We moved into 'Elements Retirement Living' three years ago yesterday. Time has flown past but we feel like this is home now. Although it was a scary and emotional time three years ago when we were not sure if we had made the right decision to move into a retirement village. However, we don't regret the move at all, we are very happy here and it is easy living. Our kids are happy too knowing we are in a safe place. The community is very friendly and there are heaps of activities. There have been some changes since we moved in. I'll show you in pictures.
Our unit 2017
Our unit 2020
Across the road from our unit 2017
Across the road 2020
Our view now to the left of the house and pathway.
We celebrated St Patrick's day early by having our monthly dinner with an Irish theme. The Dinner Committee and our resident Irishman put together a fun evening. We were asked to dress in green, The chef cooked some traditional Irish meals and we had Irish dancers entertain us, after which they encouraged some residents to join in the fun and learn to do an Irish folk dance.
We were lucky to have this evening just before we have all been asked to think about Social Distancing. So all our clubs and activity groups have now been cancelled so we don't know how long it will be before we have another dinner.
Even Colonel Sanders came.
Our CEO and Irishman Pat opening the proceedings.
I'm one of the village photographers and I took a shot of every table but forgot my own table.
Girls from The Trish Williams School of Irish dancing entertained us. We raised over $500 to give them towards the expense of going to the World Championships.
Then it was the residents turn to entertain and have fun learning an Irish dance.
My neighbours and the CEO (back left) and Residents Chairman (back right) and one of the volunteer barmen (standing). We have a fabulous community.
Our village mascot dressed as a lepracorn. When our daughters saw this photo of us we got into trouble for not Social Distancing. They are both very worried about us and the virus, because we are in the vulnerable age bracket and Bill has heart issues as well as me having bronchitis often. They have laid down the law and told us to stay home. So we have been grounded by our children. Talk about role reversal!
Last week we celebrated George's Birthday at the Dolphin's Leagues Club in Redcliffe. It was my turn to dress Birthday Bear and I am running out of ideas. We have been using Bear as a birthday gift in our little group of friends for over ten years now. The idea started when we decided giving useless presents to each other was a silly idea so we started the Birthday Bear tradition. Where we pass a bear around our group for each birthday but it has to be dressed differently each time to reflect something about the recipient. Our birthday group started when we retired from working at Kuraby State School and we wanted to stay in touch so we decided to celebrate our, and our spouses', birthdays together.
Last time we were together, George was showing us pics of the orchid he had grown which had two different coloured flowers. So I dressed bear as an orchid grower to help George in the green house.
So Bear was dressed in a 'Yard Master' apron with a trowel in pocket and a shady garden hat. He had a beautiful orchid and a book of hints for George.
Unfortunately, Mary was sick this day and couldn't join us.
As usual, Bill ordered bangers and mash.
I had a eye fillet steak. It was cooked to perfection. We also had a choice of salads and vegetables from the Salad Bar. Typical club food but it was okay.
Not long ago we were suffering a drought and catastrophic bush fires. Then came the rain. It has put out the fires and got the farmers jumping with joy. (Although some unlucky ones have still missed out on rain.) Around the suburbs everything has turned green. Here are some photos from morning walks. Some in Daisy Hill Forest and others in Exillis+Dorset Park. When we've had a lot of rain (remember Queensland is tropical and we get very heavy tropical downpours.) this turns the Daisy Hill Forest tracks into slippery mud slides full of big muddy puddles so we usually walk on the concrete pathway in Exillis+Dorset Park.
Priest Gully meanders through Exilis+Dorset Park but it had been dry for months until the rain came.
By the time we could get out after days of rain the creek was running wildly and you could see by the debris how high and wide the water had been rushing by.
And the shrubs and bushes were springing up again. My walking buddies are not impressed with me keep stopping for photos.
The grass is so high the wallabies are hard to see now.
When the rain stops for a few days we go into the forest again. We start off on the concrete path through the picnic area but soon we head off into the forest onto the dirt tracks.
We were amazed at how green the picnic area was compared to a few moths ago.
Same area a few months ago.
Even the trees have got more brighter leaves after dropping them when it was dry.
So it was Bill's birthday this week. Our darling daughter's surprised him by coming from Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate with him. It was the best present ever. They also bought a beautiful birthday cheese cake with white chocolate. They could only stay overnight and then it was back to work for Carol and back to the boys for Sonya.
Carol-Ann and Sonya
This was afternoon tea. Later we all went out to our favourite Thai Restaurant for dinner.
We don't often get together as a family so a quick snap before they go home.
The next day it was Birthday Bear Celebrations with our friends from work years ago.
It's no secret that Bill loves sausages, especially Swiss ones.
'Snag' is Aussie slang for sausage but it also stands for 'Sensitive New Age Guy.'
Chris dressed Bear as a sausage maker. He had all the gear and books to tell how to make your own sausages.
Bill was vey happy with his Birthday Bear and he was keen to get some tuition from him.
Guess what Bill ordered for lunch at Sunnybank Hotel?
Our group was a little smaller today. Poor Ann has had an operation on her chin for a skin cancer and it was still bleeding so she couldn't join us. Bob had gone to play the "Pokies" just before we all went home tired and happy.The food and wine was delicious.
Each year the crowd gets bigger at our village Chinese New Year celebrations. Our CEO, Chiou See, is a Chinese Singaporean so she knows how to party on this day. There were 250 guests, which included residents families and friends. Chiou See and her staff did an amazing job at preparing and cooking variety of Chinese dishes for 250 people. She also organised a Lion Dancers and treats for all the children.
The crowd arrives we were greeted by a staff member offering spring rolls, prepared by 3 of the residents.
Our volunteer bar staff, Eric, Terry and Patrick.
Chiou See explains how to feed the lions with money in a little red envelope on the table.
Putting donations into the envelopes for the lion dancers.
The lion dancers perform the dance with Kung Fu movements to a vigorous drum beat. They are accompanied by the smiling Dai To Fut, who lures the lions with a fan.
There are two people operating the lion. The Lion Dance shouldn't be confused with the Dragon Dance where there are many dancers in a long dragon outfit.
After an energetic performance they dance among the audience to be fed with the envelopes.
They sometimes eat your head.
Bill is the official videographer. His videos are posted on the Elements Retirement Living at Springwood Facebook Page.
The dancers are given a challenge of reaching a lettuce that is hanging from the ceiling. Plucking the greens brings good luck and fortune.
The lion munches the lettuce and spits it out to the audience for good luck.
The lettuce is flying through the air and the dancer's envelope rewards are bulging in his t-shirt.
The colourful fun dance ends and it's time for dinner.
We are encouraged to wear red at these celebrations. A good luck colour for the Chinese.
It is tradition for the eldest person at the party gives the children an envelope with money. So all the children lined up and were given ice cream and then their envelope.