Tuesday 11th February – a 95th birthday

Facebook, for he is a member, reminded me that it’s my Grandpa’s 95th birthday today. With the help of my amazing cousins we managed to get a Skype connection and talk. Was so lovely to see him looking so well (glass of wine in hand), my cousin Camille and Uncle Steve were both there visiting. We had a lovely chat and compared how long our hair had got – he still has an amazing mop of silver hair.

Eventually the pub was calling them so we had to say our goodbyes. I sat and cried, was so good to see him, but so far away…. It set me off for the rest of the day – just super tearful, not knowing what to do with myself.

I decided fresh air would help so took a walk into town. Somehow ended up at the oldest stone church/New Zealand’s youngest cathedral – fascinating gravestones there, but not somewhere to cheer yourself up, although you can get away with crying!! There were a few people buried there from Lincolnshire where my parents still live and those that died in clashes with ‘natives’.

Decided it was best to remove myself from the graveyard and headed for the supermarket (chocolate and beer) and the Crazy Pumpkin (for fruit so I didn’t feel so guilty about the supermarket shop)

Got back to the hostel and still feeling sad I called on my final line of gloomy defence – Elf – with chocolate and beer!

It did the trick and before long people were back from work etc, mocked me for watching Elf again, but soon settled down to watch it with me!!

Not sure how or why it happened, but we ended up playing sardines, 8 of us, only inside, 60sec to hide while the rest of us stood in the garden. I’d never played before and now regret the 30-odd years I’ve missed out on. Conor had the best hiding place of all – under the bottom shelf of the food cupboard! I found him first, followed by James, then George, but then the cover was blown as we could no longer close the door! Was made even funnier as a lady who’d checked in had apparently opened the door and spotted Conor – he waved, she put her stuff in, closed the door and went back to her room!

I have so many fun memories of Sunflower Lodge but tonight is one of my favorites.


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