15 Dec 2014

First things first: When it's not to bee

9:32 am on 15 December 2014

First Things First is a series about territories uncharted, moments witnessed and experiences lived through for the first time. Join Nik Jarvie-Waldrom as she attempts to make sense of why doing things we’ve never done before makes us feel so much.

a gif of an illustration of a man on a bike jumping across an abyss

Photo: Meg Howie

Relationships can be challenging at the best of times. In amongst the good periods there can be disagreements and differences, and weighing up whether the highs are worth the lows is a process that many of us will work through at some point in our lives.

Debbie Vercoe is a high school drama teacher from Central Otago. She now lives in Dunedin after she and husband Michael separated… but not for the reasons we might assume. It’s hard to imagine how any marriage could carry the weight of Debbie and Michael’s particular struggle – a situation that most of us would never think possible, let alone be able to overcome ourselves.

Debbie’s health is at risk anytime she sees a honey bee. Or eats a nectarine. Or sits in the same room as beeswax candle. Listen to this episode of First Things First for a sense of just how complicated – and unique – Debbie’s first separation is. Music by Phoebe Hurst.

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