Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A pleasant weekend to top off a great week!

After all the op shop excitement, our weekend could be considered boring by some, but we enjoyed ourselves. On Saturday night we attended a 60th birthday party. The person turning 60 was one of my cousins (my father's brother's son). I only have two first cousins, as my Mum was an only child, and although Dad had two brothers, one never got married, so there were no other children except his second brother's boys. We used to see a fair bit of them while we were all children, as families do when they are younger, but have drifted apart with our own lives as we got older. So it is the old story of only seeing each other at weddings and funerals. So I was pleasantly surprised when I received the invite to John's party.

Ken and I thought we would have a quiet night on the sidelines, as we don't know any of John and Maureen's friends, but we were in for a surprise. The evening turned out to be almost a family reunion, with far flung distantly related cousins flying in from around Australia! The couple we had stayed with in Sydney earlier this year were there, and they were as delighted as we were to catch up. John's younger brother and his wife spent quite some time talking to us, as did a number of other people who were simply being friendly because we obviously didn't know many other people! And there were a number of elderly people present who were old friends of my father and his brother, and they wanted to talk to me about Dad. So it was an excellent night altogether. Neither of my own brothers bothered to attend, not that I was surprised, although the cousins were disappointed. My brothers have distanced themselves from me since our father and stepmother died a few years ago; I have no idea why, but I am assuming it is because of the age gap. I am 10 years younger than them, and I guess I was only ever their kid sister, with nothing else in common. Well, it was their loss; I know they will spit chips when they hear who was at the party, as they generally have a lot to talk about with the interstate cousins when they see them.

And so to Sunday. Ken went to a vintage car rally-thing with his brother-in-law, and I went to a Christmas luncheon for Do-Care's clients and volunteers. By clients, I mean the socially isolated people (elderly or disabled) whom Do Care find volunteers for to be friends with them. We generally have about 70 people at the annual Christmas luncheon, some of them quite lively, and some very quiet, but all enjoying themselves, and glad to be out of the "four walls" that surround them in their everyday life. The same people come along every year, give or take those that have died, or are too ill or frail to come. One of the regulars is 'B' - a man who has had M.S. for 30 years, severely disabled, and permanently housed in a complicated wheelchair. But that doesn't stop him enjoying the day, singing along, laughing and talking with the other men on his table. I always spend some time chatting to him, and holding his hand. Today, when I left a few minutes early to take a lady home, I went over to B to say goodbye for another year, and dropped a kiss on his cheek. That did it! All eight men on the table insisted on a kiss as well!! So funny, but I was happy to do that little thing. These people have so little fun in their lives.

Entertainment is provided by a two-piece 'band' comprised of a drummer and organist, both middle-aged and very familiar with the musical tastes of this age group. So we get some Christmas melodies, some Glen Miller, some rock'n'roll, some jazz, and a lot of fun, such as the Hokey Pokey, where those who are fit enough, get up on to the small dance floor and make fools of themselves - including me! Apart from being 'taxi' to anyone who needs me, I provide the name tags for everyone - a chance to practice my calligraphic skills, and the oldies sometimes tell me how much they look forward to adding a new name tag every Christmas to their collection!


Blogger Peggy said...

That is such a touching post! I imagine those men will remember that special kiss forever and will expect another next year!

Monday, 28 November, 2005  
Blogger ms*robyn said...

and a lovely day was had by all - thankyou for sharing your day with us Gina - you are a treasure xox

Monday, 28 November, 2005  
Blogger Maggie Ann said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, 29 November, 2005  
Blogger Medieval Lady said...

Hi Gina,
Sounds like you and Ken had a great time. That's awesome. :-)

Wednesday, 30 November, 2005  
Blogger Nicole said...

Oh Miss Gina, How you have brought sunshine to my rainy day! How one little brown paper parcel can cause quite a stir inside my pumping heart we'll never know.

Friday, 02 December, 2005  
Blogger Mickey said...

Lovely message gina. Very exciting to hear your weekend. Glad to hear you were dancing. I'm sure you were very elegant. Thankyou for sharing it. :=)

Saturday, 03 December, 2005  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Thank you all for your friendly feedback as always. Little Miss Arty, you mean my vintage swap parcel has arrived already? Goodness me, Australia Post are getting very concientious about the mail these days!

Sunday, 04 December, 2005  

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