Granma Grace laughs. Mr apes her instructions that this bag must go to those people, that bag to these people and the envelopes on no account opened before the event of Christmas Day.
'Or you will die,' I add, mock-sombre.
Her eyes blue-glitter. 'Yes, that's right.' Mock-sombre right back.
Little Granddaughter adds tomato sauce to her pasty platter, then cries, for reasons unknown.
'Well, if you talk to me I can help, okay?' Girl shrugs the drama aside.
A glass of water brings some respite.
Boy fetches biscuits.

Mr and Little Grandson play rugby in the front room. Baby Boy is there, sleeping in a Moses basket. They play with a soft ball but just to be perfectly safe they shhh don't tell Mum.

Girl, Little Granddaughter, eyes of brown onyx; walking home, blowing kisses.

Boy looks at his list of cards to finish. Sighs. He helps unload, reload the car.

New baby in a pram, arms akimbo, feet blanket tangled. Toddler sister turns blue play dough into jam and bread and there's two Nans at the table, a Dad at the door, an Auntie washing her hands, a small dog, a Grandad in passing, a Mum manhandling vast bagged turkeys and me paying compliment to the lovely blue jam. A hamper from us, bottles of deep fruit hues. Other talk of babies of course and the terrible weather.

Sixty watts of electric light shine through our homemade lace shade, adds striations to the walls, colours like sandstone. Sheen-soft gold, the window dressing swings in a storm wind. The bead trim clacks. The beads look like small grey shells. A long day of driving in spray; side wind shoves; sharp and obscuring rain, coffee from the pink flask. Never seen Yeolmbridge so low in the water. How cozy up here, wrapped warm; downstairs the car keys hung up on the hook, the raincoats in a row drying, the fire chugging, the front room strafed in crafted paper off cuts.
The fridge door creaking open so we can repeat the marvel of the gifted bird: crammed in, twelve and half kilos plus gizzards.


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