‘All Creatures Great and Small’ – October at Hill House
October’s theme reflected a month that sees some of our wild animals preparing to hibernate ahead of winter. Residents enjoyed a variety of animal based activities including quizzes, word searches and puzzles, and it culminated in a visit by ‘Wings of Freedom’ and their wonderful feathered friends! As well as this, there were some very enjoyable trips to the local garden centres, to Fleet for coffee, to the Wyvern Public House, and the annual children’s ‘Trick or Treat’ Halloween party at the end of the month.
Residents enjoyed again the monthly session of ‘Singing for the Brain’ with Barbara and songs such as ‘Bobby Shaftoe,’ ‘If I Knew You Were Coming I’d have Baked a Cake,’ and ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot!’
On the afternoon of Monday 16th October Marie Brasher and a small group of residents plus some relatives travelled by taxi to Peter Brasher’s lovely home in Church Crookham. Once there, the group enjoyed afternoon tea with cake and a good chat. Marie particularly enjoyed the opportunity to go and spend time in her own home, and Peter was glad to be able to welcome both his wife and the other guests to the home on what turned out be such a lovely occasion.
On a blustery but bright morning of Friday 20th October a small group of residents plus relatives travelled by taxi to the Wyvern Public House in Crookham village, where they met with residents from our two other homes. They all enjoyed fresh coffee, tea and snacks, or an alcoholic drink for those that preferred it! One of our residents Giles celebrated his 79th Birthday that day with his wife and a pint of bitter, whilst opening his birthday cards. He had a lovely surprise visit by one of his daughters with her pet dog too. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him as he was presented with a cupcake with candle (full size cake followed during afternoon tea later!) and it is fair to say the trip was very much enjoyed by all as well as the Birthday Boy himself, Giles!
Our Halloween ‘Trick or Treat’ party took place in the afternoon of Friday 27th October. Residents enjoyed a visit by some of our lovely staff’s children and grandchildren for an early Halloween party. Dressed in wonderful vampire, devil, dinosaur skeleton outfits and even dressed as a gruesome blood-spattered nurse, the children met our residents and were given sweet treats. Following this staff and some resident’s relatives tried their luck at the traditional Halloween apple bobbing game, some even managing successfully to come up spluttering and wet with an apple between their teeth!! The afternoon concluded with tea and Halloween cupcakes and some well-loved music by Abba which the children and everyone enjoyed.
On Monday 30th October, as part of our ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ theme for the month Hill House welcomed Colin Sutherland from the ‘Wings of Freedom’ charity for birds of prey. Colin brought ‘Doris’ a 35-year-old gyr/saker (meaning fast and hot) falcon, ’Toni’ a 16-week-old kestrel, ‘Rocky’ a 6-year-old barn owl and ‘Stormin’ Norman’ a wonderful European eagle owl who was approximately 40-55 years old. Colin showed all the birds to our residents and many were able to hold them as he talked about the individual bird’s history and their unique characters and qualities. Many residents asked questions about the birds to Colin who was happy to share his knowledge and experience of looking after and training them. The wildlife experience, everyone agreed afterwards, was a truly special event for our residents!
We finished the month with the quarterly quiz for our charity ‘Families supporting Care’, which was hosted by Hill House and took place in the evening of Tuesday 31st October. Eight teams of residents, relatives and staff pitted their wits against each other in a very keenly contested night, with it has to say, some challenging questions. Film, biology, sport, and colours were some of the question categories, as well as a live music round, played on the piano by our very own Louis. Participants enjoyed wine and soft drinks, and a selection of delicious refreshments. After a closely fought contest, a brand-new team for the quiz night called ‘BP Squared?’ won. Over £500 was successfully raised for our charity ‘Families Supporting Care’. All in all, a very enjoyable night was had by all who participated!