January was another very busy month for our residents at Hill House. We had our regular outings to the pub and the garden centres, and we enjoyed some lovely celebrations such as Burns Night and the Lyons Tea. Here are the details:

On the bright, sunny but cold morning of Friday 5th January a small group of residents went Badshot Lea Garden Centre. The Garden Centre was busy, but the residents enjoyed seeing different pets on display including the rabbits and guinea pigs and were fascinated by the very big fish in the aquarium area. They weren’t so sure about the snakes on display, but liked the lizards, iguana and ‘False Tomato’ frog all the way from Madagascar. Following the walk round which ended with a quick look at the Koi carp in the big tanks outside, the residents went to the restaurant area for fresh coffee, tea and cakes. They enjoyed a nice chat over refreshments before returning to the home in good time for Friday’s fish and chip lunch.

On the wet and blustery morning of Friday 12th January a group of residents travelled by taxi to Fleet town centre for coffee in the Emporium Public House. Here they met with residents from our two other homes and were soon enjoying freshly made coffee, tea, Victoria Sponge cake or even a sherry if they fancied it! The pub was lovely warm and soon the conversation was flowing. Everyone returned in time for a good lunch.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 17th January residents from across all three homes enjoyed a group sing-a-long with the Crondall ‘Sing for Fun’ choir. Everyone was soon singing along to some favourite old tunes, some even with actions that got everyone involved in the fun. Half way through Liz from the group entertained the residents with a very accomplished cello recital, before the singing resumed.

On the very cold, but frosty and bright morning of Friday 19th January a small group of residents travelled by taxi to Redfields Garden Centre in Church Crookham. Once here they enjoyed a stroll around the seasonal displays and even ventured out into the cold to the covered glasshouse area to see some early flowering bulbs before going back into the warm to the lovely restaurant. Here they met with residents from our two other homes before they enjoyed freshly made coffee, tea and biscuits or cakes and a chat. The group returned just in time for lunch.

On the afternoon of Thursday 25th January Hill House celebrated Burns Night with a Scottish themed tea party with music. Staff dressed in tartan kilts and the Scottish flag whilst residents wore tartan brooches in honour of Robbie Burns and enjoyed dancing to some lively Scottish music.
At 3.00pm the ‘Hill House Special Haggis’ (a sweet chocolate version!) was paraded amongst the audience and Burn’s famous poem ‘Address to a Haggis!’ was read as it was cut ready for everyone to taste. Additionally, residents enjoyed a wee dram of Scotch whiskey if they wanted it as well as some traditional shortbread. A resident then recited ‘My Love is like a Red, Red Rose’ another famous Burns poem before the music and dancing resumed. Afternoon tea and coffee was also served. Afterwards residents declared it had been a ‘tremendous’ afternoon and said they had loved the Scottish dancing in traditional dress as well as our very unusual Haggis!

On the morning of Friday 26th January, a small group of residents and a relative travelled by taxi to the Wyvern Public House in Church Crookham. Here they met with residents from our two other homes for tea and coffee or an alcoholic drink if they chose. All the residents were able to sit as one group and were soon enjoying an impromptu sing-a-long as they enjoyed their beverages. Everyone returned their thirst quenched, just in time for a Friday fish and chip lunch!

On the afternoon of Wednesday 31st January residents came together in the Main Lounge for ‘Time for Tea.’ This event included a visit by an authentic ‘Nippy’ waitress from the ‘Lyons Corner House’ days (our very own Ana Maria) a fruit and exotic tea tasting session, the history of Lyons with pictures of some of its London establishments and a typical menu, its famous restaurants as well as some facts and history about tea. Residents sampled 4 teas, apple, blackberry, beetroot and ginger, coconut and cocoa with cinnamon, chamomile and spearmint and finally liquorice. Surprisingly liquorice was the favourite tea sampled, but it’s fair to say everyone still preferred the standard tea with milk they were offered afterwards, rather than the herbal teas they had tasted! Residents also enjoyed homemade cakes as part of the afternoon.

On the evening of Wednesday 31st January, the quarterly quiz in aid of ‘Families Supporting Care’ took place at Hill Brow. There were 10 teams competing and as always it was a closely fought contest, so much so there was only one point between the three top teams at the end of the evening. The eventual winners were the team called ‘Dunno’. Contestants enjoyed a buffet during the evening as well as wine, tea and coffee, and there was also a raffle. The event in total raised £500 and it’s fair to say a very enjoyable evening was had by all!