What can one say?

Monday 5th December

After a lovely evening spent playing cards with Anne & Paul, we arranged to meet this morning for morning tea at Art Trio which we have been told that you have to experience the excellent service offered.  However, those plans were scuppered when we found that the Cafe is closed on a Monday.  Never mind, plan B, head out to Nosh for lunch after a spot of shopping at the Lolly Shop in Waimate.  Another surprise, a lovely lunch awaited us at Nosh Cafe on SH1 at the turn off to Waimate.  We all enjoyed a lovely leisurely lunch before it was time for us all to get back to the real world.  As we had missed out on Art Trio, we decided to stay in Waimate another night to enjoy morning tea there tomorrow.

Tuesday 6th December

Art Trio Cafe lived up to the reviews we had heard, they certainly know how to treat a customer, and their coffee is good too! We bade farewell to Anne & Paul, wishing Paul all the best for his heart surgery on Friday.

Time to head off, by this time we had heard that sister-in-law Ann was in Oamaru hospital so back to our usual position at the Oamaru Race Course.  Ann was diagnosed with cancer a couple of weeks ago (the reason we returned to Oamaru earlier) and was in Oamaru hospital as her pain medication needed updating.  She was home again on Wednesday and things were looking up.

Thursday 8th December

I had organised to use Mike & Ann’s house to cook dinner for them and for Mum & Dad.  What they all did not know was that brother John and his daughters Julie & Jenny were arriving as the surprise dinner guests.  John was on a trip around the South Island with his girls and just seemed the perfect opportunity for us to have a wee get together.  A great evening was had, before we all retired to our abodes  at a reasonable hour as Mike & Ann had an early start in the morning heading off to specialist appointments in Dunedin.

Friday 9th December

We spent the day around Oamaru, with John and the girls joining us for dinner and an evening of playing cards.  Yes, Julie & Bernice reign as Sequence champs!

Saturday 10th December

Another day at the race course, John and the girls joined us again for dinner and more cards, this time Crib was the game of choice.  Let us just say that the male member of the visiting party needs to hone up on his card playing skills!

We also heard from Mike that the news of Ann from Dunedin was not good.  We are all devastated.

Sunday 11th December

Off to Helen & Don’s for dinner tonight.  Ann back in Dunedin hospital.

Monday 12th December

A day spent around Oamaru, getting on with bits and pieces.

Tuesday 13 December

Off to Dunedin, we end up at the Wingatui Racecourse – what is it with us and Race courses?  Off to see Ann.

wingatui Wingatui parking. 

Roy’s greatgrandfather and his third wife had on many occasions in the 1880s and 1890s bid for and successfully obtained the rights to provide food and drink at this course on race days.

Wednesday 14 December

Decide to move form the race course, to the A&P showgrounds not too far away.  Much nicer surrounds.  Then off Christmas Shopping – yuck!  Back up to see Ann, news worst possible.  Deterioration over the last week has been huge. Emotions running through the gamut today. 

amp Parked at the A & P Showgrounds

horse day 3 Budding Show Jumpers having their day in the field at the Showgrounds.

The following week was spent visiting Ann, keeping an eye on Mike, Natalie & Stuart and doing what we could, which seemed to be very little and we have never felt so goddam useless.  Ann was transferred to the Otago Community Hospice where she spent her last few days.  She passed away in the early hours of Tuesday 20th December. 

Back up to Oamaru but Roy broke a tooth so we had to wait until he had visited the dentist …kaching, kaching!  Back to our usual spot at the racecourse.  The next couple of days was spent organising family and friends.  Friday 23rd December we bade a fond farewell to our dear friend, sister-in-law and pal Ann.  Ann’s brother Donald wrote and read the following very good poem at the service;


Ode to Ann

My Beautiful sister by Donald Lunjevich

Ann was born in ‘52

The second of a litter of four

And two lovely step sisters

Whose Dad was killed in the war


An older good looking brother

A younger one Frank who was fine

And then a younger sister Carol

Born when Mum was past her prime


To Herekino Primary School

At 5 she was sent

A quiet girl – well behaved

A model student


Then boarding at St Marys Catholic School

4 years she had a bed

No boys or bad behaviour

Or smoking behind the shelter shed


Old Sister May Leo

She didn’t have a show

To train a Lunjevich to sing

Is just a waste of dough


Then to Dental Nurses School

To learn all sorts of things

And earn some money so she could

Go out and spread her wings


A real nice girl and pretty too

It was no great surprise

That boys did start to hang around

Like a lot of flies


But straight up through the middle

Came a guy called Mike

Dad, Frank and I tried to get him

To take a giant hike


But Mike knew what he wanted

He wasn’t backing down

And Ann? Well she was smitten

Mike wasn’t leaving town


After a little courting

The wedding bells rang

Mike the pommie brother-in-law

Did join the Lunjevich clan


Mike, Alan, Frank and I

I don’t know if it’s the norm

All seen to have this thing

For girls in sexy nurses uniform


Mike strutted like a cockerel

Ann made a nest of hay and reed

Uh oh its springtime in the air

The pair are going to breed


First out popped little Natalie

Then a stumpy Stu

Mike said to Ann “we’ve got perfection

So we’ll stop at two”


Now Natalie is grown and beautiful

Working for the IRD

She will have to take the mantle

As the Coatham family Queen Bee


Stuart’s pretty clever

Knows the difference between a left and right hand thread

Came back from London with a pretty Aussie girl

And a shiny head


Ann was thrilled when the bassinets filled

Patchwork quilts by the load

Whoop-di-do surprise, surprise

10 fingers and 10 toes


They were getting older

And thought their time had come

To make a move – change the speed

And have a bit of fun


It took some time, a plan, a dream

To figure out what to do

We’ll shift by Mum, up the road

To Awamoa Road, Oamaru


Ann could be a tricker

Ann could be a hoot

Trick me every time she could

To make me eat beetroot!


And so just to get her back

As silly as it seems

I don’t call Renee, Renee

I call Renee, Irene!


You’re leaving Irene and Toby

That’s pretty hard to see

And even worse I’m thinking

There’s going to be number 3.


Ann you dirty rotten stop out

You know we love you so

We will never forget you

But we will let your body go.


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