We never quite know what we are in for when we attend one of our SLG outings. Setting the alarm clock to awaken us bright and early, we were out the door and driving on our way to Silverstream to find out what was in store for us. Helen was organising the day and first up was a visit to Matrix Homes, housed in the old General Motors buildings, Upper Hutt.
This young company’s mission is to build affordable modular homes for the Kiwi market, under cover, and the units are then moved onto the building site, or can also be shipped to the South Island. Gabby and Brooke showed our group around the huge factory building, and we saw several homes under construction.
After a good look around the factory, and inspecting one partially built home after another, we were then taken to view the Show Home on display outside. Carpeted and with furniture in place, it was easy to see the scale of the rooms. Fully insulated and double glazed, these homes are certainly good value for money. We loved the large picture windows with sunshine streaming inside.
Then it was back to Fig Tree Cafe for lunch - “For Worshippers of Fine Food”, situated in a restored chapel. One of my all-time favourite cafes, I have to say. The food was great, as usual, and I was particularly happy to pick up a couple of “straight out the oven” Eccles Cakes to take home. Lunch choices ranged from Beef and Guinness pies, corn fritters, chicken melts, and omelettes.
Our entertainment for the afternoon was a Car Rally and Helen let us loose on the streets at carefully controlled intervals, clutching a clipboard and pen and several pages of instructions. To make things easy she told us we should start off heading north – quite sensible really as our cars could have been parked on either side of the road and facing both ways. We had to find and name buildings, schools, roads, work places, parks and a church, while making sure we were following the clues and heading in the right direction. Driving through “Poets Block” we wrote down the names of famous poets, Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, Milton, Thackeray and Longfellow, thankful that we were not required to name some of their works, that would have been difficult. Luckily our instructions took us right back to Helen and Calvin’s home for a much needed cuppa, although our last task was to count the number of palings on the front fence. Goodness knows what the neighbours thought of this strange behaviour!
Admittedly, there were a few terse words spoken in the car, probably due to my lack of navigation skills as we drove this way and that. But we only had to back track once, and completed the task without coming to blows (or tears) to that has to be good. Helen had prepared a tasty afternoon tea for all the intrepid travellers as we arrived back, and we reminisced about our trials and tribulations as we negotiated the clues for the car rally. But really, it was great fun, and the last car rally we had done was several years ago. Thanks to Helen for organising a great day out for the group.