Romance doesn’t stop when you enter a care home. This was the message that swept through the home as the team prepared to host a special Valentine’s Day meal for four of its couples.
In anticipation, the team went out and purchased Valentine’s Day cards to ensure each couple would have something to exchange. Tables were laid for a private meal. Thoughtfully prepared, each included a single red rose, red napkins, hand made place names and a Valentines Day cracker.
Two couples who are all residents in Goodson Lodge along with a further two whose partners visit regularly, gathered in the dining room at 5pm. The old-time classics of Glen Miller and Louis Armstrong filled the air as the wine was poured.
After exchanging their cards, the residents and their partners were invited to complete a romantically themed questionnaire, designed to allow them to reminisce about their happiest moments together.
The first question; Where did you first meet?
John and Virginia met aboard a cruise ship on the barrier reef in Queensland as they headed for Singapore. It was aboard that ship that they enjoyed their first date, dancing on the deck and taking in the sights it is not hard to understand why they fell in love.
Ann and Don met at a local school where they both taught. Don oversaw mathematics and technical drawing and Ann was in charge of French. It is left to our imagination as to whether Ann wooed Don with the language of love, but their first date took place a few years later at a Syd Lawrence Concert in Bath.
David and Daphne also met through work. At a famous hotel on Park Lane in London, David was the Banqueting Manager and Daphne worked in the PR department. David comments, “It started as a business relationship, but not for long!” Although they didn’t have a first date as such, they shared a kiss in Daphne’s office at 11pm following an evenings work at a function in the ballroom earlier that evening.
In what was possibly the most risqué question of the evening the couples were asked; What first attracted you to each other? Perhaps unsurprisingly for the well-travelled John and his Aussie bride Virginia the answer was a sense of adventure (as well as good humour). Don and Ann similarly sited a common interest in travelling and explained that they did a fair amount of it once the relationship was established. David told of Daphne’s elegant figure and presumed that Daphne was drawn to his tall frame and jet-black hair.
All three of the couples who completed the questionnaire had enjoyed modest but nevertheless romantic weddings. The most recent of the unions was for Virginia and John who were married twenty years ago, with the longest standing relationship being Daphne and David, who wed in the early 60’s.
The couples most romantic memories included Daphne and David’s holidays on Caribbean islands, Don and Ann’s dinner on the river Seine in Paris. Virginia and John’s romantic memory was of breaks in their favourite hotel in Sorrento, Italy. Although, they also mentioned a very touching memory of dancing in the kitchen to Frank Sinatra.
They were each asked what advice they would give to a young couple. Answers included openness, patience, honesty, respect, good humour and compromise. Advice befitting for anyone hoping to endure the test of time as these couples have done.
The couples finished their meals, but not before stopping to comment on the evening.
David and Daphne remarked on how pleased they were to have moved into Goodson Lodge and thanked the team for the efforts they had put into the evening. Ann and Don congratulated the home on the evenings good organisation and said that the dinner was, “really delicious”. And Virginia and John said that it was, “a very memorable occasion”.
The team all took equal pleasure in the romance of the evening and cannot wait until the next opportunity for love to fill the home once more.