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Friday, 22 December 2006


It was my last day at work yesterday - for the year, and at that particular place. I start another job in the middle of January - looking after a newborn baby. Oh how happy I will be working for myself, yet again; freelance, without the grappling-irons
My daughter and granddaughter were here with us on Wednesday night for our (what has become traditional) own, special pre-christmas dinner and gift unwrapping. Granddaughter (and niece) B as usual kept us amused and entertained with her usual natural aplomb. She is always the Santa and has the job of handing out the presents from under the tree - and does it beautifully. We are putty in her hands. She charms and delights us without missing a beat.

I always say Christmas is busier (harder?) for females than males ... don't hate me males. But it has to be said. There. I've said it. Not grizzling ... just stating.


Only two more days to go and it's Christmas once again - the 54th Christmas I have experienced so far. Put like that, I sound ancient! So why does it feel as if it's only about the twentieth? It's a puzzle.


My Poetry Thursday poem is from my book,'Feeding The Dogs'. I probably chose this one because it makes an allusion to Christmas, but then again it may be because it was just where the book opened.

the rifle

Beautiful shoulder-blade
of honeyed wood
shaped for an iron barrel
of fine, dapper lines
with finger-shaped trigger

kept separated from its bullets
and only taken out to kill
injured or old sheep dogs
or sick cats, or geese at Christmas.
Kept in the dark

propped up in a corner
in the wardrobe
behind Mum's lavender
dress for best, the one
she always wore to the Races

along with the necklace
Dad bought one anniversary
with its fiery, cut-glass beads
spiked with light and sparks
that shoot from her throat.


clare said...

I love reading your posts, CB - they bring NZ alive for me. I've just been scrolling through a bit now I've got a chance. I was really interested in the flowers in yur last post - wondering if the Californian Poppy and the thyme are indigenous. It looks a beautiful place. I gree with you about the noise.

Good luck with your new job - and you and your husband are right about presents - my mother always came home laden with stuff at Christmas (she was a reception school teacher) whereas I hardly ever received anything as a High School teacher. It's the same everywhere, then. My theory is that you are both highly appreciated - it's just not cool to say so once you are past 12 years old, I guess.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas with your three suns.

chiefbiscuit said...

clare - Thanks so much. The plants are both introduced - Catherine my kiwi mate up-the-road, seems to think the thyme may have come from the goldminers (the Chinese miners ) altho' there were also goldminers who came over from Californian gold-rush, so maybe the poppy seeds came from their boots) ... who knows .. I should do some research, get a grant to do more, and write about it! Might get a trip over to China and California out of it .. ah! How I digress. How I fantasise!

You have a lovely Christmas with your Hodmanods S&J too. (I looked up the definition of both hodman and od - what a very clever name you've given them!) I think I looked up the correct spelling ...

mcdinzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcdinzie said...

your 3 suns are very lovely young men. I have often admired the way you have brought them up...yes yes even through the bad times :)

Merry Christmas sis...we shall be in touch :)

chiefbiscuit said...

mcdinzie - Thanks sis - you've made my day! Merry Christmas to you too. Yes we'll definitely be in touch.

Tammy said...

I'm sorry your weather is so bad but I'm sure your family has brought you warmth ;)

I loved this poem! I worked at a trap range at 14 and Dave will like it too. "sparks that shoot from her throat" was wonderful!

Merry Christmas!!!xxoo

January said...

Sounds like you have a full house this holiday. Have a great holiday, and thanks for the poem.

chiefbiscuit said...

tammy - The weather report promises a sunny Christmas day - that's all I ask!

january - thanks - you too my dear.

Catherine said...

I think the weather is worse than usual - flooding here in Christchurch, although not at our place. The river has its pollution warning signs up which means heavy rains overloaded the sewage system.
The poem is lovely - such a contrast between the rifle, the evening dress and the necklace. Of course these days the police inspect to make sure the rifle is locked up, not just stowed at the back of the wardrobe

chiefbiscuit said...

catherine - The weather's so atrocious isn't it? Where's the sun promised for this afternoon? So far, no show. Sorry about the flooding ...
Yes that rifle was in the good old days before all the regs. Long gone now; after Dad died in 1968, Mum sold the rifle.

michelle said...

I don't visit as often as you visit me. What a bad blog friend I am. I love your posts. They make me want to see the world.

Have a lovely Christmas! :)

chiefbiscuit said...

michelle - So nice to see you!! :) Thanks for the kind words. You have a very happy Christmas too my.

Remiman said...


MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your houseful of delightful guests.

I do hope the weather cooperates to make it a perfect day for you.

A new job to look forward to is always exciting....have fun.

High school teachers are appreciated! If it wasn't for my caring HS teachers I probably would have ended up in jail.
They truly made a big difference in my life's choices.

Your poem paints a nice picture of those memories that give us pleasure to revisit.

Becky said...

Women certainly DO bring us the holidays, you're right about that,CB.

Sounds like yours are extra special. That photo of your boys is a heartbreaker. Bet you miss them.


Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Merry Christmas... and a very happy New Year...

As for me, I am still working on my second novel and I have been commissioned to work on a proposal for the State. Yahoo!

chiefbiscuit said...

remiman - Thanks for that. I'll pass on that bit you said about HS teachers to ABM.
You have a very Happy Christmas too.

becky - Yeah ... I do miss them. But there are two of them home here for Christmas, so that's gotta be a bonus.

cyn - Hi! What great news about the proposal! You're doing well on your novel too by the sounds.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you too - may there be lots of good times ahead.

kj said...

chief, i've enjoyed finding and visiting your blog. i wish you and your family a wonderful christmas and new year. i love how you describe and write about the people you love.

i'll be back in 2007! best wishes,


pepektheassassin said...

A Merry Christmas to all your family--what beautiful little boys!

And Thanks for all your words and your poems...'til next year.

chiefbiscuit said...

kj - Thanks so much - A Merry Christmas to you too.

pepek - Thanks for that. Yes. Definitely. 'Til next year - I wouldn't miss it for the world1

Jan said...

It's great that you feel there's been so few Christmases; shows you're enthusiastic and wanting still more Xmases to enjoy and experience. And thanks for this brilliant post. Look foreward to more in 2007. Merriest of Xmases to you!

mapiprincesa said...

Merry Christmas, Chief! Blessings to you and looking forward to many more postings from you in the New Year!

chiefbiscuit said...

jan- Thanks so much - I really love reading your posts too. Have a Happy Christmas.

Mapiprincesa - So great to see you again (So to speak!) :) Have a wonderful Christmas with your lovely family.


'how this all harbours light'