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

If you’d asked me three months ago whether we’d leave Port Underwood, I would have said, “What? Eh? Sorry, I- I don’t understand the question. Why would we want to move? We love it here! There’s FISH!”

Of course we had discussed plans should we be fortunate enough to achieve extreme gestation. Husband and I were fully agreed that Port Underwood was an IDEAL location in which to nurture a baby with its abundance of natural beauty to nourish a child’s soul and herds of feral goats to keep them amused/alert.

Shortly after we got a positive pregnancy test, Andrew left me in the unsafe if not downright hazardous hands of his parents during his month-long business trip. While my defenses were low and coated in a thick slime of morning sickness and jittering anxiety, Her Goatiness worked her dark, bovidae magic.

By the time Andrew returned, I had practically purchased a property next-door to The Outlaws.

At least now, when he says, “I came back from Dubai and Niamhie told me we were moving,” I can respond, “Well, it’s your mother’s fault.”

Me? I operate in a strictly scruple-free zone.

The reality of extreme gestation resulted in a cosmic shift in priorities (along with my intestinal system – which is now more of an anarchic revolution).

Although conception involved WAY too many people, there’s no reason the rest of this pregnancy shouldn’t proceed normally (although I have to say that so far, my experience of pregnancy ridicules all previous definitions of ‘normal’). However, we don’t want to take chances given how far we’ve come to get here.

The idea of staring down labour with a 45 minute drive along a gravel road in a car that’s on its last wheels, as driven by Husband ‘Bite Me Schumacher’, is potentially a challenge too far. At least for me, if not Andrew.

Furthermore, we have little to no support here. We love our neighbours (well, I do; Andrew thinks they’re pretty nice and wouldn’t turn down a beer) – but there are only two of them. We see a lot of our landlords, The Mustachioed Muchacho and Hostess With The Mostest; also Sheriff and The Bunqueen down in the bay – but neither couple has children. While they’re thrilled for us, I can’t see myself swapping stories about episiotomies and mucous plugs with them.

What’s that? Why the <expletive deleted> would I want to?

Well, indeed. I’m not quite there yet myself. However, I have been reliably informed by Those Who Know – i.e. former people incubators – that there will come a time when you will beg me to shut up talking about lactation and just pass the parsley sauce, already.

I’m not sure Oamaru would have been our first choice of home, but it seems logical with The Rise of The Asset given the concentration of family, who originally settled there for the, er. Beets?

But even without the imminent arrival of The Asset, we would have had to consider moving on. Although we live in the most stunning location, we are on the bones of our arse at the end of each month. I recycle tinfoil and gladwrap; Andrew’s not allowed soap because HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MUCH THAT STUFF COSTS? RUB YOURSELF WITH A ROCK FFS.

I am admittedly privileged that my definition of abject poverty is being unable to afford maple syrup IT’S A TRAGEDY. Just as well, because we’re not close enough to rob anyone to fund my P addiction.

This situation has much to do with the exchange rate, since all our income is in US$. Every month for about two years, we’ve consoled ourselves: “At least the exchange rate can’t get any worse”. We’ve tried putting a positive spin on it – “The exchange rate HAS to get better”, but optimism hasn’t been effective either. Moving will significantly cut many of our costs.

Much to my surprise, after three years seeking privacy and seclusion, I’m actually looking forward to getting involved in a community again.


Comments on: "Strictly scruple-free zone" (7)

  1. I still can’t believe that you guys are moving. But I can totally understand the reasons. God that drive would be a nightmare if you were on your way to hospital to excrete the Asset. Obviously one could never last that long, and would you really want Andrew delivering it at the side of the road? He’d be using a vice grip and an oil clad towel.

    Whereas now you shall be in the care of Her Goatiness. Think of all the experience she has had delivering animals, so I am sure you shall be in good hands. Oh its stuck – we’ll just give it a good pull.

    Its been 10 years since I was down that neck of the woods, so it shall be nice to visit there again. The best thing is that you shall have a babysitter on call, so you can farm it out. Actually the best thing is nearby penguins, but I don’t want to make it all about me (for a change).

    p.s. we recycle tinfoil and clingfilm (Yesterday it was used on Chard, today it is on Cauliflower) too, along with fat from frying. Although we do not recycle toilet paper, at least we buy it already recycled. It’s called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

  2. mumsie said:

    I also love relative solitude and being able to listen to the silence (i.e. the absence of manmade noise). However, having the care and responsibility of young sprog adds a dimension to your priorities in life. We did not have the option of being within reach of any in-or-out-laws and that was a distinct disadvantage in more ways than just babysitting.
    Earlier this year I was very impressed by how very socially advanced young Atilla was at 3 months – and I don’t give Susan and Vet the full credit. They have the advantage of closeness to Susan’s family who have been, and still are, very supportive. I have often contrasted this with our first offspring whose first 3 months was practically solely spent in the tense company of his inexperienced and anxious parents.
    I hope you are now past the unpleasant morning sickness stage and can enjoy a more normal life again.

    All the best


  3. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – Her Goatiness already likes to compare me with her prize dairy goats: “Do you eat too many grapefruit? I’ve found goats don’t do well if their systems are too acidic.”

    I know I slag off Oamaru but it’s grown on me in the years we’ve visited The Outlaws. It’s just about the right size for us and there’s always something going on. It has a sense of history and the architecture is wonderful. And it has The Roost Cafe. And penguins. What more could you ask for?

    Mumsie – we’re pretty keen to socialise The Asset. Much as we love our dog, Jed is highly protective and has been known to run at strangers who get too close to me and – well, ‘nip’ is probably too strong; it’s more an aggressive nose-butt. It’d be pretty embarrassing having to pick baby teeth out of peoples’ knees, so best we get him out partying early.

    I’ve actually had a fairly easy first trimester, apart from the toxic levels of anxiety. Some seediness but thankfully never had my head jammed in a toilet bowl. But Husband and I went out for a cycle today and he couldn’t keep up with me; evidently I’m feeling pretty good. Although now I need a nap.


  4. I didn’t realize that they made maple syrup in New Zealand. I am assuming that it’s imported and therefore very expensive. We make tons of the stuff here in Canada. I can always send you a gallon …

  5. solartap said:

    I suspect that no-one will be asking for parsley sauce on the tail end of a conversation about lactation.

  6. deadlyjelly said:

    FG – I used to buy pure Canadian maple syrup. Comes in tastefully designed but meagre 100ml bottles and costs roughly the same as HP printer ink. I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy ‘maple syrup flavoured sugary goop’, so these days I use honey or golden syrup as substitutes. I’d be eternally grateful if you would send me a gallon – I anticipate a pancake frenzy. I can offer bacon and egg pie as trade?

    Solartap – depends how daring you are. Also, how resilient your stomach.


  7. […] I say ‘we’, alright alright FINE it was mainly me. Although when Husband points this out (admittedly not as frequently as I would were our positions […]

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