It’s been a busy old week so far, as we have been “out to lunch” three days in a row. Yesterday was a lunch with our SLG friends and we went to Murrayfield, just a few kms up the road from our home in the rural countryside. Robin was in charge of organising the SLG outing this month, and after a bit of research, settled on this cafe with it’s adjoining colonial museum. It was pouring with rain in the car park so we scurried inside the cafe for a warming coffee while we waited for everyone to arrive. Glassy eyes topped with a fine set of horns looked down on us as we placed our orders at the counter.
With the meeting and greeting over, and the coffees finished, we walked through the doors into the museum. We wandered past the show cases set out with characters from fairy tales all nodding their heads and moving their arms about. Oh look, there is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves with their little beds in a row, Old King Cole, the Old Lady who lived in the Shoe, and many others. All good fun as we recited the rhymes – funny how we could remember most of the words from years gone by.
The Doreen family have collected most of the items on display over a period of years, showing today’s youngsters what life was like in times before tractors and electricity. Kitchen utensils,hand tools, laundry equipment, Boy Scout uniforms, war memorabilia, and a well stocked chemist shop and general store – vintage clothes and bedding, there was plenty to see.
By far the biggest display in the museum was the work of one woman, Helen Pratt, who created Helenstown, an early New Zealand town built to a miniature scale, depicting a typical town around the early 1900's. The project was started in 1999 and took 5 years to complete what is seen today - approximately 300 buildings depicting early New Zealand. There are homes, churches, banks, picture theatres, butchers shops, boot repairers, cake shops, and even a model of the “world famous in New Zealand” seven story Tui Brewery Tower at Mangatainoka.
We settled down to lunch in the elegant dining room, a lovely function room which sees it’s fair share of weddings by the look of the drapery. There were no surprises with two of our group’s lunch orders, it was a Big Breakfast for Robin, and Les won’t go past Lambs Fry if it is on the menu. There was plenty of choice for the rest of us, with Corn Fritters, BLTs, fish and steak being delivered to our table.
Our lunch table
Lunch over, everyone came back to our home. Our friends were very interested to check out the new acquisition, our new Leisureline caravan. Then we had the most important Annual Draw. Everyone picked out a piece of folded paper out of a bowl, which gave them the month when they have to organise their next outing for the coming year. Even more food followed, home baked goodies by yours truly, the cook of the house. Muffy was happy and lapped up all the extra attention from a house full of visitors. Then it was goodbye from him and goodbye from her as our guests gathered up their belongings and headed off home. The rain had cleared by this stage, the clouds had lifted, and we saw another good covering of snow on the Tararua Ranges again. With snow up there, it’s no wonder we were feeling chilly.