Even to minor excursions – going to the shops, picking up mail – Dad brings the same measure of care and precision as he might to, say, invading a small country. There are maps to be consulted, schedules to be drawn, checklists to be ticked, bags to be packed, socks to be pulled up.

Undoubtedly, Dad is thorough and organised – but he likes to keep his options open. When Dad is ready to go, he’ll stand around roaring, “I THOUGHT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LEAVING AT <INSERT CURRENT TIME MINUS X MINUTES TO THE NEAREST HOUR>!” even though nobody can remember seeing that particular bulletpoint in the circulated itinerary.

Now, while Dad sits in the car beeping and occasionally bawling, “VERA!” up the stairs, Mum pootles around achieving very little in comparison to the impressive acreage she covers. She’ll tootle downstairs with a bag of apricots, a whisk and a bottle of suntan lotion, wedge them into a non-existent gap in Dad’s painstakingly packed car, then womble off again to hunt down picnic blankets or savour a cup of tea while she envisions Dad going mad with the impatience.

I seriously thought her life might be in jeopardy when, after Dad had been downstairs fine-tuning the luggage for twenty minutes, she decided to boil an egg. (You think I’m making this up, don’t you? Bear this in mind: I did not spring from a vacuum.)

“Why didn’t you boil it yesterday?” asked Dad reasonably and admirably mildly.

“You know how to boil an egg as well as I do,” responded Mum defensively and undeniably perversely.

I don’t know whether Dad has mellowed, or merely appreciates that attempting to increase the tempo of Mum’s internal beat would be an exercise on the same scale as bailing out a boat with a fork. He might feasibly have dissuaded her from boiling her egg, whereupon she would have undertaken some emergency darning or decided to make an omelette.

Husband and I follow a similar pattern when leaving the house. I have never been innovative enough to boil an egg, but I find that sitting on the loo is an extremely defensible position. Andrew has been known to rev the car in the garage, but thankfully these days he does a spot of motorbike maintenance instead.

Leaving for Onemana last Friday, the roles were reversed when Andrew first spent half an hour wrapping up a PABX, and then decided to check the oil differential on the Toyota Surf. Evidence suggests Andrew didn’t spring from a vacuum either.

We finally arrived in Onemana at four o’clock.

06:13 hrs in Onemana

Me and Jed, still asleep

Dad in his pyjamas at sunrise. If I DID spring from a vacuum, you can assume this is photographic evidence of it

Husband, action shot. What are you asking me for? No idea.

(L-R) Mum and Dad. Not sure what's going on here but it's undoubtedly smutty.

That's my mum.

This is me dad.

Dad shows off the famous Shaw toes.

Andrew, Jed and tennis ball.

Out for a walk at Wentworth Falls, Whangamata.

07:00hrs: the road home, just outside Onemana.


Comments on: "How to boil an egg: it’s all in the timing" (6)

  1. Cian said:

    A vacation and yet there are two photos – one at 6.13 and another at 7.00 – that just seems wrong. Is that not sleepy time?

    Why did Husband need to pack a PABX? I can see in his hand what appears to be a telephone handset. Is he after setting it up in the forest? Is he giving your family a demonstration on how a phone works? Did you all have your own handsets? Were you not allowed to being mobiles?

    My curiosity is about to explode my head…

    p.s. Love the (L-R) 🙂

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    I forgot to mention, in my catalogue of perfect holiday moments, watching the sun rise. Regrettably, that involves getting out of bed WAY too early. On the upside, everybody else is in bed. Also – and sorry to get all romantic and misty-eyed about it – it’s such a glorious time of day.

    The moody 07:00 shot was taken leaving Onemana. Andrew had to be back to Auckland before 2pm. Given our performance getting to Onemana on the Friday, I thought it best we left early. (Andrew : “When you said EARLY, I thought you meant before mid-day.” )

    I told you not to ask. Ok look, ALL I can tell you is that Andrew didn’t pack a PABX. He wrapped it, then flung it into a post box en route. As to what he’s doing with a handset in the forest, your guess is as good as mine.

    Hope your head’s still intact 😀


  3. Forgive me if I already told you, but my mammy (from Belfast) is a Shaw too. And she therefore undoubtedly has Shaw toes. We are like sisters!

    P.S. Still compiling my list of your best bits!

  4. deadlyjelly said:

    Oh my god! My long lost sister! I KNEW we had a connection.

    Wow, that list must be LONG – delighted to hear it. Don’t forget my toes 😀


  5. Couldnt help but notice the toes were severely cropped.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  6. deadlyjelly said:

    I think my dad might be offended by your comment about his toes. Don’t worry: I won’t tell him.


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