Saturday 9 March 2024

Friends and food...

The last couple of weeks have been rather social and we like it!

At the beginning of the month, I called in at The Acquired Brain Injury Unit to visit Judy on my way back from the osteopath - the staff told me she was over in the kitchen making her lunch so off I went to surprise her. Well, she is doing fabulously. She had been out that morning to shop for the ingredients and was making a baked frittata. There was plenty, so I stayed and shared lunch with her.

We then had a text a few days ago to say she was to be discharged on 16 Feb - Yay!!! It has been nearly 4 months since her accident, and a long recovery period. My advice is avoid blood thinning meds - and if you have t take them, ask to have the lowest possible/feasible dose of the least powerful drug available. The severity of Judy's injury would have been far less if she wasn't on that stuff. 10 March update: Judy is home, progressing well and fabulous as always. Such a relief!

Then a week ago (back on 8 Feb - god, this post is late!), we had a sector meeting here at our place. Parkwood has a set up where the residents are grouped in sectors of about a dozen (more or less) houses, each with a sector leader and a deputy. The primary purpose is to be a mini-hub of support in a civil emergency, and the secondary purpose is for increasing social cohesion - as we age we can get isolated and having neighbours who keep an eye out and having the occasional get together are both bonding.

I was recently asked by Janet, our lovely neighbour, if I would take over from her as sector leader. Yes, I said. So she briefed me on what was involved and we agreed a meeting of Sector 10 people would be a good idea.

So we had 10 out of 15 people here for afternoon tea and a meeting - 2 people were poorly, 2 weren't really interested, and one (the lovely Brian whose house we stayed in here last February) was away in the South Island.

Afternoon tea was sumptuous, if I do say so myself: cheese scones, plain scones with jam and cream, chocolate brownie and Wendy (our deputy) brought yummy muffins. Note to self (i.e. the catering department): fewer scones and a smaller cake required...

We had an agenda, of course - it's not that long since I ran a lot of meetings that always had an agenda and desired outcomes identified ... And sensibly, if I do say so myself, the first item was Afternoon tea and a catch up.😋

We agreed we would meet once a month and determined we would have our meetings on the first Wednesday. One happy outcome is that after our meetings, we can all go (if we desire) straight up to the monthly Mix and Mingle gathering, and if I continue to over-cater, we can take the leftovers up as our contribution to the nibbles! Result!

The first item on the agenda was afternoon tea and a catch up...

That evening, we went out to Otaki Golf Club to an event  of dinner and live music. The event happens every two months for the cost of $50 each. We asked Christine and Peter who go regularly if we could go too. The music was great with musicians who regularly play together and in a range of different bands. And dinner was not fancy and it was delicious. And who should we see there but Clare, the intrepid woman who has cycled down the west coast of the USA twice and from Auckland back to Paraparaumu via the East Coast, as well as lots of cycling in the South Island... back in 2019, I posted about her here.

Andrew London and Kelvin (?) who regularly play together
The full complement of musicians - they are very good!


(10 March update: We really enjoyed the musical evening, and intend to go again, but for the next scheduled time, we will have just arrived in the South Island for our trip down to Doubtful Sound (2 nights in Fiordland Lodge and 2 on a launch in the sound - a treat for not going to the UK this year.)

____________ a month's interlude, and then:

So instead, we are going to an event with two of the same musicians tonight - at The Winemaker's Daughter: a buffet dinner and 4 musicians.I will keep you posted on how it was.)

