10 August 2016
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Atawhai Residents enjoyed the French dish Bouillabaisse on their imaginary trip to the Northern Hemisphere
Close your eyes and imagine - sandy beaches, the sun softly warming you up, the water gently tickling your bare feet.
Oh summer - let's face it, we all miss it, including our elderly residents. So, since it's summer in the Northern hemisphere, we took an imaginary trip up there.
First stop: France. Some of our village residents did more than just imagine as they came dressed up in full gear - one sporting a full rooster costume (French sporting mascot) and holding a rugby ball!
Others played the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, on the recorder - we do have very talented people in our midst. The Eiffel Tower, French flag and background music were accompanied by a tour of beautiful Paris on the television screen.
The only difficult part in this trip was to choose what food to order on the restaurant menu. Bouillabaisse for the seafood lovers, coq au vin for a more traditional choice. Cheese platter anyone?
Most saved themselves for a taste of homemade chocolate eclairs and other treats, although Clarrie admitted he has two stomachs, one for mains and one for desserts. Don't we all?
Next stop: Spain, the destination of choice for a lot of British people and other holiday makers in Europe. Take your pick - Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca? Bienvenido and don't forget your Spanish sombrero, it's hot there! Residents competed for the largest and most colourful hat.
Now take a seat and make yourself comfortable as lunches in Spain are known to last quite a long time, so long, in fact, that by the time it's finished, everyone stops for a siesta!
'Mama' Sarah in the kitchen prepared a sun-drenched feast for the residents, who enjoyed tortillas, paella and other tapas.
Travel memories last for an eternity and many of our residents love to recall the time they spent abroad. For Jim, a World War II veteran who was in the Merchant Navy and travelled all around the world, Europe brings back a lot of memories.
He remembers being in Casablanca (now part of Morocco but it was French until 1956) on Bastille Day, France's national day in 1943 or 1944. "The Yanks gave the French permission to 'turn it up' that night so they partied all night making a lot of noise," he said.
Residents had a wonderful time escaping the winter cold for a few days. Just close your eyes and imagine...
Find out more about Atawhai Rest Home here