"It's tea they need a smoke and feed."

Wrap you gums around these slices boys.

Lemon Slice

1 packet Arnotts Marie Biscuits
4oz butter
half a tin of condensed milk
1 lemon
3 oz coconut

1. Crush biscuits and place in basin with rind of lemon and coconut.
2. Put condensed milk with butter over low heat stirring well until blended.
3. Mix with biscuit crumbs
4. Press into a shallow greased tin and ice with lemon icing
5. Chill and then cut into slices

Chocolate Hedgehog

half a cup of butter
two thirds cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons of coconut
1 egg beaten
three quarters of a cup of chopped walnuts
glace cherries diced
half a teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of crushed sweet, plain, biscuits

1. Collect ingredients
2. Melt butter and sugar, add to cocoa and mix well.
3. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, walnuts and beaten egg
4. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin, leaving some larger pieces. Mix all ingredients.
6. Press in slice pan.
7. Refrigerate and ice with chocolate icing.
8. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
9. Chill and cut into slices

Summer is shearing time on the farm. The gangs and their support crew arrive at 5 am and the pressure is on to keep the pens full. The whole flocked has been previously crutched because everything depends on getting the highest quality of fleece. It's full on work for many days in the heat.

For me, nothing comes near the athleticism , the sheer strength and agility of the shearer. This is my salute to all the good natured gangs and their tough bosses . The only men who came near the shearers for skill and strength were the fencers. Real men I reckon and my husband could foot it with both the shearers and the fencers. When I see body builders strutting along in Surfers I want to laugh at the pumped bodies that would have trouble holding a ewe, let alone holding it still long enough to shear.

There is nothing quite like the buzz of a shearing shed running full throttle. I guess you all know that shearing is now mechanized , so the rhythm here is different to "Click go the Shears. " Hope it brings a few memories to some of you. I'm proud to have played a small part of this tough job.

The Grammar of the Gang

No one cares how rousies spelled
Itís a hot job done that counts.
A sure hard arm , a clean swept board
Is good grammar in this gang.

Tattoos brace gun muscle.
Moods boot down the chute with the ewe.
The handpiece needs anointing .
No nicks , but you could charge
for the sight of the sweat.

Itís tea they need, a smoke and a feed
while the shed hands count-out the pens.
Rap galvanises the pressers to action
In a shed full of consonant shouts and scents.

A short runís all they need now
If the Bossís tally comes right .
Cut them out before nightfall. Tides right.
Letís make it New Years at the beach.

Vivienne Bibby


Rousie is the name for shed hand (often girls)who deal with the wool .
The Maori call it ďNew Years.Ē