Friday, September 30, 2011

High Tea on Norfolk Island

Every year around her birthday in September, the lovely Cristina McRitchie invites her girlfriends around to her Auntie Mary's home for high tea. 

The Birthday Girl
 Auntie Mary lives at Devon House in Queen Elizabeth Drive and she has the most glorious Norfolk Island home with huge verandahs and, of course, the beautiful lush gardens that are so green and full of tropical plants.

It was the best opportunity to meet people that I had not yet met and also to catch up with those that I don't see very often.

 The weather turned out to be sunny and warm which was perfect as the days before had been extremely ho hum. 

 The ladies all turned out in their High Tea outfits which meant pretty dresses with flowers on them (which I didn't own) but I at least wore something with alot of colour at least

There were about 15 or so lovely ladies including Cristina's mum Sally who came over for a visit from Australia.  There were some young kiddies there too playing on the expansive lawns.

Everyone bought a plate of food and drinks so there was so much food there and although the invitation was from 2.00pm to 5.00 I didn't leave until nearly 6.30 as we were all having such a fun time.

Me and Anna
Happy birthday Cristina - next year is the big "40".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

People Who Came to the Island to Visit

My Mum's Visit

Rob and I had been here for about 4 months when my mother and her two friends came to the island.  They stayed at Fantasy Island Resort and they were here for a week.  It was great to see my Mum and I really enjoyed showing off the island to her and her friends.

Down at Emily Bay on a windy day
The first tour we went on was the introductory 1/2 day tour which took us all around the island with the driver telling us all about things we were looking at.

Trent Christian's biggest fan - she even bought his CD at the Fish Fry
During that week we went to a fish fry which was supposed to be held at Puppy's Point but it was raining so it was moved to the South Pac Hotel and we enjoyed Wonderland By Night as well.

We took Mum to dinner at the RSL
We took Mum out for dinner at the RSL and she really loved her sausages and we also went to the Paradise one night too.  Lunch at Governor's Lodge was also a must.  I loved seeing my Mum and she loved Norfolk Island too.

Dot Moran and Violet's Visit

In Mid October 2010 Rob's sister Jo rang us to advise us that their Mum's oldest friend Dot Moran was going to be visiting the island and would love to visit Rob who she had known since he was a baby.

I had never met this lovely lady before but I knew her very well through the stories that my mother-in-law Lorna would tell me about their antics when they were children back in Deniliquin.

Dot is on the right and her friend Violet is on the left

Dot is a master cake maker and decorator and it was a Munro family tradition that Dot make and decorate the wedding cakes for all three of Lorna's children and the christening cakes of her grandchildren.  This means that my wedding cake and both christening cakes of my boys were all made by this remarkable lady.

It was lovely to finally meet Dot and Violet and we had a lovely afternoon tea under our pergola. 

Carolyn and Arthur's Visit

My cousin Carolyn rang me out of the blue in June to let me know that she and her husband were coming to Norfolk Island with some friends and would love to catch up with me.  I was very excited to see Carolyn as we rarely get together as she lives in Gatton, Qld.  The last time we had seen each other was in 2005 when they both came to dinner when we were still living in Calwell.

At The Olive catching up
 I met them at The Olive and Arthur brought his laptop to show me all the family ancestry detective work that Carolyn had been up to.  She also has many photos on her computer of her mum and my mum as little girls with our grandparents which she sent me copies.

On the deck at Sublime
As they came with friends to Norfolk Island we didn't want to intrude too much on their holiday but Rob and I took them out for lunch at Sublime at Mokutu.  Not only is the food divine but the views from the deck are spectacular.

At Forrester's Court - Elephant Rock is just over my shoulder
After our lunch Rob had to go to work and Arthur wanted to have a lie down back at his motel so Carolyn and I ventured out by ourselves.  What to do on Norfolk Island at 3pm in the afternoon on a Sunday??  Well I remember a long time ago that I warned Brad Forrester that one day I am going to find Forrester's Court and make a visit.  He advised me that his and Ariane's 5 star accommodation was right down the end of Mill Road and to keep going after you reach the cattlegrid at the bottom and that was the beginning of their driveway!

The lovely Ariane showing us around her beautiful property

So Carolyn and I ventured down Mill Road trying to find Forrester's Court and we did.  Lovely chatelaine Ariane was surprised to see us but made us feel very welcome.  She showed us all the cottages which are absolutely luxurious and of course the fantastic views from their property.  We stayed for a couple of hours with Ariane and we absolutely loved every minute of our visit.  Carolyn later told me that was the highlight of her holiday - how nice is that!

Ken and Jan's Visit

Our last visitors to the island was Ken and Jan, our friends from Tasmania who we stayed with way back in January.  They were the first visitors to actually stay with us and Rob and I were so looking forward to their visit.
Ken, Jan and me at the Mt Pitt lookout
We took them all around the island and showed them all the popular places.  The lookout at Mt Pitt is always a go as you can view the whole island in one go and you can see how huge the airport runway is compared to the island itself.

Arthur Evans and us on his History in the Making tour

We also went on Arthur Evan's tour History in the Making which Rob and I had not yet done.  It was a fantastic tour and Arthur showed us places down at Kingston that I had never noticed before and explained what their purposes was which was extremely informative.  The tour took us back to his property where he showed us how the islanders made rope from leaves amongst others.

Jan and Rob and the top of Anson's Bay
Andrew joined the four of us in a Murder Mystery Dinner held in a home in Mill Road.  What a great night it was too.  We all got into it by wearing costumes like those worn in the mid 1850's and we were all given characters of people that actually existed at Kingston during the convict days.

At the Murder Mystery dinner

Our friend Sue Buffet was the person who kept us all on track on trying to find the murderer.  She told us that "Mr So and So was found murdered that afternoon" and we all were suspects. It was pretty hard to keep track of all the movements on the 25 or so people at our table.  Each character had to ask and answer questions of their whereabouts on the day of the murder and I actually gave up trying to figure out who the murder was.

The boys in character
Towards the end of the 3 course dinner Sue asked us all to write down who we thought the murderer was, what the murder weapon was and where was the murder committed.  I, as well as most people at the dinner, thought it was the poor victim's wife, who used strychnine, at their home.

Jan, hamming it up in costume
Once all the papers were in, Sue turned off the lights and asked that the murderer please stand.  I couldn't believe it when the person sitting next to me stood up.  The murderer ended up being Rob of all people and I had no idea it was him - neither did anyone else by the way - ha.  Rob received a bottle of wine for being the murderer which was really nice of Sue.

The girls, freezing at the Fish Fry
We took Ken and Jan to the Fish Fry at Puppy's Point and I was so pleased that the weather out held even if it was freezing for us Canberrans and Tasmanians. The last time I went to a fish fry was when I went with Mum where it ended up at South Pac due to rain which isn't quite the same as Puppy's Point.  We had the most loveliest time.  We ate heaps of food and Trent kept us entertained as usual and the island dancers who came at the end of the evening took Jan and Ken up to dance with them - what a hoot!
Lunch at Sublime
Ken and Jan ended up only being on the island for 5 days really due to their flights.  But everyday we were out and about and Rob and I really enjoyed their company.

I suppose that Ken and Jan are going to be our last visitors as I return to Canberra in January which is only 4 months away.  I wish more people had come to visit during my time here, but there you go.