Tale of island life andporkers a real corker

Jeanette Aplin, who has written two popular books on her years as a lighthouse-keeper's wife, this time takes us to her lifestyle block on D'Urville Island, where she and her husband live without electricity (the computer she bought with the proceeds of her first book is solar-powered). THE PRICE OF BACON
Jeanette Aplin
Cape Catley

While her beloved husband Pip is away for long stretches working off the island, Jeanette decides to breed and raise kunekune pigs - as well as disposing of them.

Family, friends and animals come and go from the Aplins' idyllic but isolated bay as the ever practical and resourceful Jeanette faces and resolves problems, such as how to ring the pigs' snouts to stop them from ploughing up the paddocks, how to treat them for parasites, and how to get an indignant weka out of an unflushed toilet.

Along the way she shares her thoughts and concerns about ageing, relationships and money, and how these things or the lack of them might affect her unusual way of life.

She loves her life and her family, and this shines through on every page, but she is not afraid to confront problems either, and her frankness is refreshing.

Anybody who has kept pigs will already know the true price of bacon - having to say goodbye to an intelligent and friendly animal that will reappear later on the dinner table.

But Jeanette proves up to every challenge.

Those who dream of self-sufficiency and the good life will enjoy this book, unless it makes them too envious.

 - Janice Murphy is a Dunedin subeditor.


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