We've done a bit more entertaining in the month (!! 😈😠😖😑😐!!) since I wrote the piece above this and obviously I have been very slack about getting it uploaded! So a rapid update to ensure I get this posted before the sun sets again:

  • We went to Stokes Valley to stay the night with Jo, Shane and Liam - Jo was my PA back in Telecom days and she was brilliant. She always says she was my manager, and she is correct. I was good at managing other people but crap at sorting paperwork and filing, whereas Jo was a star. She also used to field calls from Tim and Kirsty if I was in meetings and had full delegation to say yay or nay to their proposed after school plans...
    • It was great to see them and it has been ages and ages. I have to thank David for setting it up, as he had the idea and executed it - and considering he's not that comfortable doing the social secretary thing, it was impressive. He did volunteer me to make cheese tart though - without consultation, I might add. But still revenge was sweet - Jo made a yummy pasta dish with feta which David professes to hate but ate and had seconds and declared it delicious. Guess what I'll be making soon...
      Mel had to come (we took the motorhome) and of course he had to try out Liam's gear...
      And the drone - yay!!

      I may have got shorter but Jo is still tall and lovely!
      David and Shane - not sure why we didn't get any photos of Liam. He is such a cool kid!
      Mel slept inside and dressed himself in Liam's gear.

  • From Jo and Shane's we headed a wee way north up the Hutt Valley to Silverstream and at a lovely cafe met Sarah and Grahame, their two very grown up and impossibly tall kids, Mya's boyfriend and Grahame's parents, Marjorie and Norman. That was a brilliant catch up too but no photos of anyone - doh!. But a bonus - in an after brunch walk we came across a car show, not vintage but 30s 40s, 50s and 60s cars - all the ones we were familiar with.
    I think my brother had one of these as his first car way back in the 1960s.
    A Bradford van - a friend owned one of these when I was flatting in Nixon St in Hamilton (Teacher's College days - not my favourite time of life). Two flats worth of young nutbars used to pile into the back of it and go jaunting around the city and outside. I remember one trip to Morrinsville for a milkshake. Other trips where we would pull up at the lights on Victoria St and all pile out, run around the van, get back in again in time for the lights to change to green and then off we'd go. As I said: nutbars.

  • part of the staying connected and not losing touch again was that we arranged for Sarah and Grahame, Norman and Marjorie plus two of the 3 young ones to come here for an early dinner after they had been to Tutus on Tour at Southwards the following weekend.
  • and another part of staying connected was that the next weekend Jo, Shane and Liam came for lunch.
    Liam (lovely kid), Jo and Shane here for lunch - afterwards, we played Five Crowns. Liam won and Shane came last. I think that's why he's not smiling ... Much hilarity! I think they were going to buy the game when they got home ...

  • and then the following day we had Robert and Glenn over for lunch.

I have to confess that I made the same meal for both of the Hutt Valley groups: construct your own tortillas with chilli beans (canned - lazy option but David says they are yummy - too hot for me...), spicy cooked tomato, onion and garlic, mushroom sauce, avocado, cheese, lettuce, pickles, relishes, beetroot and carrot salad.

I made a curry for Robert and Glenn - I thought it wise in case all guests conferred and found out about my lack of imagination. I did however, provide the same dessert to the last two sets of guests - apple tarts with icecream. Very yummy.

I sent this to ACP as it seemed very apt.


Jenny said...

You have been busy, catching up with friends, entertsining, cooking, eating! Plus running a meeting.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Jenny,

I've still had plenty of time for reading and watching movies though ...

When are you off again?


Jo B said...

He he, fabulous catch-ups indeed and need to book in the next one! Shane is upset there is no mention of how great he is 🤣🤣🤣🤣 xxxx

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Jo B darling,
Shane needs to be grateful I didn't mention our bias about his name ...
PS Another catch up soon - if you're not going away over Easter, come and visit!

Jo B said...

Hi M&D, he he yes so true 🤣😊 and yes would love to come up again to visit. Not sure if Easter will work but will let you know. xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Well, that didn't take you long to get involved and of course sector leader, never any doubt you would say no! Seriously though, very glad Judy is on the mend and long may it continue.
Sending much love to both


PS I Hope Mel didn't crash that helicopter, he looks much too comfortable on that fab sofa. Xxx

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Irene darling, organisation skills will out; but seriously, I wasn't asking to take over the world!
Mel kept the drone inside - safer that way given he doesn't have opposable thumbs...