We have always lovingly referred to John’s parents as ‘the olds’. I don’t know where it started or who came up with the idea that it would be appropriate but I can’t remember a time when they were anything else.
You’ve gotten to know Rob through the pages of my blog because he lived with us for over a year – recipe tasting and commenting on every one. Most he liked, some he thought were too difficult to eat for an old man and a few he thought needed a rethink. I always appreciated his honesty because being told, “It’s great,” doesn’t really help. Neither of the men in my house ever did that.
Now that both Rob and John’s mother Joan are in a local aged care facility, it requires much visitation. Joan is not happy she’s there and Rob’s pleased as punch with all his new friends and staff at Arcare to wait on him.
“Maureen, I get breakfast at 8am, morning tea at 10, lunch is at noon, afternoon tea at 3, dinner at five (complete with wine) and supper (a cup of hot chocolate) at 7:30pm,” he tells me with obvious glee. He didn’t get that sort of service from us.
The other day I suggested the four of us head to the Australia Zoo for a walk. What a great idea that was. We’ve lived in this community for 3 years but have never been to the zoo. It’s the Crocodile Hunter’s zoo – Crikey! The zoo is beautifully maintained with friendly staff and way more than we could see during our visit. We bought annual passes because it’s a terrific place to go for a walk with many places to sit and have a rest.
Joan has moderate to severe dementia depending upon the day and that day she had a lot of fun. The best part for her was watching all the little children. You can make a teacher retire but you can never remove her love of children. At every exhibit there was always a wait while she talked to a little one.
This little fella joined us for lunch. Who knew he liked egg salad sandwiches?
It’s really cool to see how close they stand to huge crocodiles in the ‘Crocoseum’. I know it’s a dumb name.
And finally, who can resist the koalas? John says they stink and they pee on your head if you’re in the bush and to him I say, ‘bah humbug! they are SO cute!’
A few people have written to me asking how Rob was getting along at the nursing home so I thought I’d share these photos to let you know he’s having the time of his life. He does call every day but I suspect that’s to make sure there’s someone who cares at the end of the line. It’s early days. The only ones that make me groan are the calls before 7am.
I asked him if he’d like to come home and spend the night while he goes through the books he had shipped up here for his bookshelves and I thought he’d be eager. Nope. “Maybe next week,” he said.
Now for some soup! I love this potato leek soup and I hope you will too. It’s easy, quick and very filling.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 100 grams bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed and sliced (use the pale portion only)
- 500 grams potatoes (about 4 large potatoes), peeled and cubed
- 1 litre vegetable stock (I used low salt chicken stock because it's what I had in the pantry)
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cream
- Fry bacon until done, add all the chopped vegetables and cook on medium-low heat until the carrots are soft. You don't want the onion or leeks to brown.
- Add the stock and then the potatoes and bring to the boil.
- Cook until soft - usually about 10 minutes with the lid on the pot.
- Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and add the cream.
- Whiz with a stick blender until smooth.