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

Time is a valuable thing,
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it tick down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away.

When I stay with The Outlaws, most days I go into Oamaru to write.

There are too many distractions around the farm: the projectile mud, the violent decor, the mice inhabiting the sofa, Agent of Death’s collection of home-made rum. I also find it harder to ignore the magnetising appeal household chores exert on me when the alternative is writing: unloading the dishwasher, sorting out the spice drawer, fishing out lumps of roast potato from under the oven.

Most critically, I can access the site here. Mathematical and/or logic puzzles are to me as vodka is to an alcoholic, or laxatives to a model. At home, Husband has banned selected puzzle and game sites at the server level. These include: Kenken, Kakuro, Killer Sudoku, Tetris and the NY Times games page. Ooh- that reminds me: I wonder if The Sun still has its games arcade?

Looks like that’s tomorrow scheduled.

Anyway. I occasionally work in the library in town, but the librarians don’t allow you to eat snacks even if you bring them yourself. This TOTALLY stifles my creativity, which is a fragile, sensitive entity that requires calm, quiet and careful nourishment.

I used to go to The Bridge Cafe on Thomas St, but the staff were too friendly. Aggressive conversationalists, they were undaunted by my headphones and loud humming and hiding behind my laptop pretending I didn’t see them. They all wanted to know how the writing was going? – to which the answer became increasingly obvious. I persevered because the owner used to give me free coffee, but when that dried up I resolved to relocate my custom to another establishment.

I chose The Roost Cafe. Regrettably, The Roost is directly opposite The Bridge on 30 Thames St. I still cross the road to avoid walking past The Bridge; then hide around a corner and dart really fast into The Roost when a truck passes.

The Roost is FABULOUS and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Their food is modern and delicious: tortilla stacks, smoked salmon quiche, spanakopita, mushroom and blue cheese tarts, a variety of open grill sandwiches. The coffee comes with a tiny, delectable truffle; and the hot chocolate is made with real chocolate.

The staff don’t seem to mind that I can make a cup of coffee and a scone last 3-4 hours; or that I plug my laptop into their power point; or that I have been witnessed chair-dancing while rapping aloud to Linkin Park.

The other day, after a successful afternoon’s creative endeavour, I went to pay for my hot chocolate and scone with cream and jam. About five people – or basically, the full complement of staff on duty – were clustered around the point of sale system. They all looked harried; an elderly woman was on the phone – obviously to a technician (I heard her say, ‘Yes, I’ve TURNED it off and on. YES I’LL WAIT.’) – with a finger jammed up to the wrist in the opposite ear.

“I hate to bother you,” I said to the young dude who’d originally taken my order, “but I’d like to pay.”

“Oh. Ah,” he said, breaking into a light sweat. “We have- you see- this- we can’t-”

“Look. I can pay cash if you can access the register, or, you know, I’ll be in again tomorrow . . .”

Evidently I don’t look like the trustworthy type, because he said, “Oh, you can pay cash.”

So he calculated the total on a piece of scrap paper and I handed over $10 and he managed to open the cash register without aid of a screwdriver and he handed me my change.

And then I said,

“Can I have a receipt, please?”


Can you believe it?

I might forgive them, because they do great scones.


Comments on: "Restrictive library snack policy" (13)

  1. changingmoods said:

    Anyway. I occasionally work in the library in town, but the librarians don’t allow you to eat snacks even if you bring them yourself. This TOTALLY stifles my creativity, which is a fragile, sensitive entity that requires calm, quiet and careful nourishment.

    It sucks, but I can understand their reasoning for it. They’re worried about someone spilling something on a library item and depending on what item it was replacement could be pricey. But you can check that item out and once you’re out of the library, you can snack all you want!

    The Roost sounds like it has great food. I know where to go if I ever end up in New Zealand.

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Hi there! Oh, I’m totally with the library snack policy. More because there’s nothing more distracting than someone munching crisps when you’re trying to read Shakespeare.

    Mind you, I’m sure a few crumbs are the least of the travesties visited upon library books, including squashed insects and/or vermin between the pages, dried mucous, blood, and the thankfully invisible scores of bacteria from bathroom reading habits 😀


  3. MarkJ said:

    Serious props on the Linkin Park reference flygirl !

  4. JohnP said:

    And of course Hunky Husband has a sense of humour when he’s up to his arse in alligators? Come now, these are poor innocents suffering at the end of an Indian trying to tell them how to suck eggs, and you expect them to LAUGH!

    Just don’t get to enjoy the food and life-style in the deep south too much, some of us are looking forward to you being just a little further north at some point in the future.

  5. Cian said:

    I’m posting this again since you deleted my comment – well either that or my internet was acting up and did not post it. So I need Husband to do his magic here. One and a half hours I spent on You have other links too – I’m scared to click on them as my life will fall into a puzzle void.

    You know the way I struggle with reading (I swear I am not dyslexic – well that may not be the case. They weren’t all that great at diagnosing it is 70s/80s Ireland.) I was so looking forward to your insight on transvestites and library books. Alas the travesty was that there were none. I was half expecting Tuesday morning was Transvestite Hour at the Library in Oamaru.

    So next time you are in the library you have permission to drink and eat. If they say anything to you, tell them that you are talented author Ms. Niamh Shaw and you are writing, and that you do not need THEIR books for inspiration. You have a mind of your own. You go tell them sister. Wear the Starvin’ Author t-shirt at the same time for extra emphasis.

  6. deadlyjelly said:

    MarkJ – it’s all I listen to at the moment. Well, Linkin Park and The Pet Shop Boys because I like to mix it up, or I’m a freak. Could go either way.


  7. deadlyjelly said:

    JohnP – I’m afraid I have no idea how Husband responds to being up to the arse in alligators, but living with me means he’s up to his neck in bullshit on a fairly regular basis and he’s only occasionally misplaced his sense of humour.

    They’d have laughed if they were IRISH, who laugh in the face of adversity. Mind you, they also tend to burp in the face of anyone who gets too close in the pub, which is not such an admirable trait.

    Should be hitting Woody P around 20 June – look forward to getting home and catching up.


  8. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – HAHAHA! I’m glad it’s not just me. The diabolical thing about the kenken.cmo is that if you change the date on your computer, it gives you a fresh set of puzzles. Don’t even ASK me how I know that, the answer is just too sincerely depressing. Try the kakuro site – it’s much more manageable.

    I have no idea where you got transvestites. Oamaru is kinda freaky in that lots of people wander around in Victorian dress, or cycling penny farthings. I haven’t noticed any Victorian transvestites – could get interesting.


  9. My iPad 2 has a a hardness rating of “Diabolical” for Sudoku.

    Until that moment I thought I was OK – turns out I can only solve the puzzles in “Evil” mode.

    Get Andrew to bring you one back. 🙂

  10. Cian said:

    Transvestite ≈ Travesties
    => My confusion

  11. deadlyjelly said:

    MarkJ – I didn’t like to tell you the level of Sudoku puzzle you brought to Woody P was ‘finger-painter’. If Andrew does as you recommend, you might be accessory to manslaughter by iPad.

    Cian – OH RIGHT. Your brain does work . . . differently 😀


  12. David said:

    ” went to pay for my hot chocolate and scone with cream and jam” – I didn’t know and jam was an accepted alternative currency in Oamaru. But then I read the sentence again and understood….

    a blonde moment.

  13. deadlyjelly said:

    Hahaha! Please don’t blame the blonde; I think it might be the structure of the sentence that’s at fault 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: