Gathan Beaga


There’s a lot of good things about the Hawkes Bay. The climate is great. Lots of good food and wine here too. Slight lack of opportunity in the employment department but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Paradise on earth, in fact, but for one thing: cockroaches.

Home in Wellington the only cockroaches we see are the little native ones – they don’t come inside that much as they much prefer to live in the forest and leaf litter. I’ve come to despise them a bit less than I used to. I still kill them on sight of course, but I don’t get hysterical about it anymore.

But here in the Bay, they have the so-called Gisborne cockroach (an Australian, actually): much larger, more prolific, and quite liking houses to live in. To a more innocent eye (i.e., Bella, who sweetly told me “I love cockroaches” when I showed her one) they’d be quite handsome – large and shiny black with some white patches on the edges of their lower backs. But like all large insects, they are better in front of you where you can see them.

This morning Becky filled a glass of water out of the tap, put it to her mouth, only to find a dead cockroach bobbing against her top lip. I probably would have spewed there and then, but her constitution is obviously stronger than mine (childbearing is proof of this) and she just spluttered a couple times before continuing with breakfast.

Now I’m feeling really paranoid. I haven’t seen any live ones yet… but they’re probably here somewhere.

At least, that’s what my peripheral vision is telling me.