By Charlotte Rietveld Rakia Gorge, Canterbury.

As we farewell yet another year, it’s only natural to look back in review. We began the year by temporarily leaving our home at Middle Rock, a 1000-hectare sheep farm up mid-Canterbury’s Rakaia Gorge for a four-year ‘breeding sabbatical’.

Instead of my husband Vince doing the daily commute to our Christchurch-based off-farm business Ironman 4X4, we are now living just out of Christchurch from where I make the 50-minute commute to the farm, with two small children in tow, once or twice a week.

Despite assuring myself I was irreplaceable, it turns out my parents, Bruce and Lyn Nell (otherwise known as The Boss and The Chief Inspector) have carried on farming quite happily without me. This may have something to do with my shepherding self being replaced by a lanky lad little over half my age.

While I keenly await the day my parents advise that they desperately need me back full-time, in the interim it seems Wonder Boy has got me foxed and I am to remain Her Indoors for the time being. That said, in the spirit of Christmas and forgiveness, New Year’s, new beginnings and all that hoopla, job-stealing Wonder Boy and I have made our peace. Well, sort of. Kind of like Snoopy and the Red Baron sitting down for a dram. We’ll call it a temporary cease fire.

You see, before Christmas The Boss and The Chief Inspector fled the country for a quick holiday. Wisely or not, with moisture levels dropping rapidly, Wonder Boy and I decided to go against The Boss’s decision and proceed with drafting a light mob off the ewe hoggets. A simple, easily reversible manoeuvre you may say.

Naturally I won’t hesitate to behave like one of those small children should The Boss launch a special investigation into this non-permitted activity.

But those in the know will recognise this as a vigilante group with all the hallmarks of a clandestine, guerrilla warfare leadership coup. Rodrigo Duterte would have had us executed on the spot. Trump would have fired us via immediate Twitter declaration and Jacinda at the very least had us marked as part of Aunty Helen’s ‘the haters and the wreckers’.

By goodness, ol’ Wonder Boy and I sure know how to spark a revolution.

Just bring in a mob of ewes and watch democracy teeter. Still overseas, The Boss is yet to discover there’s been a staffing rebellion.

If you don’t hear from me again, you can be sure I am a political prisoner under house arrest enduring 24-hour surveillance, otherwise known as daily life at home with two small children.

Naturally I won’t hesitate to behave like one of those small children should The Boss launch a special investigation into this non-permitted activity.

Wonder Boy might think he can keep this ol’ breeding dam quiet while she’s drafted out with the condition score five ewes, but I’ve got news for him.

Her Indoors is all too ready to throw Wonder Boy under the bus should our little leadership coup fail and heads start rolling.

Our brief strategic alliance of confidence and supply will be over faster than I can say “he started it…”

But in truth, I’m not having a lot of success in the deal-making department lately. Those who recall my previous column might remember my highly immoral trade-off of a christening for a boat. Turns out I am not much of a negotiator. The baby has had a dip in the water, but I am still waiting for mine.

As this goes to print you can be sure I am holding high hopes for what could turn up in a Christmas stocking.

Otherwise I might suggest my dear husband looks up the tactics of history’s most successful negotiator, Lysistrata.