We drove to Napier on Thursday afternoon, after I had been to singing. We had lunch at the River Cottage Cafe just south of Otaki. It was overcast but there were good driving conditions. There had been an accident on the Expressway, and the southbound lanes closed, but it was open again now. I remarked that it was nice to travel in good conditions, but after Woodville we struck fog, deep fog, which persisted until around Norsewood.
We got safely through to Napier, checked into our usual motel (lots of room, a spa bath, thick towels and bathmat, and a coffee machine!) and headed for Portofino to have dinner. But this was again closed – for earthquake remediation. So we went to the Boardwalk instead.
The next day JD dropped me in town and went to his meeting. I bought a newspaper, went to the Farmers’ Red Dot sale, and had coffee and a delicious mini-donut at Adoro. Then I went shop-browsing!
I looked at Wardini, the wonderful bookshop, the Antiques market, and other stores. Ujazi is no longer open, replaced (3 weeks ago) by The Tennyson Cafe. It had been refurbished. I had lunch there. It was good, but quite different from the old Ujazi!
Afterwards, I bought a warm vest (on special) from Postie Plus.
Then I headed off to look for the Dalton Street bus stop. I found it, and the correct bus, travelling to Hastings along Kennedy Road. As it was before 3 pm, I could use my Gold Card. The route numbers were a challenge, but the Internet was useful, this time. The bus stopped just past our motel.
That evening we ate at The Thirsty Whale pub in Ahuriri with our daughter and four other friends.
The next day JD went to another meeting and after a lie-in, I caught the bus into town. This is quite powerful, especially now that I know where the bus stops are! It was very cold here each morning – on 0 degrees C or even -1! I bought the newspaper, and had coffee and a doughnut again. The bus stop had a wet seat and no shelter.
JD finished early and we had lunch at Cappadonna.
That evening we each had a delicious Banh Mi for dinner back at our motel. I needed to have some spicy food. Even JD enjoyed this. There is a good outlet near our favourite New World supermarket in Greenmeadows. You can’t eat there, but the food is good to takeaway.
The next day it was fine and calm, and the sun shone, despite a chilly start. We walked along the Marine Parade, along with many others, and went to the market where we’d been at Christmas time. We had lunch at a very nice cafe, next to the rather boring Paper Plus Store. (What has happened to Paper Plus? They used to be quite inviting stores). Many retailers were closed, it being Sunday.
After 3 pm we picked up our daughter. We took her to a Golf Driving Range in Hastings, and then went to Lone Star for dinner – her choice! We went early at 5:30 pm but they were really busy. We had a nice meal. One big improvement with our girl is that she now eats much faster! She doesn’t bolt her food, but she doesn’t take ages, either. She chose cranberry juice to drink again.
On Monday we were due to dine at our daughter’s new house. She seemed very much at ease here. She dances with Paul – it’s nice for her to have someone to dance with. She is developing friendships, and is less individualistic. She seems more aware of the house community.
On Tuesday there was the IDP meeting at the Clive boardroom at 9:30 am. Our daughter chose to do art instead of coming to the meeting! It was very interactive and went well. She is so much more independent now! That’s a relief, as is her sleeping off the Clive site. She sleeps well now, and has much less anxiety. At a recent parents’ meeting in Wellington, many said they could no longer have their son/daughter at home. Many cited anxiety and attachment issues. Our daughter seems very well and happy, and seemingly chronic problems like her eczema and hayfever have gone away. She is thriving in her new living environment, and even making friends. Long may this last!
Her activities include going to Clive each weekday to the Craft studio, doing music and speech there; doing singing with other residents on Fridays; doing folk-dancing; doing lots of art; her household goes to the RSA on Tuesday evenings and she enjoys Shake, Rattle and Roll at the Napier Baptist Church. At home she makes her own bed, dresses herself, does her chores, and helps with food preparation.
One big improvement in her situation is that four staff members work in her home, thus providing consistency of care and expectations. One of them is Thai and does massage! We have met them all, and are very impressed by the House Leader and her team. The greater abilities of the residents mean that less staffing is needed – a welcome outcome. At night there is a “sleep over” staff member, rather than a “wake over”.
We had lunch at the St Germain cafe. For out evening meal we went to Cafe de Laos, only to find it closed. So we went to one of the pubs in Ahuriri, where we had been before. This proved to be a good choice: we shared a pizza and shoe-string fries, but there were several platters we could have shared, and sliders. I had a very nice non-alcoholic cocktail that wasn’t too sweet. For pudding we shared panna cotta and a flour-less chocolate cake.
The next day we drove back to Wellington. The weather was all right, but there were lots of roadworks, and there was lots of traffic. We had lunch at The Long Black Cafe in Woodville, much better in its new incarnation. we arrived back to be delighted to find a letter handwritten by our daughter. Shortly afterwards, Sinead had her baby daughter.