By Bunty Avieson
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Clearly I’m suffering some sort of postnatal lunacy. One woman in my new mothercare group is outraged on Kathryn’s behalf. Fancy taking a little baby to one of the coldest regions of the world and, worse still, away from western medicine. What if . . Yes, indeed. What if all sorts of things happen, none of them good? Like, I’m not already waking in the middle of the night drenched in sweat at all the possibilities. But I figure this is part of the parenthood deal and while I know I’m new at it, I think it has little to do with geography.
Mal and I never caused this sort of reaction on our own. It’s that glow-in-thedark baby again. We watch mesmerised for a few minutes then a mighty ear-splitting burst of thunder heralds that a storm is imminent. It is a feature of the topography and proximity to the mountains that as monsoon season approaches, every few days we are treated to massive, sudden storms. They are awe-inspiring. 38 THE MUNCLES Dark clouds gather at the top of the mountains and either blow off in another direction or sweep on down the valley, bringing a wild angry electrical storm.
When pressed for an explanation he handed Rinpoche three beautifully decorated 36 THE MUNCLES wooden masks and said he had been making them for him. That’s all he’s ever said on the subject. There are rumours of a wife and a child but no evidence either way. He doesn’t confirm or deny anything, just gives a cheeky grin. He’s also incredibly kind. When Mal and Kathryn appeared without me for lunch one day – while I was suffering the effects of the Bisleri bottle and didn’t have the energy to walk up the hill – he sent back messages of concern and a heatproof container filled with rice, dhal and vegetables.
A Baby in a Backpack to Bhutan by Bunty Avieson